Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

common

seem

[ocr errors]

will not go.” Comyns's Digest, Admiralty, 1-injured by the motion of the vessel, by a F. 5; 1 Rolle, Abr. 533, pl. 18.

continuous act, beginning and consummated What the early law seems most to have upon navigable water, and giving character looked to as fixing the liability of the to the effects upon a point which is only ship was the motion of the vessel, which technically land, through a connection at the was treated as giving it the charac- bottom of the sea. In such a case jurisdicter of a responsible cause. Bracton rec- tion may be taken without transcending the ognizes this as an extravagance, but ad- limits of the Constitution or encountering mits the fact, for the

law. The Plymouth or any other authority bind122a, 1360. 1 Select Pleas of the Crown, ing on this court. As to the present English 1 Seld. Soc. Pub. 84. The same was law, see The Uhla, L. R. 2 Adm. & Eccl. 29, true in admiralty. Rowghton, ubi sup. note; The Swift [1901] P. 168.

50; 2 Rotulæ Parlimentariæ, 345, Decree reversed. 346, 372a, b; 3 Rotulæ Parlimentariæ 94a, 120, 12la; 4 Rotulæ Parlimentariæ 12a, b, Mr. Justice Brown, concurring: 4926, 493. The responsibility of the moving I do not dissent from the conclusion of cause took the form of deodand when it oc- the court, although for forty years the broad casioned death, like the steam engine in language of Mr. Justice Nelson in the case Queen v. Eastern Counties R. Co. 10 Mees. of The Plymouth, 3 Wall. 20, sub nom. & W. 59, and innumerable early instances, Hough v. Western Transp. Co. 18 L. ed. 125, but it was not confined to such cases. 2 has been accepted by the profession and the Black Book (Twiss) 379. But compare i admiralty courts as establishing the princiSelect Pleas in Adm., 6 Seld. Soc. Publ. ple that the jurisdiction of the admiralty lxxi., lxxii. The principle has remained un- does not extend to injuries received by any til the present day. United States v. The structure affixed to the land, though such inMalek Adhel, 2 How. 210, 234, 11 L. ed. juries were caused by a ship or other float239, 249; The China, 7 Wall. 53, 19 L. ed. ing body. It received the approval of this 67.

court in the case of Etc parte Phenix Ins. The foregoing references

to us Co. 118 U. S. 610, 30 L. ed. 274, 7 Sup. Ct. enough to show that to maintain jurisdic- Rep. 25, and in that of Johnson tion in this case is no innovation even upon Chicago & P. Elevator Co. 119 U. S. the old English law. But a very little his- 388, 30 L. ed. 447, 7

ed. 447, 7 Sup. Ct. Rep. tory is sufficient to justify the conclusion 254, and has been followed by the courts that the Constitution does not prohibit what of at least a dozen different districts, convenience and reason demand.

and applied to bridges, piers, derricks, and In the case of The Plymouth there was every other class of structure permanently nothing maritime in the nature of the tort affixed to the soil. for which the vessel was attached. The fact I do not think this case can be distinthat the fire originated on a vessel gave no guished from the prior ones, as, in my opin

. character to the result, and that circum-ion, it makes no difference in principle stance is mentioned in the judgment of the whether a beacon be affixed to piles driven court, and is contrasted with collision, al. into the bottom of the river or to a stone though the consideration is not adhered to projecting from the bottom, or whether it as the sole ground for the decree. It has be surrounded by 12 feet or 1 foot of water, been given weight in other cases. Campbell or whether the injury be done to a wharf v. H. Hackfeld & Co. 62 C. C. A. 274, 125 projecting into a navigable water, or to a Fed. 696 ; Queen v. London Court Judge beacon standing there, or whether the dam[1892] 1 Q. B. 273, 294; Benedict, Admir- age be caused by a negligent fire or by bad. alty, 3d ed. § 308. Moreover, the damage steering. was done wholly upon the mainland. It I accept this case as practically overrulnever has been decided that every fixture in ing the former ones, and as recognizing the the midst of the sea was governed by the principle adopted by the English admiralty same rule. The contrary has been supposed court jurisdiction act of 1861 ($ 7), extendin some American cases (The Arkansas, 5 ing the jurisdiction of the admiralty court McCrary, 364, 17 Fed. 383, 387; The F. & P. to "any claim for damages by any ship.” M. No. 2, 33 Fed. 511, 515), and is indicated This has been held in many cases to include by the English books cited above. It is un- damage done to a structure affixed to the necessary to determine the relative weight land. The distinction between damage done of the different elements of distinction be- to fixed and to floating structures is a sometween The Plymouth and the case at bar. what artificial one, and, in my view, founded It is enough to say that we now are dealing upon no sound principle; and the fact that with, an injury to a government aid to nav-Congress, under the Constitution, cannot exigation from ancient times subject to the ad. tend our admiralty jurisdiction, affords an miralty,-a beacon emerging from the water, 'argument for a broad interpretation com

[ocr errors]

V.

mensurate with the needs of modern com- Mr. Justice Holmes delivered the opin. merce. To attempt to draw the line of ju- ion of the court: risdiction between different kinds of fixed This is a writ of error to the supreme structures, as, for instance, between beacons court of Missouri on the ground that the and wharves, would lead to great confusion plaintiff in error is denied the rights with and much further litigation.

regard to charging interest conferred upon it by the national banking act. Rev. Stat. $$_5197, 5198, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p.

3493. The suit was brought by the plaintiff (195 U. S. 369) CITIZENS' NATIONAL BANK OF KAN. in error upon a promissory note for $20,000,

with interest at 8 per cent, made on April SAS CITY, MISSOURI, Plff. in Err.,

29, 1892. The facts, shortly stated, are as

follows: On October 29, 1892, the plaintiff M. S. C. DONNELL.

bought the defendant's note for $15,000, with

interest at 7 per cent. On July 12, 1895, Usury by national banks.

the defendant being

being behindhand with

his payments of interest and also hav1. By compounding interest oftener than is ing overdrawn a bank account which permitted by Mo. Rev. Stat. § 3711, a na

he
kept in
the plaintiff's bank,

bank, he tional bank charges interest at a higher rate than that allowed by the laws of the state, gave the plaintiff a new note for $17,within the meaning of U. S. Rev. Stat. & 500, and interest at 7 per cent, in satis5197, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 3493, fixing faction of both liabilities. The amount of the rate which national banks may charge, this note included three semiannual interest although the compounded interest is less charges of $525 each, with a few days' that the state laws permit to be charged directly, without compounding.

further interest, on the former note, with in2. A national bank which has made a 12 per terest on this interest from the time it was

cent charge on overdrafts, where 8 per cent is due, and charges of 1 per cent or more a the highest rate of interest permitted by the month on the amount overdrawn each month. state laws, cannot escape the forfeiture pre- It left the defendant with a credit on his

U. . , Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 3493, where a greater bank account of $230.50. On April 29, 1896, rate of interest is charged than the state the note in suit and another note for $2,000 laws allow, because of the trifling amount, were given in satisfaction of the last note or on the theory that the charge is a penalty for $17,500, and of another note for $2,500,

because of the failure to pay a debt when due. of October 1, 1895, with interest accrued on 3. A national bank whose action on a prom; both, and of an overdraft of $919.90, and a

issory note is met by the plea of usury may not avoid the forfeiture of the entire inter- balance of $2.42. The overdraft item inest, imposed by U. S. Rev. Stat. $ 5198, U. S. cluded, as before, charges of about 1 per cent Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 3493, in absolute terms, a month on the amounts actually overdrawn. by then declaring an election to remit the

The supreme court of Missouri held that excessive interest.

the plaintiff must forfeit all interest from

the beginning of the above transactions, and [No. 36.]

could recover only the original $15,000, the

actual overdraft on July 12, 1895, $474.24, Argued November 1, 1904. Decided Novem- the bank credit of $230, given the same day, ber 28, 1904.

the note of October 1, 1895, for $2,500, the

overdraft on April 29, 1896, of $878.81, and N ERROR to the Supreme Court of the the bank credit of $2.42—in all, $19,081.97,

State of Missouri to review a judgment less $5,500 collected on account since the acreversing the judgment of the Circuit Court tion was begun. 172 Mo. 384, 72 S. W. 925. of Jackson County, in that State, in favor

By the U.S. Rev. Stat. § 5197, U. S. of plaintiff in a suit on a promissory note Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 3493, a bank may for the full amount claimed, and directing charge "interest at the rate allowed by the the trial court to enter up judgment for laws of the state,

where the bank. plaintiff without interest, which it decided is located, and no more.” By $ 5198 (U. S. was forfeited under the national banking act Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 3493), taking, receivbecause usurious. Affirmed.

ing, or charging “a rate of interest greater See same case below, 172 Mo. 384, 72 S. than is allowed by the preceding section, W. 925.

when knowingly done, shall be deemed a forThe facts are stated in the opinion. feiture of the entire interest which the note,

Messrs. Oliver H. Dean, William D. Mc-bill, or other evidence of debt carries with Leod, and Hale Holden for plaintiff in it, or which has been agreed to be paid error.

thereon.The Revised Statutes of Missouri Mr. Edward P. Garnett for defendant fix 6 per cent as the rate of interest in the in error.

absence of agreement ($ 3705), but allow 25 S. C.-4.

2

I

parties to agree in writing for not over 8 per We perceive no warrant in the statute or cent (8 3706). They also allow parties to the cases for the contention that the bank, contract in writing for the payment of inter when it brings the action and is met by the est upon interest, “but the interest shall not plea of usury, may avoid the forfeiture im. be compounded oftener than once in a year” posed by Rev. Stat. § 5198, U. S. Comp. ($ 3711). It will be seen that the charge Stat. 1901, p. 3493, in absolute terms, by on the overdrafts went beyond § 3706, and then declaring an election to remit the exthe compounding of the semiannual interest cessive interest. on the notes encountered § 3711.

Judgment affirmed. The plaintiff in error denies that the prohibition of compounding oftener than once a year affects the "rate of interest” within

(195 U. S. 375) the meaning of those words in U. S. Rev. BALTIMORE SHIPBUILDING & DRY Stat. § 5198, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. DOCK COMPANY OF BALTIMORE 3493, and contends that so long as the total

CITY, Piff. in Err., sums received would not amount to more

V. than 8 per cent on the debt, it has a right MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF BALTI. to charge them under U. S. Rev. Stat. S

MORE et al. 5197, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 3493, coupled with Mo. Rev. Stat. § 3706. It dis- Taxes-state taxation as prohibited by Fed poses of the 12 per cent charge on over

eral interest-taxation of Federal agency. drafts by the suggestion that the amount is trifling, and de minimis non curat lex, and 1. A state tax, though in form levied upon that this charge was a penalty because of a land conveyed by the United States to a cor. failure to pay a debt when due, and there- poration for dry-dock purposes, with a re fore not usurious. We are of a different

served right in the grantor to the free use

of the dry dock, and a provision for forfei. opinion. The rate of interest which a man

ture in case of the continued unfitness of the receives is greater when he is allowed to

dry dock for use, or the use of the land for compound than when he is not, the other

other purposes, will be held to create a lien elements in the case being the same. Even upon the company's interest alone, where the if the compounded interest is less than

highest state court so regards the effect of

the tax, although it neglects to modify its might be charged directly without com

judgment sustaining the tax to conform to pounding, a statute may forbid enlarging its views. the rate in that way, whatever may be the 2. The United States has no such interest in rules of the common law. The supreme

land conveyed by it to a corporation for drycourt of Missouri holds that that is what

dock purposes, with a reserved right to the

free use of the dry dock, and a provision for the Missouri statute has done. On that

forfeiture in case of the continued unfitness point, and on the question whether what

of the dry dock for use, or the use of the was done amounted to compounding within land for other purposes, as will prevent the the meaning of the Missouri statute, we fol

state from taxing the corporation's interest low the state court. Union Nat. Bank v.

in such land.

3. Land conveyed by the United States to a Louisville, N. A. de C. R. Co. 163 U. S. 325,

corporation for dry-dock purposes is not en331, 41 L. ed. 177, 179, 16 Sup. Ct. Rep. tirely exempted from state taxation, as an 1039. Therefore, since the interest charged agency of the United States, because of a and received by the plaintiff was compound

reservation in the conveyance of the right to

the free use of the dry dock, and a provision ed more than once a year, it was at a rate

therein for forfeiture in case of the continued greater than was allowed by U. S. Rev. Stat.

unfitness of the dry dock for use, or the use § 5197, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 3493, and of the land for other purposes. it was forfeited. The suggestions as to the 12 per cent charge on overdrafts do not seem

[No. 39.] to us to need answer.

There is no doubt, of course, that the Argued November 2, 3, 1904. Decided Nocourt could go behind the face of the present

vember 28, 1904. note, and analyze the sum which it represents into its original elements

. Brown. v. Marion INERROR, to the Court of Appeals of . , ed.

the State of Sup. Ct. Rep 390; Haseltine v. Central Nat. ment which affirmed an order of the BaltiBank, 183 U. S. 132, 135, 136, 46 L. ed. 118- more City Court, confirming the action of 120, 22 Sup. Ct. Rep. 50. These cases suffi- the Appeal Tax Court of Baltimore City ciently show, also, if more is wanted than in assessing for taxation certain property the words of Rev. Stat. § 5198, U. S. Comp. held under a conveyance from the United Stat. 1901, p. 3493, that the court below did States for dry-dock purposes, with a renot err in forfeiting all the interest from served right in the grantor to the free use of the beginning

the dry dock, and a provision for forfeiture in case of the continued unfitness of the dry cerned in the appeal in this case,” that is dock for use, or the use of the land for supposed to mean the same thing. other purposes. Affirnied.

We will deal with the argument drawn See same case below, 97 Md. 97, 54 Atl. from the last consideration first. It is true 623.

that commonly taxes on land create a lien The facts are stated in the opinion. paramount to all interest, and that a tax

Messrs. E. P. Keech, Jr., Leon E. sale often has been said to extinguish all Greenbaum, and Archibald H. Taylor for titles, and to start a new one. Hefner v. plaintiff in error.

Northwestern Mut. L. Ins. Co. 123 U. S. Messrs. Edgar Allan Poe and W. Ca- 747, 751, 31 L. ed. 309, 311, 8 Sup. Ct. Rep. bell Bruce for defendants in error.

337; Textor v. Shipley, 86 Md. 424, 438, 38

Atl. 932; Emery v. Boston Terminal Co. 178 Mr. Justice Holmes delivered the opinion Mass. 172, 184, 86 Am. St. Rep. 473, 59 N. of the court:

E. 763. Perhaps it was assumed that this This is a writ of error to the court of ap- always was the effect of tax sales, in Northpeals of the state of Maryland, brought to

ern P. R. Co. v. Traill County, 115 U. S. 600, reverse a judgment sustaining a tax upon needs no argument to show that a state may

29 L. ed. 477, 6 Sup. Ct. Rep. 201. But it certain land. The plaintiff in error filed a petition and appeal from an assessment by do less. It may tax a life estate to one and the appeal tax court of Baltimore in the a remainder to another, and sell only the inBaltimore city court, alleging that its land terest of the party making default. With was not subject to taxation, and, if subject, regard to what the state of Maryland has was taxed too high. The city court reduced done and what are the purport and atthe tax, but held the land liable, and its tempted effect of the tax in this case, we judgment was atfirmed by the court of ap

follow the court of appeals. That court peals. 97 Md. 97, 54 Atl. 623. The land in treated the tax and the lien as going only to question formerly belonged to the United the dock company's interest in the land, alStates, being part of the property known as though, probably by an oversight, it negFort McHenry, and is admitted not to have lected to modify the judgment according to been taxable at that time. Under an act of its own suggestion so as to show the fact. Congress of June 19, 1878 (20 Stat. at L. That only the company's interest was taxed 167, chap. 310), it was conveyed to the is shown by the reduction of the assessment plaintiff in error on March 26, 1879. By on account of the condition. Of course it the terms of the deed, following the require. does not matter what form of words the ments of the act, the consideration of the judgment employs when its meaning is thus conveyance and the condition upon which it declared by the court having the matter unwas made was that the dock company should der its control. construct a dry dock upon the land as speci

In the next place, as to the interest of the fied, which it did, and that it should "ac- United States in the land. This is a mere cord to the United States the right to the condition subsequent. There is no easement use forever of the said dry dock at any time or present right in rem. The obligation to for the prompt examination and repair of keep up the dock and to allow the United vessels belonging to the United States, free States to use it carries active duties, and is from charge for docking, and if at any time purely personal. The property is subject to said property hereby conveyed shall be di- forfeiture, it is true, if the obligation is not verted to any other use than that herein fulfilled. But it is only by forfeiture that named, or if the said dry dock shall be at the rights of the United States can be enany time unfit for use for a period of six forced against the res. It would be a very months or more, the property hereby con- of the states to tax lands because of a mere

harsh doctrine that would deny the right veyed, with all its privileges and ap- possibility that they might lapse to the purtenances, shall revert to, and become United States. The contrary is the law. the absolute property of, the United States.” The condition cannot be extinguished by the This condition is relied upon as still keeping state, but the fee is in the dock company, the land outside the taxing power of the and that can be taxed and, if necessary, sold, state.

subject to the condition. See Northern P. It is argued that the United States has R. Čo. v. Myers, 172 U. S. 589, 598, 43 L. ed. such an interest in the land as to prevent the 564, 567, 19 Sup. Ct. Rep. 276; Maish v. Artax, and also that the land is an agency of izona, 164 U. S. 599, 607–609, 41 L. ed. 567, the government by the terms of the grant. 570, 571, 17 Sup. Ct. Rep. 193; Central P. It is noted that this tax originally was lev- R. Co. v. Nevada, 162 U. S. 512, 525, 40 L. ied upon the land, not upon the dock com- ed. 1057, 1061, 16 Sup. Ct. Rep. 885. The pany's interest, and although the language title of the dock company was not inalienof the final judgment was “the property con-'able, as that of the railroad was held to be

IN

V.

in Northern P. R. Co. v. Townsend, 190 U. British vessels than those payable in the S. 267, 47 L. ed. 1044, 23 Sup. Ct. Rep. 671.

same ports by vessels of the United States,"

because of the exemption of coastwise steam Finally, we are of opinion that the land

vessels of the United States from pilotage, is not exempt as an agency of the United

resulting from U. S. Rev. Stat. § 4444, U. S. States. The dock company disclaimed that Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 3037, or of any lawful position for itself as a corporation, but as- exemption of coastwise vessels, created by

the state laws. serts it for the land. The position is an

No inherent rights guaranteed by the Fedswered technically, perhaps, by what we

eral Constitution are infringed by state regu. have said already. The United States has

lations providing for the appointment of pino, present right to the land, but merely a lots, and restricting the right to pilot to personal claim against the corporation, rei those duly appointed. forced by a condition. But, furthermore, it 7. No monopoly or combination forbidden by

the Federal anti-trust laws is created by state seems to us extravagant to say that an in

regulations providing for the appointment of dependent private corporation for gain, cre- pilots, and restricting the right to pilot to ated by a state, is exempt from state taxa- those duly appointed. tion, either in its corporate person or its property, because it is employed by the

[No. 42.) United States, even if the work for which it is employed is important and takes much Argued November 3, 1904. Decided Novemof its time. Thomson v. Union P. R. Co. 9

vember 28, 1904. Wall. 579, 19 L. ed. 792; Union P. R. Co. v. Peniston, 18 Wall. 5, 21 L. ed. 787.

N ERROR to the Court of Civil Appeals Judgment affirmed.

for the Fourth Supreme Judicial District of the State of Texas to review a judgment which affirmed in part a judgment of

the District Court of Galveston County, in (195 U. S. 332) OTTO OLSEN, Plff. in Err.,

that State, in favor of plaintiffs in an action in which the alleged repugnancy of the

pilotage laws of that state to the Federal A. D. SMITH, L. Huth, L. Best, et al.

Constitution and laws was set up as a de

fense. Affirmed. Commerce --validity of state pilotage laws

See same case below (Tex. Civ. App.) 68 error to state court-Federal question.

S. W. 320. State legislation concerning pilotage is not

The facts are stated in the opinion. necessarily repugnant to the commerce clause

Mr. Walter Gresham for plaintiff in of the Federal Constitution.

error. 2. Whether clauses of a state pilotage law Messrs. James B. Stubbs and Charles

granting discriminatory exemptions, in vio- J. Stubbs for defendants in error.
lation of U. S. Rev. Stat. § 4237, U. S. Comp.
Stat. 1901, p. 2903, can be eliminated with-
out destroying the remaining provisions, is a

Mr. Justice White delivered the opinion question for the state court to decide, and of the court: cannot be reviewed by the Federal Supreme

The defendants in error, who were plainCourt, on writ of error to the state court. tiffs in the court of original jurisdiction, as 3. Only the discriminatory features of state the duly licensed state pilots of the port of

pilotage laws are abrogated by the provision Galveston, Texas, sued in a Texas district 1901, p. 2903, forbidding such discrimination court to recover the damages averred to have and annulling and abrogating "all existing been caused them by the alleged illegal regulations or provisions making any such action of the defendant in offering, when discrimination.”

he was not authorized by law to do so, his The exemption of coastwise steam vessels services “to pilot sail vessels or registered of the United States from the operation of steamers, bound to or from foreign ports, state pilotage laws, created by U. S. Rev. Stat. § 4444, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 3037, in or out of the port of Galveston." An interferes with such laws only so far as they injunction was prayed restraining the derelate to these vessels, as the section express- fendant from acting “in any manner ly declares that “nothing in this title shall branch or deputy pilot, or pilot under the be considered to annul or affect any regula- laws of the state of Texas, and of said port, tion established by the laws of any state, requiring vesseis entering or leaving a port in or under the laws of the United States, with any such state, other than coastwise steam respect to the kind of vessels specified.” vessels, to take a pilot duly licensed or au- The defendant filed a general demurrer, and, thorized by the laws of such state.”

reserving the demurrer, answered, raising 5. tate pilotage laws, as applied to a British special defenses based on averments that the

vessel coming from a foreign port, do not conflict with a treaty provision that "no pilotage laws of Texas were in conflict with higher or other duties or charges shall be im the Constitution and laws of the United posed in any ports of the United States on "States. The court overruled the demurrer

4.

as

« AnteriorContinuar »