In Ex parte Gladhill, 8 Metc. 168, the supreme court of Massachusetts decided, that the police court of Lowell was a court of record having common law jurisdiction. The police court of Lynn, which was established by St. 1849, c. 86, is so far identical with the police court of Lowell, in respect to its presiding justice, the mode of his appointment, the tenure of his office, the jurisdiction of the court, and the record of its proceedings, that we are satisfied that decision applies to those particulars in this case, and we see no sound reason to doubt that the police court of Lynn was a court of record, having a common law jurisdiction. But two questions still remain,—whether that court had a clerk and a seal, In the act for organizing the court (section 7), the justice is directed to keep a fair record of all proceedings therein. In the case of Ex parte Gladhill, the chief justice says: “It might be argued that the act of congress intended to limit the power to a court Case No. 3,380.Case No. 3,380. YesWeScan: The FEDERAL CASESYesWeScan: The FEDERAL CASES 11 having a separate recording officer, whose act should authenticate its doings, and that the signature of a separate recording officer might add something to the credit due to an au- thenticated transcript. On the other hand, it might be urged with some plausibility, that if the judge is specially vested by law with the clerical authority, the court has a clerk within the letter and equity of the statute.” This question that court had not occasion to decide; and did not attempt to decide; because by another act (St. 1838, c. 147, 2), the police court of Lowell was authorized to appoint, and had in fact appointed a clerk, before the declaration then in question was made. We are of opinion, that the police court of Lynn, in which the justice was the recording officer, was not a court having a clerk, within the meaning of the act of congress. Certainly, it does not come within the terms of that act, which clearly imply that there may be courts of record having a seal and common law jurisdiction, but no clerk or prothonotary, and that such courts are not included by the act. Yet how could this be, if it were enough that the presiding justice should himself record the proceedings? A court of record necessarily requires some duly authorized per- son to record the proceedings. When the act speaks of courts of record, it speaks of courts whose proceedings are duly recorded by authorized persons; and when it says, “having a clerk or prothonotary,” it superadds the requirement, that those proceedings shall be recorded by one of those officers. Unless the act be so construed, the requirement of a clerk or prothonotary would have no meaning. The act would have the same construction as if it were stricken out; because the words, court of record, would carry with them the necessity of having the proceedings recorded by some one by authority of law. Nor do we consider it a vain and useless precaution, to confine the power to naturalize aliens, to courts in which one of those officers is found.


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