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9. To acknowledge satisfaction of a judgment in favor of the people of this state, when it is satisfied by payment, or when he is directed by the legislature:

10. To attend the legislature during its session, and to report on all matters referred to him by the legislature, or by the senate or assembly:

11. To administer oaths, in all matters relating to his office, in respect to which he may legally require proof:

12. To exercise any other power conferred upon him by the constitution, or by this code or by special statutes.

§ 348. When money is due to the people of this state, by several mortgages or contracts of the same nature, and executed by the same person, one action only can be commenced by the attorney general, for the recovery thereof.

§ 349. When separate actions are instituted by the attorney general, in behalf of the people of this state, against several persons on the same mortgage or contract, or who claim under the same title, he must, upon the request of the defendants, consent to a consolidation of the actions into one.

§ 350. All moneys received by the attorney general, for debts due or penalties forfeited to the people of this state, must be paid by him, immediately after the receipt thereof, into the treasury.

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§ 351. The attorney general cannot act as attorney, in a civil action or in a special proceeding of a civil nature, unless the people of this state are a party or interested therein; nor can he act as counsel in such action or proceeding, for a private party against whom a criminal action for a felony is pending, or who is the prosecutor therein.

§ 352. He must keep, in suitable books provided at the expense of the state, a register of all civil actions and special proceedings of a civil nature, prosecuted or defended by him in behalf of the people, and of the proceedings in relation thereto; and must deliver the same to his successor in office.

§ 353. There must be kept in the office of the attorney general a record of the statistics of litigation in the state, comprehending in tabular form;

1. The number of general terms held, with the time when the term commenced and the place where it was held:

In the court of appeals:

In the supreme court:

In the superior court of the city of New-York:

In the court of common pleas of the city of New


And showing in respect to each term,

The number of judges present:

The number of days actual session of the court

The whole number of hours of actual session of

the court:

The number of cases on the calender:

The number of cases contested, argued or submitted:

The number not reached on the calandar for want of time:

The number decided by the court during the term which were submitted or argued at the same term:

The number decided by the court which were argued or submitted at a preceding term.

2. The number of circuits and courts of oyer and terminer in each county:

The number of trial terms in the superior court and

court of common pleas of the city of New-York: The number of days' actual session of the court: The average number of hours' session of the court daily :

The number of civil cases on the calendar for trial at each term:

The number actually tried and contested, excluding judgments upon failure to answer:

The number not reached on the calendar for want of time:

3. The number of criminal actions tried, including convictions by confession in each county:

'The whole number of convictions:

The number of convictions under each of the fol

lowing heads: Murder, manslaughter, arson, robbery, burglary, rape, thefts over fifty dollars, other felonies, all other offences.

§ 354. The attorney general must prepare and cause to be printed blank tabular forms for the proper returns from the clerks of the several courts, embracing the particulars specified in the last section, and to transmit annually in the first week in July a sufficient number of such blanks for one year's returns to the clerks of the several courts mentioned in section

4. The several reports when received from the clerks must be filed and preserved with the records of the attorney general's office, and he must annually on or before the first Monday of December in each year, compile the statistical record of litigation in the state, required in section 353, which shall be duly recorded and certified by him in a book to be kept for that purpose in his office.

The purpose of these provisions is to bring annually before the legislature and the people, the state of the judicial department of the government. We can hardly urge too strongly the importance of providing the means of obtaining complete and accurate information, concerning the operations of that department. The operations of the legislative and executive departments are accessible and well known. But in the judicial, adequate information is nearly inaccessible. There are, it is true, immensefiles of papers, the judgment book, and the judgment rolls. To collect, from these scattered sources, all that is necessary to make known the working of the system, and the effect of

changes, is next to impossible. This information is most desirable. Without it, legislation upon the subject must be made upon a view of a few particulars without a view of the rest. There can be no safe comprehensive plan, unless the whole subject is presented together. The worst of all legislation, is that which makes a general law to suit a particular case; for it thus commonly happens, that while in that particular there is an amendment, the change affects another part for the worse. Without a view of the whole subject, neither the magnitude of an existing evil, nor the benefit of an existing provision is seen.

There is no reason for publicity in respect to any branch of the public service, that does not apply with increased force to this. No better view of the progress of public morals, in either direction can be obtained than from the records of the courts. Nor is there, within the whole circle of influences, preventive or penal, that operate upon the administration of justice, any one more efficacious, than that complete publicity which would follow from a periodical collection and condensation carefully made, of the proceedings in all the courts of the state; in short, an annual report of the statistics of litigation.

Nowhere in this country, nor in England, have such reports yet been made. But in France, annual reports have been published, as to the civil tribunals, since 1826, and as to the criminal tribunals, since 1831. The work there, is thoroughly systematized. The minister of justice watches over the operation of all the tribunals from the highest to the lowest; minute reports are made to him of their proceedings; and he annually presents a general report, made up from these, and consisting of a series of statistical tables, showing the number of cases brought in each of the courts of France, the nature of each case, its duration, the judgment pronounced, whether by default or after litigation, the number of cases settled, the number referred, the number arbitrated, the number settled by the tribunals of conciliation, the number of appeals and their result; the whole preceded by a summary from the minister, giving the most important conclusions deducible from the tables.

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