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INFERIOR COURTS. (No. I.] 3 & 4 W. IV. c. 22.-An Act to amend the Laws relating to Sewers.
[28th June 1833.] WHEREAS an act was passed in the twenty-third year of the reign of 23 H. 8, c. 5.
his Majesty king Henry the eighth, concerning commissions of sewers to be directed into all parts within the then realm of England, including the principality of Wales, in the manner and according to the form, tenor, and effect in the said act set forth, and which said act was made perpetual by an act passed in the third and fourth years of the reign of his Majesty king Edward the sixth, intituled An Act for the 3 & 4 Edw. 6, Continuance of the Statute of Sewers, and was amended and altered by an c. 8. act passed in the thirteenth year of the reign of her Majesty queen Eli- 13 Eliz. c.9. zabeth, intituled An Act for the Commission of Sewers : And whereas great difficulty, inconvenience, and expence are found to arise by reason that the laws relating to sewers are in many respects defective: And whereas doubts have arisen as to the extent of the powers given to the commissioners of sewers by the said recited acts and the commissions issued in pursuance thereof, and particularly as to the legal mode of conducting inquiries by means of juries impanelled and returned by sheriffs, bailiffs, and other returning officers under the authority of the said recited acts, and also as to the legal power of courts of sewers to decree and order new works to be made and executed for the better defending, draining, sewing, and securing the lands within the limits of their respective commissions, and to grant, impose, and levy rates, taxes, scots, or assessments for or in respect of such new works, and to decree and order the taking up and borrowing of money at interest to repay the costs and charges of such new or any extraordinary or other works, so as to charge and recover of and from the owners and occupiers for the time being of lands, tenements, and hereditaments the amount of money so borrowed or any part thereof, and thereby to distribute such costs and charges fairly and equitably among the parties who shall or may from time to time receive benefit or avoid damage by or from the same: And whereas it is expedient to increase the amount of qualification of commissioners of sewers, and that other provisions should be made for the better execution of the powers by law vested or to be vested in commissioners of sewers : May it therefore please your Majesty that it may be enacted; and be it enacted, &c., That no person who has not already Qualification acted as a commissioner under any commission of sewers already issued of commisshall be qualified or capable of becoming or acting as a commissioner in sioners. the execution of any commission of sewers unless such person shall be, in his own right or in right of his wife, in the actual possession or receipt for life or for a larger estate of the rents and profits of lands, tenements, or hereditaments, situated in the county in which he shall act as a commissioner, or in any adjoining county, of freehold or copyhold tenure, or held for a term of not less than sixty years absolute, or determinable with a life or lives, of the clear yearly value of one hundred pounds above reprizes, or held for a term of years originally granted for not less than twenty-one years, and of which ten years at the least shall then be unexpired, of the clear yearly value of two hundred pounds above reprizes, or shall be heir apparent of a person possessed of freehold or copyhold lands, tenements, or hereditaments, situated in such county as aforesaid, or in any adjoining county, of the clear yearly value of two hundred pounds above reprizes, or unless such person
No. I. shall be the agent duly appointed by writing under the seal of any body 3 & 4 W.4, politic or corporate, or under the hand of any person not being himself c. 22.
present, and acting as a commissioner in the execution of the commission of sewers under or by virtue of which such agent shall act, and which body politic or corporate shall for the time being be in the receipt of the rents and profits of freehold or copyhold lands, tenements, or hereditaments situated in such county as aforesaid, or in any adjoining county, and which person making such appointment shall for the time being be, in his own right or in right of his wife, in the actual possession or receipt of the rents and profits of freehold or copyhold lands, tenements, or hereditaments, situated in such county as aforesaid, or any adjoining county, and which lands, tenements, or hereditaments, whether so belonging to such body politic or corporate, or to such other person, shall be actually taxed under or by virtue of the commission of sewers in respect whereof such agent shall act, and shall be of the clear yearly value of three hundred pounds above reprizes, or unless such agent shall, before he acts, deliver his written appointment to the clerk to such commission of sewers, or his deputy, to be filed by such clerk among the records or proceedings of the commissioners acting in the execution of such commission : Provided always, That in cases where commissions of sewers run into more than one county, the qualification herein-before provided may be situated either partly in each of the counties into which such commission shall run, or wholly in any one of such counties: Provided that nothing in this act contained shall extend to give a qualification to any person as agent after he shall have ceased
to be such agent. Quakers may
II. That if any person being a Quaker shall have been or shall hereafter act as commis- be appointed a commissioner of sewers, and shall be in other respects sioners, upon qualified according to the provisions of the said recited acts and of this making an
act, it shall be lawful for such person, on making his solemn affirmation affirmation.
to the effect of the oath prescribed by the said recited act of the twentythird year of the reign of king Henry the eighth, before the person or persons who for the time being shall be empowered by law to administer such oath, and also upon his making and subscribing the affirmation directed by this act, to act as a commissioner of sewers, without being subject or liable to any penalty or forfeiture imposed by the said last re
cited act for acting without having taken the oath therein contained. Oath to be
III. That every such commissioner before he shall act in the execu. taken by other tion of his office shall, in addition to the oath prescribed by the said recommissioners cited act of the twenty-third year of the reign of king Henry the eighth, before acting. (or the affirmation in lieu thereof substituted by this act in respect of
any commissioner who shall be a Quaker,) take and subscribe before the person or persons who for the time being shall be authorized to administer the oath prescribed by the said last-mentioned act the following oath, or, being a Quaker, the following affirmation ; videlicet,
do swear, [or, being one of the people called Quakers, do solemnly atfirm,] That I truly and bona fide am in my own right for in the right of my wife] in the actual possession and enjoyment of (or in the receipt for life, or for a larger estate, of the rents and profits 'issuing out of] lands, tenements, or hereditaments, situate in the 'county of
of freehold or copyhold tenure, or held ' for a term of not less than sixty years absolute, or determinable with a “ life or lives, of the clear yearly value of one hundred pounds above re
prizes; or held for the unexpired term of years, originally granted for
years, of the clear yearly value of two hundred pounds above reprizes; (or am heir apparent of who, to the best of my knowledge
, is seised of freehold or copyholá • lands, tenements, or hereditaments, situate in the county of of the clear yearly value of two hundred pounds above reprizes); [or am agent of
who, (or which,] to the best of my know• ledge, is seised or possessed in his or their own right] (or in the right
• of his wife] of freehold or copyhold lands, tenements, or hereditaments, No. 1. situate in the county of
of the clear yearly value of three 3 & 4 W. 4, ‘ hundred pounds above reprizes.
'So help me GOD.' c. 22. [Or, being a Quaker, omit the Words, 'So help me God.'] IV. That if any person who has not already acted as a commissioner Penalty on of sewers shall presume to act as a commissioner of sewers, not persons acting being qualified as aforesaid, or who shall have ceased to be qualified not qualified. as aforesaid, or not having taken the oath, or, being a Quaker, made the solemn affirmation prescribed by this act, every person wilfully so offending shall for every such offence forfeit and pay the sum of one hundred pounds to any person or persons who shall sue for the same, to be recovered, with full costs of suits, in any of his Majesty's courts of record at Westminster, by action of debt or on the case, or by bill, plaint, suit, or information, wherein no essoign, protection, wager of law, or more than one imparlance, shall be allowed; and the person so sued or prosecuted shall prove that he is qualified, or otherwise shall pay the said penalty, without any other proof or evidence on the part of the prosecutor than that such person had acted as a commissioner in the execution of any commission of sewers: Provided nevertheless, that Proceedings no act or proceeding touching the execution of any commission of sewers
not lo be imwhich shall be done or performed by any unqualified person previously
peached on ac
count of dis. to his being convicted of the offence of acting without being qualified as herein provided shall be thereby impeached or rendered nugatory, but
qualification. all such acts and proceedings shall be as valid and effectual as if such person had been duly qualified.
V. Provided always, That any mayor, bailiff, or other officer appointed Ex officio comor authorized to act as a commissioner under any commission of sewers
missioners not by virtue of his office shall and may, so long as he shall hold such office, required to act as a commissioner in the execution of such commission of sewers by
qualify. virtue of such office, without being qualified as herein-before directed with regard to commissioners of sewers in general, and without being required to take and subscribe the oath or affirmation herein-before prescribed to be taken by commissioners of sewers in general with regard to their qualification, and without being liable to the forfeiture or penalty herein-before imposed upon commissioners of sewers in general for acting without being qualified as aforesaid, or without having taken such oath or affirmation, any thing herein-before contained to the contrary thereof in anywise notwithstanding : Provided also, that such mayor, bailiff, or other officer shall, before he acts, deliver a certificate, under the hand of the town clerk or other legal officer of the corporation in respect of which such mayor, bailiff, or other officer shall or may act, to the clerk to the commission under which he shall so act as aforesaid, certifying that he is the mayor, bailiff, or other officer authorized to act as a commissioner under such commission.
VI. That from and after the passing of this act all and every commis- Commission to sion and commissions of sewers then being in force, or that hereafter continue for shall be granted and made, shall stand and continue in force for the ten years, un
less renewed or term of ten years next ensuing the date of every such commission, not
repealed by withstanding any demise of the crown of these realms during the exist- writ of superence of any such commission or commissions, unless the same commis- sedeas. sion or commissions be or thereafter shall be repealed or determined by reason of any new commission in that behalf made, or by writ of supersedas delivered out of the king's court of chancery, discharging any such commission or commissions. VII. That all laws, acts, decrees, constitutions, and ordinances made Laws, decrees,
and ordinances or to be made by any court of sewers, and duly registered in the rolls
to continue in or books of such court by the clerk to the commission, shall continue in
force notwithfull force and effect, notwithstanding the expiration, repeal, or other standing expirdetermination of the commission under which such laws, acts, decrees, ation of com constitutions, and ordinances shall have been respectively made, and mission, and notwithstanding the same respectively shall not have been ingrossed or although not written in parchment, and under the seals of the commissioners or any ingrossed in
No. I. six of them, and notwithstanding the one part thereof shall not remain 3 & 4 W. 4, with the clerk to the commission, and the other part in such place as the c. 22.
said commissioners or six of them shall order or appoint, and notwith
standing the same shall not be certified into the king's court of chancery, parchment, or and the king's royal assent had thereto respectively, until the same laws, not certified acts, decrees, constitutions, and ordinances shall be altered, repealed, or into the court made void by any subsequent court or courts of sewers in those parts or of chancery. limits where the same laws, decrees, and ordinances were or shall be
made and ordained, or by any six of them. Regulations as
VIII. That it shall be lawful for the said commissioners or any three to meetings of or more of them, or for their clerk upon the direction in writing of any commissioners, three or more of the said commissioners, (and which he is hereby re
quired to do on such direction, to appoint the first meeting of the said commissioners after the passing of this act at such time and place as to them shall seem meet, and of which meeting ten clear days previous notice shall be given, by advertisement in some newspaper of the county, and generally circulated in that district thereof, and it shall be lawful for the said commissioners from time to time to meet at such time and place, and to adjourn to meet at any place or places and at such time or times as the said commissioners or the major part of them present at any meeting shall appoint; and no order or determination shall be made unless the major part of the commissioners present shall concur therein; and all acts, orders, and proceedings which are directed or authorized to be made, done, or exercised by or before the said commissioners, and all the powers and authorities vested in them, shall and may be made, done and exercised by the major part of the commissioners who shall be present at the said respective meetings, the whole number present not being less than six; and all acts, orders, or proceedings made, done, or executed by or before such six commissioners shall have the same force and effect and be as binding and conclusive on all persons, to all intents and purposes whatsoever, as fully and effectually as if the same were made, done, or executed by or before the whole of the said commissioners; and a chairman shall and may in the first place be appointed at every meeting by a majority of the votes of the persons present, who in case of an equal number of votes (including the chairman's vote) shall
have the casting or decisive vote. Special meet- IX. That if after any adjournment of any meeting of the said comings on emer- missioners it shall on any emergency be considered necessary or adgencies may be visable that a special meeting should be appointed for an earlier day called on ten than the day for which any meeting shall stand by adjournment as aforedays' notice.
said, then and in such case it shall be lawful for the said commissioners or any three or more of them, or for their clerk upon the direction in writing of any three or more of the said commissioners (and which he is hereby required to do on such direction), to appoint a special meeting for an earlier day, and of which meeting, and of the time and purpose thereof, ten clear days' previous notice shall be given by advertisement in some newspaper of the county, and generally circulated in that district thereof; and no other business shall be transacted on any such
special meeting but that which shall have been specified in such notice On certain oc- as aforesaid : Provided nevertheless, that in the event of any imminent casions special danger being apprehended from unusually high tides or any other cause, meetings may and that in the judgment of two or more of the said commissioners the be called by exigency of the case will not admit of the delay of ten clear days' preorder of two
vious notice of a special meeting, it shall and may be lawful for any two commissioners
or more of the said commissioners, or for their clerk upon the direction on a shorter notice.
in writing of any two or more of the said commissioners (and which he is hereby required to do on such direction), to convene, by circular letter sent to each acting commissioner, a special meeting for as early a day as the said two or more commissioners shall think fit in their discretion to appoint, such letters to specify the particular object for which such meeting is convened; and no business shall be transacted thereat but that which strictly relates to such object.
X. And whereas doubts have arisen as to the extent of the jurisdiction No. I. of commissioners of sewers; be it therefore further enacted and de- 3 & 4 W. 4, clared, That all walls, banks, culverts, and other defences whatsoever,
c. 22. whether natural or artificial, situate or being by the coasts of the sea, and all rivers, streams, sewers, and watercourses which now are or hereafter Description of shall or may be navigable, or in which the tide now does or hereafter sewers and shall or may ebb and flow, or which now do or hereafter shall or may other works directly or indirectly communicate with any such navigable or tide river, under the justream, or sewer, and all walls, banks, culverts, bridges, dams, flood- risdiction of gates, and other works erected or to he erected in, upon, over, or ad- commissioners joining to any such rivers, streams, sewers, or watercourses, shall be of sewers. from henceforth, to all intents, constructions, and purposes, within and subject to the jurisdiction of commissioners of sewers : Provided aways, That nothing herein contained shall authorize or empower any commissioners of sewers to exercise authority or jurisdiction upon or over any dams, floodgates, or other works erected for the purpose of ornament, previous to the passing of this act, in, upon, or over any rivers, streams, ditches, gutters, sewers, or watercourses near or contiguous to any house or building, or in any garden, yard, paddock, park, planted walk, or avenue to a house, without the consent in writing of the owner or proprietor thereof respectively first had and obtained.
XI. That in all cases in which any court of sewers shall inquire by Inquiry and jury of or concerning all or any of the matters and things authorized presentment by and directed to be inquired into and presented under and by virtue of jury. the said recited acts, and the laws of sewers of old time accustomed, or of this act, it shall and may be lawful for commissioners of sewers, or any six or more of them, to issue a warrant or precept under their hands and seals to the sheriff, bailiff, or other returning officer or officers of every county at large, cinque port, city, town, liberty, precinct, or place within the limits of such commission, commanding such sheriff, bailiff, or other returning officer or officers to impanel, summon, and return, and he and they is and are hereby required, on receiving such warrant or precept, to impanel, summon, and return, at such time and place as in such warrant or precept shall be expressed, a jury of not exceeding forty-eight nor less than eighteen substantial and indifferent persons within his or their respective jurisdiction, qualified and usually summoned to serve on grand juries in courts of sessions of the peace; and the persons so to be impanelled, summoned, and returned us aforesaid are hereby required to appear before the said commissioners at such court of sewers to be holden within and for the limits of any and every such commission of sewers, or at some adjournment thereof, as in such warrant or precept shall be directed, and to attend such court, and at any and every adjournment thereof, until discharged by the said court; and the said jury shall be sworn in open court before the commissioners, and shall be charged by them to take their inquisition, and to make and return their presentments of and concerning all matters and things authorized and directed to be inquired into and presented under and by virtue of the said recited acts, and the law of sewers of old time accustomed, and of this act; and the said jury, being so impanelled, sworn, and charged as aforesaid, shall proceed in their inquiry before and in the presence of the court, upon the evidence of one or more credible witness or witnesses, delivered upon oath or affirmation, in the same manner and form, and subject to the like rules of taking and receiving evidence, as is usual in his Majesty's courts of common law; and the said commissioners may cause to be summoned to appear before them at the time and place of holding their respect courts of sewers aforesaid, and at every adjournment of any court, all clerks, keepers, bailiffs, engineers, surveyors, collectors, expenditors, and other their ministers and officers of sewers, and such other persons as in the judgment of such commissioners shall be competent to give proper evidence and information to the court and jury in the premises; and notice of the time and place of taking such inquisition shall be given by affixing to the principal door of each and every