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A. It is a suit brought to secure the punishment of some person who has offended against a public law.
Q. What is a fine ?
A. It is a sum of money to be paid into the public treasury by an offender against law as a punishment for his offense.
Q. What is an assault?
A. An attempt by one person to strike another. If the act is done, the offense becomes assault and battery.
HOLDING TO BAIL. Q. What is “holding to bail ? ”
A. It is compelling a prisoner to produce a certain number of persons who will promise in writing to pay into the public treasury a given sum of money, if the prisoner, being set at liberty, does not afterward appear in court on a certain day.
PAY OF TOWN OFFICERS.
A. Some are paid by the day, others partly by the day and partly in fees. Those paid by the day receive from $1.25 to $2.50 per day. The fees vary widely in amount, and are fixed by State law.
Q. What is a fee?
A. A certain sum to be received for a certain service. For example, the clerk receives twenty-five cents for posting a notice of a town meeting.
SPECIAL TOWN MEETINGS. Q. Can there be more than one town meeting in the same year?
A. Special town meetings may be held when the supervisor, clerk, and a justice of the peace, or any two of these officers, together with at least fifteen voters, sign a written statement that a special town meeting is necessary, and .file this statement in the town clerk's office. This statement must describe the object of the meeting.
Notice must then be given as for other town meetings, the notice stating the object for which the meeting is called. No business can be done at a special town meeting, except such as is described in the statement filed with the clerk and contained in the clerk's notice of the meeting
THE NATURE OF TOWN GOVERNMENT.
Q. What three kinds of acts are done in governing a town?
A. Legislative, executive and judicial.
A. The voters at town meeting, when they vote on motions during the transaction of miscellaneous business. The motions that they adopt become laws for the government of the town.
Q. Who do the second ?
A. The supervisor, school trustees and highway commissioners. They see that the laws made at town meeting (and also State laws) are put into effect, or executed.
Q. Who perform the third kind of acts ?
A. Justices of the peace and constables. They enforce obedience to the laws by punishing those who break them.
As in the town, so in the village, the city, the county, the State, and the United States, we shall find these three departments of government, and only these, namely; the legislative or law-making, the executive, or that which puts the law into operation, and the judicial, or law-enforcing.
Q. What kind of a government is that of a town?
A. A pure democracy. The people themselves make the laws.
Q. What kind of a government is that of an unorganized township?
A. A representative democracy. The local laws for the township (except in school matters) are made by representatives chosen by the people; namely, the county commissioners.
(It is to be remembered that over the laws made as above described, are the general laws made by the State legislature for towns and townships alike.)
OFFICERS OF TOWNSHIPS. Q. Do unorganized townships have the same officers as towns ?
A. They have three school trustees, but no other officers, one trustee being elected on the second Saturday in April each year.
In counties under township organization, if any townships do not coincide with the bounds of organized towns, such townships also hold their election for school trustee on the second Saturday in April. And if a township lies partly in two or more counties, it nevertheless elects school trustees, and is governed in school matters as if it lay wholly in one county and was not coincident in its bounds with an organized town.
In counties not under township organization, the county board divides the county into election precincts. Each precinct elects as many justices and constables as a town of equal population.
Q. How many kinds of townships are there in Illinois ?
III. THE COUNTY.
Q. What political division of the State is larger than the town?
A. The county.
Q. In what county do you live? How large is it? Is it under township organization? If so, give the names of its towns. Give its bounds. Name its seat. What is a county seat?
A. It is the city or village where the court-house and county offices are, and where the county business is done.
COUNTY OFFICERS—THEIR TERMS OF OFFICE. Q. Name the officers of a county and give the term of each.
A. County clerk, clerk of the circuit court, recorder, county judge, probate judge, State's attorney, sheriff, superintendent of schools, treasurer and coroner; term, four years. In counties under township organization, supervisors; one or more from each town, and one or more from each city in the county (the number from cities being determined in the same way as in towns) ; term, one year.
In counties not under township organization, instead of supervisors there are three commissioners, elected by the whole county for a term of three years.
THE COUNTY BOARD_POWERS AND DUTIES. Q. What officers constitute the county board ? A. The supervisors or commissioners. Q. How many meetings do the supervisors hold in a
A. Two regular meetings, namely, on the second Monday in July and the second Tuesday in September; and special meetings whenever one-third of their. number ask for such meetings.
Q. How does the county board organize for business?
A. The first meeting of the year is called to order by the county clerk, when the supervisors proceed to elect one of their number chairman for the succeeding year.
Q. What are the duties of the chairman?
A. To appoint the committees and preside over the meetings of the board.
Q. What can you say about the committees?
A. A committee consists of three or more members of the board, whose special duty it is to look after some branch of the county business. Thus, the members of
, the committee for the poor see that the county farm for the support of the county's paupers is properly managed, and that the paupers are properly fed, clothed and housed. They also examine and allow or disallow bills for the support of the poor. This is called “auditing bills.” Nearly all the county business is divided among the committees of the board, but each committee must report all its proposed acts to the board for its approval before the acts can be done.
Q. What are some of the duties of the whole board ?
A. To erect and furnish a court-house, jail, and other necessary county buildings. To levy special taxes for this and other purposes.
To fix the pay of county officers, which can not be changed during the term for which the officers are elected.
To take measures for prosecuting and defending the lawsuits of the county.