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women who are qualified to vote may sign nomination papers for candidates for the school committee." From this it may fairly be argued that, since the Legislature deemed it necessary to make a special provision to enable women to sign nomination papers, it would have been equally necessary to have made a special provision to enable them to vote in caucuses.
A further indication of the intention of the Legislature is to be found in the fact that the Legislature in 1901 was petitioned to enable women to participate in caucuses for school committee; that a bill was introduced amending St. 1898, c. 548, $ 91, by changing the oath therein contained and by adding at the end of the section, “ Women entitled to vote for school committee shall have the right to take part in any caucus, in which candidates for school committee or delegates to any convention at which candidates for school committee are to be selected, to the extent of participating in the selection of such candidates or delegates ;” and that the committee reported "leave to withdraw," which report was accepted.
This action clearly indicates the opinion which the Legislature had of the St. 1898, c. 548, namely, that women had no right to vote in caucuses. It further shows that the Legislature did not intend to give such a right. As the same Legislature revised the laws, its intention is the important factor in the interpretation of R. L., c. 11.
These two considerations seem to me sufficient to rebut the implication of a right of women to vote in the caucuses. I am, with great respect, Very truly yours,
HERBERT PARKER, Attorney-General.
Insurance - Fire Company - Foreign Corporation
Contract Standard Policy. A fire insurance company organized under the laws of another State, and
not admitted to do business in this Commonwealth, may, without violating any of the provisions of R. L., c. 118, issue a policy differing in form from the standard policy of fire insurance established by such statute, if the contract of insurance is made and the policy delivered without the Commonwealth, and no person acts as agent or broker within the Commonwealth in negotiating the contract.
DEC. 16, 1903. Hon. FREDERICK L. CUTTING, Insurance Commissioner.
DEAR SIR: - In your letter of October 19 you state that a fire insurance company, organized under the laws of another State, and not admitted to do business in Massachusetts, issued on property in Massachusetts a policy which differed from the standard form prescribed by the Massachusetts law. The contract was made and the policy delivered outside of Massachusetts. It does not appear that any person acted as agent or broker within Massachusetts in negotiating the contract. You ask whether these facts will support a prosecution for violation of the Massachusetts laws.
The following sections of the insurance law (R. L., c. 118) are material :
SECTION 60. No fire insurance company shall issue fire insurance policies on property in this commonwealth, other than those of the standard form herein set forth. ..
SECTION 98. A person who assumes to act as an insurance agent or insurance broker without license therefor as herein provided, or who acts in any manner in the negotiation or transaction of unlawful insurance with a foreign insurance company not admitted to do business in this commonwealth, or who, as principal or agent, violates any provision of this chapter relative to the negotiation or effecting of contracts of insurance, shall be punished for each offence by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars.
SECTION 3. ... it shall be unlawful for a company to make a contract of insurance upon or relative to any property or interests or lives in this commonwealth, or with any resident thereof, or for any person as insurance agent or insurance broker to make, negotiate, solicit or in any manner aid in the transaction of such insurance, except as authorized by the provisions of this chapter.
The foreign company has not violated any of these laws, because its acts were done outside the jurisdiction. These penal laws have no extra territorial effect. See Sedgwick on Construction of Statutes, p. 64; Rorer on Interstate Law, pp. 209, 210; Johnson v. Mutual Life Ins. Co. of New York, 180 Mass. 407.
No agent or broker has taken part within the Commonwealth in negotiating or prosecuting the contract, therefore no conviction may be had, as in the cases of Hooper v. California, 155 U. S. 648; Nutting v. Massachusetts, 183 U. S. 553.
The owner of the property himself, while he has a right, under the Federal Constitution, to contract outside the State for insurance on his property (Allgeyer v. Louisiana, 165 U. S. 578), may be prohibited from contracting within the jurisdiction of Massachusetts with any foreign company which has not acquired the privilege of engaging in business therein, either in his own behalf or through an agent empowered to that end (Hooper v. California, 155 U. S. 648, 656); but the owner made this contract, as matter of fact, in another State. Accordingly, under the principles
stated above, he has committed no offence against the laws of Massachusetts.
There is a further provision of the Massachusetts law which must be considered, viz. : the last clause of section 3, All contracts of insurance on property, lives or interests in this commonwealth shall be deemed to be made therein.” If this statute means more than that the legality and construction of such contract shall be governed by the Massachusetts law, and attempts to take away a man's right to contract outside the State, it is unconstitutional. Allgeyer v. Louisiana, 165 U. S. 578.
The Legislature has no power to decide for the courts of Massachusetts that the contract of insurance in question was made in Massachusetts, when, under the law of the land, it was made in another State. If by a fiction it seeks to transfer the place of making the contract to Massachusetts, for the purpose of imposing a penalty for making it, it is a violation of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights and of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.
I am, therefore, of the opinion that, upon the facts stated, no prosecution for violation of the laws of this Commonwealth can be sustained. Very truly yours,
HERBERT PARKER, Attorney-General.
Towns — Joint Caucuses Acceptance of Statute. In towns using official ballots, which at the State election, held on Nov. 3,
1903, voted to accept the provisions of St. 1903, c. 454, an act providing for joint caucuses of all political parties, as required by section 18, no further action is necessary to render such statute fully operative; the provision in section 2 that caucuses as established by the statute shall be held in towns using official ballots, “which towns at an annual meeting vote that primaries shall be held therein,” being applicable only to cases where for any reason the statute was not accepted at the State election specified, in which event, the question of acceptance may hereafter be passed upon at an annual town meeting.
DEC. 31, 1903. His Excellency John L. BATES, Governor.
SIR: - I have the honor to reply to a communication from Your Excellency requiring my opinion upon the effect of the action of certain towns which, at the last State election, voted to accept the provisions of St. 1903, c. 454, entitled, “An Act to provide for joint caucuses or primaries of all political and municipal parties.”
Section 18 of the statute above cited, which contains the enacting clause, is as follows :
This act shall take effect in Boston upon its passage. In other cities and in towns using official ballots the question of its acceptance shall be submitted to the voters at the next annual state election and the act shall take effect as soon after its acceptance by a majority of the voters voting thereon as the provisions of law relative to nominations can be complied with.
Section 2 provides that:
All caucuses of political and municipal parties in cities, and in towns using official ballots, which towns at an annual meeting vote that primaries shall be held therein, except caucuses to elect delegates to conventions held for the election of delegates to national conventions, and for the choice of ward committees after the change of ward lines, shall be held at the same time and place as primaries, and shall be conducted in general accordance with the provisions of law concerning the conduct of elections and the manner of voting thereat, except as otherwise provided berein.
Towns voting that primaries shall be held therein måy, at a legal meeting called for the purpose, not less than one year after the date of the first primary held therein, revoke such action.
Clerks of towns which vote to hold primaries or to rescind such action shall forthwith notify the secretary of the Commonwealth of such vote.
It is now suggested that the words " which towns at an annual meeting vote that primaries be held therein," require, upon the part of towns which at the last State election voted to accept the provisions of the statute in accordance with the terms of section 18, a further vote of acceptance at an annual town meeting before the statute may become operative therein.
The words " annual meeting” by themselves are clearly applicable only to the annual town meeting held in the several towns in either February, March or April, for the election of town officers and for the transaction of other local business (see R. L., C. 11, $$ 327, 334, etc.), and do not apply to por include a town meeting called for the purpose of choosing State officers. There is, therefore, an apparent contradiction in terms between the provisions of section 2 and section 18 as to the time when the statute' shall be accepted and shall become effective in towns in which official ballots are used, the former designating an annual town meeting held in the spring as the proper time for such acceptance, and the latter requiring a vote thereon at the State election for the current year.
I am of opinion, however, that this contradiction is rather apparent than real. It is a well-recognized rule that in the construction of statutes the legislative intent is to be ascertained from a consideration of the act as a whole, and that, if possible, inconsistencies are to be harmonized so as to give reasonable effect to each of its provisions. Applying this principle to St. 1903, c. 454, it is clear that the Legislature intended that the act should be accepted at the next annual State election after the passage of the act, to wit, the election held upon Nov. 3, 1903, and in section 18 such intention is set forth in express terms. This being so, it is obvious that the provision in section 2, regulating the conduct of caucuses in towns which at an annual meeting have voted that primaries should be held therein, cannot be construed to require an additional vote of acceptance by such towns; for, if so construed, it would require a double referendum in the case of towns, and the provision of section 18 would be entirely without effect. If, on the other hand, the language of section 2 be construed to supplement the provisions of section 18, by providing a further opportunity for the acceptance of the statute, if for any reason such acceptance was not accomplished at the State election for the present year, there will be no inconsistency between the sections under consideration.
I am, therefore, of opinion that in all cases where towns have accepted the provisions of St. 1903, c. 454, at the State election held on November 3 of the present year, no further action is necessary in order that the act may become fully operative in accordance with the provisions of section 18; and that, in all towns where the statute was not so accepted, such towns may, at a subsequent annual town meeting, vote upon the acceptance of the statute.
with great respect,
HERBERT PARKER, Attorney-General.