OF MEMBERS OF BOARD OF HEALTH.
AN ACT for the Preservation of the Public Health.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met, as follows:
SECTION 1. It shall be the duty of' the Common Council of every city and the Commissioners of every incorporated town in this State, in which there is not now a board of health duly organized, to appoint, once in each year, a board of health for such city or town, to consist of not less than three nor more than seven persons, of whom at least one shall be a physician duly authorized to practice medicine ; and in case there be a port physician already appointed by the 'Governor, he shall be a member of the board ex officio.
SECTION 2. The several boards of health, constituted under this act, shall elect from among their members a president and secretary of such -board, and shall meet not less than once in every three months. The secretary of the board shall keep the minutes of the meetings of the board; and shall perform all such duties as shall be assigned to him by the board ; for which services he shall receive such compensation as the city council, or commissioners of the respective cities or towns may determine.
SECTION 3. The board of health shall have power to direct that any noisome matter, Whether vegetable, animal or otherwise, within the boundaries of their respective cities or towns, or within one mile thereof, or any vessel then having or having recently had any contagious disease on board, which, according to the opinion of the board, may be the occasion of contagious or infectious disease, shall be removed or remedied by the person to whom the same belongs, or in whose possession, or upon whose property it is ; and that any place, in such city or town, or within one mile of the boundaries thereof, being in such filthy or noxious state that according to the opinion of the board may be the occasion of contagious or infectious disease, shall be cleansed by such persons to whom the same belongs, or in whose possession it is ; and that any reservoir of stagnant water, or other nuisance, or unwholesome thing, in such city or town, or within one mile of the boundaries thereof, which according to the opinion of the board may be the occasion of contagious or infectious disease, shall be abated, removed or remedied by the person to whom the same belongs, or in whose possession, or on whose property it is; and they shall have power to remove any hog pens in such city or town, which in the opinion of the said board it shall be deemed necessary or conductive to public health to remove ; provided, however, that if it shall appear to the board that any of the said nuisances hereinbefore mentioned are caused, or produced by any person or persons other than those on whose premises the said nuisances exist, or that the said nuisance or nuisances are caused or produced by water, or filthy, noisome, or unwholesome matter flowing or running from the premises of any other person or persons, or from premises which may be in his, her or their occupation, the said board shall then give directions to cleanse, remove, abate or remedy the same to the person or persons causing or producing such nuisance or nuisances, or to the person or persons from whose premises, or from: premises which may be in his, her or their occupation, the same shall flow or run; and If the person to whom such direction is given shall not observe and fulfill the same within the time therein prescribed by the board, the said board shall have power to order the said direction to be carried into effect by some officer of the board, or other person or persons to whom the service may be committed, and the expenses shall be paid by the person to whom the direction was originally given ; but if the same shall not be paid by said person on demand, the same shall be paid by the treasurer of the board, or by the city council or town commissioners, whose duty it shall be, and who shall have the right to recover the same, with interest and costs, from the person who ought to have paid the same, as aforesaid, as debts of like amount are recoverable.
SECTION 4. The board, when satisfied, after an examination that any cellar, room, tenement or building within its jurisdiction, occupied as a dwelling place, has become, by reason of the number of occupants or want of cleanliness, or other cause unfit for such purpose, and a cause of nuisance or sickness to the occupants, or the public, may direct the owner or owners, or occupants thereof to have the premises properly cleansed ; or if they see fit, to require the occupants to remove or quit the premises within such time as the board may deem reasonable. If the person, or persons so notified, or any of them, neglect or refuse to comply with the direction of the board, the board may cause the premises to be properly cleansed at the expense of the owners, or may remove the occupants forcibly and close up the premises ; and they shall not again be occupied as a dwelling place without permission, in writing, of the board ; and if such owner or owners refuse to pay the expenses incident to the execution of such orders, the treasurer of the board, or the city council, or town commissioners, shall recover the same with interest and costs from the person who ought to have paid the same, as debts of like amount are recoverable.
SECTION 6. Whenever a board of health shall think it necessary for the preservation of the lives and health of the citizens to enter a place, building, or vessel, within their jurisdiction, for the purpose of examining into and destroying, removing, or preventing any nuisance, source of filth, or cause of sickness, and shall be refused such entry, any member of the board may make complaint, under oath, to any Justice of the Peace of his county, stating the facts of the case as far as he has knowledge thereof. Such Justice of the Peace shall thereupon issue a warrant directed to the Sheriff' or any Constable of the county, commanding him to take sufficient aid, and being accompanied by two or more members of the board of health, between the hours of sunrise and sunset, repair to the place where such nuisance, source of filth, or cause of disease may exist, and the same destroy, remove or prevent, under the direction of such members of the board.
SECTION 7. Any Justice of the Peace, on application, under oath, showing cause therefor, by a board of health, or any authorized member thereof, shall issue his warrant, under his hand, directed to the Sheriff or any Constable of his county, requiring him, under the direction of the board of health to remove any person or persons infected with contagious disease, or to take possession of condemned houses or lodgings.
SECTION 8. The board of health shall have power, in case the prevalence, or of reasonable ground to apprehend the prevalence of malignant disease within its jurisdiction, to direct especially the cleansing of houses, cellars, yards, docks, or other such places as the board shall consider requisite, or prudent, for the preservation of the public health, or for the mitigation of disease, and if such direction shall not be observed and fulfilled, within the time prescribed, by the person or persons to whom the directions were given, the said board shall order an officer of the board, or some other person or persons, to carry the same into effect, and the expenses thereof shall be paid by the person or persons to whom the direction was (riven unless the board shall otherwise order; and if payment of the same shall not be made on demand, the treasurer of the board, city council, or town commissioners, shall pay the same, and shall recover the same, with interest and costs, from the person who ought to have paid the same, as debts of like amount are recoverable.
SECTION 9. If any person shall cast into any street, lane, or alley, or shall suffer to run or be washed from any slaughterhouse, stable, privy, yard, or place, in his or her possession, into any street, lane, or alley of any city or town having a board of health constituted as aforesaid, any blood, garbage, carrion, dead animal, dung, filth, or noisome or offensive matter; or if any person shall suffer any skins, rags, or other matter, to be in a noisome or offensive state, within or upon property in his or her possession, within said city or town limits, or shall deposit in any of its lots, streets, lanes or alleys, or near any dwelling-house, any contents of any slaughter house or stable, or any matter in a noisome state, or having deposited or put such offensive substances in any of the aforesaid places shall not immediately remove the same on the requirement of the board of health, every person so offending shall be guilty of a common nuisance, and for every such offense shall be fined five dollars, to be recovered as heretofore provided.
SECTION 10. If any owner, agent, or tenant of any property in any town or city as aforesaid regulated, shall suffer the privy well thereon to be so full that any two members of the board of health shall declare the same to be a nuisance, such owner, his agent, and tenant in possession, shall be, either of them, responsible, and, after notice, unless such privy shall be cleansed within one week after such notice, shall be guilty of a common nuisance, and for every such offense shall be liable to a fine of not less than one, nor more than five dollars, to be recovered by the city council, or town commissioners, as bills of like amount are recoverable.
SECTION 11. If any person shall use a slaughter house, or place belonging thereto, within such city or town limits as aforesaid, after the board of health have pronounced the same noisome, or having used such slaughter house shall not on the requirement of the board of health immediately and effectually cleanse the same, every person so offending shall be guilty of a common nuisance, and shall for every such offense forfeit and pay a fine of twenty dollars, to be recovered as aforesaid.
SECTION 12. Every board of health, constituted as aforesaid, regulations shall have power to make orders and regulations in their discretion concerning the place and mode of quarantine; the examination and purification of vessels, boats, and other craft not under quarantine; the treatment of vessels, articles or persons thereof the regulation of intercourse with infected places; the apprehension, separation and treatment of emigrants and other persons who shall have been exposed to any infectious or contagious disease; to regulate and prohibit or prevent all communication or intercourse with all houses, tenements and places, and the persons occupying the same, in which there shall be any person who shall have been exposed to such contagious or infectious disease.
SECTION 13. The said board of health shall have power to procure suitable places for the reception of persons under quarantine and persons sick with the Asiatic or malignant cholera, or any other malignant or infectious or contagious disease; and in all cases where sick persons cannot otherwise be provided for, to procure for them proper medical and other attendance and necessaries.
SECTION 14. A majority of a board of health will form a quorum to do business, a less number may adjourn.
SECTION 15. All vacancies occurring in any board of health vacancies by death, or otherwise, shall be filled by the city council, or town commissioners/as the case may be ; and the same authorities shall have power to remove, for sufficient pause, any member of the board of health in their respective jurisdictions.
SECTION 16. The Secretary of State shall cause copies of this act to be printed and transmitted within eight weeks after the adjournment of the Legislature, in such manner as he shall think expedient, to the mayor of every city, and the commissioners of every incorporated town in this State.
Passed at Dover, March 18. 1881.