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Brevier Legislative Reports, Volume XXI, 1883, 311 pp.


SATURDAY, Feb. 10,1883-10 a. m,

The House met at 10 a. m.

The session was opened with prayer by Rev. J. H. Doddridge, of Fletcher Place M. E. Church.

A call of the House being demanded and ordered and taken discovered seventy-nine members present and answering to their names.


The bill [S. 20] relating to the qualification of Petit Jurors in Courts of this State was read the third lime, and passed the House by yeas, 74; nays. 3.

The bill [S. 12] defining the crime of false pretense was read the third time, and, on motion by Mr. MOODY, was referred to the Committee on Phraseology for correction.

The bill [S. 32] to punish persons who disclose messages sent over telegraph lines was read the third time and passed the House by yeas, 77; nays, 0.


The following described House bills were read the third time and passed the House unless otherwise stated:

Mr. Wnson's, of Kosciusko, [H. R. 66] to legalize, the incorporation of the town of Syracuse, in Kosciusko bounty, was read the third time and passed the House by yeas, 75; nays, 0.

Mr. Wilson's, of Kosciusko, [H. R. 67] to legalize the incorporation of the town of Silver Lake. Kosciusko County, was read the third time and passed the House by yeas, 70; nays, 1.


Mr. Adam's bill [H. R. 74] to amend Section 409 of the civil procedure act, approved April 7, 1881, [provides for the trial of all civil causes involving issues of fact by Jury, unless the parties waive their rights] being read the third time-

Mr. FRAZER stated that the proposition of this bill is to go back to the Jury system again, and he hoped the bill would not pass the House.

Mr. SHIVELY desired that the bill would not pass the House. It requires all causes to be tried by Jury. He considered many cases too intricate in their nature for a Jury to hear and render an intelligent decision. Their decision is simply guess work.

Mr. SMITH'S observation had been that Jurors were not allowed to note down evidence while in the Jury box. This is a privilege that the Judge can take ad vantage of and thereby reader a better decision than if placed under the same restrictions. On issues of fact, especially those involving intricate inquiries as to accounts, could not well be tried by a Jury, for the Juryman could not carry in his mind a long array of figures, being debarred from taking any notes to assist his memory. He thought this bill simply placed twelve men in a trammeled position. He was not in favor of the passage of the bill.

Mr. WILLIAMS, of Knox, thought the bill was of in the interest of economy. It would require at least one-third more time for the trial of cause in the Circuit Court of this State. In the interest of economy this bill should not pass.

Mr. HEFFREN: When the bill was first Introduced was opposed to it, but after hearing the discussion in the House, and after close inspection of the bill, he favored its passage. He could not comprehend why Juries should not try questions of fact. In answer to the argument that injury sometimes results from trial by Jury, he said that in his long experience at the bar, he found that the benefit resulting from Jury trials very much overbalanced the injury. It is not supposed that every man who sits upon a Jury has a classical education. But he had always I found that the men who come from their farms to sit in the Jury box have as much good common sense as persons who are educated in Colleges.

Mr. MOODY thought that in a great many cases the Jury could not arrive at the facts near enough to render a decision that would not immediately be set aside by the courts. He favored leaving the law as it now is.

Mr. GORDON made an ineffectual motion to lay the bill on the table until a full House.

Mr. WILSON, of Marion, said that while he had confidence in the good sense of Juries, he was nevertheless satisfied that under the limitations imposed upon Juries they could not try certain chancery cases. He then spoke of the expense and delay growing out of the trial of such cases by Juries, of the appeals to higher Courts and reversals and consequent delay. He called attention to the practice in other States in the Union as in harmony with the existing statute, that the federal Courts, and the Courts of the Nations most celebrated for their jurisprudence, recognized the wisdom of trying such cases by the Court. Nonresident creditors will avoid the State Courts if this law is repealed and seek relief in the Federal Courts wherever such Courts have jurisdiction. The inconvenience of this is well known to defendants at a distance from Courts. Bear in mind too that judgments in the Federal Courts are liens on lands of the defendants throughout the District, and the consequent inconvenience. It is the opinion of the most eminent jurists that the Judge only should try a certain class of chancery cases. This is approved and attested by the experience of civilized Spates.

Mr. GORDON, when the question was up before, favored the bill, but since that time he had made some little inquiry, and was informed that there probably had been more appeals occasioned by this section than any other section of the Civil Code. He undertook to say that after a Judge had given instructions to the Jury that the Jury is just as apt to come to a correct decision as the Court itself. He was of the opinion that the bill should pass.

Mr. ADAMS stated the objections to this bill simmer down to about one proposition-that of trials of cases involving accounts by Jury. He desired to ask if this one single objection alone should overbalance all the argument in favor of trial by Jury. In answer to the argument that a Jury is not competent to try a case involving accounts, he stated that he could take a Jury of Morgan County men, present the case to the Jury, and after the Judge had given his instructions that Jury could render as fair a decision as any Court in the world. Every member of his County bar desired the bill to> page: 188[View Page 188] pass. He wanted some man to tell him why it required more time to try a case before ft Jury than before ft Court. In answer to those gentlemen who claimed such to be the fact. He would say that they must have pettifogging lawyers in their Court. We do not have this class of lawyers down our way. He did not believe that if the bill passed it would make an increase of half a dozen cases in the Federal Courts. Wherever a question of fact is to be considered the nest way in the world to consider that fact is in the hearts of honest Jurors, This bill ought to pass; it is better for the lawyers, it is better for the farmers, and it is better for everybody. There were many real estate and mortgage transactions that ought to be tried by Juries. The bill passed the House by yeas, 52; nays, 22.


Mr. Heffren's bill [H. R. 79] to amend Sections 8 and 9 of an act concerning elections proposing to increase the number of votes in election Precincts from 350 to 500;] was read the third time.

Mr. SMITH, of Tippecanoe, stated that the one thing he thought he knew about election matters was this that the less frequently the law was changed the better for all persons concerned. He thought the laws were changed so frequently that if we were to hold strictly to the letter of the law no elections would be legal. He thought that the Precincts should be small. It caused too great a delay of the election returns where the Precincts are large.

Mr. WILSON, of Marion, opposed the passage of the bill, contending that the act of the last Legislature regulating election districts was working satisfactorily, and that to make the change proposed by this would be to practically disfranchise many workingmen, who could not vote until the last hour of the polling. He moved that the bill be recommitted with instructions to the Committee on County and Township Business.

Mr. JEWETT thought the motion to recommit should not prevail, and that the bill itself should be voted down. He thought the people of the State were satisfied with the present law.

Mr. MOODY hoped the motion to recommit would prevail. It would simply place the bill back where it could be considered again by the Committee.

Mr. GORDON was of the opinion that our present election law is good enough as it is. The bill would not be in the interest of economy. He hoped that the motion to recommit would not prevail and that the bill would not pass.

Mr. STEWART opposed the motion to recommit. We have only had one election uno er the present law. The people have just learned where their Precincts are. He was of the opinion that the Precincts should not be channel every time the Legislature met. He considered the difference in the expense between having two Election Boards and having one to be very little.

Mr. SHIVELY was in favor of recommitting the bill. It had been a source of great inconvenience to the people of his County. He considered a Precinct of 350 voters too small in the rural districts. He thought 500 votes s to the Precinct was not too large.

The motion to recommit was rejected.

The bill was also rejected by yeas, 21; nays, 48.

The House took a recess until 2 o'clock.


Mr. MELLETT, by consent, introduced a bill [H. R. 412] to provide for the election of a Board of Regents for the State University.


The following described bills were read the second time and severally referred to appropriate Committees, unless otherwise stated:

Mr. Ferriter's bill [H. R. 133] to provide for a Board of Metropolitan Police Commissioners in all cities of 25,000 or more inhabitants.

On motion by Mr. SCHLOSS it was made special order for next Tuesday at 10:30 o'clock.

Mr. Akiss' bill [H. R. 40] to amend Section 4, being: Section 4,550 of the Revised Statutes of 1881-requiring the State Superintendent of Public Instruction in his next apportionment of the school fund to set apart $10 000, and semi-annually deduct the same amount and set it apart to be known as the Normal School Fund.

On motion by Mr. AKIN the bill was ordered engrossed.

Mr. Frazee's bill [H. R. 354] to amend Section 4,472 Revised Statutes of 1881.

Mr. Mutz's bill [H. R. 356] to amend Section 10 of an act concerning drainage.

Mr. Shockney's bill [H. R. 361] to require County Auditors to give bonds in the sum of $30,000, and repealing all laws in conflict therewith.

Mr. Shockney's bill [H. R. 365] to amend Sections 6 and 7 of an act concerning proceedings in criminal cases.

Mr. Mering's bill [H. R. 366] to abolish the Maple Lawn Cemetery of Richmond.

Mr. Meek'a bill [H. R. 367] to provide for the collection and assessment of taxes.

Mr. McCormick's bill [H. R. 368] to amend Section 4 of an act to provide for the government and discipline of the State1 Prisons.

Mr. Sutton's bill [H R. 369] concerning the duties of County, Township and State officers.

Mr. Sutton's bi 1 [H. R. 370] to amend Section 4,273 of the Revised Statutes of 1881, concerning drainage.

Mr. Wiley's bill [H. R. 371] for the relief of Baker, Smith & Co.

Mr. Chittenden's bill [H. R. 372] concerning voluntary associations.

Mr. Wiley's bill [H. R. 373] to amend Section 261 of an act concerning proceedings in criminal cases.

Mr. Sterritt's bill [H. R. 374] to amend Section 309 of the Revised Statutes of 1881, concerning proceedings in civil cases.

Mr. Bryant's bill [H. R. 378] to regulate the sale of medicines and poisons.

Mr. McMullen's bill [H. R. 377] to provide for the protection of growing timber and for the appointment of a Forestry Commission.

Mr. Moody's bill [H. R. 378] to amend Section 6,138 R. S. for the government and discipline of State Prisons.

Mr. Moody's bill [H. R. 379] to amend Sections 2 to 10, inclusive, of the act concerning drainage.

Mr. Mellett's bill [H. R. 380] to legalize the incorporation of the Danville and Mill Creek Turnpike Company in the County of Delaware.

Mr. Oilman's bill [H. R. 382] to clothe Board of Trustees of incorporated towns with certain I powers.

Mr. Eley's bill [H. R. 383] to legalize the incorporation of the town or city of Decatur.

Mr. Braaelrou's bill [H. R. 384] to provide for the fees and salaries of County Treasurers.

Mr. Smith, of Lagrange's, bill [H. R. 385] to amend an act fixing times of holding Courts in the Thirty-fourth Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Smith, of Lagrange's bill [H. R. 386] to provide for the transfer end recording of bill in the proper Auditor and Recorder's offices in the several Connies.

Mr. Howland's bill [H. R. 387] to prevent the adulteration of articles of food, drink or medicine, and providing penalties for the sale thereof when so adulterated.

Mr. Howland's bill [H. R. 388] to provide for the care and custody of orphans and abandoned children.

Mr. Whitsit's bill [H. R. 389] to authorize cities to levy and collect special taxes for the construction of viaducts and bridges.

Mr. Whitsit's bill [H. R 390] to provide for the construction of a sewer from the Female Reform page: 189[View Page 189]atory to connect with a sewer in the city of Indianapolis.

Mr. Adams' bill [H. R. 391] to legalize assessment made on lands affected by the building and construction of levees.

Mr. Adams' bill [H. R. 392] to amend Section 197 of an act concerning proceedings in civil cases, approved April 7,1881.

Mr. Stewards bill [H. R. 393] to provide for the fees and salaries of County Treasurers [5 per cent. on delinquent taxes.]

Mr. Stucker's bill [H. R. 394] to amend Section 268 of an act concerning proceedings in criminal cases, of April 19,1881, and to repeal Section 2,184 of the Revised Statutes of 1881.

Mr. Williams', of Posey, bill [H. R. 395] to amend Section 4,421 of an act in regard to the State Board of Education concerning text books.

Mr. Gordon's bill [H. R. 396] for the benefit of Horticultural Societies.

Mr. Gordon's bill [H. R. 397] to legalize the corporation of the town of Roachdale, Putnam County.

Mr. Shockney's bill [H. R 398] concerning surplus money resulting from convict labor. [To be paid into the State Treasury and known as the convict fund,]

Mr. Frame's bill [H. R. 399] to amend Section 21 of an act to enable owners of lands to drain and reclaim the same when It can not be done without affecting the premises of others.

Mr, Mutz's bill [H R. 400] to amend an act authorizing the appointment of students to Purdue University.

Mr. Holler's bill [H. R. 401] to provide fee and salaries for County Treasurers.

Mr. Pruitt's bill [H. R. 402] to amend Sections 1 and 3 of an act concerning the repeal of free turnpike roads and constituting Boards of County Commissioners and a Board of Turnpike Directors.

Mr. Shively's bill [H. R. 403] to provide fees and salaries for County Treasurers.

Mr. Shively's bill [H. R. 404] to prevent persons from voting when in a state of intoxication.

Mr. Beeson's bill [H. R. 405] for the relief of James McCullen.

Mr. Beeson's bill [H. R. 406] to provide for the purchase of libraries for the State Prisons and for the Female Reformatory.

Mr. Schloss' bill [H. R. 409] in relation to Theater buildings.

Mr. Pulse's bill [H. R. 410] to provide tor the subdivision of lands and lots.

On motion the bill was made the special order for Monday next at 10 o'clock.

The House then adjourned until 2 o'clock p. m. Monday.