January 6, 1902.
February 28, 1902.
Present: HOLMES, C.J., LATHROP, BARKER, HAMMOND, LORING, JJ.
Mandamus will not lie to enforce the caucus or election laws, the remedy for a violation being given by St. 1898, c. 548, § 417. R.L.c. 11, § 421.
PETITION for a writ of mandamus by six citizens of the town of Millbury against the chairman and secretary of a republican caucus of that town and five other persons declared at the caucus to have been elected the republican town committee of Millbury, praying that the chairman and secretary be ordered to count the votes cast for the petitioners and others and to declare the seven or eight having the highest number of votes to be elected members of the committee, filed October 12, 1901.
The petition alleged, that a majority of the voters had determined to elect a new committee and had prepared a ticket with eight names; that the day before the caucus the old committee met and changed the number of the committee from eight to seven, giving no notice of their action; that at the caucus the ballot for eight was thrown out although it received a majority of the votes cast and the committee's ticket of seven perpetuating themselves was declared elected.
The respondents demurred to the petition, on the grounds, among others, that the writ of mandamus would not lie for the matters alleged and that an adequate and exclusive relief was afforded by the laws of the Commonwealth for the wrongs, if any, of which the petitioners complained.
B.W. Potter, for the petitioners.
A.P. Rugg T.H. Sullivan, for the respondents.
We assume that all the allegations of the petition are true. We assume further, but without so deciding, that the decision of the chairman and secretary of the caucus may be revised by the courts in proper proceedings. But the demurrer was rightly sustained because mandamus will not lie where the petitioners have another remedy by bill or petition given by statute. Hill v. McKim, 168 Mass. 100. In that case a judge of a court of insolvency having refused to order a hearing upon a proposal for composition it was held that the proper remedy was by bill or petition under Pub. Sts. c. 157, § 15, and not by mandamus. The remedy of the present petitioners was under St. 1898, c. 548, § 417. See R.L.c. 11, § 421.
Orders sustaining demurrer and dismissing petition affirmed.