Imágenes de páginas

ten, comes from any one rule alone, but from all the legal reasons applicable to the case combined. One principle may bear more or less strongly in a particular direction, and another in another, and the result will be the product of the combined forces. For example, a statute may be more or less penal, the consequence of which is, that the more severe the punishment it directs, and the heavier the crime, the more strict must be its interpretation;' or two principles may operate in the same direction, and their power combined is greater than that of one alone; or the one principle may press one way and the other another way. Thus, in construing statutes to prevent frauds, suppress public wrongs, or effect a public good,- objects which the law favors,- there is a pressure toward a liberal interpretation; but if they also provide a penalty, being a thing odious to the law, there is another pressure toward the strict rule; so the balance may be in equipoise, or the one scale or the other may simply preponderate, according to the special circumstances of the case or the views of the particular judge. But rarely will any

.? court so extend an enactment by construction as to involve penal consequences not within its express words.

$ 199a, Statutory changes. We have seen that some statutes have interpretation clauses, which, of course, must be heeded by the interpreter. And in some of our states there are a few general rules made statutory; whereof most, it is believed, are simply in affirmance of the common law, but occasionally there is an innovation thereon. Of the latter sort,

Liberal, for penal law's.— There are states in which the rule requiring penal statutes to be construed strictly is abolished by legislation. And in Iowa it is enacted that every statute shall “be liberally construed, with a view to promote its objects, and

1 S. v. Wilcox, 3 Yerg. 278, (24 Am. Van Valkenburgh v. Torrey, 7 Cow. D. 569;] Rex v. Mitchell, 2 East, P.C. 252. 936, 937; Com. v. Snelling, 4 Binn. 3 Ante, SS 54, 55. 379: S. v. Upchurch, 9 Ire. 454; Reg. 4 Com. v. Davis, 12 Bush, 240; P. v. v. McNeill, 1 Crawf. & Dix C. C. 80; Soto, 49 Cal. 67. And see ante, $ 55. Com. v. Fisher, 17 Mass. 46, 49; U. S. [The Interpretation Act (52 and 53 v. Moulton, 5 Mason, 537; ante, $ 193. Vict., ch. 63) consolidates the enact

2 See and compare Taylor v. U. S., 3 ments relating to the construction How.(U. S.) 197; Fairbanks v. Antrim, of acts of parliament, and provides 2 N. H. 105; Abbott v. Wood, 22 Me. for further shortening their lan541; Sickles v. Sharp, 13 Johns. 497; guage. Similar statutes exist in all

the American states.)


in furtherance of justice.”! In this condition of the laws, will the courts hang or imprison a man by an equitable extension of a statute beyond the fair meaning of its words ? Not every act of legislation can, under a just application of judicial rules, do every thing which to the casual observation appears on its face.

18. v. Stoller, 38 Iowa, 321. [In mon law are not to be strictly interOhio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kan preted in New York, Ohio, Iowa, sas, Nebraska, Kentucky, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Kentucky, ArTexas, California, Oregon, Colorado, kansas, California, Oregon, South Washington, North Dakota, South Carolina, North Dakota, South DaDakota, Idabo, Wyoming and Utah, kota, Wyoming, Utah. See Stimson, the code is to be liberally construed Am. St. Law, § 1021 et seq.) Statutes in derogation of the com15




§ 199b. Scope and purpose.— Though, as just seen,' the pressure for a strict interpretation is not uniform in the cases wherein it prevails, so that a correct exposition in one instance is not necessarily a reliable guide for another, it, like the liberal, has in a general way its bounds. This chapter will attempt, by minuter investigations than were descended to in the fore going ones,' to discover with greater exactness what the bounds


$ 200, Legislative intent.— Equally in strict interpretation as in liberal, the object is simply to ascertain the true legislative will,— to arrive at which, is the end of all interpretation. A rendering so strict as to defeat this will is never admissible.” Again,Other rules-(Absurd Eluded - Title- Preamble). — The

rule of strict interpretation does not prevent our calling in the aid of other rules, and giving each its appropriate scope, yet not so as to overturn this one. For example, penal statutes, like others, are to be so construed as not to work an absurdity, or defeat their purpose, or the process of the court instituted for their enforcement, or be eluded; and we may gather light concerning their meaning from the title and preamble. So,

$ 201. Intent clear.- Where the legislative intent is clear without interpretation, this rule is, with all the others, quies




1 Ante, SS 197, 199.

7 Rawson v. S., 19 Conn. 292; Com. 2 Ante, SS 189d-190d.

0. Loring, 8 Pick. 370; The Harriet, 1 3 Ante, $ 194, and places referred to. Story, 251; ante, & 82.

4 Ante, SS 70, 75, 82; S. v. Brooks, 4 8 Bartolett v. Achey, 38 Pa St. 273. Conn. 446; Rawson v. S., 19 Co 292; Compare with ante, $ 198. Com. v. Loring, 8 Pick. 370; The 9 The Emily and The Caroline, 9 Enterprise, 1 Paine, 32; U. S. v. Wil. Wheat. 381, 388; Com. v. McGeorge, son, Bald. 78; Pike v. Jenkins, 12 9 B. Monr. 3; ante, & 82. N. H. 255.

108. v. Stephenson, 2 Bailey, 334; & 5 Walton v. S., 62 Ala. 197.

v. Fields, 2 Bailey, 554; S. v. Smith, 6 The Harriet, 1 Story, 251; Pike v. Cheves, 157; ante, SS 46, 48-51. Jenkins, 12 N. H. 255.

cent. Its mission is simply to illumine what is obscure, and help what is weak. Therefore the propositions of this chapter are to be applied only where there is occasion for them,in cases of doubt, not doubt in the uninformed, but in the educated, legal mind. Now,

$ 202. Propositions.- Remembering that what is to be construed strictly is not to be uniformly pressed within the narrowest limits permissible in strict interpretation, for the degrees of strictness vary, let us examine the subject of this chapter under the following propositions:

$ 203, First. Equally in strict interpretation as in liberal, the statutes may be extended by other provisions of statutory law, and by the common law, combining with them:

Explained elsewhere.— This doctrine, as to all kinds of statutes, is explained in a previous chapter. And the reader there observed that the illustrations of it are largely from criminal statutes, the construction of which is strict. But it is a doctrine of the effect of the statutes, not of their interpretation.

§ 204. Secondly. The rule of strict interpretation is not violated by permitting the words of the statute to have their full meaning, or the more extended of two meanings. Otherwise expressed,

Meaning intended.--As already seen,' the meaning intended by the legislature is to prevail in strict construction, the same as in any other. And though, by the general rule, legal and other technical words are to be rendered in their narrow, technical sense, they may, even in strict construction, have their wider popular meaning when the court is able to see that the legislature so intended. And all the words are to be taken in such a sense, bent neither one way nor the other, as will best manifest the legislative intent. Thus,


1 Ante. & 191, and places referred to the six sections next following; also, 2 Ante, SS 196, 197, 1996.

Rex v. Glover, 2 Russ. Crimes (3d 3 Ante, SS 128-130, 134-137, 139–144. Eng. ed.), 146; Reg. v. Hale, 2 Car. & * Ante, $ 200.

K. 326; Rex v. Taylor, Russ. & Ry. * Ante, SS 96, 99.

373; Stone v. S., Spencer, 401; Hodg6 Pike v. Jenkins, 12 N. H. 255; P. man v. P., 4 Denio, 235; Rex v. Hickv. Howell, 4 Johns. 296; The Mayor v. man, 1 Leach, 318, 2 East, P. C. 593; Davis, 6 Watts & S. 269; S. v. Pow- Rex v. Parker, 2 East, P. C. 592; ers, 36 Conn. 77. For illustrations of 1 Leach, 320, note; S. v. Anone, 2 this doctrine, see the cases cited to Nott & McC. 27; Reg. v. Bowden, 2

[ocr errors]

8 205. “Subject.”— A foreigner living in England under

. the sovereign's protection is an English subject, within an act of parliament defining crimes; “but it was admitted that if the Moody, 285, 1 Car. & K. 147; Reg. v. 2 Leigh, 741; Nancy v. S., 6 Ala. 483; Charretie, 13 Q. B. 447; Reg. v. Wal. Rex v. Wyer, 1 Leach, 480; Rex v. lace, 2 Moody, 200; Com. v. Stearns, Reekspear, 1 Moody, 342; Rex v. Cox, 2 Met. 343; Smith v. Com., 4 Grat. 1 Moody, 337, 5 Car. & P. 297; James 532; Com. v. Phillips, 11 Pick. 28; v. Elder, 23 Miss. 134; S. v. Glace, 9 Com. v. Smith, 14 Mass. 374; Rex v. Ala. 283; Rex v. Robinson, 2 Stark. Willoughby, 2 East, P. C. 944; Rex 485; Rex v. Thomas, 2 East, P. C. 605, v. Shepherd, 2 East, P. C. 944; S. C. 2 Leach, 877; Rex v. Rowley, Russ & nom. Rex v. Sheppard, 1 Leach, 226; Ry. 110; Reg. v. Mence, Car. & M. 234; Hopkins v. Com., 3 Met. 460; Com. v. S. v. Brown, 4 Port. 410; Redman v. Briggs, 5 Met. 559; Com. v. Homer, Sanders, 2 Dana, 68; U. S. v. Jones, 5 Met. 555; Rex v. Foster, 7 Car. & P. 3 Wash. C. C. 209; S. v. Smith, 32 Me. 495; Rice v. Com., 12 Met. 246; S. V. 369, (54 Am. D. 578;) Com. v. Hough, Çullum, 2 Speers, 581; P. v. Mather, ton, 8 Mass. 107; Brown v. Com., 8 4 Wend. 229, 255, (21 Am. D. 122;] S. Mass. 59; Com. v. Whitmarsh, 4 Pick. v. Taylor, 2 McCord, 483; S. v. Bell, 3 233; S. v. Blythe, 3 McCord, 363; S. v. Ire. 506; Linney v. S., 6 Tex. 1, (55 Clarksville & R. T. P. Co., 2 Sneed, Am. D. 756;] Hudgins v. S., 2 Kelly, 88; Walton v. S., 62 Ala. 197; Bowden 173; Downman v S., 14 Ala. 242; v. S., 2 Tex. Ap. 56; (S. v. Boyd, 2 G. Com. v. Pash, 9 Dana, 31; Cole v. & J. (Md.) 365; Wood v. Adams, 35 Com., 8 Dana, 31: S. v. Gurney, 33 N. H. 32; S. v. Myers, 146 Ind. 36, 44 Me. 527; S. v. Robinson, 33 Me, 564; N. E. R. 801; Eyre v. Harman, 92 Cal. Rex v. Moore, 2 Car. & P. 235, 1 Moody, 580, 28 Pac. R. 779; S. v. Cadwell, 79 122; Com, v. Smith, 7 Pick. 137; Com. Iowa, 432, 44 N. W. R. 700. Where a v. Kneeland, 20 Pick. 206; Ream v. defendant is seen three or four times Com., 3 S. & R. 207; Reg. v. Oldham, distilling rum from refuse cane, it is 14 Eng. L. & Eq. 568, 2 Den. C. C. 472; enough to constitute "engaging in " Reg. v. Wiley, 1 Eng. L. & Eq. 567, 2 the business. Grant v. S., 73 Ala 13. Den. C. C. 37; Collins v. S., 14 Ala. A "sufficient guard” is not necessa608; S. v. Fearson, 2 Md. 310; S. v. rily a statutory fence. Cole v. S., 72 Girkin, 1 Ire. 121; S. v. Crawford, 2 Ala. 216. The words “owner Dev. 425; Bell's Case, Foster, 430; “proprietor” may include tenant or Reg. v. West Riding of Yorkshire, 2 lessee. Poteete v. S., 72 Ala. 558. Eng. L & Eq. 296; Rex v. Ridgeley, “Concubinage ” does not require any 1 East, P. C. 171; s. C. nom. Rex v. protracted period of residence with. Ridgelay, 1 Leach, 189; Angel v. Com., S. v. Bussey, 58 Kan. 879, 50 Pac. R. 2 Va. Cas. 228; U. S. v. Brewster, 7 891. “Game" includes all wild fowl Pet. 164; U. S. v. Staats, 8 How.(U. S.) or birds fit for food. P. v. O'Neil, 71 41; U. S. v. Bailey. 9 Pet. 238; P. v. Mich. 325, 39 N. W. R. 1. A single Hennessey, 15 Wend. 147; S. v. Stut- sale is sufficient, even in an emerson, Kirby, 52; White v. Com., 4 Binn. gency, to constitute offense 418; S. v. Carr, 5 N. H. 367; Bagley v. against a law forbidding stores to be S., 1 Humph. 486; Reg. v. Evans, Car. kept open on Sunday. Dixon v. S., & M. 298; S. v. Britt, 3 Dev. 122; Rex 75 Ala. 89. "Closed" for a saloon 1. Cornwall, Russ. & Ry. 336; S. v. means that all sales should be effect. Findlay, 2 Bay, 418; Rex v. Beacall, ually stopped. Kurtz v. P., 33 Mich. 1 Car. & P. 310, 454; Thomas v. Com., 279. “Highway” includes streets.



« AnteriorContinuar »