Fanning v. Commonwealth

Decision Date21 June 1876
Citation120 Mass. 388
PartiesPatrick Fanning v. Commonwealth
CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court

Writ of error to reverse a judgment rendered for the Commonwealth upon an indictment for an assault, at December term 1874 of the Superior Court in Norfolk, upon which the plaintiff in error was sentenced to the State Reform School. The assignment of error was as follows: "That the sentence imposed by the court in said case is erroneous, illegal and void, for the reason that neither of the selectmen of the town of Dedham, the town wherein said Patrick Fanning resided at the time he was arrested for committing the offence alleged in said indictment, was notified of the pendency of said case by the said Superior Court before passing said sentence, as is required by the laws of said Commonwealth said Patrick Fanning being under the age of seventeen years to wit, of the age of thirteen years." Plea, in nullo est erratum.

Judgment affirmed.

J. E. Cotter, for the plaintiff in error.

W. C. Loring, Assistant Attorney General, (C. R. Train, Attorney General, with him,) for the Commonwealth.

Ames, J. Colt & Lord, JJ., absent.


Ames, J.

The provision contained in the Gen. Sts. c. 76, § 26, that, before sentencing a boy to the reform school, "the court shall cause notice of the pendency of the case to be given to the mayor of the city, or one of the selectmen of the town, where the boy resided at the time of his arrest," must be understood as having reference to a subsequent provision in the same statute rendering such city or town responsible to the extent of fifty cents a week for such boy's support. Such city or town has no other special or pecuniary interest in the case, and does not stand in any such relation to the boy as to be concerned in his defence. There can be no question of the jurisdiction of the court over the offence with which he was charged. In Fitzgerald v. Commonwealth, 5 Allen 509, which is cited by the plaintiff in error, it was held that the judge of probate -- having no common law jurisdiction -- had no power to examine the case and pronounce judgment thereon, in a complaint against a boy for his commitment to the reform school, without first summoning in the father of the boy, if living; a very different case from that now under consideration, and arising under a different statute.

The omission to give the notice could not affect the party on trial in any way whatever. The...

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7 cases
  • City of Boston v. Barry
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • March 1, 1944
    ... ... appeal. So ordered ... --------- ... [1] Cheney v. Coughlin, 201 Mass. 204 , ... 211, and cases cited. Commonwealth v. Boston & Lowell ... Railroad, 12 Cush. 254, 255. Whittier v. Way, 6 Allen, 288, ... 291, 292. Field v. Gooding, 106 Mass. 310 , 313. Kelso v ... Boston, 120 Mass. 297, 299. Fanning v. Commonwealth, 120 ... Mass. 388 ... Westhampton v. Searle, 127 Mass. 502 , 506, 507 ... Hicks v. Westport, 130 Mass. 478 , 479. Noyes v. Hale, ... ...
  • Woolridge v. McKenna
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of Tennessee
    • August 22, 1881
    ...used by the legislature, necessarily indicate a limitation of the power of the court, or a condition precedent to its exercise. Fanning v. Com. 120 Mass. 388. Where a required a brigade court-martial to be constituted on or before the first day of June, and it was not constituted till July,......
  • State v. Wilson
    • United States
    • Kansas Court of Appeals
    • March 1, 1898
    ... ... at least as applied to women, such laws have been generally ... upheld as health or police regulations, citing ... Commonwealth v. Hamilton Mfg. Co. , 120 Mass. 388 ... One of the most important declarations made by the court is ... as follows: ... "The ... ...
  • Sennott v. Swan
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • April 6, 1888
    ...c. 89, § 20, is only directory, and does not render a proceeding or sentence void when said requirements are not observed. Fanning v. Com., 120 Mass. 388. The case is within Fitzgerald v. Com., 5 Allen, 509. Where, through error, a wrong institution is designated as a place of confinement, ......
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