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seems to be the view taken of the transaction in the principal case, and in Spring Garden Bank v. Hulings Lumber Co. (1889) 32 W. Va. 357.
The validity of the several forms of delivery above discussed will, as a rule, become material only when, as in the principal case, the controversy is between the grantee and a stranger. As between grantor and grantee, an estoppel will usually arise. —Dyer v. Rich (1840) I Met. (Mass.) 180; Benevolent Society v. Murray (1898) 145 M0.622,-save (semble) in cases where the grantee never had capacity to take the property conveyed,-Russell v. Topping (1850) 5 McLean (Ind.) 194 at 202,-or never had a legal existence, -Harriman v. Southam (1861)
16 Ind. 190.
RECENT DECISIONS. AGENCY_TERMINATION - CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE BY RECORDING DEED. The defendant appointed an agent to sell certain land. The defendant himself then sold the land, his vendee recording the deed as provided by statute. Later the agent made a contract of sale with the plaintiff, both being ignorant of the previous sale by the defendant. Held, under Sayle's Civ. Stat. Art. 4652, which provides that the record of any deed
* shall be taken and held as notice to all persons of the existence of such deed,” the agency had been terminated by such constructive notice. Donnan v. Adams (Tex. 1902) 71 S. W. 580.
This is a harsh construction. The aim of such statutes would appear to be the protection of equitable interests against purchases for value without notice, and of purchasers for value without notice against unrecorded legal interests. To give them the effect of protecting a party who knows all the facts at the expense of one innocently dealing with his agent seems unwarranted. No authority has been found in support of the proposition.
BANKRUPTCY-EXEMPTION, ASSIGNMENT. Defendant assigned a judgment to a trustee for the benefit of firm creditors. He then put the judgment into the hands of an attorney to collect and it was collected. Proceedings in involuntary bankruptcy were instituted against the defendant on account of this transaction, and the money was paid by the attorney to the trustee in bankruptcy. Held, the defendant had not by this assignment waived his right to an exemption out of the money recovered on the judgment. Bashinsky v. Talbot (C. C. A., 5th Circ. 1902) 119 Fed. 337.
The general rule in the State courts seems to be that an assignment for the benefit of creditors is a waiver of the exemption as to the property assigned. Carrol v. Else (1892) 75 Md. 301 ; Graves v. Hinkle (1889) 120 Ind. 157. The federal courts are bound by the State decisions on these questions, but show a tendency to construe the State exemption laws very liberally in favor of the bankrupt. In re Tollet (1901) 106 Fed. 866 ; In re Falconer (1901) 110 Fed. 111.
CARRIERS-CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-DUE PROCESS. Defendant carrier was sued for the loss of goods under a statute declaring that when freight is shipped over lines of connecting carriers under a contract relieving carriers of liability beyond their own lines, any connecting carrier shall be liable, nevertheless, unless, within thirty days after demand, he informs the shipper or his assigns in writing “when, where, and by which carriers said freight was damaged or lost," with names of necessary witnesses. Held, the statute was not unconstitutional as depriving of property without due process of law. Central of Ga. R.* Co. v. Murphey (Ga. 1903) 43 S. Ē. 265.
A statute declaring that any contract releasing a common carrier from its absolute liability should be void, has been held constitutional. Jlc Daniel v. Chicago, etc. R. Co. (1868) 24 Ia. 412. Nor was the constitutionality of a statute declaring that connecting carriers shall be liable as common carriers over the whole route, without possibility of limitation, questioned on this ground. Miller G. & E. Co. v. Union Pac. R. Co. (1897) 138 Mo. 658. The carrier is held in Georgia to undertake transportation over the entire route, Falvey y. The Georgia Railroad (1886) 76 Ga. 597, though it may limit its liability to its own line by special contract. Central R. & Banking Co. v. Avant (1887) 80 Ga. 195. If the above statutes are unobjectionable, it would seem constitutional to make this power of limitation subject to conditions, even should these be impossible of performance.
ConstiTUTIONAL LAW-CHANGE OF DECISION-LAW IMPAIRING OBLIGATION OF CONTRACT. The plaintiff bought the bonds of an improvement district, which bonds were issued under a statute held by the Supreme Court of Ohio at the time of the purchase to be valid.Thereafter the statute under the authority of which the bonds were issued was declared to be unconstitutional by the same court. Held, the right of the plaintiff was not affected by the change of decision, but was governed by the law as declared at the time of the purchase, Board of Commissioners v. Gardner Savings Institute (C. C. A., 6th Circ. 1902) 119 Fed. 36.
The plaintiff brought an action of ejectment for lands below high-water mark on a tidal river and recovered from the defendant in the State
The defendant claimed that according to the law of Alabama at the time he purchased the land, he owned the land between high and low water marks, and that a change of decision by the supreme court of the State impaired the obligation of a contract. Held, even if there had been a change of decision, no case was presented under the contract clause of the Constitution. Mobile Transportation Company v. Mobile (1903) 23 Sup. Ct. Rep. 170. See Notes, p. 272. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-Police Powers-FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT.-A statute made it a misdemeanor in cities of the first and second class to offer for sale any real property without the written authority of the owner. Heli, the statute was unconstitutional as depriving the plaintiff of liberty without due process of law. Grossman v. Caminez (1903) 79 N. Y. Supp. 900.
Interference with individual liberty by the legislature may be justifiable under its powers “ to prescribe regulations to promote the health, peace, morals, education, and good order of the people, and to legislate so as to increase the industries of the state, develop its resources, and add to its wealth and prosperity." Barbier v. Connolly (1885) 113 U. S. 27, 31. But every such exercise of the police power “must be reasonable
and in determining the question of reasonableness, the court is at liberty to act with reference to the established usages, customs and traditions of the people.” Plessy v. Ferguson (1895) 163 U. S. 537, 550. The purpose of an act is relevant to the inquiry whether it is a proper exercise of the police power. People y Mark (1885) 99 N. Y. 377 ; People v. Arensberg (1887) 105 N. Y. 123. The court is therefore empowered to determine in a given case whether the interest of the public may require the legislation. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-SEPARATION OF POWERS— JUDICIAL Acts. N. Y. Laws, 1892, C. 493, provides that upon petition by twelve or more freehold: ers of any county, the Supreme Court or the county court of that county, if satisfied that the highway petitioned for is necessary, may order the publication of a notice of the time and place when an application for commissioners to build such highway shall be made, and at such time may appoint such commissioners. The plaintiff was a holder in due course of municipal bonds issued for the construction of a road thereunder. Hild, the provision is not unconstitutional as conferring non-judicial powers upon the court. Citizen's Sav. Bank v. Town of Greenburgh (1903) 173 N. Y. 215.
The dissenting opinion of PARKER, C. J., in which VANN and WERNER, J J., concur, vigorously defends a strict construction of the separation of the three departments of government. Hayburn's Case (1792) 2 Dall. 409 note, approved in United States v. Todd (1791) 13 How. 52 note, shows how early the American judiciary became alert on this question. But the New York courts, not unwisely it would seem, have always given liberal support to such statutes. The appointment of officers can there be delegated to the judiciary. Sweet v. Hubert (1868) 51 Barb. 312. So the court may be empowered to order the erection of railroad gates upon the application of local authorities, the determination of the necessity for an act being a judicial question. People v. Long Island Ry. Co. (1892) 134 N. Y. 506. The decision at issue is a logical deduction from these authorities.
CONTRACTS --Public Policy-CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION. The plaintiff was prosecuting witness before a Congressional committee investigating the affairs of the “ Whiskey Trust.” He agreed with the defendants to promote the investigation and furnish the defendants with information as to facts brought out against the corporation, so that the defendants might take advantage of the stock market, in consideration of their sharing the profits with him. Held, the agreement was void as against public policy. Veasey v. Allen (1903) 173 N. Y. 359.
Although there seems to be no authority directly in point, many cases involve the same principle. Mills v. Mills (1869) 40 N. Y. 543, was an agreement to use influence to have a law passed. The court said, “ It is not necessary to adjudge that the parties stipulated for corrupt action or that they intended it; " " it is enough that the contract tends directly to those results. It furnishes: a temptation to the plaintiff to resort to corrupt means or improper devices to influence legislative action.” Tool Co. v. Morris (1864) 2 Wall. 45; Maguire v Corwine (1879) 101 U. S. 108. These cases must be carefully distinguished from those where the contracting parties are principal and agent merely. No rule of public policy prevents a man from petitioning, a legislative body in any lawful manner through his servants. Sedgwick v. Stanton (1856) 14 N. Y. 289; Russell v. Burton (1867) 66 Barb. 539. But the contract must go no further. Cheeseborough v. Conover (1893) 140 N. Y.382. CONTRACTS—WAREHOUSE RECEIPT - ACCEPTANCE OF TERMS. The plaintiff delivered goods to the defendant warehouseman under a parol contract, but several davs after received a receipt varying the terms of the previous agreement. He retained this unread. Held, the plaintiff could recover on the parol contract unless he had understood and assented to the contract set forth in the receipt. Mere retention of the receipt was not conclusive evidence of this assent. Windell v. Readman Warehouse Co. (Wash. 1902) 71 Pac. 56.
The principles governing a bill of lading under these circumstances would seem to apply to a warehouse receipt. The acceptance of the former by the shipper is ordinarily conclusive evidence of his assent to its terms, Snow v. Indiana, etc., R. Co. (1886) 109 Ind. 422; but if the goods are delivered under a valid parol contract assent to a new contract cannot be presumed from the mere retention of a receipt unread. The shipper has the right to assume, in the absence of notice, that if it describes the terms of any contract it will be those of the contract under which the goods were delivered. Strohn v. Detroit R. R. Co. (1867) 21 Wis. 584; Mo. Pac. R. R. Co. v. Beeson (1883) 30 Kan. 298. In New York assent of the shipper is presumed if the bill of lading is delivered in time for him to reclaim the goods, but not if delivered after the actual transit begins. Germania Fire Ins. Co. v. M. & C. R. R. Co. (1878) 72 N. Y. 90; Swift v. Pacific Mail Steamship Co. (1887) 106 N. Y. 206. CORPORATIONS-Power to SuBSCRIBE TO STOCK-MUTUAL CONTROL. The directors and the holders of the majority of the stock of an insurance company made an arrangement with the directors of a trust company, under which a majority of the stock of the former was to be transferred to the latter. The trust company was then to double its capital and issue the new shares to the insurance company, which, having already some shares of the old stock, would thus get a controlling interest in a corporatiop by which it would be itself controlled. Held, dissenting stockholders of the insurance company could have their directors enjoined from carrying out the scheme. Robotham v. Prudential Ins. Co. (N. J. 1903) 53 Atl. 842. See Notes, p. 275. CRIMINAL LAW-ARMY OFFICERS-JURISDICTION OF Civil Courts. An officer of the U. S. army committed a forgery while at a military post. Alter his discharge from the army he was tried in a civil court. Held, the civil court had jurisdiction, although Congress had given jurisdiction over offenses committed by members of the army to the military authorities. Neall v, U. S. (C. Ć. A., oth (irc. 1902) 118 Fed. 699.
Following U. S. v. Clark (1887) 31 Fed. 710, which represents the uniform authority in the U. S. (see Steiner's Case, 6. Op. Attys Genl. 413) the court holds that unless the statute confers jurisdiction in such cases upon the courts martial exclusively, their jurisdiction will be concurrent with that of the civil courts." The intention to divest civil courts of their regular jurisdiction will not be ascribed to Congress in the absence of clear and direct language to that effect, in view of the 'known hostility of the American people to any interference by the military with the regular administration of justice by civil courts.' Coleman v. Tennessee (1977) 97 U. S. 509, 514. The court refused to consider the question of conflict of jurisdiction, where a court martial had asserted itself in any way (upon this point see U. S. v. Cashill (1863) i Hughes, 552), as the military authorities had not acted in this case.
CRIMINAL LAW-EXTRADITION—FUGITIVE From Justice. The relator in habeas corpus was held under an extradition warrant of the governor of New York, issued on the requisition of the governor of Tennessee. It was admitted that he had not been actually present in the demanding State on the date stated in the indictment. Held, mere constructive presence in the demanding State at the time of the alleged commission of the crime was not sufficient to render him a fugitive from justice, and extraditable. State of New York v. Hyatt (1902) 187 U. Š. affirming 172 N. Y. 166.
This is a final settlement of a constitutional question arising upon the construction of Art. IV. Sec. 2. The decision confirms the position which the State courts have taken. Se: 3 COLUMBIA LAW REVIEW, 60.
EMINENT DOMAIN_PUBLIC USE. Plaintiff's charter authorized it to erect a dam for the purpose of generating power and transmitting it for its own use or that of other individuals and corporations, and in order to construct such works and railroads and telephone lines, invested it with the power of eminent domain and all powers of internal improvement companies. Held, as the purposes for which the right of eminent domain was conferred were vague and were not shown to be public, and as the public would have no definite right to use the property condemned, the grant of the power of eminent domain was unconstitutional. Fallsburg Power & Mfg.Co. v. Alexander (Va. 1903) 43 S. E. 194.
T'hough" public use" has sometimes been interpreted as equivalent to“ public advantage"-- Talbot v. Hudson (1860) 16 Gray 417; Hand Gold Mining Co v. Parker (1877) 59 Ga. 419-a more reasonable and enforceable interpretation of the constitutional restriction regards “ public use," as meaning use by the public, and allows the operation of eminent domain only when the public would acquire a legal right to enjoy the property for some purpose. Memphis Freight Co. v. llemphis (Tenn. 1867) 4 Cold. 419; Matier of Eureka Basin Co. (1884) 96 N. Y. 42; Lewis on Eminent Domain, şó 164, 165. Even if the power of eminent domain could have been granted for some of the purposes expressed in the charter, the combination of public and private purposes would have rendered the whole grant void. Sadler v. Langham (1859) 34 Ala. 311, 333. EQUITY_SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE-NEGATIVE COVENANT. By a contract extending over a period of ten years with privilege in the vendee of extension for a like period, the defendant agreed to deliver to the plaintiff each year a designated quantity of pulp wood from certain premises, payments to be made annually. The contract contained a covenant by the vendor not to sell the said premises and also contemplated the contingencies of a destruction of the timber by fire and a taking of the land by eminent domain. Held, in a bill to enjoin breach of the negative covenant and compel specific performance of the contract, it was impossible in a legal action accurately to compute damages, and plaintiff was entitled to an equitable remedy. St. Regis Paper Co. v. Santa Clara Lumber Co. (1903) 173 N. Y. 149.