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CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK.
ADOPTED NOVEMBER 6, 1894.
PREAMBLE. We the people of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings, do establish this Constitution.
2. Trial by jury.
of agricultural lands; excess condemnation.
gambling, laws. to prevent.
§ 1. Persons not to be disfranchised.
No member of this state shall be disfranchised, or deprived of any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizen thereof, unless by the law of the land, or the judgment of his peers.
Const. 1846, art. I, § I. § 2 Trial by jury.
The trial by jury in all cases in which it has been heretofore used shall remain in violate forever; but a jury trial may be waived by the parties in all civil eases in the manner to be prescribed by law.
Const. 1846, art. 1, § 2.
The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference shall forever be allowed in this State to all mankind; and no person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness on account of his opinions on matters of religious belief; but the hiberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace of safety of this State.
Const. 1846, art. I, § 3. § 4. Habeas corpus. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require its suspension. Const. 1846, art. I, § 4.
5. Excessive bail and fines. Excessive bail shall not be required nor excessive fines imposed, nor shall eruel and unusual punishments be inflicted, nor shall witnesses be unreasonably detained. Const. 1846, art. I, § 5.
§ 6. Bill of rights.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime (except in cases of impeachment, and in cases of militia when in actual service, and the land and naval forces in time of war, or which this State may keep with the consent of Congress in time of peace, and in cases of petit larceny, under the regulation of the Legislature), unless on presentment or indictment of a grand jury, and in any trial in any court whatever the party accused shall be allowed to appear and defend in person and with counsel as in civil actions. No person shall be subject to be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense; nor shall he be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Const. 1846, art. I, § 6. § 7. Compensation for taking private property; private roads; drainage of agricultural lands; excess condemnation.
When private property shall be taken for any public use, the compensation to be made therefor, when such compensation is not made by the State, shall be ascertained by a jury, or by the Supreme Court with or without a jury, but not with a referee, or by not less than three commissioners appointed by a court of record, as shall be prescribed by law. Private roads may be opened in the manner to be prescribed by law; but in every case the necessity of the road and the amount of all damage to be sustained by the opening thereof shall be first determined by a jury of freeholders, and such amount, together with the expenses of the proceeding, shall be paid by the person to be benefited. General laws may be passed permitting the owners or occupants of agricultural lands to construct and maintain for the drainage thereof, necessary drains, ditches and dykes upon the lands of others, under proper restrictions and with just compensation, but no special laws shall be enacted for such purposes.
The Legislature may authorize cities to take more land and property than is needed for actual construction in the laying out, widening, extending or relocating parks, public places, highways or streets; provided, however, that the additional land and property so authorized to be taken shall be no more than sufficient to form suitable building sites abutting on such park, public place, highway or street. After so much of the land and property has been appropriated for such park, public place, highway or street as is needed therofor, the remainder may be sold or leased.
1846, art. I, § 7. Amended Nov. 4, 1913.
§ 8. Freedom of speech and press; criminal prosecutions for libel.
Every citizen may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; and no law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. In all criminal prosecutions or indictments for libels, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libelous is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends. the party shall ha acquitted; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact.
Const. 1846, art. I, § 8.
§ 9. Right to assemble and petition; divorces; lotteries, pool-selling and gambling, laws to prevent.
No law shall be passed abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government, or any department thereof: nor shall any divorce be granted otherwise than by due judicial proceedings; nor shall any lottery or the sale of lottery tickets, pool-selling, book-making, or any other kind of gambling hereafter be authorized or allowed within this State; and the Legislature shall pass appropriate laws to prevent offenses against any of the provisions of this section.
1846, art. I, § 10. § 10. Escheats.
The people of this State, in their right of sovereignty, are deemed to possess the original and ultimate property in and to all lands within the
jurisdiction of the State; and all lands the title to which shall fail, from à defect of heirs, shall revert, or escheat to the people.
Const. 1846, art. I, § 11.
All feudal tenures of every description, with all their incidents, are declared to be abolished, saving however, all rents and services certain which at any time heretofore have been lawfully created or reserved.
Const. 1846, art. I, § 12. $ 12. Allodial tenures.
All lands within this State are declared to be allodial, so that, subject only to the liability to escheat, the entire and absolute property is vested in the owners, according to the nature of their respective estates.
Const. 1846, art. I, § 13.
No lease or grant of agricultural land, for a longer period than twelve years, hereafter made, in which shall be reserved any rent or service of any kind, shall be valid.
Const. 1846, art. I, § 14,
All fines, quarter-sales or other like restraints upon alienation, reserved in any grant of land hereafter to be made, shall be. void.
Const. 1846, art. I, § 15.
No purchase or contract for the sale of lands in this State, made since the fourteenth day of October, one thousand seven hundred and seventyfive; or which may hereafter be made, of, or with the Indians, shall be valid, unless made under the authority, and with the consent of the Legislature.
Const. 1846, art. I, § 16.
Such parts of the common law, and of the acts of the Legislature of the colony of New York, as together did form the laws of the said colony, on the nineteenth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, and the resolutions of the Congress of the said colony, and of the convention of the State of New York, in force on the twentieth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven, which have not since expired, or been repealed or altered; and such acts of the Legislature of this State as are now in force, shall be ind continue the law of this State, subject to such alterations as the Legislature shall make concerning the same. But all such parts of the common law, and such of the said acts, or parts thereof, as are repugnant to this Constitution, are hereby abrogated.
Const. 1846, art. I, 17.
8 17. Grants of land made by the king of Great Britain since 1775; prior grants.
All grants of land within this State, made by the king of Great Britain, or persons acting under his authority, after the fourteenth day of October, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, shall be null and void; but nothing contained in this Constitution shall affect any grants of land within this State, made by the authority of the said king or his predecessors, or shall annul any charters to bodies politic and corporate, by him or them made, before that day; or shall affect any such grants or charters since made by this State, or by persons acting under its authority; or shall impair the obligation of any debts contracted by the State, or individuals, or bodies corporate, or any other rights of property, or any suits, actions, rights of action, or other proceedings in courts of justice.
1846, art. I, § 18. $ 18. Damages for injuries causing death.
The right of action now existing to recover damages for injuries resulting in death, shall never be abrogated; and the amount recoverable shall not be subject to any statutory limitation. New.