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An Act to regulate the organization of the General Assembly.


1. Senate, how organized-join in grand committee to receive and count votes for general officers.

2. House of representatives, how organized.

3. Members not present at first meeting, how sworn.

4. Attendance, may be compelled by war



5. If no member from Newport present, who to preside at organization of the house, &c.

6. Vacancies in either house during the session, how filled.

7. Form of oath to be administered.

It is enacted by the General Assembly, as follows:

SECTION 1. The senators elect shall, on the first Tuesday in May in every year, assemble in the senate chamber, present their certificates of election, and take the oath of office hereinafter prescribed, before the secretary of state, or in his absence, before the attorney general; after which, if a quorum be present, they shall elect their officers, and shall unite with the house of representatives in grand committee, for the purpose of receiving and counting the votes for general officers and of inducting the persons elected into their respective offices.

SEC. 2. The members elect of the house of representatives shall annually assemble in the representatives chamber, on the first Tuesday in May, produce their certificates of election, and take the oath of office hereinafter prescribed, before the secretary of state or the attorney general; after which, if a quorum be present, they shall organize the house of representatives by the election of a speaker and other officers.

SEC. 3. Senators and representatives not present at the first meeting of the respective houses, shall and may, after presenting their certificates of election, take the oath before referred to, in the presence of the secretary of state, before they shall act in their respective offices.

SEC. 4. The attendance of senators elect and representatives elect and of senators and representatives may be compelled by warrant under the hand of the presiding officer for the time being of the senate or house of representatives, as the case may be, directed to any sheriff or deputy sheriff, which may be executed by such officer in any county.

SEC. 5. If there be no member present in the house of representatives from the town of Newport to preside at the organization of that house, the senior member of the house in continued membership shall preside in such organization.

SEC. 6. If any vacancy shall happen in either house, during any session of the general assembly, the house in which

it occurs may order a new election, and appoint such time therefor and give such notice thereof, as they may deem pro


SEC. 7. The following shall be the form of oath to be taken by the senators and representatives: You, being chosen to the place of in the general assembly, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you will be true and faithful to this state of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations; that you will support the constitution of the United States, and the constitution and laws of this state, and that you will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of your aforesaid office, to the best of your abilities, according to law. So help you God: (or, this affirmation you make and give, upon peril of the penalty of perjury.)

An Act directing the method of passing the Acts of the General Assembly, and for recording and distributing the same, and for distributing the Laws of the United States.


1. Laws, how to be passed-to be recorded with all other proceedings of the general assembly; schedules, how distributed-public laws to be printed


and distributed once in two years. 2. Laws of the United States, how distributed.

It is enacted by the General Assembly, as follows:

SECTION 1. Every act that shall be passed by the house of representatives shall, before the same is sent to the senate for concurrence, be transcribed by the clerks of said house, and such copy shall be read to the house of representatives, and be by them approved; and if the senate shall propose any alteration of such act, and the house shall concur therewith, the same shall again be transcribed, with such alteration, and read and approved as aforesaid. And in case any act shall originate in the senate, the same shall be transcribed, and similar proceedings shall be had thereon, mutatis mutandis, as if such act had originated in the house of representatives; to the intent that a correct copy of every act passed by the general assembly may be deposited in the office of the secretary. It shall be the duty of the secretary for the time being to keep the copies of all acts passed as aforesaid, in his office, and also to record the same, together with all other proceedings of the general assembly, in a book to be kept for that purpose. The secretary shall immediately after the close of each session of the general assembly, cause as many copies

of all the proceedings thereof to be printed, with a suitable index, as he in his discretion may think necessary; and shall send one copy thereof to the governor, one to the lieutenant governor, one to the attorney general, one to the general treasurer, one to each member of the senate and house of representatives, one to the clerks of the house of representatives, one to the clerk of each court, one to each sheriff and town clerk and town treasurer, one to the adjutant general, one to the librarian of Brown University, one to each of the cabinet keepers of the Rhode-Island Historical Society, one to the Providence Athenæum, one to the Redwood Library, and one each to all other chartered libraries in the state, which may apply therefor, and reserve one for himself; which copies, except those of the governor and lieutenant governor, of the members of the senate and house of representatives, shall be kept by the persons aforesaid, and be transmitted by them to their successors in office. The secretary shall, once in two years, or oftener if he see fit, cause to be published in pamphlets, with a proper index, all the public laws that may be hereafter passed, continuing the pages from the last page of this digest, and shall distribute the same in manner aforesaid, with the addition of four copies to the secretary of state of the United States, three copies to the supreme executive of each of the United States, three copies to the library of congress, one copy to the judge of the circuit court of the United States for the first circuit, and one copy to the judge of the district court for the Rhode-Island district, and the residue shall retain in his office, to be at the disposal of the general assembly; and the printer who shall print the acts of the general assembly, shall have a right to print and dispose of as many more copies thereof, for his own benefit, as he shall think fit.

SEC. 2. The copies of the laws of the United States, which may be hereafter transmitted for the use of this State, shall be distributed as follows: one copy to the secretary, one to the attorney general, one to the general treasurer, one to each clerk of the supreme court and court of common pleas, and one to each town clerk; to be kept as appendages to their offices, and to be delivered over to their successors.

An Act directing the method of preferring Petitions to the General Assembly, and of acting thereon.


1. Petitions to set aside judgments, &c., shall be lodged in secretary's officebond given-citation issued and returned.

2. Other petitions received by the general assembly, to be continued-bond given-citation issued.

3. Time to be assigned for hearing petitions-docket to be made.


4. Fees to be paid-costs allowed parties -execution to issue for costs-when returnable.

5. Party obtaining new trial, to pay costs, &c., in case.

6. Suit may be brought on bond-damages how ascertained.

It is enacted by the General Assembly, as follows:

SECTION 1. Whenever any person shall prefer a petition to the general assembly, praying that any judgment, rule of court or determination, may be set aside, or that execution may be stayed, or for any matter or thing whereby any action or proceeding in any court may be stayed or delayed, or the place of trial of any action may be changed, he shall, three weeks before the session of the general assembly to which such petition shall be preferred, deliver and lodge his petition in the secretary's office, together with his bond to the adverse party, with one sufficient surety, in such sum as the secretary, considering the nature of such petition, shall think meet; the condition of such bond shall be for the payment of all lawful costs and damages, which the adverse party shall sustain by means of preferring such petition: and thereupon the secretary shall issue a citation for the adverse party to appear, if he shall think fit, at the session of the general assembly to which such petition shall be preferred, to show cause why such petition should not be granted; and the adverse party shall be served with such citation, and a copy of such petition, by the sheriff of the county or his deputy, where he may dwell, ten days at least before such session of the general assembly; and if such person cannot be found by the sheriff or his deputy, then the leaving a copy of the petition and citation at the usual place of his abode shall be deemed a good service; and the sheriff or deputy shall make a return of all his doings to the said secretary, at the first opening of the general assembly.

SEC. 2. When any petition shall be received by the general assembly, the granting whereof may, by any means, relate to or concern the interest, property or character of any other person whomsoever, every such petition shall be referred to some future session of the assembly, and the person so

petitioning shall, at least thirty days before the sitting of the said assembly, give bond in manner as before directed, and all persons so concerned shall be duly served with a copy of such petition, and the vote of assembly thereon, and be cited in manner as aforesaid.

SEC. 3. At the beginning of every session of the general assembly, a time shall be assigned for the hearing and determining of all petitions pending before them; and the secretary of state shall make a docket of all such petitions, which docket shall be set up in view in the house where the assembly shall sit, with a note at the bottom thereof of the time appointed for their being heard.

Sec. 4. No petition shall be received by the general assembly, unless the petitioner shall pay the fees established by law; and the same costs shall be allowed the parties and taxed upon petitions preferred to the general assembly, as are allowed by law in causes before the supreme court; and the bills of cost shall be taxed by the secretary, who shall issue execution for the same, returnable to the next succeeding session of the assembly.

SEC. 5. Whenever any new trial shall be awarded by the assembly to any person, the party obtaining any such new trial shall pay all lawful costs and damages, that he has put the adverse party to, in defending against such petition, unless he shall, upon such new trial, obtain some alteration of the former judgment, in his favor.

SEC. 6. When any person shall sustain any damage, by reason of any petition preferred to the general assembly, concerning which bond shall have been entered into as aforesaid, the secretary shall deliver such bond to the person so aggrieved, who may bring a suit thereon; and the court before whom such suit shall be brought, are hereby empowered by themselves or by a jury, at the election of either party, to hear the parties concerning all matters of damages as herein before expressed; and on a hearing, justly and equitably, to determine what damages the party complaining may have sustained, by staying the execution, or other proceedings in such cause, or by granting a new trial therein; and may reduce the sum mentioned in such bond to just damages; and the court shall award execution accordingly.

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