« AnteriorContinuar »
which invites alteration, would estop the obligor from setting up any such forgery. Harvey v. Smith, 55 Ill. 224; Garrard v. Haddan, 67 Pa. St. 82; Young v. Grote, 4 Bing. 253. Cf. Knoxville National Bank v. Clark, 51 Ia. 264, 1 N. W. 491; Greenfield Savings Bank v. Stowell, 123 Mass. 196; contra, Colonial Bank of Australasia v. Marshall, (1906] A. C. 559. But if an instrument is properly drawn there is no duty of care to see that it does not get into the hands of a forger. Patent Safety Gun Cotton Co. v. Wilson, 49 L. J. C. P. 713; Baxendale v. Bennett, 3 Q. B. D. 525. See Shepard & Morse Lumber Co. v. Eldridge, 171 Mass. 516, 528, 51 N. E. 9, 14; Bank of Ireland v. Trustees of Evans Charities, 5 H. L. C. 389; Arnold v. Cheque Bank, 1 C. P. D. 578, 588. Accordingly there was no basis for an estoppel as to the second forgery, and the principal case seems wrong in allowing the purchaser to demand reimbursement from the obligor.
CARRIERS PASSENGERS: PERSONAL INJURIES TO PASSENGERS - RIGHT TO RECOVER FOR INSULTS OF A SERVANT ALTHOUGH SUBJECT TO EJECTION. — In a case of connecting carriage, the conductor of the first carrier received, without objection, the ticket of the plaintiff which entitled her to transportation in the reverse direction from that of the journey undertaken. She was given no voucher for this ticket and was subjected to insult from the conductor of the defendant, the second carrier, when she was unable to produce a voucher. Held, that the plaintiff cannot recover. Robinson v. New York, N. H. & H. R. Co., 150 N. Y. Supp. 925 (App. Div.).
The court based its decision on the ground that the plaintiff had no valid contract of carriage and was therefore not entitled to any reparation for the injuries suffered. For a discussion of the proper theory underlying the law of public callings, see Notes, p. 620.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW — DUE PROCESS OF LAW — STATE REGULATION OF SALE OF STOCKS, BONDS AND OTHER SECURITIES. An Arkansas statute required that before attempting to sell any securities, foreign and domestic investment companies, which were defined to include individuals and associations of individuals, should file full data regarding their plan of business, and financial condition, and certain reports, with the insurance commissioner, who was authorized to prohibit the business if in his judgment company was not solvent, or was not maintaining a fair, just, and equitable plan of business, or did not promise a fair return. LAWS, 1913, p. 904. A foreign company engaged in selling investment home-purchasing contracts on an instalment plan and in making loans on the same, seeks to enjoin the enforcement of the statute. Held, that the statute is constitutional. Standard Home Co. v. Davis, 217 Fed. 904 (D. C., E. D. Ark.).
An individual who received stock in a mining corporation in return for property conveyed, and later sold the stock in violation of a West Virginia statute of similar purport, Laws, 1913, C. 15, now seeks to enjoin criminal proceedings against him, on the ground that the statute is unconstitutional. Held, that the statute is unconstitutional. Bracey v. Darst, 218 Fed. 482 (D. C., N. D. W. Va.).
These cases have brought before the courts the “Blue Sky Laws” of two more states. In the Arkansas case, the problem of the constitutionality of state regulation of the sale of stocks and bonds was not squarely presented. The company in question was engaged rather in the loan and investment business than in the sale of securities, but the court said broadly that the statute had such a reasonable relation to the public welfare that it would be sustained as an exercise of the police power. No objection, furthermore, could be made to the regulation as an interference with interstate commerce, for the business, while interstate, closely resembled insurance and was not commerce. Cf. New Ex parte
York Life Ins. Co. v. Deer Lodge County, 231 U. S. 495. In the West Virginia case, the court carefully distinguishes the statute involved from the Florida law which was recently upheld, on the ground that that statute was merely a regulation of corporate business, and did not apply to individuals. Taylor, 66 So. 292. In its application to individuals, the court held the statute bad as a deprivation of property without due process of law, a denial of the equal protection of the laws, and as an interference with interstate commerce. This view accords with the Iowa and Michigan decisions. William R. Compton Co. v. Allen, 216 Fed. 537; Alabama & New Orleans Transportation Co. v. Doyle, 210 Fed. 173. For a discussion of the principles involved in these cases, see 27 Harv. L. Rev. 741.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW — DUE PROCESS OF LAW – WAREHOUSE RECEIPT MADE CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE. — A statute declared that a warehouseman should not be permitted to deny that the person to whom a warehouse receipt was issued was the owner of the grain represented by the receipt, and that possession of the receipt should be conclusive evidence of such ownership as far as the duties of the bailee were concerned. So. Dak. LAWS, 1903, c. 8. The defendant warehouseman pleads voluntary delivery to the true owner as a defense to an action by the holder of a warehouse receipt. At a previous hearing the court held that nothing but a surrender under legal process would be a defense under the statute. Held, that the statute, as construed, is constitutional. Street v. Farmers' Elevator Co., 149 N. W. 429 (S. D.).
It is clear that the legislature may regulate the rules of evidence, and that this statute could not possibly be unconstitutional as an interference with the functions of the judiciary. Thus statutes declaring tax deeds primâ facie evidence of the validity of the sale are universally upheld. Marx v. Hanthorn, 148 U. S. 172. It is equally clear that any change in the substantive law, whether labelled a rule of evidence or not, will be unconstitutional if it has the effect of taking property without due process of law. So a statute which, by making an independent fact conclusive evidence against a party, deprives him of the opportunity of having his rights determined in a court of law, is unconstitutional. Meyer v. Berlandi, 39 Minn. 438, 40 N. W. 513; McCready v. Sexton, 29 Ia. 356. See Cairo & Fulton R. Co. v. Parks, 32 Ark. 131, 145. But a statute which merely makes a deliberate contract act of a party operate as an estoppel against him, appears to be unimpeachable. Orient Insurance Co. v. Daggs, 172 U. S. 557; Yazoo & M. V. R. Co. v. G. W. Bent & Co., 94 Miss. 681, 47 So. 805; Peever Mercantile Co. v. State Mutual Fire Insurance Co., 25 S. D. 406, 127 N. W. 559. This seems to be the real nature of the statute in the principal case. As construed by the court it does not permit the warehouseman to defend by proving voluntary delivery to the true owner, but it still involves no real danger that the warehouseman will be deprived of his property without due process of law. Street v. Farmers' Elevator Co., 33 S. D. 601, 146 N. W. 1077. It was, therefore, properly held constitutional. But see Missouri, K. & T. Ry. Co. v. Simonson, 64 Kan. 802, 68 Pac. 653; 16 Harv. L. Rev. 141.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW – IMPAIRMENT OF THE OBLIGATION OF CONTRACTS CONTRACT BY STATE NOT TO EXERCISE THE RATE-MAKING POWER. suance of its statutory right to fix its own passenger and freight rates, a railroad contracted with the defendant to freight lumber at a special rate, so long as the defendant operated a certain mill. Subsequently, the Railroad Commission Act made it unlawful for any railroad to charge a greater or less rate than that required to be filed. The plaintiff thereupon filed a reasonable tariff, in excess of the contract rate. The plaintiff now sues to recover the filed tariff charges. Held, that the plaintiff may recover. Minneapolis, St. P. & S. S. M. Ry. Co. v. Menasha W.W. Co., 150 N. W. 411 (Wis.).
A state cannot divest itself of those powers which it was created to exercise. See Stone v. Mississippi, 101 U. S. 814, 819. Hence any attempt to bargain away its governmental powers is futile, and not within the protection of the contract clause. Newton v. Commissioners, 100 U. S. 548; Stone v. Mississippi, supra. The rate-making power, whether it be regarded as within the broad scope of the police power, or as inherent in the power to regulate all business affected with a public interest, seems essentially governmental. See Munn v. Illinois, 94 U. S. 113, 125; Railroad Commission Cases, 116 U. S. 307, 325, 330; cf. 23 Harv. L. Rev. 388. Accordingly, there is a strong presumption that no attempt to contract it away has been made. Knoxville Water Co. v. Knoxville, 189 U. S. 434; Matthews v. Board of Corporation Commissioners, 97 Fed. 400. Thus the legislation in the principal case was construed as an authority to the railroad to fix its own rates, revocable at the pleasure of the state. Hence the defendant's contract was subject to this reserved power of revocation. Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Mottley, 219 U. S. 467. A similar case, where the state had delegated to a municipality merely the power to grant such authority to a street railway, must be distinguished on the ground that an attempted revocation by the municipality exceeded the powers delegated to it by the state. Detroit v. Detroit Citizens' Street Ry. Co., 184 U. S. 368. A more difficult problem arises where there has been a deliberate attempt by the state to bargain away the rate-making power. But so long as this power is regarded as governmental any such contract should be deemed ineffective, in spite of the contract clause, to prevent subsequent rate legislation. Laurel Fork R. Co. v. Transportation Co., 25 W. Va. 324; contra, Pingree v. Michigan Cent. R. Co., 118 Mich. 314, 76 N. W. 635.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - - PERSONAL RIGHTS — LIBERTY TO CONTRACT STATUTE 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 is not a deprivation of rights to which aliens are entitled under the Fourteenth Amendment. People v. Crane, 52 N. Y. L. J. 2133, 2151. (N. Y. Ct. of App.).
For a criticism of the opposite result in the court below, see 28 Harv. L. Rev. 498.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW – POWERS OF THE EXECUTIVE DELEGATION OF LEGISLATIVE POWER TO THE EXECUTIVE: IMPLIED AUTHORITY TO WITHDRAW PUBLIC LANDS FROM ENTRY. Public lands which Congress had opened to occupation and settlement (ACT OF FEB. II, 1897; 29 STAT. 526; R. S. 2319, 2329) were withdrawn from entry by an executive order of the President, without express authority from Congress. Held, that the withdrawal was in pursuance of an authority which could be implied from the long acquiescence of Congress. United States v. Midwest Oil Co., U. S. Sup. Ct. Off., No. 278 (Feb. 23, 1915).
For a discussion of this case, see Notes, p. 613.
CONSTRUCTIVE TRUSTS — LIABILITY OF INNOCENT PARTIES — ATTEMPTED RESERVATION OF EASEMENTS IN GRANT OF DOMINANT TENEMENT. — A grantor conveyed premises abutting on a street over which an elevated railroad had been built. The deed was recorded and expressly reserved the easement in the highway, and all present and future causes of action on account of the construction and continuance of the elevated structure. The grantee conveyed to a sub-grantee, and the grantor's executrix now joins the elevated company and the sub-grantee in a suit in equity to recover damages for the
invasion of the easement. Held, that recovery will be allowed. Drucker v. Manhattan Ry. Co., 2I3 N. Y. 543.
The plaintiff is clearly entitled to damages accruing before the conveyance, and in somewhat over half the American jurisdictions, where the whole cause of action accrues at once upon the erection of a permanent structure, this would dispose of the case. Powers v. St. Louis, I. M. & S. Ry. Co., 158 Mo. 87, 57 S. W. 1090; Kankakee & Seneca R. Co. v. Horan, 131 Ill. 288, 23 N. E. 621. Contra, Hoffman v. Flint & P. M. R. Co., 114 Mich. 316, 72 N. W. 167. See 2 LEWIS, EMINENT DOMAIN, $8 937, 944. In New York, however, a difficulty arises as to subsequent damages, for that jurisdiction regards the injury as continuing and awards complete damages only in lieu of a permanent injunction. Galway v. Metropolitan Elevated Ry. Co., 128 N. Y. 132, 28 N. E. 479; Pond v. Metropolitan Elevated Ry. Co., 112 N. Y. 186, 19 N. E. 487. It is clear that the easements themselves could not exist apart from the dominant tenement, and hence could not effectively be reserved at law. Shepard v. Manhattan Ry. Co., 169 N. Y. 160, 62 N. E. 151; Pegram v. New York Elevated R. Co., 147 N. Y. 135, 41 N. E. 424. But the intent of the reservation was fulfilled by construing it as a covenant by the grantee to hold his claims for damages in trust for the grantor as they accrued. Regarded merely as a covenant, it would be anomalous for it to run with the land, for with a few recognized exceptions the burden of affirmative covenants does not run even in equity. Miller v. Clary, 210 N. Y. 127, 103 N. E. 1114; Reid v. McCrum, 91 N. Y. 412. See Kidder v. Port Henry, etc. Co., 201 N. Y. 445, 94 N. E. 1070. But cf. Monroe v. Syracuse, L. S. & N. R. R. Co., 200 N. Y. 224, 93 N. E. 516. But sin the deed showed that the beneficial inter in the easements was not intended to pass, it would be against conscience for the grantee with notice to retain what in substance belonged to the original grantor. Accordingly, equity held him as constructive trustee. See 20 Harv. L. REV.496. The sub-grantee's position in fact closely resembles that of a conduit of title man, upon whom a trust is imposed if he refuses to convey. Ryan v. Ford, 151 Mo. App. 689, 132 S. W. 610. The principal case is in accord with an earlier New York decision which allowed recovery from a sub-grantee after he had received damages from the railroad. Western Union Telegraph Co. v. Shepard, 169 N. Y. 170, 62 N. E. 154. See also Pegram v. New York Elevated R. Co., 147 N. Y. 135, 147, 41 N. E. 424, 429; Schomacker v. Michaels, 189 N. Y. 61, 81 N. E. 555.
CORPORATIONS CITIZENSHIP AND DOMICILE OF CORPORATION - ENEMY CHARACTER: DOMESTIC CORPORATION COMPOSED OF ALIEN ENEMIES. All but two of the twenty-five thousand shares of stock of a corporation incorporated in England were held by Germans. The corporation now brings suit against the defendants in an English court. Held, that it is entitled to maintain the action. Continental Tyre & Rubber Co., Ltd. v. Daunler Co., Ltd., 138 L. T. J. 272 (C. A.).
The court refused to disregard the corporate fiction and held that the enemy character of the shareholders did not alter the character of the corporation. The decision is undoubtedly correct. It shows a proper respect for the separate corporate existence and at the same time involves no danger of aiding the enemy, for it expressly forbids remitting any of the proceeds of the suit to the enemy shareholders. For a discussion of the principles involved, see 15 HARV. L. REV. 60, 236; 28 id. 335.
CRIMINAL LAW STATUTORY OFFENCES WHITE SLAVE TRAFFIC ACT: LIABILITY OF THE WOMAN FOR CONSPIRACY. The defendant, a woman, was indicted for conspiring to have herself transported in interstate commerce for purposes of prostitution, in violation of the White Slave Traffic Act. COMP. STAT., 1913, § 8813. Held, that the indictment is valid. Dictum, that the woman could be guilty of the substantive offence as well as of the conspiracy. United States v. Holte, 236 U. S. 140.
4 U. S.
It is a rule based on sound public policy that the victim of conduct which the law has made criminal for the victim's own protection, cannot be indicted for coöperating with the perpetrator. See 24 HARV. L. Rev. 61; and see Berdos v. Tremont & Suffolk Mills, 209 Mass. 489, 495, 95 N. E. 876, 878. To take the case out of the scope of this doctrine, the court relies on decisions in three jurisdictions that a woman can be indicted for conspiring to have another commit the crime of abortion on her. Queen v. Whitchurch, 24 Q. B. D. 420; Solander v. People, 2 Colo. 48; State v. Crofford, 133 Ia. 478, 110 N. W. 921. The English case represents a jurisdiction in which the woman can be indicted as accessory to the crime, on the theory that the statute makes abortion a crime to protect the unborn child as well as the mother. King v. Sockett, 1 Cr. App. R. 101. And see Regina v. Cramp, 14 Cox C. C. 390. The two American cases, however, assume the prevalent view that she cannot be indicted as accessory, but consider that the rule does not apply to the conspiracy. Dunn v. People, 29 N. Y. 523; Commonwealth v. Follansbee, 155 Mass. 274, 29 N. E. 471. The distinction seems unsound, for the grounds of policy which absolve the woman from liability for the substantive crime apply as strongly to an attempt, solicitation or conspiracy to commit the crime. Both decision and dictum in the principal case seem inconsistent with the primary purpose of the statute, which was to protect women from commercialized prostitution through the instrumentalities of interstate commerce. See Hoke v. United States, 227 U. S. 308, 322. And see Report of House Committee, H. R. 47, Sixty-First Cong., 2ND SESS., pp. 1o, II. “That the woman always is the victim” may well be an illusion, as is suggested by Mr. Justice Holmes, for the court; yet she was undoubtedly so regarded by Congress, as the very name of the statute suggests; and even Congressional illusions, while they should not be encouraged, should at least be respected by the judiciary.
DECEIT — PARTICULAR CASES — TRADE UNION'S FAILURE TO NOTIFY OF CHANGE IN WAGE SCALE. A certain labor union had absolute control over the labor of bricklayers, and fixed the wage to be charged for their services at the beginning of each calendar year. According to custom, in the early part of 1910, the union informed the plaintiff, a contractor, of the rate for that year, but shortly thereafter lowered the rate without giving notice to the plaintiff. In ignorance of the change the contractor continued for several months to pay the higher wage, and he now seeks to recover the loss from the union. Held, that he can recover. Powers v. Journeymen Bricklayer's Union, 172 S. W. 284 (Tenn.).
It seems impossible to gather from the facts any contract between the labor union and the contractor. Any recovery, therefore, must be in tort for deceit. No action for deceit, however, can be based on a representation that involves nothing but a promise or expression of intention, unless the defendant at the very time intended not to carry it out. Edgington v. Fitzmaurice, 29 Ch. D. 459; cf. Long v. Woodman, 58 Me. 49. And it is generally said that mere silence will not be ground for an action of deceit. See Arkwright v. Newbold, 17 Ch. D. 301, 318. But under certain circumstances, in view of the relation of the parties, there may be a duty to speak, and then silence will amount to a representation. See Mason v. Banman, 62 Ill. 76. Moreover, when a man makes a representation true at the time, but which subsequent facts, arising before it is acted upon, render false to the knowledge of the maker, non-disclosure of these facts is ground for avoidance of a contract based upon the original representation. Traill v. Baring, 4 DeG. J. & S. 318; Janes v. Trustees of Mercer University, 17 Ga. 515; Lancaster County Bank v. Albright, 21 Pa. 228. An action for deceit should lie under the same circumstances. Loewer v. Harris,