People v. Burns

Citation5 Mich. 114
CourtSupreme Court of Michigan
Decision Date21 May 1858
PartiesThe People v. Daniel Burns

Heard May 18, 1858

Case reserved from the Saginaw Circuit.

An indictment against defendant was found in the court below for perjury alleged to have been committed June 29th, 1857 at the township of Hampton. To this indictment the defendant filed a plea in abatement, that "the said supposed offense, if any such was committed, was committed within the jurisdiction of this court"--upon which plea issue was taken.

This issue came on to be tried in the court below on the 6th day of January, 1858, when the following facts appeared, and were agreed upon as true:

The offense is charged to have been committed in the township of Hampton, and not elsewhere. That township is in the county of Saginaw, as it existed prior to the passage of Act No. 171 Session Laws of 1857, p. 438, etc. The time alleged in the indictment, June 29th, 1857, and no other, is the time said offense was committed, if at all. At that time the township of Hampton was in Bay county, if any such county exists; said township being within the territory named in said act to be formed into a county by that name. In pursuance of said act No. 171, of 1857, a vote was taken at the spring election of that year. The vote within the whole territory named in section two of said act, viz., Saginaw, Midland and Arenac counties, as formerly organized, resulted in a majority of votes, "Bay county, No." The result of the vote within the territory described in said act in the first section, to be known and called Bay county, was as follows "Bay county, Yes," two hundred and ninety-four votes; "Bay county, No," fourteen votes.

Said Bay county includes Arenac, and a portion of each Saginaw and Midland counties, but not so as to reduce either of them to less than sixteen townships, as surveyed by the United States.

An election was held for county officers, at the time and in the manner prescribed in said act, and county officers were duly elected for said Bay county, and qualified as prescribed in said act; which election was held for and within the territory described in said first section of said act, and under the provisions of said act regarding said election; the canvass of votes and qualification of officers elected duly complied with; and said officers entered upon their duties as therein prescribed, on the second Monday next following the election. A place for holding the Circuit Court for said Bay county, and for county offices, was designated, as therein and by law required, and the same duly certified and filed in the office of the clerk.

And upon the facts so appearing and agreed upon, the question was reserved for the opinion of this court, whether Bay county was, in fact, properly organized.

Judgment for the defendant on the plea in abatement.

John Moore, for the people.

W. M. Fenton, for defendant.


Manning J.:

The only question in this case is one of construction to be given to the statute: S. L. of 1857, No. 171. Was it the intention of the legislature to submit the question of the organization of the new county to the electors of the territory of which it was to be formed, or to all of the electors of the several counties from which the territory was to be taken to form it? The act is inartificially drawn, and obscure in some of its parts; and it is out of this obscurity the question before us arises.

By the first section, it is enacted, "that the following described territory shall be organized into a county, and shall be known and called Bay county"--describing the territory to be included in the county.

The second section is in these words: "This act shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of Saginaw county Midland and Arenac counties, at the township meetings to be holden in said county, on the first Monday in April next. At said election, a ballot-box shall be kept by the several boards of inspectors...

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    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • February 20, 1900
    ...38 Miss. 652; Slack v. Railroad Co., 13 B. Mon. 1); to divide a county, or organize a new one (People v. Reynolds, 5 Gilman, 1; People v. Burns, 5 Mich. 114); to establish or remove a county seat (Barnes v. Board, 51 Miss. 305; Ex parte Hill, 40 Ala. 121; Com. v. Painter, 10 Pa. St. 214); w......
  • Owen v. Baer
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    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
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    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
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