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Concerning Public Ferries and Toll-Bridges.
(Approved April 28, 1855.)
The People of the State of California, represented in Senate and
Assembly, do enact as follows.
SECTION 1. No person shall demand or receive compensation for the License use of any bridge or ferry as a public highway, nor set up and keep on any private road, a toll bridge, ferry or constructed ford so as to receive any remuneration or promise of remuneration for use of the same unless authorized so to do by license as hereinafter provided.
Sec 2. The Board of Supervisors of each county shall be and are Supervisors hereby empowered to establish public ferries and toll bridges across those empowered. bays, rivers, creeks or sloughs, bounding or within their respective counties when ever they shall deem it necessary; provided, said Board shall Proviso. not have the power to license bridges across navigable waters. But nothing in this Act contained shall be construed to authorize the granting of any license to keep a public ferry or toll bridge across or over the bays of San Pablo, Suisun, San Francisco or Monterey, or to impair the free and unrestricted navigation of said bays; provided, nothing in this section shall affect any ferry now established on the Straits of Carquenas, between Mare Island and Navy Point.
Sec. 3. Any person may petition the Board of Supervisors for a li-Discretion cense to keep a ferry or toll bridge, and if in the discretion of the Board of Board. such ferry or toll bridge be necessary, and the petitioner be a suitable person to keep the same, they shall order the Clerk of said Board to issue a license, on the payment of such license tax, for the term for which the License tax. license is granted as the Board may direct, not to exceed the rate of one hundred dollars, nor less than three dollars per month for such term, and filing with the Clerk the receipt and bond as hereinafter provided.
Sec. 4. Whenever a ferry or toll bridge crosses a stream, slough, Bridges on bay, or arm of the sea, forming the boundary line between two counties, boundary line. the owner or owners of the same shall take out a license in the county, lying on the left bank descending such stream, slough, bay, or arm of the sea; provided, that the amount paid for such license shall be equally di- Proviso. vided between such two counties. Should the County Treasurer to whom such license money may have been paid neglect or refuse to pay over to Neglect of the County Treasurer of the county entitled to the one-half of said money, on demand, suit may be brought against such Treasurer so neglecting or refusing, and the securities on his official bond, in the name of the county to which said money is due in any court of competent jurisdiction, and judgment shall be recovered for double the amount so found to be due.
Sec. 5. Upon the production of the receipt of the County Treasurer Clerk to issue to the Clerk of the Board for the amount of license tax assessed by said Board, and filing the bond as hereinafter required, said Clerk shall issue such license to keep a ferry or toll bridge at the place therein mentioned
Notice of intention.
Term. for a term not less than six months, nor more than one year, but no li
cense to keep such ferry or toll bridge shall issue unless the land on Bridges on which it is sought to establish such ferry or toll bridge be public land, public land, etc. or the land of said petitioner or where the holders or owners of any
land where the public convenience may require that such ferry or toll bridge all be kept, shall neglect or refuse to have a public ferry or toll
bridge established within a reasonable time. Bridge or ferry
Sec. 6. No ferry or toll bridge shall be established within one mile near another. immediately above or below a regularly established ferry or toll bridge,
unless it be required by the public convenience, or where the situation of a town or village, the crossing of a public highway, or the intervention
of some creek or ravine shall render it necessary. Upon application by When and how established. any person to establish another ferry or toll bridge within one mile of
any regularly established ferry or toll bridge, notice of at least ten days of the time and place of such application, and of the grounds upon which the same is founded, shall be served upon the proprietor of the ferry or toll bridge already established, and such application shall be made to the same tribunal (if the same has jurisdiction) which granted the license
for the ferry or toll bridge already established. Renewal of Sec. 7. Any person having a license to keep a ferry or toll bridge
and having kept the same in accordance with law, shall be entitled to have such license renewed from the date of the expiration of the game, for a period of not less than six months or more than one year, having posted notices of his intention to apply for such renewal for twenty
days, in the same manner as required on original application, and the Board of Supervisors shall in all cases of application for renewal of license give to the party applying for renewal a preference over any party mak
ing original application for license to keep a toll bridge or ferry at the Proviso. same place; provided, such person applying for renewal shall in all
respects have complied with the terms and requirements of this Act. Private grounds. Sec. 8. When any person being owner or holder of any land lying
on any river, creek, slough or arm of the sea within or bounding on this State, except such as are by section two of this Act, exempted, where any public road may cross the same, and where the public convenience may require that a ferry or toll bridge should be kept, shall neglect or refuse to have a public ferry or toll bridge established within a reasonable time, it shall be lawful for the Board of Supervisors of the county in which it may be necessary to have such ferry or toll bridge established, upon proper application being made, and after having given three months public notice of their intention by advertisement in some public newspaper in the county, or by written notice set up in three of the most public places in the county, to grant a license to some person to keep a ferry or toll bridge at said place, on such conditions as to them may appear reasonable and just, taking bond
with security as hereinafter provided. Landings Sec. 9. Any person or persons having obtained a license from the
Board as aforesaid shall be and they are hereby authorized and empowered to keep such ferry or toll bridge so established, and also to occupy as much ground as may be necessary to discharge passengers not exceeding one hundred feet on each side of the river, creek, slough or arm of the sea, as the ferryman may deem necessary.
Sec. 10. In case any land belonging to a private person be apAppraisers.
propriated for public use as provided in the two preceding sections, it shall be the duty of the Board of Supervisors to appoint three disinterested electors of the county, who shall upon view of such land
80 appropriated for
public use appraise the same and make return to Amount of said Board setting forth the metes and bounds of the same, and the
appraisement. valuation they have placed thereon. Whereupon the Board of Supervisors shall make an order that the amount of such appraisement shall be paid to the holder or owner of such land so appropriated by the person or persons obtaining such license.
Sec. 11. When the land bordering on any creek, river, slough or When arm of the sea, across which a public ferry or toll bridge is deemed Supervisors to
build ferries, etc. necessary, shall be a public common for any town, the said Board shall be authorized to establish ferries or toll bridges across such river, creek, slough or arm of the sea, on application of any persons owning land next adjoining such public common, under the same rules and restrictions that ferries and toll bridges are established, upon application of persons owning lands bordering on such river, creek, slough or arm of the sea ; but the foregoing provisions shall not be construed as in anywise to affect the rights of any town or corpora- Rights of towns tion, or of any person or persons being proprietor or proprietors of any town, their heirs or assigns, by giving the right to establish a ferry or toll bridge to any person, not proprietor of such town, if the corporation of such town or the proprietor of such lands keep up a sufficient number of ferries or toll bridges. Sec. 12. The Board of Supervisors shall not establish any ferry Notice of
application. or toll bridge until the applicant shall prove satisfactorily that publication has been made of his intended application in some newspaper published in the county if one be published, and by posting notices in three of the most public places in the township, where the bridge or ferry is sought to be established, for at least thirty days next preceeding such application.
Sec. 13. The Board of Supervisors shall have authority to order Boats, etc. and direct from time to time the number and description of boats, and the number of hands which shall be kept on each ferry respectively.
Sec. 14. No application as aforesaid shall be granted for any toll Description bridge until the Board of Supervisors shall be satisfied that such bridge has been or will be made of substantial and durable materials, and at least ten feet in width, railed in with a good substantial railing at least four feet high ; provided, that nothing in this section con- Proviso. tained shall prohibit the Board of Supervisors upon application from authorizing the erection of toll bridges across mountain streams where it is impracticable to travel with wagons, of such dimensions as the Board in its discretion may determine. Sec. 15. Any person injured, delayed or damaged, through any Damages
for delay, etc. defect, insufficiency, or want of repair in a toll bridge or ferry, shall have a right to sue for and recover of the party having a license therefor, such damages as he may have thereby sustained in any court of competent jurisdiction.
Sec. 16. The person or persons obtaining an order granting to Bonds. him or them the privilege of keeping a ferry or toll bridge, shall within thirty days from the date of such order execute ble to the State of California, in a penal sum to be fixed by the Board of Supervisors with one or more sureties to be approved by the County Judge, conditioned that he or they will keep such ferry Conditions. or toll bridge in good repair and condition, according to law, and that he or they will give passage to all public messengers and expresses when required, without fee or reward, and conditioned further that the obligors will pay to any person delayed, injured or damaged, by
Refusal to give bond.
Violating section 1.
Rates of toll.
Persons to pass freg.
reason of any defect or insufficiency, or want of suitable repair of said ferry or bridge, all damages that such persons may recover therefor in any court of competent jurisdiction, which bond shall be filed with the County Clerk and may be proceeded on by any party injured by any breach of the conditions thereof in the same manner as appeal bonds ; and if any party obtaining an order granting a ferry or bridge privilege, shall neglect or refuse to give such bond he or they shall forfeit the right to said ferry or toll bridge privilege.
Sec. 17. When the Board of Supervisors refuse to grant a license or a renewal of a license to keep a ferry or toll bridge to any person to establish a ferry or toll bridge, the person making such application according to law shall have the right to apply to the County Judge of the county in which the ferry or bridge is sought to be established is located, for such license during any regular term of the County Court for such county, and the County Judge may in his discretion grant such license in accordance with the provisons of this act.
Sec. 18. Any person who shall violate the first section of this Act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and may upon conviction be punished by fine not exceeding five hundred dollars for the first offense, and for the second offense in addition thereto, shall be imprisoned in the County Jail not exceeding thirty days.
Sec. 19. The Board of Supervisors shall establish the rates of toll to be charged and received for crossing all licensed ferries and toll bridges, which rates shall be posted up, either written, printed or painted, at each licensed ferry or toll bridge in the State, by the owner thereof.
Sec. 20. All expresses sent on public service by a Commander in Chief, Colonel or Major, or from the Governor for the time being, or the commanding officer of the Militia, shall be accounted public messengers or expresses, and shall pass all ferries or toll bridges free of charge, within the condition of the bond aforesaid if the dispatch carried by such messenger or expresses be endorsed “ Public Service” and be signed by the person sending the same, but no ferryman or toll bridge keeper shall be bound to give passage free to any such expresses in time of peace except in case of insurrection.
Sec. 21. Each licensed ferry keeper shall constantly keep a good and sufficient boat or boats, (if more than one be necessary) with a sufficient number of able and skillful ferrymen, as may be directed by the Board of Supervisors, and give due attendance to the said ferry or ferries, and to the transportation of all persons with their property, who shall apply for the same between daylight in the morning and dark in the evening, so that no unnecessary delay may happen to persons having occasion to pass such ferry ; and all licensed ferry or toll bridge keepers shall be obliged at any hour of the night, if required, except in cases of evident danger to give passage to all expresses above recited, and to all other persons requiring the same on their tendering or paying the rate of toll or ferriage allowed to be taken during the day time.
Sec. 22. It shall be the duty of all ferry and toll bridge keepers to cause the banks of the streams to be graded and kept in good passable order for the passage of loaded wagons and other vehicles.
Sec. 23. The Board of Supervisors may in their discretion and under restrictions herein before prescribed, establish and license ferries or bridges over streams that are otherwise impassable for short
Obligations of ferrymen.
Banks of streams.
Bridging without license.
periods at particular seasons, without the payment of license tax, if said Board shall be satisfied that the profits of such ferry or toll bridge will not justify the owner in paying a tax therefor, but every ferry or toll bridge so established under the provisions of this section shall be subject to all the rules, regulations and restrictions of this Act, except the payment of a license tax.
Sec. 24. If any ferry which now is, or may hereafter be estab- Power to lished, shall not be furnished with the necessary boat or boats and ferrymen within one month after the establishment thereof and continue to be so furnished, or if the proprietor shall at any time thereafter refuse or neglect to properly attend to the same, it shall be the duty of the Board of Supervisors for the county wherein such ferry is located on complaint to them made and verified by the oath of any citizen of the county, to cause the proprietor or proprietors of such ferry to be summoned to appear before said Board at its next sitting to show cause why the license for such ferry should not be revoked, and the Board of Supervisors shall revoke such license or dismiss such complaint on hearing the testimony adduced, and may award cost against the complainant or proprietor or in their discretion Costs. apportion the costs. Sec. 25. When any member of the Board of Supervisors is inter- Power of
County Judge. ested in the establishment or continuation of any ferry or toll bridge, and in counties where no such Board is organized, the County Judge of the county in which the application is required to be made shall have and exercise under the same obligation and restrictions the powers and duties devolved upon the Board of Supervisors by this Act.
Sec. 26. All moneys assessed and collected for ferry or toll Honeys for bridge licenses shall be paid into the County Treasury for county purposes.
Sec. 27. Each and every person to whom a license to keep a ferry Existing or toll bridge has been granted by the Court of Sessions or District licenses. Judge of any of the counties of this state, which license was unexpired on the first Monday in February, A. D., 1855, and the assignee or assignees of such as have transferred the franchise are, and each and every of them is hereby licensed to keep a ferry or toll bridge, according to the grant of their respective franchise until the first Monday of June next, and any person or persons to whom a license to keep a ferry or toll bridge is hereby granted, who shall have kept the same in accordance with law, shall be entitled to have Renewals. such license renewed from the date of the expiration of the same, for a period of not less than six months nor more than one year, having posted notices of intention to apply for such renewal in the same manner as required on an original application.
Sec. 28. An Act entitled an Act concerning public ferries and Repeal. toll bridges passed May 15, 1854, is hereby repealed.