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THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK

Adopted Nov. 3, 1846, as Amended, and in Force Jan. 1, 1895.

Sections marked thus, †, are the additions to the Constitution of 1846 which were adopted in 1894.

WE THE PEOPLE of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our Freedom, in order to secure its blessings, DO ESTABLISH THIS CONSTITUTION.

ARTICLE I-Certain Personal Rights*

§ 1. Persons not to be disfranchised.-No member of this State shall be disfranchised, or deprived of any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizen thereof, unless by the law of the land, or the judgment of his peers.

§ 2. Trial by jury.-The trial by jury in all cases in which it has been heretofore used, shall remain inviolate forever; but a jury trial may be waived by the parties in all civil cases in the manner to be prescribed by law.

§ 3. Religious liberty. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed in this State to all mankind; and no person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness on account of his opinions on matters of religious belief; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse

* The first 8 sections of Art I may be called the "Bill of Rights" of the N. Y. Constitution (see page 193, secs. 2 and 3), though § 6 is indicated in the text as the Bill of Rights,

acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this State.

§ 4. Habeas corpus.-The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require its suspension.

§ 5. Excessive bail and fines.-Excessive bail shall not be required nor excessive fines imposed, nor shall cruel and unusual punishments be inflicted, nor shall witnesses be unreasonably detained.

§ 6. Grand jury-bill of rights.-No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime (except in cases of impeachment, and in cases of militia when in actual service; and the land and naval forces in time of war, or which this State may keep, with the consent of Congress, in time of peace; and in cases of petit larceny, under the regulation of the Legislature), unless on presentment or indictment of a grand jury; and in any trial in any court whatever the party accused shall be allowed to appear and defend in person and with counsel as in civil actions. No person shall be subject to be twice put in jeopardy for the same offence; nor shall he be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

§ 7. Compensation for taking private property; private roads; drainage of agricultural lands. When private property shall be taken for any public use the compensation to be made therefor, when such compensation is not made by the State, shall be ascertained by a jury or by not less than three commissioners appointed by a court of record, as shall be prescribed by law. Private roads may be opened in the manner to be prescribed by law; but in every case the necessity of the road, and the amount of all damage to be sustained by the opening thereof, shall be first determined by a jury of freeholders, and such amount, together with the expenses of the proceeding, shall be paid by the person to be benefited. General laws may be passed permitting the owners or occupants of agricultural lands to construct and maintain for the drainage thereof, necessary drains, ditches and dykes upon the lands of others, under proper restrictions and with just compensation, but no special laws shall be enacted for such purposes.

§ 8. Freedom of speech and press; criminal prosecutions for libel. Every citizen may freely speak, write and publish his

sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; and no law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. In all criminal prosecutions or indictments for libels, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury, that the matter charged as libellous is true, and was published with good motives, and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact.

§ 9. Right of petition; divorces; lottery, and gambling.-No law shall be passed abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government, or any department thereof, nor shall any divorce be granted, otherwise than by due judicial proceedings; nor shall any lottery, or the sale of any lottery tickets,† pool-selling, book-making, or any other kind of gambling hereafter be authorized or allowed within this State; and the Legislature shall pass appropriate laws to prevent offences against any of the provisions of this section.

§ 10. Escheats.-The people of this State, in their right of sovereignty, are deemed to possess the original and ultimate property in and to all lands within the jurisdiction of the State; and all lands the title to which shall fail, from a defect of heirs, shall revert, or escheat to the people.

§ 11. Feudal tenures abolished. All feudal tenures of every description, with all their incidents, are declared to be abolished, saving however all rents and services certain which at any time heretofore have been lawfully created or reserved.

§ 12. Allodial tenures.-All lands within this State are declared to be allodial, so that, subject only to the liability to escheat, the entire and absolute property is vested in the owners, according to the nature of their respective estates.

§ 13. Leases of agricultural lands.-No lease or grant of agricultural land, for a longer period than twelve years, hereafter made, in which shall be reserved any rent or service of any kind, shall be valid.

§ 14. Fines and quarter sales abolished.-All fines, quarter sales, or other like restraints upon alienation reserved in any grant of land, hereafter to be made, shall be void.

$15. Purchase of lands of Indians. No purchase or contract for the sale of lands in this State made since the fourteenth day of October, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, or which may hereafter be made of, or with the Indians, shall be

valid, unless made under the authority, and with the consent of the Legislature.

§ 16. Common law and acts of the Colonial and State Legislatures. Such parts of the common law, and of the acts of the Legislature of the Colony of New York, as together did form the law of the said Colony, on the nineteenth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, and the resolutions of the Congress of the said Colony, and of the convention of the State of New York, in force on the twentieth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven, which have not since expired, or been repealed or altered; and such acts of the Legislature of this State as are now in force, shall be and continue the law of this State, subject to such alterations as the Legislature shall make concerning the same. But all such parts of the common law and such of the said acts, or parts thereof, as are repugnant to this Constitution, are hereby abrogated.

§ 17. Grants of land made by the King of Great Britain since 1775. All grants of land within the State, made by the king of Great Britain, or persons acting under his authority, after the fourteenth day of October, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, shall be null and void; but nothing contained in this Constitution shall affect any grants of land within this State, made by the authority of the said king or his predecessors, or shall annul any charters to bodies politic and corporate, by him or them made, before that day; or shall affect any such grants or charters since made by this State, or by persons acting under its authority; or shall impair the obligation of any debts contracted by the State, or individuals, or bodies corporate, or any other rights of property, or any suits, actions, rights of action, or other proceedings in courts of justice.

§ 18. Damages for injuries causing death.—† The right of action now existing to recover damages for injuries resulting in death, shall never be abrogated; and the amount recoverable shall not be subject to any statutory limitation.

ARTICLE II-Voting

§ 1. Qualification of voters.-Every male citizen of the age of twenty-one years who shall have been a citizen for ninety days and an inhabitant of this State one year next preceding an election, and for the last four months a resident of the county and

for the last thirty days a resident of the election district in which he may offer his vote, shall be entitled to vote at such election in the election district of which he shall at the time be a resident, and not elsewhere, for all officers that now are or hereafter may be elective by the people, and upon all questions which may be submitted to the vote of the people, provided that in time of war no elector in the actual military service of the State, or of the United States, in the army or navy thereof, shall be deprived of his vote by reason of his absence from such election district; and the Legislature shall have power to provide the manner in which and the time and place at which such absent electors may vote, and for the return and canvass of their votes in the election districts in which they respectively reside.

§ 2. Bribery. No person who shall receive, accept or offer to receive, or pay, offer or promise to pay, contribute, offer or promise to contribute to another, to be paid or used, any money or other valuable thing as a compensation or reward for the giving or withholding a vote at an election, or who shall make any promise to influence the giving or withholding any such vote, or who shall make or become directly or indirectly interested in any bet or wager depending upon the result of any election, shall vote at such election; and upon challenge for such cause, the person so challenged, before the officers authorized for that purpose shall receive his vote, shall swear or affirm before such officers that he has not received or offered, does not expect to receive, has not paid, offered or promised to pay, contributed, offered or promised to contribute to another, to be paid or used, any money or other valuable thing as a compensation or reward for the giving or withholding a vote at such election, and has not made any promise to influence the giving or withholding of any such vote, nor made or become directly or indirectly interested in any bet or wager depending upon the result of such election. The Legislature shall enact laws excluding from the right of suffrage all persons convicted of bribery or of any infamous crime.

§ 3. Residence for voting purposes. For the purpose of voting, no person shall be deemed to have gained or lost a residence, by reason of his presence or absence, while employed in the service of the United States; nor while engaged in the navigation of the waters of this State, or of the United States, or of the high seas; nor while a student of any seminary of learning; nor while kept at any alms-house, or other asylum,† or institution wholly or

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