AN ACT concerning the rights of the citizens of this State.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of New York represented in Senate and Assembly and it is hereby enacted and declared by the authority of the same.
First That no authority shall, on any pretence whatsoever be exercised over the citizens of this State but such as is or shall be derived from and granted by the people of this State.
Second That no citizen of this State shall be taken or imprisoned or be disseised of his or her freehold or liberties of free customs or outlawed or exiled or condemned or otherwise destroyed, but by lawful judgment of his or her peers or by due process of law.
Third That no citizen of this State shall be taken or imprisoned for any offence upon petition or suggestion unless it be by indictment or presentment of good and lawful men of the same neighbourhood where such deeds be done, in due manner or by due process of law.
Fourth That no person shall be put to answer without presentment before justices, or matter of record, or due process of law according to the law of the land and if any thing be done to the contrary it shall be void in law and holden for error.
Fifth That no person, of what estate or condition soever shall be taken or imprisoned, or disinherited or put to death without being brought to answer by due process of law, and that no person shall be put out of his or her franchise or freehold or lose his or her life or limb, or goods and chattels, unless he or she be duly brought to answer and be forejudged of the same by due course of law and if any thing be done contrary to the same it shall be void in law and holden for none.
Sixth That neither justice, nor right shall be sold to any person, nor denied nor deferred; and that writs and process shall be granted freely and without delay to all persons requiring the same and nothing from. henceforth shall be paid or taken for any writ or process but the accustomed fee for writing and for the seal of the same writ or process and all fines duties and impositions whatsoever heretofore taken or demanded under what name or description soever, for or upon granting any writs, inquests, commissions or process to suitors in their causes shall be and hereby are abolished.
Seventh That no citizens of this State shall be fined or amerced without reasonable cause and such fine or amamercementhall always be according to the quantity of his or her trespass or offence and saving to him or her, his or her contenement; That is to say every freeholder saving his freehold, a merchant saving his merchandize and a mechanick saving the implements of his trade.
Eighth That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor exexcessiveines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Ninth That all elections shall be free and that no person by force of arms nor by malice or menacing or otherwise presume to disturb or hinder any citizen of this State to make free election upon pain of fine and imprisonment and treble damages to the party grieved.
Tenth That it is the right of the citizens of this State to Petition the person administering the government of this State for the time being, or either house of the legislature and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal.
Eleventh That the freedom of speech and debates and proceedings in the senate and assembly shall not be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of the senate or assembly.
Twelfth That no tax duty aid or imposition whatsoever shall be taken or levied within this State without the grant and assent of the people of this State by their representatives in senate and assembly and that no citizen of this State shall be by any means compelled to contribute to any gift loan tax or other like charge not set laid or imposed by the legislature of this State: And further, that no citizen of this State shall be constrained to arm himself or to go out of this State or to find soldiers or men of arms either horsemen or footmen, if it be not by assent and grant of the people of this State by their representatives in senate and assembly.
Thirteenth That by the laws and customs of this State the citizens and inhabitants thereof cannot be compelled against their wills to receive soldiers into their houses and to sojourn them there and therefore no officer military or civil nor any other person whatsoever shall from henceforth presume to place, quarter or billet any soldier or soldiers upon any citizen or inhabitant of this State of any degree or profession whatever without his or her consent and that it shall and may be lawful for every such citizen and inhabitant to refuse to sojourn or quarter any soldier or soldiers notwithstanding any command order warrant or billetting whatever.
|State of New York
In Senate January 19, 1787
Pierre Van Cortlandt, Pres.
|State of New York
In Assembly 17th January 1787
Rich. Varick, Speaker
Original Document courtesy the New York State Archives