Mr. Pitkin to Mr. Blaine.

No. 12.]

Sir: Referring to Minister Hanna’s No. 235, May 20, 1889, reciting certain embarrassments to citizens of the United States contemplating marriage here and inclosing translation of the civil marriage law of this country of November 12, 1888, I have the honor to invite your attention to a new enactment herewith inclosed on the subject-matter, involving certain repeals and amendments whereby it will be seen that a certificate [Page 19] of birth or baptism, and in case of previous marriage a certificate of death, are no longer required and that a certificate of civil status is likewise dispensed with.

I am, etc.,

John R. G. Pitkin.
[Inclosure in No. 12.]

The new civil marriage law.

Congress has amended the civil marriage law as follows:

  • Article 1. The following clauses of the original act are hereby annulled: First and second and the final paragraph of clause 4 of article 19, as also articles 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 36, 51, 113, and 114 of law No. 2393, dated November 12, 1888.
  • Art. 2. In clause 5 of article 19 of the said law the following words shall be interpolated after the word: “declared” “on the identity and.”
  • Art. 3. Suppression shall be made of the reference made in articles 89 and 92 to the fourth clause of article 9.
  • Art. 4. Article 31 of the said law shall be modified as follows: “Opposition must be made in the presence of the employé who intervenes in the arrangements prior to the celebration of the marriage.”
  • Art. 5. The following shall be added to article 43: “incurring all the responsibility in case of malicious denunciation.”
  • Art. 6. Article 47 shall be modified as follows: “If, in the opinion of the employé intrusted with the civil registry, the parties to be married are in a condition to be married, the marriage shall be immediately celebrated, so that everything be set down in one document, which shall moreover contain (1) the declaration of the contracting parties that they wish to be married, and that of the employé intrusted with the civil registry that the marriage has been celebrated in the name of the law; (2) the recognition by the contracting parties of natural issue, if any, to be legitimatized by the marriage; (3) the name, age, estate, profession, and residence of such of the witnesses, if others than those who declared as to the suitability of the contracting parties; (4) the mention of the power, giving date and name of notary before whom said power has been granted, in case of marriage by proxy. Said power shall be, moreover, registered in the bureau.”
  • Art. 7. To article 47 the following shall be added: “In the case of the suitability of the contracting parties not being admitted, or of opposition or of denunciation, the public employé shall suspend the celebration of the marriage until all such obstacles shall have been removed; a statement to this effect should be made in writing and a copy given to the interested parties if they require it, so that they may be enabled to apply to the Juez Letrado de lo Civil.”
  • Art. 8. The following, as a fresh article, shall be inserted after the preceding article: “In the case of the preceding article the statement of the celebration of the marriage shall be made separately from that of the previous arrangements, and shall, moreover set forth (1) the date of the statement; 2) the name, age, profession, residence, and birth-place of the parties appearing; (3) the name, age, profession residence, and nationality of their respective parents, if known; (4) the name of the former deceased husband or wife, in the case of a previous marriage; (5) the consent of the parents, guardians, or that of the judge when necessary; (6) the mention of opposition, if any, and, if so, how such opposition was overcome.” 7, 8, 9, and 10 are a repetition of the statements mentioned in article 6, that is, article 47 amended.
  • Art. 9. Article 52 shall be modified, and the words “and that they should manifest the desire to recognize natural issue” shall be added after the word “death.” Also, article 53, the words “according to article 22” to be changed to “by means of notices affixed to the doors of the bureau.”
  • Art. 10. Article 54 shall be modified as follows: “All the steps taken for the celebration of the marriage, with the exception of articles 39 and 43 in that which refers to the substantiation of opposition, shall be made before the public employé, and shall be registered in bound books, without interfering with the other formalities enforced by the civil registry act. The copy referred to in article 50 shall be made on ordinary paper, which copy, as well as the copies of all matters pertaining to the celebration of the marriage, and not requiring a stamp, shall be made gratis.”
  • Art. 11. This law shall come into force from the first day of December of the current year.
  • Art. 12. Let this be laid before the Executive.

The President has already promulgated this law, to understand which all interested parties must secure a copy of the original act.