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performance of their duties, shall be sworn to perform faithfully and sworn-their impartially the duties of their trust, before any officer authorized to administer oaths; they shall have power to issue compulsory process for the attendance of witnesses, and to administer oaths to all witnesses who shall attend or be produced, and their decision, or that of any two of them, under their hands, as to the amount of salvage and expenses that ought to be paid, and the sums to be paid to each person entitled to share in such salvage or claiming such expenses, shall be final and conclusive.

SEC. 17. The fees and expenses of the appraisers shall be paid by Appraisers' fees. the person upon whose application they shall have been appointed, and shall be a charge on the property saved. Each appraiser shall be entitled to such per diem pay and expenses as the County Judge may deem just, not exceeding in all sixteen dollars for each day.

perty not duly


SEC. 18. If within a year after wrecked property shall have been Wrecked prosaved no person shall have appeared to claim the same, or if within claimed to be three months after a claim shall have been preferred, the salvage and expenses on such property shall not have been paid, or a suit for the recovery of the property have been commenced, it shall be the duty of the officer in whose custody such property shall be, to sell the same at public auction, and to pay the proceeds of such sale, deducting salvage and expenses, into the Treasury of this state, for the benefit of the parties interested; but in no case shall any deduction of salvage and expenses be made, unless the amount thereof shall have been settled and allowed upon due proof by the County Judge of the county in which the property shall have been saved, a copy of which order, and of the evidence in support thereof, shall be transmitted by the Judge making it to the Comptroller.

last section.

SEC. 19. The provisions of the preceding section shall be construed Construction of to apply to the proceeds of wrecked property so far as relates to the time and manner of settling the salvage and expenses chargeable thereon. The balance of such proceeds, after the salvage and expenses, as settled, shall have been deducted, shall be paid by the County Treasurer into the Treasury of this state.


SEC. 20. Public notice of every sale to be made of wrecked prop- Public notice of erty under the provisions of this act, shall be published by the officer making the sale, for at least two weeks in succession, in one or more newspapers printed in the county, or, if none be printed therein, then by written or printed notices in three of the most public places in such county, posted up at least fifteen days previous to such sale. Every such notice shall state the time and place of the sale, and

Sheriff to give notice of property coming to his possession.

Form of notice.

Expense of giving notice.

Penalty on officers for violating this act.

Penalty for un

lawfully taking

shall contain a particular description of the property intended to be sold.

SEC. 21. Every Sheriff into whose possession any wrecked property shall come, shall immediately thereafter publish a notice directed to all parties interested, for at least two weeks in succession, in one or more of the newspapers printed in this state.

SEC. 22. Every such notice shall contain a minute description of such wrecked property, and of every bale, box, case, piece, or parcel thereof, and of the marks, brands, letters, and figures on each, and shall state where such wrecked property then is, and its actual condition, and the name, if known, of the vessel from which it was taken or cast on shore, and of the master and supercargo of such vessel, and the place where such vessel then is, and its actual condition.

SEC. 23. The expenses of publishing every notice, directed to be published in this act, shall be charged on the property or proceeds to which such notice shall relate.

SEC. 24. Every Sheriff, or other officer, or person, who shall detain in his hands any wrecked property or the proceeds thereof, after the salvage and expenses chargeable thereon shall have been agreed to or adjusted, and the amount thereof shall have been paid to him; or who shall be guilty of any fraud, embezzlement, or extortion, in the discharge of his duty; or who shall in any manner violate the provisions of this act, shall forfeit treble damages to the party injured, and shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and be fined in any sum not more than five thousand dollars, and imprisoned for any length of time not more than two years.

SEC. 25. Every person who shall take away any goods from any or having posses- stranded vessel, or any goods cast by the sea upon the land, or found

sion of wrecked


Penalty for obliterating marks.

in any bay or creek; or shall knowingly have in his possession any goods so taken or found, and shall not deliver the same to the Sheriff of the county where the same shall have been found, within four days after the same shall have been taken by him, or have come into his possession, shall forfeit treble the value of the goods so taken, or kept by him, to the owner or consignee thereof, and shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both, in the discretion of the court by which he shall be tried.

SEC. 26. Every person who shall deface or obliterate the marks on wrecked property, or in any manner disguise the appearance thereof, with intent to prevent the owner from discovering its identity, and every person who shall destroy or suppress any invoice, bill of

lading, or other document, tending to show the ownership of wrecked property, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by fine and imprisonment, the fine not to exceed two thousand dollars, the imprisonment three years.

act to be

grand jury.

SEC. 27. It shall be the duty of all Judges, Sheriffs, Justices of Offences against the Peace, Coroners, and Constables, to present all offences and presented to offenders against the provisions of this act, that shall come to their knowledge within their respective counties, to the Grand Jury at the next District Court therein.


AN ACT to provide for the erection of Court Houses.-[Passed
April 10, 1850.]

The People of the State of California, represented in Senate and
Assembly, do enact as follows:

be erected.

SECTION 1. The Court of Sessions of each county shall cause to be Court Houses to erected therein, at the county seat, as soon as the circumstances will permit, a good and sufficient building for a Court House, and also suitable offices for the use of the Sheriff, Clerk, Treasurer, and Recorder.

buildings may be

SEC. 2. If they deem it to the interest of the county, the Court of Existing Sessions may erect, purchase, or receive by donation, any building or converted. buildings at the county seat of the county, suitable for a Court House

and offices.


SEC. 3. For the purpose of erecting or purchasing such building Tax may be or buildings, the Court of Sessions is authorized to levy a tax upon the taxable property of the county, not exceeding one fourth of one per cent., the proceeds of which tax shall be applied to no other


hired until Cour

SEC. 4. Until such building or buildings are provided by the Rooms may be Court of Sessions, the Sheriff shall provide a suitable room or rooms House erected. at the seat of justice, for the several courts of the county; and the Sheriff, Clerk, Treasurer, and Recorder, shall each procure a suitable room for the transaction of his official business. The reasonable rent for such rooms, and also the expenses of procuring the necessary furniture for the same, shall be allowed by the Court of Sessions to be paid out of the County Treasury, as other county charges.

Sheriffs to furnish fuel, etc., for courts.

Clerk to procure books and


Books and stationery for Recorder.

SEC. 5. It shall be the duty of the Sheriff to furnish the necessary fuel and lights for the use of the District and County Courts, and Court of Sessions of his county; and the amount expended therefor shall be paid out of the County Treasury as other county charges are paid.

SEC. 6. The Clerk shall procure all such books and stationery as may be severally directed by the said courts for their use, the costs of which shall be paid out of the County Treasury. The certificate of the District or County Judge that such books and stationery have been directed to be procured for their respective courts, shall be sufficient evidence on which to audit and allow the claims for the costs thereof.

SEC. 7. The Court of Sessions shall also make provision for the purchase of all necessary books and stationery for the use of the office of Recorder.

Persons over age

of 18 may dis

by will.


AN ACT concerning Wills.-[Passed April 10, 1850.]

The People of the State of California, represented in Senate and
Assembly, do enact as follows:

SECTION 1. Every person over the

age of eighteen years, of sound pose of property mind, may, by last will, dispose of all his estate, real and personal, and such estate not disposed of by will, shall descend as the estate of an intestate, being chargeable in both cases with the payment of all the testator's debts.

Married women may dispose of

SEC. 2. Any married woman may dispose of all her estate by will, property by will. and may alter or revoke the will in like manner as a person under no disability might do: Provided, that no such will, alteration, or revocation, shall be of any validity, without the consent of the husband, in writing, annexed to such will, alteration, or revocation, and attested and subscribed, and to be proven and recorded in like manner as a will is required to be witnessed, proven, and recorded, unless the wife has power to make a will, conferred by marriage contract or authority in writing, executed by her husband before marriage. SEC. 3. No will, except such nuncupative wills as are mentioned writing, signed, in this act, shall be valid, unless it be in writing, and signed by the testator or by some person in his presence, and by his express direc


certain, to be in

and attested.

tion, and attested by two or more competent witnesses subscribing their names to the will, in the presence of the testator.


SEC. 4. If the subscribing witnesses to a will are competent at the Competency of time of attesting its execution, their subsequent incompetency, from witness. whatever cause it may arise, shall not prevent the probate and allowance of the will, if it be otherwise satisfactorily proved.

subscribing witnesses void.

SEC. 5. All beneficial devises, legacies, and gifts whatever, made Gifts to or given in any will to a subscribing witness thereto, shall be void, unless there are two other competent subscribing witnesses to the same, but a mere charge on the estate of the testator for the payment of debts, shall not prevent his creditors from being competent witnesses tent witness. to his will.

Creditor compe

devisee and who

to share of testa

SEC. 6. But if such witness, to whom any beneficial devise, legacy, Witness who is a or gift, may have been made or given, would have been entitled to any would be entitled share of the estate of the testator, in case the will is not established, tor's estate if no will, entitled to then so much of the share as would have descended or been distribu- share to amount of devise. ted to such witness, as will not exceed the devise or bequest made to him in the will, shall be saved to him, and he may recover the same of the devisees or legatees named in the will, in proportion to and out of the parts devised or bequeathed to them.


SEC. 7. No nuncupative will shall be good, when the estate be- Nuncupative queathed exceeds the value of five hundred dollars, nor unless the same be proved by two witnesses, who were present at the making thereof, nor unless it be proved that the testator, at the time of pronouncing the same, did bid some one present to bear witness that such was his will, or to that effect, nor unless such nuncupative will was made at the time of the last sickness, and at the dwelling-house of the deceased, or where he or she had been residing for the space of ten days or more, except where such person was taken sick from home, and died before his or her return. Nothing contained herein shall prevent any soldier being in actual service, nor mariner being on shipboard, from disposing of his wages and other personal estate by a nuncupative will.

pative wills.

SEC. 8. No proof shall be received of any nuncupative will, unless Proof of nuncuit be offered within six months after speaking the testamentary words, nor unless the words or the substance thereof were reduced to writing within thirty days after they were spoken.

cupative wills.

SEC. 9. No probate of any nuncupative will shall be granted for Probate of nunfourteen days after the death of the testator, nor shall any nuncupative will be at any time proved, unless the testamentary words, or the substance thereof, be first committed to writing, and process be issued

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