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Of Money due to Parish Officers during the Continuance or
at the Expiration of their Office.
It has been already seen, that if a balance is in the over- Balance due to seers' favour, their successors cannot repay them (1) except recoverable old overseers, in cases provided for by 17 Geo. II. c. 38., and by 41 Geo.III. c. 23. s. 9. (2)
In a case prior to these statutes, where it appeared that an overseer had omitted to take credit in his account for sum of money justly expended by him, it was held, that the sessions had no authority, upon appeal, to order his successors to pay the money to his executor, although the vestry consented (3); for otherwise, a man who came into the parish after the overseer's year, would be charged to the expence of that preceding year, while he had been contributing to the maintenance of other poor in another parish. (4)
But where one overseer is money out of pocket, and one of his co-officers has received a sufficiency to reimburse him, an order may be made upon such officer. (5)
There are four adjacent towns within the parish of Banbury, and there is an overseer within each town, and an overseer also within the borough; they all join in one account, and there is but one rate made for all the parish, but the overseers of each particular town collect and pay the money within such town. A person, who is tenant of lands
(1) See Tawney's case, 2 Ld. Raym. 1011. Rex v. Overseers of St. Peter's the Great, Chichester, fol.55. But see the order as recited. 1 Const. 510. Pl. 551. and ante, Vol. I. 68. et seq.
(2) Ante, Vol. I. 67. et seq.
(3) Reg. v. Ware, 1 Bott, 314. Pl. 528.
(4) S. C. Fol. 19. 1 Bott, 314. n. (a). Rex v. Goodcheap, ante, 444. (1) (5) Semb. Rex v. Limehouse, 1 Geo. I. Fol. 22.
only under 17 Geo.II. c.38. and 41 Geo. III.
an overseer in
his accounts, not to be rectified by sessions after settlement, though with the ves
But he might be reimbursed
from balance in his co-officer's hand, or if paid tohissuccessor.
When overseers of dis tricts within a parish are to receive from
in one of these towns, lives in the borough, and is assessed by the overseer of the borough for lands within the town, and paid to the overseer of the borough, and the like is done in the other towns; so that the overseer of the borough had a surplusage for the poor within the borough, and the overseers of the towns wanted money for the poor within the towns, though the poor within the towns were less than the poor within the borough. And upon this, the justices ordered that there should be distribution made; and this order, being removed, was confirmed, this being held not within the statute 13& 14 Car.II. c. 12. (1)
Of compelling the Delivery of Books and other parochial
Mandamus to THE books of the poor rates (and other public books and compel delivery of parish papers belonging to the parish) (2), ought to be kept so as all the parishioners may have access to them; and the overseers and churchwardens for the time being ought to have the custody thereof. A compulsory and summary proceeding, to oblige the old overseers to deliver them up to their successors is given by 17 Geo. II. c. 38. (3) It has been also held, that the court may grant a writ of mandamus to compel them. (4)
By 50 Geo. III. c. 49. s. 1. If they or any of them refuse or neglect to deliver over to their successors within ten days from the signing and attesting their accounts, any goods, chattels, or other things, which on the examination and allowance of their accounts (under that act) shall appear to be remaining in their hands, any two or more justices may commit him, her, or them to the common
(1) Case of the borough of Banbury, Skin. 258.
(2) Rex v. Bletshow, 1 Bott, 300. Pl. 306.
(3) Sect. 2. ante, 439.
(4) Rex v. Clapham, Trin. 24 & 25 Geo.II. 1 Wils. 305.
gaol until they shall have delivered over such goods, chattels, and other things. (1)
Of appealing against Overseers' Accounts.
If the succeeding overseers are dissatisfied with the ac- Succeeding count given by their predecessors, and allowed by the ma- all aggrieved, gistrates, they may appeal on behalf of the parish to the may appeal. quarter sessions. The same remedy is given to all other persons having objections to their accounts, or finding themselves aggrieved by any neglect, or thing done, or omitted, by the churchwardens, overseers, and justices. (2)
It is not sufficient to state in the notice of appeal the Notice of appeal. items of account objected to; the causes and grounds of the objections should be specified. (3)
Upon appeal by I. T., a rated inhabitant, against the accounts of the overseers of the township of S.; the sessions in their case for the Court's opinion stated that the appellant's solicitor gave the following notice: As solicitor of I. T., &c. I do hereby give you notice, that at the last general quarter sessions, for &c. the said I. T. entered an appeal against the accounts of I. S. and T. L., overseers of the poor of the said township, &c., and that appellant would object to certain items which were specified in the notice, and that it would be insisted on upon the hearing that all of them should be struck out and disallowed, but it omitted
(1) See Groome v. Forrester, ante, 445. (2).
(2) Originally by 43 Eliz. c. 2. s. 6., afterwards by 17 Geo. II. c. 38. s. 4. The power of appealing against a poor rate, being given by the same clauses, as allow it against overseers' accounts, the subject will be explained more minutely, in treating of appeals against rates, &c. The 41 G.III. c. 23. s. 4. likewise requires that there shall be a similar notice of appeal in this case, as in appeals against rates for the poor's relief, for which see also post, chap. xxxvii.
(3) Rex v. Mayall, 3 D.&R. 388.
to specify any particular ground of objection to the several items. The respondent's counsel objected to the hearing of the appeal, on the ground that the particular causes and grounds of appeal against the items contained in the notice were not specified therein as required by 41 Geo. III. c. 23. s.4.; the day before the hearing of the appeal, the attorney for the appellant and respondent entered into the following admissions: Upon an appeal against the accounts, &c., we do hereby agree to admit on the hearing of this appeal, that all the payments charged in the accounts of the said respondents to which the appellant objects, were actually made to or for the use of the several persons to whom the same are charged to be paid, and that the several sums charged in such accounts to have been paid to J. S. and Mrs. H. respectively, were for debts contracted by the overseers of the poor of the said township of S., in one or more years previous to the year in which the said respondents were overseers, and were not contracted by the said respondents for the service of their current year; and the respondents undertake to produce, upon the hearing the appeal, the original accounts, and vouchers regarding the sum and sums of money objected to by the appellants. The court of quarter sessions without expressing any opinion as to the goodness of the notice, considered the admissions as a complete waiver of the objection to it, and entered into the merits of the said appeal.
Bayley J. The statute 41 Geo. III. c. 23. requires one of two things, either notice in writing stating and specifying the particular causes or grounds of appeal; or, secondly, consent by the overseers to be signified by them or their attorney in open court, that the sessions may proceed, though there has been no proper notice. The notice in writing is to be signed by the party giving it, or his attorney, and to be left at the place of abode of the officers, and the sessions shall not examine into any other cause or ground of appeal than the notice specifies. Two questions therefore arise, Has there been such a notice as the statute requires? Has there been such a waiver? In this case, the original notice which was served eleven
days before the commencement of the sessions, stated only, that the appellant would object to thirty-five items or charges of payment, which he specified. On what grounds he would object he does not state. The day after the sessions commenced, being the day before their adjournment day, the attornies for the appellant and respondents, agreed to admit that all the payments objected to, were in fact made, but that four of them were for debts contracted in prior years, not for debts contracted for the service of the year to which the accounts referred, and the respondents agreed to produce the original accounts and vouchers regarding the items objected to. The sessions expressed no opinion as to the notice, but thought these admissions a waiver of all objections to it. As to the waiver the statute expressly provides that the sessions shall not examine or inquire into any ground of appeal not specified in the notice, with the single exception only of consent by the overseers, signified by them or their attorney in open court, and we think the statute has excluded, and intended to exclude all questions of waiver in any other way, and that as there was no such consent as the statute requires, we cannot enter into the question of any other species of waiver. Then can it be said that this notice states and specifies the particular causes and grounds of appeal? It states only that the appellant will object to the thirty-five items or charges of payment; but why? It may be because they are false items, that they have not been paid; it may be because though paid, and rightly paid, they ought not to be brought in charge against the parish, but ought to be paid personally by the overseers; and where a notice is general and leaves it uncertain, upon which of several possible grounds of objection an item is questioned, can we say that it states and specifies a particular ground? We think not. Then will the admissions supply the defect in this notice not as a waiver, but as a good notice in itself. The statute prescribes no form of notice, it specifies no time within which it shall be delivered; and its only object being that the respondents may know distinctly what objections they are to prepare to meet; and so long as that knowledge is