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The jurisdiction of the sessions over poor's rates corresponds in most respects with that over appeals against removals. Their power arises out of the appeal. They cannot, therefore, make an original order on the parish officers to make a rate (1), neither can their orders relate to the future payment of rates. (2)
Further, if the sessions make an order directing two districts of the same parish to contribute to the maintenance of the poor of the entire parish in certain proportions, it is extra-judicial and void. (3)
Might make a Prior to 17 Geo. II. c. 38. the sessions might quash the rate, prior to old rate (4), and either order the parish officers to make 17 Geo. II.
a new one (5), or do it themselves. (6)
This last power was attended with much inconvenience. The facts required to enable the justices to make a new rate must often exceed their knowledge; and the inquiries necessary to obtain exact information took more time than they could spare. (7) Those also who were aggrieved by such a rate, had no opportunity of appealing against it. (8)
By 17 Geo. II. To remedy these inconveniences, it was enacted by must order the 17 Geo. II. that if, “ upon appeal from the whole rate,
ante, 315.(3). Road y. North-Bradley, 2 Str. 1168. Rex v. Michaelstone Vedoes, post, 558. (4).
(1) Rex v. Aberford East, 2 Ld. Raym. 798. Garret v. Foot, Comb. 133.
(2) Rex v. Wrexham Regis, 1 Bott, 101. Pl. 126.
c. 38. S. 6.
(5) Rex v. Aberford East, 2 Ld. Raym. 798. supra, (1).
(6) Rex v. Audley, 2 Salk. 526. Rex v. Justices of Shrewsbury, 2 Str. 975. 17 Geo. JI. c. 38. 8. 6.
(7) Per Ashhurst J., Rex v. Maddern, 1 Term Rep. 625.
(8) Eod. Jud. ibid.; and see 17 Geo. II. c. 38. 5. 6.; and 41 Geo. III. c. 23. 5. 6. post, 555.
it shall be found necessary to quash or set aside the same, officers to then and in every such case, the said justices shall, and make a new are hereby required to order and direct the churchwardens and overseers of the poor to make a new one; and they are hereby required to make the same accordingly.”
Of Amendments by the Court of Sessions.
The power of amending orders of removal by the ses- 1. Of amendsions is given by 5 Geo. II. c. 19. which enacts, that upon removal.
ing orders of all appeals to be made to the justices of the peace, at their Power given respective general or quarter sessions, against judgments by 5 Geo. II. or orders given or made by any justices of the peace, the justices, at any general or quarter sessions, shall “cause any defect or defects of form, that shall be found in any such original judgment or orders, to be rectified or amended, without any cost or charge to the parties concerned; and after such amendment made, shall proceed to hear, examine, and consider the truth and merits of all matters concerning such original judgments or orders," and make such determination thereon, as if there had not been such defect or want of form in the original proceeding.
This power is confined entirely to the amendment of Confined to
mistakes in defects or mistakes of form, which appear upon the face
form. of the order.
The inhabitants of Great Bedwin appealed to the ses. What defects sions, from an order of justices beginning thus: “ Wilts,
able. to wit. To the churchwardens, &c. of the parish of Wilcot, and to the churchwardens, &c. of the parish of Great Bedwin, in the said county.” And it states, that C. M. and his family have dwelt for some time in Wilcot, under a certificate from Great Bedwin ; and then goes on thus : 66 Now the said C. M. being reduced to great poverty, lately applied to the churchwardens, &c. of the parish of
Wilcot aforesaid, who accordingly did relieve him," and therefore the justices remove him to Great Bedwin.
The sessions, on motion on behalf of the parish of Wilcot, suggesting defects in form, and praying that they may be amended, pursuant to 5 Geo. II. c. 19., were of opinion that the original order was amendable by the act; for it appears to them, on due examination upon oath, that the said order was really and truly made by the two justices, on the complaint of the churchwardens, &c. of Wilcot, in due manner made to them on that behalf, “ that the said C. M. his wife and children, are actually become chargeable to Wilcot: but that the omitting to mention it was a mere mistake in drawing up the order; that it doth also appear to this court, that the said G. H. and J. S. were, at the time of the making the said order, two of his majesty's justices of the peace for the said county of Wilts, and one of them of the quorum, and that the omitting to mention the same was also a mere mistake in drawing up the said order; and that the said defects were amended in court. Lee C. J.-The act directs that the sessions shall amend defects in form, and afterwards proceed on the merits: one would think that this meant defects, or mistakes appearing upon the face of the order, mere defects or wants of form. But some of these matters here amended seem to be merits: as the adding, “upon complaint of the overseers of the parish from whence the
paupers were removed,” without which complaint the justices have no jurisdiction. (1) Then what can be more of the merits, than the certificate man's having become actually chargeable. (2) Now the two justices have not adjudged that; they only say, that he applied to the overseers, and was relieved by them, but it does not appear that it was at the parish expence. (3) If there be any opposition between form and merits, these matters must be merits. As to their being justices of the county, a plain reference to the
(1) Ante, 218. (3).
margin is sufficient; yet this is uncertain as it is worded, to which of the two parishes the words “in the said county" relate; they were both in Wiltshire. (1) The allowing such amendments as these to be within the true construction of this statute, would throw the determinations of all cases of this sort into the hands of the sessions. The other judges concurred; and Mr. Justice Wright added, that the sessions cannot amend any thing which requires examination; and the orders were quashed. (2)
It appears from this and other cases, that all averments Statements of necessary to shew the magistrate's jurisdiction, to make matters of subthe order in question, are matters of substance, and can- stance, and not not be amended under this statute. Such as, if they do amendable. not clearly state themselves to be justices for that county in which the place from whence the paupers are removed is situate. (3)
But where an order of removal was made, from the pa- Mistake in or
dering pauper rish of Luggershall to the parish of Harrow, upon an
to be removed adjudication that the settlement was in Luggershall, and to the parish
(1) Ante, 218. et seq.
(2) Rex v. Great Bedwin, Burr. S.C. 163. Lord Kenyon C.J. observed upon this case: “ It is now too late to discuss, whether or not the court of quarter sessions could amend in this case. It has been decided in Rex v. Great Bedwin, that the sessions can only amend mere defects or wants of form. I verily believe, that if the legislature had been asked what was their intention, when they passed the statute 5 Geo. II. c. 19. they would have said they meant, that if upon inquiry it appeared that the pauper had been removed to his proper parish, the sessions should have power to correct all defects in the orders; but the decision to which I before alluded, was made ten years after the passing of the act; and at the time when Lord C.J. Lee, who was peculiarly conversant in sessions law, presided here. And though I lament that that decision was made, because it renders the statute of little avail, yet it has been acted upon ever since, and it is of importance to adhere to determinations respecting settlements.” Rex v. Chilvers Coton, 8 Term Rep. 178.
(5) Rex v. Stepney, ante, 215.(4). Rex v. Chilvers Coton, ib. Rex o. Moor Critchell. Rex v. St. Mary, Leicester, 216.(1), ib. (2).
the justices ordered the paupers to be carried to Harrow. Upon appeal, the sessions confirmed this order, and amended it, by striking out Luggershall and inserting Harrow. It was moved to quash these orders, for that the judgment being defective cannot be altered. But the court seemed to be of opinion, that it was only a defect in form, being a mistake of the clerk, who filled up the blank order with the name of Luggershall instead of Harrow; but they granted a rule to shew cause, and in the Trinity term following, the order of sessions was confirmed by consent. (1)
The power of the sessions to amend rates, extends beyond matters of form.
By 17 Geo. II. c. 38. s. 6., and indeed by 43 Eliz. (2), the justices, where they see just cause to give relief, are required to amend the rate, in such manner only as should be necessary for giving relief, without altering such rate or assessments, with respect to other persons mentioned in
2. Species of
But all amendments of rates were confined to two cases, prior to 41 Geo. III. c. 23. 1st, Mere defects of form under 5 Geo. II. c. 19. 2d, Where the appellant, being overcharged, might be reduced. (3) Where the names, therefore, of one or more persons were omitted in a rate, which ought to have been inserted (4), or persons were under-rated, which is an omission of property, the rate
(1) Rex v. Harrow on the Hill, 2 Bott, 706. Pl. 773.
(4) Rex v. Maddern, i Term Rep. 625. Rex v. St. Agnes, 3 Term Rep. 480. Rex v. Darlington, 6 Term Rep. 468. Rex t. Ambleside, 16 East, 580. acc. The opinion of Aston J., in Rex o. Whitney, 5 Burr. 2634. and of Lord Mansfield C.J. Rex v. Ringwood, Cowp. 326. are contra. But these opinions are adverted to, and noticed as being over-ruled in Rex v. Darlington, supra,