160 N.Y. 453, People ex rel. May v. Maynard

Citation:160 N.Y. 453
Party Name:THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK ex rel. JONAH MAY, Overseer of the Poor of the City of Little Falls, Appellant, v. FRANK MAYNARD, Superintendent of the Poor of the County of Herkimer, and the TOWN OF NEWPORT, Respondents.
Case Date:October 24, 1899
Court:New York Court of Appeals
 
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Page 453

160 N.Y. 453

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK ex rel. JONAH MAY, Overseer of the Poor of the City of Little Falls, Appellant,

v.

FRANK MAYNARD, Superintendent of the Poor of the County of Herkimer, and the TOWN OF NEWPORT, Respondents.

New York Court of Appeal

October 24, 1899

Argued October 3, 1899.

Page 454

COUNSEL

J. D. Beckwith for appellant. By their continuous residence in the town of Newport for more than one year prior to coming to the city of Little Falls, while wholly self-sustaining, John Sweet and family gained a settlement in the town of Newport within the provisions of the Poor Law (L. 1896, ch. 225, § 40). The overseer of the poor of the city of Little Falls was required to support them where they were at the expense of the city, and to give notice in writing to the overseer of the poor of the town of Newport, to which said poor persons belonged, requiring him to provide for their support and relief, all of which was done. (L. 1896, ch. 225, § 42.) The provisions of section 45 of the Poor Law have been in no way modified or repealed, and relator was clearly entitled to the allowance of his entire bill and claim, and the defendant Maynard's disallowance of all that portion thereof incurred subsequent to the 7th day of April, 1898, was improper, erroneous and contrary to law, and should be corrected by this court. ( Matter of McCutcheon, 25 Misc. 650; People ex rel. v. Lyke, 159 N.Y. 149; Matter of Breslin, 45 Hun, 210; U.S. v. Cleflin, 97 U.S. 546; Coxe v. State, 144 N.Y. 396; Woods v. Bd. Suprs., 136 N.Y. 403; Hanell v. Hanell, 8 Fla. 46; Conrad v. Hall, 24 Mich. 275; Miller v. McKeon, 15 A.D. 133; Van Reper v. E. R. Board, 38 N. J. L. 23.) In the court below the defendant the Town of Newport erroneously contended that the remedy of relator is by an appeal to the County Court. The determination of the superintendent sought to be reviewed was made under section 45 of the Poor Law, and no appeal is provided to review determinations made under that section. ( Vedder v. Schenectady County, 5 Den. 564; People ex rel. v. Town Auditors, 8 N.Y. S. R. 531; People ex rel. v. Preston, 41 N.Y. S. R. 214.)

Page 455

George H. Bunce for respondent Maynard. All provisions of the Poor Law of 1896 inconsistent with and repugnant to the provisions of section 57, added by the Laws of 1897, are repealed by implication. ( Matter of W. S. A. & P. R. R. Co., 115 N.Y. 442; People ex rel. v. City of Brooklyn, 69 N.Y. 605; People ex rel. v. Bd. Suprs., 85 N.Y. 323.) A radical change in the Poor Law has been made by the addition thereto of a new section, section 57, by chapter 203, Laws of 1897. ( People ex rel. v. Lyke, 159 N.Y. 149; Town of Onondaga v. City of Syracuse, 22 Misc. 265; City of Syracuse v. Co. of Onondaga, 25 Misc. 371; Matter of Connellan, 25 Misc. 592; Matter of Hawkes, 26 Misc. 359; People v. Quigg, 59 N.Y. 88; Matter of W. S. A. & P. R. R. Co., 115 N.Y. 442; Bridgewater v. Plymouth, 97 Mass. 382; Lewiston v. North Yarmouth, 5 Greenl. 66; Goshen v. Richmond, 4 Allen, 460.) Relator erroneously contends that the term 'person' in section 57 means a person other than a poor person. (L. 1897, ch. 203; Matter of Connellan, 25 Misc. 592.) A strict and literal interpretation is not always to be adhered to, and where the case is brought within the intention of the makers of the statute, it is within the statute, although by a technical interpretation it is not within the letter. ( People ex rel. v. Lacombe, 99 N.Y. 49; Burch v. Newbury, 10 N.Y. 390; Lyddy v. Long Island City, 104 N.Y. 221; Mark v. State, 97 N.Y. 572; People v. Jaehne, 103 N.Y. 195.) The superintendent in making the determination to be reviewed acted judicially. ( Vedder v. Schenectady County, 5 Den. 564; People ex rel. v. Town Auditors, 8 N.Y. S. R. 531; People ex rel. v. Preston, 41 N.Y. S. R. 214.) If the construction put upon section 57 by the Appellate Division is correct, then the law is unconstitutional, because it operates unequally, unfairly, unjustly, discriminatingly and arbitrarily...

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