Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    A person to whom a commission is directed by the government or a court. State v. Banking Co., 14 N. J. Law, 437; In re Canter, 40 Misc. Rep. 126, 81 N. Y. Supp. 338. In the governmental system of the United States, this term denotes an officer who is charged with the administration of the laws relating to some particular subject-matter, or the management of seme bureau or agency of the government Such are the commissioners of education, of patents, of pensions, of fisheries, of the general land-office, of Indian affairs, etc. In the state governmental systems, also, and in England, the term is qutte extensively used as a designation of various officers having a similar authority and simllar duties.
    —Commissioner of patents. An officer of the United States government, being at the head of the bureau of the patent-office.
    —Commissioners of bail. Officers appointed to take recognizances of bail in civil cases.
    —Commissioners of bankrupts. The name given, under the former English practice in bankruptcy, to the persons appointed under the great seal to execute a commission of bankruptcy, (g. v.)
    — Commissioners of circuit courts. Officers appointed by and attached to the circuit courts of the United States, performing functions partly ministerial and partly judicial. To a certain extent they represent the judge in his ab-sense. In the examination of persons arrested for violations of the laws of the United States they have the powers of committing magistrates. They also take bail, recognizances, affidavits, etc., and hear preliminary proceedings for foreign extradition. In re Co.m'rs of Circuit Court (C. C.) 65 Fed. 317.
    —Commissioners of deeds. Officers empowered by the government of one state to reside in another slate, and there take acknowledgments of deeds and other papers which are to be used as evidence or put on reconi in the former state.
    —Commissioners of highways. Officers appointed in each county or township, in many of the states, with power to take charge of the altering, opening, repair, and vacating of highways within such county or township.
    —Commissioners of sewers. In English law. Commissioners appointed under the great seal, and constituting a court of special jurisdiction; which is to overlook the repairs of the banks and walls of the sea-coast and navigable rivers, or, with consent of a certain proportion of the owners and occupiers, to make new ones, and to cleanse such rivers, and the streams communicating therewith, St. 3 & 4 Wm, IV. c. 22, § 10; 3 Steph. Comm. 442.
    —County commissioners. See Countv.