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time pays all state, county, city or town taxes duly assessed on his poll or estate for any three years within that time shall thereby acquire a settlement in such place.
The facts of the case are these: A pauper, aged thirty-nine, was committed to the Foxborough State Hospital Nov. 2, 1905. He had resided in Lynn continuously since 1902, and had been assessed a poll tax for the years 1893, 1894 and 1897, which had been paid May 10, 1894, Feb. 19, 1895, and Aug. 15, 1898, respectively.
The question is, whether the statute requires that the same five-year period which embraces the three dates of payment must also embrace the three dates of assessment, even though the three assessments were made within a five-year period.
It is settled by the decisions that the pauper must have lived in a city or town during the whole of the three years for which the taxes were assessed. Taunton v. Wareham, 153 Mass. 192. The pauper in the present case having paid between Aug. 15, 1893, and Aug. 15, 1898, the taxes assessed to him for 1893, 1894 and 1897, has he complied with the express requirement of the statute that he shall have paid all "taxes duly assessed on his poll or estate for any three years within that time"? Can the three years, 1893, 1894 and 1897, be considered within the five-year period from Aug. 15, 1893, to Aug. 15, 1898? The taxation year is from May 1 to May 1. Southborough v. Marlborough, 24 Pick. 166. The taxation year in 1893 began on May 1, and therefore that year is not wholly within the period beginning with Aug. 15, 1893. Under a strict construction, it cannot be held that the taxes assessed in the present case were for three years within a period of five years. It has long been settled that the five years' residence and the five years of taxation must be coincident. Southborough v. Marlborough, supra.
Prior to 1898 the Attorney-General gave an opinion that, under Pub. Sts., c. 83, § 1, cl. 5, if three taxes assessed for three years within a period of five years were paid, it was immaterial that payment was not made within a five-year period. (See 1 Op. Atty.-Gen. 519.) The law was amended by Acts of 1898, c. 425, § 1, so as to require that the three taxes assessed within
the five-year period should also be paid within a period of five years. It seems fairly clear that it is the intention of the Legislature, by the act of 1898, to provide that the required number of taxes should be assessed and paid within one five-year period of residence.
I am therefore of opinion that the pauper in question did not acquire a legal settlement in Lynn under the provisions of the statute above quoted.
AUTOMOBILES-REGISTRATION BY DEALER-EXPIRATION OF
The provision of St. 1903, c. 473, § 1, as amended by St. 1907, c. 580, § 1, that "the registration of every automobile or motor cycle shall expire upon the first day of January in each year," is applicable not only to automobiles or motor vehicles which are owned by single individuals, but also to similar vehicles when owned or controlled by dealers.
The Massachusetts Highway Commission requires my opinion. upon a question arising under St. 1907, c. 580, which is entitled "An Act relative to automobiles and motor cycles." Your communication states that:
In section 1 of this act, in the last sentence, it is stated "The registration of every automobile or motor cycle shall expire upon the first day of January in each year." Section 2 of the act relates to the registration of motor vehicles owned or controlled by manufacturers or dealers. In this section it is not specifically stated that the registration of such machines shall expire annually, and the commission is in doubt whether or not it is intended by the law that the registration certificates shall so expire.
St. 1907, c. 580, § 1, amends St. 1903, c. 473, § 1, by adding at the end of the section the words, "The registration of every automobile or motor cycle shall expire upon the first day of January in each year." The section, before amendment, provided for the registration of automobiles and motor cycles, but contained no provision with regard to the expiration of the registration required; and section 2 of chapter 580 of St. 1907 amended section 2 of chapter 473 of St. 1903, by substituting the word "fifteen" for the word "ten," so that the amended section reads as follows:
Every manufacturer of or dealer in automobiles or motor cycles may, instead of registering each automobile or motor cycle owned or controlled by him, make application upon a blank provided by said commission for a general distinguishing number or mark, and said commission may, if satisfied of the facts stated in said application, grant said application, and issue to the applicant a certificate of registration containing the name, place of residence and address of the applicant, and the general distinguishing number or mark assigned to him, and made in such form and containing such further provisions as said commission may determine; and all automobiles and motor cycles owned or controlled by such manufacturer or dealer shall, until sold or let for hire or loaned for a period of more than five successive days, be regarded as registered under such general distinguishing number or mark. The fee for every such certificate of registration shall be fifteen dollars.
The question submitted is not free from difficulty. It is to be observed that section 2, above quoted, does not contain any provision whatever for the expiration of the registration of automobiles or motor cycles owned or controlled by a manufacturer or dealer; and it might fairly be contended that such registration continued indefinitely, notwithstanding the provision already referred to which was added to section 1 of chapter 473 of St. 1903. Upon the whole, however, I am inclined to believe that the two sections must be read together, and that the registration referred to in section 2 is the registration established by section 1, which expires annually upon the first day of January in each year.
The provisions of section 2 are intended to provide an alternative for a dealer who owns or controls many automobiles or motor cycles, so that he may by a single registration "register each automobile or motor vehicle owned or controlled by him." There is nothing in the section to indicate that the Legislature intended to permit a dealer, by a single registration and the payment of a single fee of $15, permanently to register all such automobiles or other motor vehicles which he might own or control in the course of his business.
I am therefore of the opinion that the commission should hold that the amendment of section 1 of chapter 580 of St. 1907, "The registration of every automobile or motor cycle shall
To the Bank
expire upon the first day of January in each year," — is applicable not only to automobiles or motor vehicles which are owned by private individuals, but also to similar vehicles when owned or controlled by dealers.
MEMBER OF LEGISLATURE - ELIGIBILITY FOR OTHER OFFICE-
A member of the Legislature for the session of 1907 is ineligible for appointment to the position of examiner of persons, partnerships, associations or corporations engaged in private banking, created by St. 1907, c. 377, § 4.
I have your letter of the 16th, in which you inquire in reference to the appointment of a member of the present Legislature as a clerk in your department, whose especial duty is to be to examine private bankers, under the supervision of your department, as required by chapter 377 of the Acts of 1907.
Section 21 of chapter 3 of the Revised Laws provides that:
No member of the general court shall, during the term for which he is elected, be eligible to any office under the authority of the commonwealth created during such term, except an office to be filled by vote of the people.
Section 4 of chapter 377 of the Acts of 1907 reads as follows:
The bank commissioner shall, at such times as he may deem expedient, examine, either personally or by a competent examiner whom he shall appoint, every such person, partnership, association or corporation, and thoroughly inspect and examine its affairs to ascertain its financial condition and whether it has complied with all provisions of law applicable thereto. The proper charges incurred by reason of any such examination shall be paid by the person, partnership, association or corporation concerned.
The law contemplates an examination either by yourself personally or by a competent examiner whom you shall appoint. Your right to so appoint was given you by said chapter 377 of the Acts of 1907. The Legislature intended by section 21, above quoted, to prohibit the appointment of a member of the General Court to any office which was created during the term
for which he was elected. It seems to me that section 4, above quoted, creates an office which cannot be filled by such member. I note you say in your letter that he would perform other duties, of a clerical nature, in your department. You would, however, be obliged to appoint him an examiner if he should examine the private bankers that you name, for otherwise he would have no authority in the premises; and I must therefore reply that such an appointment would be contrary to law.
A similar inquiry was submitted to the late Attorney-General Knowlton in reference to an appointment to the office of insurance examiner. The reply was in the negative, and I quote from the opinion the following:
The obvious purpose of this statute is to remove from a member of the Legislature any temptation to be influenced in his vote by reason of the possibility that he may be a candidate for the places created by the Legislature of which he is a member. (1 Op. Atty.-Gen. 347.)
In this view of the law I concur, and am of the opinion that it is applicable to this case.
VETERAN IN THE SERVICE OF THE COMMONWEALTH RETIRE
A veteran of the civil war employed by the Metropolitan Park Commission as a police officer is "in the service of the Commonwealth" within the meaning of St. 1907, c. 458, which provides in part that "a veteran of the civil war in the service of the Commonwealth, if incapacitated for active duty, shall be retired from active service with the consent of the governor."
In reply to your communication of July 24, inquiring whether To the Metroor not a veteran of the civil war employed by the Metropolitan Commission. Park Commission as a police officer is "in the service of the July 31. Commonwealth," within the meaning of St. 1907, c. 458, which provides in part that "a veteran of the civil war in the service of the Commonwealth, if incapacitated for active duty, shall be retired from active service, with the consent of the governor, at one half the rate of compensation paid to him when in active service, to be paid out of the treasury of the Commonwealth,"