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In preparing this compilation of the statutes of Oregon, the first aim of the compiler has been to make it a complete collection of the statutes of a general nature now in force. It is believed this object has been accomplished. It has not in all cases been easy to decide whether a particular statute which has not been expressly repealed is in force, or whether it has been superseded by subsequent legislation upon the same subject. Wherever there is ground to doubt the repeal, both the earlier and the later statute have been inserted; the marginal reference to the date of passage will enable the practitioner and the court in every case to determine the question. Where a statute has been expressly repealed, it has been deemed unnecessary to make any reference either to the statute or to the repealing act itself. Special laws have been omitted. Laws which by their terms are applicable generally throughout particular counties or districts have been inserted, in view of their general importance in the sections to which they apply. Statutes general in character, but temporary in their operation, and the objects of which have already been accomplished, are, of course, omitted.
In arranging the laws relating to civil and criminal procedure, crimes and punishments, and practice in justices' courts, there has been no difficulty in setting them forth in the “order and method of a code,” the original acts which form almost their entire body having been arranged in that order and method before their enactment. With the Miscellaneous Laws the case is different; it is impossible by mere arrangement and collocation to give them the logical order and sequence which characterize a code as the word "code" is now generally used. Nothing short of rewriting them, and then enacting them as rewritten, could make of them a code, or a consistent and logical division of a code. The commissioners who made the compilation of 1872 mentioned this fact, but no one who has not had occasion to meet and endeavored to overcome the difficulty can fully appreciate the obstacles that lie in the way of such an endeavor. Since that compilation was made these obstacles have increased very considerably, by reason of the wider range taken by legislation, in the course of which it has often occurred that subjects entirely dissimilar have been dealt with in the same act,sometimes in the same section. For the same reason, though the arrangement adopted by the commissioners in 1872 was perhaps as good as could have been made at that time, it has been found impracticable to follow that arrangement in this compilation. To do so in the present condition of the laws would in many instances place in the same chapter or title matters wholly foreign to each other, and sacrifice the natural and logical sequence of subjects to a very imperfect alphabetical arrangement of chapter headings. The arrangement adopted in this collection appears to present the more important subjects of legislation in their natural order; after these the order of the compilation of 1872 has been observed so far as practicable.
Except in cases where the sufficiency of the title of an act to cover all the matters in the body of the act (Constitution, art. IV., sec. 20) may be questionable, or where the title is necessary to an understanding of some part of the body, titles of acts have been omitted as unnecessary. Neither has it been deemed important to state the dates of the taking effect of statutes previous to those passed at the last session, the date of approval being given in every case. As to laws passed at the last session of the legislature (1887), there are obvious reasons why the time of their going into effect is more likely, for a time, to become important in litigation; it is therefore stated in notes whenever the law takes effect otherwise than at the expiration of ninety days from the close of the session (Constitution, art. IV., sec. 28). The last session closed on the 18th of February, 1887.
W. L. H. JULY, 1887.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
This edition of the General Laws brings the statute law of Oregon down to date. Its preparation was undertaken and has been carried forward with a view of promoting the convenience of those who have to do with the administration of the laws; and to this end that arrangement of the statutes which has become familiar from use of the previous edition has been strictly adhered to, new sections which were enacted as substitutes for old ones being inserted under the same numbers that had been borne by the old respectively, and such statutes as could not be incorporated in the body of the compilation without disturbing the order of the sections being collected and arranged in the form of addenda. This method of compilation, although open to the criticism that it lacks the sym. metry and logical order which a complete revision would give, avoids the far more serious objection which might be well taken to a thorough revision, on the ground of inconvenience of use. In the nature of statute law no compilation can remain unchanged very long; but lawyers and judges who are compelled to make daily and almost hourly use of the statute-books and the volumes of judicial decisions, wherein the statutes are often referred to by the page or section number only, have an experimental realization of the vexatious confusion that may arise from a mere change of the order in which sections are placed, and the irksome labor thus imposed
The statutes herein contained have been carefully compared with the official copies issued by the state, and it is believed are in all respects accurate.
The side-notes, referring to decisions in which the sections have been cited, supply easy reference to the construction thereof by the supreme court.
The convenience of a distinct index to Volume I. and a complete index to the whole work in Volume II. is apparent; while the change of size to royal octavo, with liberal margins, not only improves the appearance of the page, but affords ample opportunity for further annotations.
In the preparation of this edition the compiler has had the assistance of Mr. Charles T. Boone, whose judgınent and accuracy as a law-writer are well known to the bench and bar.
WILLIAM LAIR HILL. January 1, 1892