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New Forest Act 1877

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Status and Powers of VerderersU.K.

22 Legal status of verderers.U.K.

(1)The verderers as constituted under this Act, shall be a body corporate by the name of the Verderers of the New Forest, having a perpetual succession and a common seal, with power to make contracts, and sue and be sued, for the purposes of their constitution, and to hold lands so far as may be necessary for offices or otherwise:

(2)An act or proceeding of the verderers shall not be questioned on account of any vacancy or vacancies in their body:

(3)A defect in the qualification or election of any elective verderer shall not vitiate any proceedings of a court of swainmote in which he or they have taken part in cases where the majority of verderers, parties to such proceedings, are duly entitled to act:

(4)Any minute made of administrative proceedings at meetings of a court of swainmote, if signed either at the meeting of the court or at the next ensuing meeting of the court, by any person purporting for the time being to be chairman of the court, shall be receivable in evidence of such proceedings in all legal proceedings without further proof; and until the contrary is proved every court where minutes have been so made of the proceedings shall be deemed to have been duly convened and held:

(5)A verderer by being party to, or executing in his capacity of verderer, any contract or other instrument on behalf of the verderers, or otherwise exercising any of the powers of the verderers, shall not be subject individually to any action, suit, trial, prosecution, or other legal proceedings, and the verderers may apply any moneys from time to time coming into their hands to the payment of any costs of legal proceedings or damages they may incur in execution of their powers:

(6)Any appointment and any contract or other document which is not required by law to be under seal shall be deemed to be well executed if signed by the chairman for the time being of a court of swainmote, such signature being expressed to be by or on behalf of the Verderers of the New Forest.

23 Enumeration of powers of verderers. U.K.

The verderers as constituted under this Act shall have power,—

(1)From time to time to appoint and dismiss, with power to increase or diminish their number, such officers and servants as they may deem necessary for the purpose of carrying into effect their duties as verderers, and to assign to each officer so appointed his duty and salary; and

(2)To make drifts of the Forest at such time and in such manner as they may think expedient; and

(3)To levy from the commoners in the Forest [F1by means of a rate and payments not exceeding the scales specified in the First Schedule hereto, and to levy from all other persons owning cattle (including horses, donkeys and mules), sheep and pigs entitled to be in the Forest by means of such payments as aforesaid, such sums as the verderers may require for paying the expenses of and incidental to the carrying into effect of their duties as verderers]; and

(4)To inquire into all unlawful inclosures, . . . F2, encroachments, and trespasses whatsoever within the Forest, and to impose on any person or persons offending for every such offence any fine not exceeding ten pounds, and by summary order to direct every such inclosure, . . . F2, encroachment, and trespass to be abated; and

(5)To punish all such offences, and perform all such acts, powers, authorities, matters, and things, and exercise all such jurisdiction, as the verderers or any two of them, or the verderers in their court of attachments or swainmote, are by any law, statute, or custom directed, authorised, or empowered to punish, do, exercise, or perform.

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24 Courts of swainmote to be held by verderers. U.K.

The verderers as constituted under this Act shall hold courts of swainmote for the despatch of the administrative and judicial business to be transacted by them, and shall from time to time make such regulations with respect to the summoning, notice, place, and adjournment of such courts, and generally with respect to the transaction and management of business, as they think fit, subject to the following conditions:

(a). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F3

(b)A court may be summoned at any time on the requisition in writing of any three verderers, or of the official verderer; and,

(c)Every question shall be decided by a majority of votes of the verderers present and voting on that question; and,

(d)A court, where another number is not prescribed by this Act, shall be constituted by the presence of three verderers; and,

(e)The official verderer shall be chairman of the court; and,

(f)If at any court the chairman is not present at the time appointed for holding the same, or within a quarter of an hour afterwards, the verderers present shall choose some one of their number to be chairman of the court; and,

(g)In case of an equality of votes at any court when transacting administrative business, the chairman for the time being of such court shall have a second or casting vote.

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