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provisions of the former statutes, affecting those proceedings, are yet in operation, and may safely be followed.

As the changes in the procedure have been effected by affirmative provisions of a very voluminous statute, much the larger portion of which does not relate to proceedings before justices of the peace, and by the repeal of the statutes which formerly regulated such proceedings, it seemed to the editor, that the best method of accomplishing the first two objects above stated, was to furnish the text of so much of the new Code as relates to justices' courts, eliminated from the remainder, and so arranged that the provisions, affecting each particular subject, might be referred to easily and without loss of time, those of most frequent use being most easily accessible; and that such explanations as would enable each provision to be understood, construed, and applied, should be placed in close juxtaposition to the text of the provision itself. Parts I and II of this work have been arranged upon this plan.

Part I contains the text of chapter 19 of the new Code, entitled “Courts of justices of the peace, and proceedings before them", and containing the new system; together with the provisions relating to local courts, exercising a jurisdiction similar to that of justices; and those relating to the fees of justices, constables, witnesses, jurors, etc., etc. As these are the provisions which justices, and practitioners before them, will have occasion most frequently to consult, they have been placed in a Part by themselves. Each section has its own explanatory note, subjoined to the text of the section itself.

Part II contains the other provisions of the new Code, which are applicable to justices' courts, but either only in common with other courts, and therefore to be less frequently referred to; or because they are primarily applicable to other courts, but are taken into chapter 19 by reference. These are annotated in like manner as the provisions contained in Part I. In both Parts, the necessary references are facilitated by foot-notes, giving the pages in this book where the sections designated may be found.

Part III was prepared to accomplish the third object above stated. It contains the text, without any alteration, of all the other statutes, remaining unrepealed on the 1st day of September, 1880, which in any manner affect civil proceedings by or before justices of the peace, with all the amendments and supplementary provisions, enacted to the close of the session of 1880. Explanatory notes, and references to adjudicated cases, are also interspersed

An Appendix of Forms follows, containing forms for all the proceedings in a civil action under the new Code; also, for the special proceedings which it regulates, relating to animals straying on the highways, etc., and summary proceedings for the possession of land; the new remedy for foreclosure of a chattel lien; and various proceedings under the statutes contained in Part III.

The notes to Part I and Part II are founded upon the notes prepared, in connection with the original drafts of the new Code, by the commissioners to revise the statutes, and submitted, for the examination and criticism of the bench and bar, in 1872-1874. My colleague, CHARLES STEBBINS, Esq., of Cazenovia, participated fully with me in the preparation of the drafts of the entire text, and of the notes accompanying it. The text was considerably altered before the bill was enacted; and the notes have been extensively changed, and, in great part, rewritten, to adapt them to such alterations, and to take in subsequent judicial decisions. They contain full information respecting the plans and objects of the commissioners, in preparing the different provisions, and the manner in which the latter were intended to operate, either alone or in connection with others.

In the labor of editing this book, particularly in the compilation of the statutes contained in Part III, and the preparation of the forms in the Appendix, and of the Index, I have been materially aided by Joux C. FowLER, Esq., of the Syracuse bar.


ALBANY, July 31, 1880.



The new statutes do not affect criminal proceedings, the laws in relation to which remain entirely unchanged.

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