« AnteriorContinuar »
ship to the creditors was severe. But it was unavoidable, for the court was bound to give effect to the discharge in the light of the law as it had been determined since the decision of the bankruptcy court.
BANKRUPTCY STATE BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY LAWS — EFFECT OF GENERAL ASSIGNMENT UNDER STATE LAWS. — A state statute provided that a general assignment should dissolve prior attachments and should entitle the debtor to a discharge on certain conditions. After an attachment, the debtor made a general assignment, and within four months thereafter, but more than four months after the attachment, a petition in bankruptcy was filed against him. Held, that the attachment is valid. Pelton v. Sheridan, 144 Pac. 410 (Ore.).
The National Bankruptcy Act is the supreme law of the land, and suspends state statutes which encroach upon its domain. Parmenter Mfg. Co. v. Hamilton, 172 Mass. 178, 51 N. E. 529. See Tua v. Carriere, 117 U.S. 201. Accordingly, the provision for discharge in the statute in the principal case is clearly objectionable, and the court holds it such an integral part of the statute that the whole must fall. The assignment was, therefore, absolutely void, and left the attachment untouched. It has been held, however, that a general assignment under a similar statute may still be good as a common-law assignment. Boese v. King, 108 U. S. 379. Regardless of the wisdom of this doctrine, it is clear that even this decision does not give the assignment more than its common-law effect, so that all peculiar statutory incidents are inoperative and the prior attachment would not be dissolved. Boese v. King, supra. Some states, however, have mistakenly held that the assignment takes effect under the statute, and is only nullified by proceedings in bankruptcy, so that the attachment lien, being once dissolved, cannot be revived. Binder v. McDonald, 106 Wis. 332, 82 N. W. 156. The statute in the principal case might perhaps be held to trench upon the national act by reason alone of its provision for dissolving attachments. For it may be said that the national act requires by necessary implication that all liens older than four months shall stand, and that a state law which gives to general assignments the effect of avoiding prior attachments conflicts with the federal law. See Tua v. Carriere, supra. Cf. Ebersole v. Adams, 10 Bush (Ky.) 1873; Binder v. McDonald, supra.
CARRIERS — DISCRIMINATION AND OVERCHARGE MISTAKE: LIABILITY FOR QUOTING PUBLISHED RATE NO LONGER APPLICABLE BECAUSE OF CHANGE IN NAME OF STATION. The defendant railroad had filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission through tariffs on cement, naming $1.85 and $2.25 per ton as the rates, respectively, to Bradford and Niantic. Bradford station was then renamed Melville station, and Niantic station was renamed Bradford station; but the changes were not indicated in the schedules published or on file. More than a year later a shipper consigned cement to the new Bradford station, relying on the published schedules which indicated a rate of $1.85 to “Bradford.” The carrier collected the freight at $2.25 from the consignee, who was reimbursed by the shipper. Held, that the shipper can recover the difference from the railroad. Charles Warner Co. v. Delaware, L. & W. R. Co., 32
Under the federal laws, any deviation from tariffs published and filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission is forbidden. 34 STAT. AT LARGE, 586. So stringent is the prohibition that, where shipments have been made in reliance on tariffs negligently misquoted by a freight agent, the shipper is denied recovery in an action for such negligence, since recovery would indirectly violate the statute. Illinois Central R. Co. v. Henderson Elevator Co., 226 U. S. 441; Poor v. Chicago, B. & Q. Ry. Co., 12 I. C. C. 418. See 27 HARV. L. REV. 177. A recent Missouri case adopts this view. Sloop v. Delano, 170 S. W.385 (Mo.
I. C. C. 244.
App.). A contrary decision in South Carolina cannot be supported, in view of federal decisions in a field in which the federal law is supreme. Driggs v. Southern Ry. Co., 81 S. E. 431. Cf. Gulf, C. & S. F. Ry. Co. v. Hefley, 158 U. S. 98. It is submitted that in the principal case also recovery should have been denied. Existing tariffs can be changed, under the statute, only by filing new schedules with the Commission. The scheduled rate to Bradford appeared to be $1.85. But the lawful rate to the place of consignment was still $2.25, though the name of the station had been changed, and its old name given to a station enjoying lower rates. The conclusion seems inevitable that the decision in substance compels the railroad to charge the complainant less than the lawful rate, in violation of the statute.
CARRIERS — DUTY TO TRANSPORT AND DELIVER — RIGHT OF CONSIGNOR TO SUE. — Lumber was sold and consigned to the purchaser. Title passed upon shipment, but, owing to the carrier's failure to transport by the stipulated route, the consignee refused to receive the goods. The consignor sues the carrier upon the contract of shipment. By statute all actions must be maintained by the real party in interest. Held, that the plaintiff cannot recover. Warren & O. V. Ry. Co. v. Southern Lumber Co., 170 S. W. 998 (Ark.).
The weight of authority apparently holds that the consignor, as party to the contract of shipment, may sue thereon without showing any interest in the goods. Blanchard v. Page, 8 Gray (Mass.) 281; Finn v. Western R. Co., 112 Mass. 524; Carter v. Southern Ry. Co., 111 Ga. 38, 36 S. E. 308; Dunlop v. Lambert, 6 Cl. & F. 600. Not being the owner, however, he cannot sue in tort. Wetzel v. Power, 5 Mont. 214. See Dawes v. Peck, 8 T. R. 330. The consignee, also, if title has passed, may sue the carrier in contract in his own name upon the theory that the consignor contracted as his agent, or in tort for breach of duty. Bank of Irvin v. American Express Co., 127 Ia. I, 102 N. W. 107; Dyer v. Great Northern Ry. Co., 51 Minn. 345, 53 N. W.714. Some authorities, however, support the instant case in holding that the consignee alone can sue if the legal title is in him. Union Pacific R. Co. v. Metcalf, 50 Neb. 452, 69 N. W. 961; Blum v. Caddo, 1 Woods (U. S.) 64. See Dawes v. Peck, supra. But the statutory requirement that actions be brought in the name of the real party in interest is not generally held to preclude suit by the consignor, even though title be in the consignee. Hooper v. Chicago & N. W. Ry. Co., 27 Wis. 81; Southern Express Co. v. Craft, 49 Miss. 480. Contra, Union Pacific R. Co. v. Metcalf, supra. It is submitted that the preferable view allows the consignor to recover. In the first place, it obviates the troublesome question of locating title, and thus conduces to simplicity. There is no hardship on the carrier, for recovery by the consignor bars an action by the owner. See Carter v. Southern Ry. Co., supra. And the consignor is forced to hold the proceeds for the party actually entitled. See Finn v. Western R. Co., supra. Then, too, since the consignor is primarily liable for freight, the carrier should be subject to a corresponding liability to him on the contract. See Central R. Co. of N. J. v. MacCartney, 68 N. J. L. 165, 52 Atl. 575; Portland Flouring Mills Co. v. British & F. M. Ins. Co., 130 Fed. 860.
CARRIERS - LIMITATION OF LIABILITY EFFECT OF NOTICE FILED WITH PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION. The plaintiff checked her baggage on an intrastate journey without declaring its value. The defendant carrier had filed a notice with the Public Service Commission limiting its liability for baggage, in accordance with a state statute which provided that every carrier should be liable for the full value of baggage, but that value in excess of one hundred and fifty dollars should be declared, and excess charges paid. N. Y. Consol. Laws, PUBLIC SERVICE Law, $ 38. The plaintiff had no knowledge of this regulation or of a similar limitation printed on the baggage check. Held, that the plaintiff may recover the full value. Dazey v. New York Central & H. R. R. Co., 150 N. Y. Supp. 58 (Sup. Ct.).
The court construes the statute as declaratory of the common law, which holds the carrier to full liability in the absence of an estoppel against the shipper owing to express agreement or valuation. Rawson v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 48 N. Y. 212. Filing the regulation with the commission seems properly held not to carry constructive notice of the limitation to the shipper. An opposite conclusion, however, has been reached as to shipments under the Interstate Commerce Act. Boston & Maine R. Co. v. Hooker, 233 U. S. 97, criticised in 27 Harv. L. Rev. 737. It is to be regretted that so desirable a rule as that of the principal case should have been thus restricted in operation.
CONFLICT OF LAWS OBLIGATIONS EX DELICTO: CREATION AND ENFORCEMENT
- ACTION BY PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR TORT COMMITTED UNDER FOREIGN STATUTE WHICH VESTED THE RIGHT IN BENEFICIARIES. The Pennsylvania death statute gave an action to the widow of the deceased, but if no widow, to his personal representative, the damages to go to the widow and children. In default of such relatives it vested the action in the parents of the deceased. The New York statute created a similar right, but provided that the suit be brought in all cases by the deceased's personal representative. Two servants of the defendant were wrongfully killed in Pennsylvania. Suits were brought in New York by their personal representatives, in the one case for the benefit of the wife and child, in the second for that of the parents. Held, that recovery be allowed in the first case, and refused in the second. Teti v. Consolidated Coal Co., 217 Fed. 443 (N. D., N. Y.).
When a statutory tort is committed in a foreign jurisdiction, the statute of that sovereign creates the right of action. Usher v. West Jersey R. Co., 126 Pa. St. 206, 17 Atl. 597; Higgins v. Central N. E. & W. R. Co., 155 Mass. 176, 29 N. E. 534. It may therefore limit the extent of the right and determine to whom the cause of action shall be given. Stone v. Groton, etc. Co., 77 Hun (N. Y.) 99, 28 N. Y. Supp. 446. See 18 Harv. L. REV. 220. Some courts have held, however, that where there is an analogous statute in the state where suit is brought, allowing some other person to sue than the one designated by the lex loci delicti, the former may sue. Stewart v. Baltimore Sou Ohio R. Co., 168 U. 445. nese cases are limited on their facts to situations where the two statutes designate the same persons to take the money ultimately, but give the cause of action itself to different representatives. It is said that the court will look at the substance of the matter rather than the form, and will not be influenced by a difference in the formal parties plaintiff. See Strait v. Yazoo & M. V. R. Co., 209 Fed. 157. The principal case adopts this distinction, and accordingly allows recovery in the first case, but reaches the contrary result in the second, where the cause of action vested in the parents for their own benefit and not in a representative capacity. While this classification reconciles the conflicting cases there seems little to be said for it on theory. For if “justice” can be supposed to require the entertainment of a suit brought by a person who has no cause of action under the statute, there would seem to be no logic in confining the operation of this over liberal rule to the one class of
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW — PERSONAL RIGHTS — LIBERTY TO CONTRACT: STATUTE FORBIDDING EXACTION OF AN AGREEMENT NOT TO BELONG TO LABOR UNION AS CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT. A statute prohibited employers from requiring of laborers an agreement not to belong to a labor union, as a condition of either securing or continuing in a job. KANSAS SESSION LAWS OF 1903, c. 222; GEN. STAT. KANSAS, 1909, $$ 4674, 4675. Held, that the statute is obcoxious to the Fourteenth Amendment. Coppage v. Kansas, 236 U. S. I.
For a discussion of this case, in connection with the general problem of liberty of contract under the Constitution, see Notes, p. 496.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW — PERSONAL RIGHTS LIBERTY TO CONTRACT: STATUTE REQUIRING CORPORATIONS TO GIVE TRUE REASON FOR DISCHARGING EMPLOYEES. - A statute required every corporation to give a discharged employee a true statement of the reason for dismissal, within ten days after application therefor. Held, that the statute is obnoxious to the Fourteenth Amendment. St. Louis S. W. Ry. Co. v. Griffin, 171 S. W. 703 (Tex.).
For a discussion of the right to restrict liberty of contract, see Notes, p. 496.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW — PERSONAL RIGHTS — LIBERTY TO CONTRACT: STATUTE REQUIRING EMPLOYERS TO GIVE EMPLOYEES ONE DAY OF REST IN SEVEN. A statute required manufacturing and mercantile establishments to give their employees twenty-four consecutive hours of rest in every seven days. New YORK LABOR LAW, Art. 6, § 8 a; CONSOLIDATED Laws, c. 31 (LAWS OF 1909, c. 36), as amended LAWS OF 1913, c. 740; PENAL LAW, $ 1275. Held, that the statute is not a deprivation of liberty without due process of law. People v. C. Klinck Packing Co., 52 N. Y. L. J. 1925 (Ct. App.).
For a discussion of this case, in connection with the general problem of liberty of contract under the Constitution, see Notes, p. 496.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW · PERSONAL RIGHTS - LIBERTY TO CONTRACT: STATUTES RESTRICTING EMPLOYMENT OF ALIENS. - A statute required municipal corporations to employ on public works only United States citizens. New YORK LABOR LAW, Art. 2, § 14; LAWS OF 1909, c. 36. Held, that the statute deprives aliens of their rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. People v. Crane, 52 N. Y. L. J. 1408 (N. Y. App. Div.).
An Arizona statute forbade any employer to hire more than a certain percentage of aliens. Held, that the statute is unconstitutional. Raich v. Attorney-General (not yet reported. Decided by the U. S. Dist. Ct., Dist. of Arizona, early in January, 1915).
For a discussion of these cases, in connection with the general problem of liberty of contract under the Constitution, see Notes, p. 496.
CORPORATIONS CHARTERS — REFORMATION OF CHARTER FOR MISTAKE OF INCORPORATORS. Articles of incorporation, filed in compliance with a general law, by mistake of the incorporators failed to include a qualification on the clause restricting the right to dispose of stock. Held, that equity has no jurisdiction to reform the articles. Casper v. Kalt-Zimmers Mfg. Co., 149 N. W. 754 (Wis.).
At common law the creation of corporations is the prerogative of the sovereign, exercised, under the constitutional theory of division of powers, by the legislature. See Spotswood v. Morris, 12 Ida., 360, 383, 85 Pac. 1094, 1101; People v. Coleman, 59 Hun (N. Y.) 624, 13 N. Y. Supp. 833. See McKim v. Odom, 3 Bland Ch. (Md.) 407, 417. The special grant of a corporate charter is therefore regarded as a legislative act. Lee v. Bude & T. J. Ry. Co., L. R. 6 C. P. 576. The same theory has prevailed where the incorporation is under a general law. See Lord v. Equitable Life Assur. Society, 194 N. Y. 212, 238, 87 N. E. 443, 452. In substance, however, incorporation under a general law is consensual in nature. By passing such a law the sovereign seems to have entrusted his prerogative, to that extent, to the people, leaving them free to incorporate at their own volition. The act of filing the articles of incorporation in substance places on record the contract between the incorporators, and in itself involves no peculiar legislative action. Accordingly there seems no compelling reason why the articles should not lie within equity's jurisdiction to reform. See Cleghorn v. Zumwalt, 83 Cal. 155. The exercise of a jurisdiction to reform for mistake in any given case would depend, of course, upon the degree to which strangers, who had relied upon the articles as filed, might be prejudiced. Nor would such control of corporate charters by equity be wholly exceptional, for it has long exercised similar supervision in disregarding the corporate fiction when necessary to avoid unconscionable use of the franchise. See United States v. Milwaukee Refrigerator Transit Co., 142 Fed. 247, 254.
CRIMINAL LAW – DEFENSES - PARTICIPATION TO DETECT CRIME. — The defendant had received money from X to make an illegal purchase of whisky from Y, and under promise of immunity given by a deputy sheriff, in order to acquire evidence against Y, made the purchase, and delivered the whisky to X. The defendant was then indicted under a statute making it a crime to act as agent of the buyer in an unlawful sale of intoxicating liquor. Held, that a conviction is proper. Brantley v. State, 65 So. 512 (Miss.).
A detective who coöperates with a criminal for the purpose of getting evidence against him cannot be guilty of an offense for which an animus furandi is required. Price v. People, 109 Ill. 109. See Commonwealth v. Hollister, 157 Pa. 13, 27 Atl. 386. Even where this element is not essential, although mens rea is clear from the detective's intentional participation in the criminal act, he will be protected. See Carroll v. Commonwealth, 84 Pa. St. 107; Wright v. State, 7 Tex. Cr. App. 574. This immunity has been carried to the dangerous extent of protecting the detective where, had he not been acting in that capacity, he would have been independently guilty of the offense he was endeavoring to detect. Regina v. Bannen, 2 Moody C. C. 309; State v. Torphy, 78 Mo. App. 206. But see Dever v. State, 37 Tex. Cr. App. 396, 30 S. W. 1071. The principal case is clearly right in not extending the immunity to the commission of a crime quite distinct from that committed by the criminal. The proper test, however, would seem to be not whether the crime committed was a separate offense, but rather, whether the detective's crime be one for which he could be held independently, though the criminal had never gone forward and completed the offense. Any other principle would give immunity to the commission of murder as a means of detecting a murderer.
EASEMENTS NATURE AND CLASSES OF EASEMENTS RIGHT TO AN UNOBSTRUCTED VIEW OF THE PREMISES FROM THE HIGHWAY. — A.'s building projected into the highway eighteen inches beyond B.'s, so that a portion of the side wall was exposed to view from the street. A. was in the habit of using this wall for advertising purposes. B. set up signboards at right angles to the front of his building, extending from a point about eight inches from the ground upward for twenty-two feet, at about nine inches from the side wall of A.'s building, entirely obscuring the view of the wall from the street. In a suit by B. for damages from A.'s pasting bills over these boards, A. counterclaims, asking an injunction to restrain B. from obstructing the view of his wall. Held, that the injunction will be granted. Cobb v. Saxby, (1914) 3 K. B. 822.
For a discussion of the question whether this case necessitates a recognition of a “right of publicity,” see Notes, P. 499.
EVIDENCE – DOCUMENTS AUTHENTICATION OF LETTERS NOT IN SENDER'S HANDWRITING. In an action on an account, the plaintiff offered in evidence letters alleged to have been sent by the defendant, an illiterate. The plaintiff could not authenticate the letters by direct proof, but showed that they related to the account, and were consistent with facts as otherwise proved. Some of the letters purported to contain checks, and corresponding checks were pro