Obrázky stránek
[ocr errors]

MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS. Liability of, for damages arising from nuisance on private property. - If the authorities of a city which is authorized by its charter to declare and abate nuisances, and which has by general ordinances declared all buildings and structures dangerous to the public to be nuisances, after becoming aware of the dangerous condition of a decayed wall situated so near to a street as to imperil the lives of persons passing by on the street, neglect to cause its removal, and a child is crushed to death by the falling of the wall, the city will be held liable in damages; and this though the wall stood on private property, and the child, at the time of the fall, was not in the street, but was on private property within one foot of the street. Kiley v. City of Kansas, Sup. Ct. Mo., Alb. L. J., Jan. 3, p. 14.

Enforcement of city debts-Receiver- Mandamus. - Upon a bill in equity against the city of Elizabeth by holders of its bonds, application was made for an injunction and a receiver of the moneys, rights, and credits of the city, on the ground that it was insolvent and had made default in the payment of the interest on its bonds, and that its officers had collected and proposed to collect taxes, and had refused to apply them to the payment of the debt. It was held, that the complainants were not entitled to equitable relief, because they had a remedy at law, viz., a writ of mandamus to compel the city to levy a tax for the payment of the debt. The question whether the court of equity could interfere after the remedy at law was exhausted was not before the court. Goelet v. City of Elizabeth, U. S. Cir. Ct. Dist. N. J., N. J. L. J., Jan., p. 14.

MUNICIPAL BONDS.- Compliance with provisions for an election -Validity. — Where the election of the voters of a town to make a donation in aid of a railroad company was to be held as other regular town elections, to be conducted by certain officers named, a donation voted at an ordinary special town-meeting, and not conducted by the officers named, is void. - Lipincott v. Town of Pana, Sup. Ct. Ill., Rep., Jan. 7, p. 7.

Voidable and void bonds Estoppel. The tax-payers of a town are not estopped to de y the validity of bonds issued in aid of a railroad company, in the hands of innocent holders if the bonds are void; otherwise if voidable only. - Ibid.

Wrongful act of officer - Respondeat superior. A city is not liable in an action of tort to one whose property has been unlawfully seized by its treasurer for the non-payment of taxes. Wallace v. City of Menasha, Sup. Ct. Wis., Wis. Leg. N., Jan. 15, p. 108. NATIONAL BANKS. Liability of stockholders.-S. bought shares in a national bank, and caused them to be transferred to E., who was in his employ, S. remaining the real owner. Held, that S. was liable as stockholder upon the failure of the bank. - Davis v. Stevens, U. S. Cir. Ct. South. Dist. N. Y., Alb. L. J., Dec. 20, p. 490.

·Authority to buy and sell commercial paper. - National banks have no power to buy and sell commercial paper; they may discount notes presented for that purpose, but their power does not extend to the purchase of such paper. Lazear v. National Union Bank, Ct. App. Md., Wash. L. Rep., Nov. 17, p. 513.

Violation of statute limiting the liability allowed to be incurred by any one person. Sec. 5200 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, limiting the amount of liabilities of any person, firm, or company to a national bank, is a rule laid down to regulate the loans of the bank for its own best interest, not to regulate its customers. A violation of this section exposes the bank to loss of its franchises at the suit of the comptroller of the currency, but a contract, otherwise lawful, with a national bank, is not void though purposely made in evasion of this section. — Stephens v. Monongahela National Bank, Sup. Ct. Pa., W. N. C., Nov. 27, p. 491.


Jurisdiction of State and Federal courts. The State and Federal courts have concurrent jurisdiction in actions by and against national banks.



Usury. A national bank, by charging usurious interest on overdrafts upon it, loses the right to recover any interest at all. Third National Bank of Philadelphia v. Miller, Sup. Ct. Pa., W. N. C., Nov. 27, p. 496.

Note held by bank as security for overdrafts - Usurious interest on overdraft. Where a note was held by a national bank as collateral for overdrafts upon it, and a suit is brought upon the note, the action, though nominally upon the note, is actually to recover those overdrafts as against the makers of the note as sureties. Such sureties are entitled, in case usurious interest has been charged, to defalcate all the interest charged as against the total amount of overdraft claimed. - Ibid.

NEGLIGENCE. Liability of railroad for injury to trespasser. -A railroad company is not liable for injuries occasioned by one of its engines to an employee of one who has contracted to repair a bridge on a highway over its road, when it appears that such employee, at the time of the injury. was crossing over the track from one abutment to the other, under the direction and for the convenience of the contractor, and that no inherent difficulty in the nature of the work required such a use of the track. Sweeny v. Boston, etc., R. Co., Sup. Ct. Mass., Cent. L. J., Jan. 2, p. 7.

By engineer in running train rapidly. -- Where the engineer of a freighttrain ran it rapidly past the depot while a passenger-train was about stopping at the station, he was guilty of gross negligence. Passengers may assume that the road will be free from obstructions when a train stops at a station to deliver and receive passengers. -- Terry v. Jewett, Ct. App. N. Y., Rep., Dec. 24, p. 825.

[ocr errors]

NEGOTIABLE PAPER. · Bank check. Holder of, has no claim against drawer — Priority between foreign assignment and local attachment. A bank in Missouri sold to plaintiff for value a draft, wherein it directed a bank in New York, where it had a deposit, to pay to the order of plaintiff a sum less than the sum on deposit. Before the draft was presented for payment, the Missouri bank made an assignment for creditors in Missouri, in which was included its deposit in New York. Payment of the draft being refused, plaintiff brought action in New York against the Missouri bank, and attached the deposit. In an equitable action against the two banks and the assignee to have the deposit charged with the payment of plaintiff's claim, held, (1) that the New York bank could not be charged as a debtor to plaintiff and an action on the draft could not be maintained against it; (2) that the assignment being valid and prior in time to the attachment, transferred to the assignee the title to the deposit as against plaintiff's claim. -Rosenthal v. Mastin Bank, U. S. Cir. Ct. South. Dist. N. Y., Alb. L. J., Jan. 10, p. 28.

A pledgee of com

- Pledgee of commercial paper has no right to sell. mercial paper, unlike a pledgee of chattels, has, in the absence of a special contract, no right to sell such securities, but must collect them, and, after paying his own debt, account to the pledgeor for the balance. - Union Trust Co. v. Rigdon, Sup. Ct. Ill., Cent. L. J., Dec. 19, p. 487.

[ocr errors]

·Same Authority to sell will not authorize a compromise. A corporation held in its hands, as pledgee for a debt due to it by R., two notes of M. for $2,000 and $1,000, both overdue. These notes were placed in the hands of the company under a contract which gave it authority to sell them for the purposes of the debt "at public or private sale." Without having brought suit against M., or demanded payment of him, the company wrote to him stating that R. was indebted to it in a balance of over $1,300, and offering M. * the first chance to purchase. A few days later the company surrendered the two notes to M. on his paying them $1,342.72, the amount then due from R. Held, that this was not a "sale" within the meaning of the contract, but was a compromise and was unauthorized. — Ibid.

Certificate of deposit - Payable in currency.—. - A certificate of deposit, payable to order, of a certain number of dollars "in currency" is negotia



ble. The word "currency" in a certificate of deposit means money," and includes bank-notes issued by authority of law and in actual and general circulation at their legal standard value. - Klauber v. Biggerstaff, Sup. Ct. Wis., Cent. L. J., Dec. 19, p. 488.


[ocr errors]

Holder of note as collateral security - Innocent holder, when. A creditor who takes a negotiable note before maturity, so indorsed that he becomes a party to the instrument, as collateral security for a preexisting debt, in consideration of an extension of time to the debtor actually granted, is, according to the law-merchant, a holder for value, and his rights as such are not affected by equities between antecedent parties of which he had no notice. Oates v. First National Bank, etc., U. S. Sup. Ct., Ch. Leg. N., Dec. 20, p. 119.


Bond Possession alone not sufficient to show title. The mere possession of a bond is not such an evidence of property as will justify a payment to the holder, without authority, express or implied, from the owner to collect the same. Brown v. Taylor's Committee, Sup. Ct. Va., Va. L. J., Oct., p. 622. PARTIES. Who may be joined as defendants. A number of miners, each carrying on business independently, deposited débris known as “tailings" in a river which ran through plaintiff's land below the mines, which "tailings" was deposited by the river upon plaintiff's land, to its injury, and the miners severally threatened to continue depositing such tailings. Each miner, in all this, acted for himself, and not in collusion or combination with any other. Held, that an action to restrain such acts being done and threatened, in which the miners were joined as defendants, could not be sustained.Keyes v. Little Rock Mining and Water Co., Sup. Ct. Cal., Alb. L. J., Jan. 17, p. 49.


PRACTICE. - Amendment of process. - In the absence of legislation to the contrary, a court has the discretion to permit an officer to amend a return with or without notice, and at any time after the date thereof, so as to bind the parties to the action, or those claiming under them as privies. - Richards v. Ladd, U. S. Cir. Ct. Dist. Or., Am. L. Rec., Nov., p. 264.



Same. But a court cannot authorize a return to be amended so as to affect the rights of third persons, acquired in good faith prior to such amendment. Ibid.

PATENT LAW.-Injunction to restrain infringement - Against carrier as agent. An injunction may be issued to restrain a company from transporting articles which are infringements upon the complainant's patents. The carrier in such case is the agent and servant of the infringing owners of the goods in promoting and effecting their sales.-American Cotton Co. v. McCready, U. S. Cir. Ct. South. Dist. N. Y., Rep., Dec. 24, p. 811.

Defences against action for the price of a patent-right — State courts. In an action in the State court to recover the price agreed to be paid for a patent-right, the defendant, for the purpose of showing want or failure of consideration, may show that the patent is void; that the invention is valueless; that the patentee was not the inventor of the patented article; and this may be done by proof that the invention had been in use before the patent issued, or that the patent is an infringement of a prior patent. - Croninger v. Paige, Sup. Ct. Wis., Wis. Leg. N., Jan. 15, p. 109.

PRINCIPAL AND SURETY. - Discharge of surety by neglect to prosecute principal. A surety will only be exonerated when the creditor has refused to bring suit after a positive request and explicit declaration by the surety that he will otherwise hold himself discharged. — Fidler v. Hershey, Sup. Ct. Pa., W. N. C., Jan. 1, p. 5.


Agreement with principal to extend time of payment — Usurious consideration. - An agreement for delay, in consideration of parol promise to pay


ten per cent interest, does not discharge the surety to a note, as such promise is not binding. -- McLin v. Brakebill, Sup. Čt. Tenn., Memphis L. J., Dec., p. 254.

RAILROADS.Mortgagee's interest Unfinished road- New corporation. The mortgagee of a railroad company which, failing to construct and operate its road, has sold and assigned its rights and property to a new corporation which does construct and operate the road, has no claim upon the property of the new corporation unless he makes adequate compensation for the performance of the contract by the new company. Chicago & Southern R. Co. v. Lowenthal, Sup. Ct. IlI., Rep., Nov. 26, p. 681.

. Same.


The only property which the mortgage of a railroad company, which has failed to construct and operate its road, and which has sold and assigned its rights and property to a new corporation, binds is the equity it has in work done. - Ibid.

- Liability to indictment for nuisance - Obstruction of public highway. An indictment will lie against a railroad corporation for the creation and maintenance of a public nuisance; although the mere construction of a railroad track across a public highway in pursuance of law is no nuisance, yet it must be so constructed as not to impede the passage or transportation of persons or property along the same; if it be so constructed as to present a permanent and dangerous obstruction to travel, it is clearly a nuisance for which an indictment will lie. - Northern Central R. Co. v. The Commonwealth, Sup. Ct. Pa., Leg. Int., Dec. 26, p. 494.

REAL-ESTATE LAW. - License. The general rule applicable to license in respect to real property is that an executory license is revocable at the will of the licensor, even though the licensee has expended money on the faith of the license; and that, too, without refunding the money expended. — Potter v. Mercer, Sup. Ct. Cal., Pac. Coast L. J., Nov. 29, p. 272.

RECORDS. Right of inspection. — A citizen of the United States does not possess at common law an inherent and unlimited right to inspect the books and records of the courts; such a right exists only as allowed by statute or rule of court. Re McLean, U. S. Cir. Ct. South. Dist. Ohio, Čent. L. J., Nov. 28, p. 425.

SALE. When title to personal property passes.- Contracts for the purchase and sale of chattels, if complete and unconditional, and not within the Statute of Frauds, are sufficient, as between the parties, to vest the property in the purchaser, even without delivery; the rule being that such a contract constitutes a sale of the thing, and that its effect is, if not prejudicial to creditors, to transfer the property to the purchaser, against every person not holding the same under a bona fide title for a valuable consideration without notice. - Hatch v. Standard Oil Co., U. S. Sup. Ct., Ch. Leg. N., Dec. 27, p. 128.

[ocr errors]

SPECIAL PERFORMANCE. Of contract for sale of national-bank stock will not be decreed. In an equitable action to enforce specific performance of an agreement to sell shares in a national bank, which the purchaser wished to obtain for the purpose of securing control of the bank, held, that specific performance would not be decreed, (1) because generally equity will not enforce specific execution of a contract relating to personal chattels, and (2) because a decree enforcing the agreement in question would be against public policy. Folls's Appeal, Sup. Ct. Pa., Alb. L. J., Jan. 10, p. 27.

SOCIAL CLUB. Power of expulsion - Regulations of, must conform to ordinary principles of justice - Right of member to notice and hearing — Injunction.The committee of a club, in proceeding under a rule which gives them power to expel a member of the club for misconduct, are bound to act according to the ordinary principles of justice, and are not to convict a member of a grave offence, which shall warrant his expulsion from the club,

SOCIAL CLUB-Continued.

without giving him fair, adequate, and sufficient notice, and an opportunity of meeting the accusations brought against him and of either defending or palliating his conduct; and where such notice has not been given, the courts will interfere by injunction restraining the committee from carrying out their resolution to expel the member. — Fisher v. Keane, Eng. Ct. Ch., Rep., Jan. 7, p. 29.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. When it commences to run. — In an action by a merchant, upon an open account, for goods sold and delivered in the city of Jackson, Mississippi, the court instructed the jury that if, by the custom of the merchants of Jackson, open accounts become due on the 1st of January succeeding the year in which the goods are sold, and there was no understanding between plaintiff and defendant to the contrary, then the Statute of Limitations would not bar the account sued upon until the statutory time of limitation from the 1st of January succeeding the year in which the goods were sold. Held, that the instruction is correct. -Hendricks v. Robinson & Stevens, Sup. Ct. Miss., Alb. L. J., Dec. 13, p. 471.

SURVIVAL OF ACTIONS.-An action in tort for negligence or deceit will lie against the personal representative of a deceased wrong-doer. - Tichnor v. Hayes, Sup. Ct. N. J., Cent. L. J., Dec. 12, p. 470.

Same-Case in judgment. - An action ex delicto was brought against the administratrix of a deceased attorney-at-law for negligence in the discharge of his duty, and in some of the counts deceit was charged. Held, that the action was sustainable. — Ibid.

The Constitution of

TAXATION. - Taxation of bonds. · Constitutional law. the United States does not prohibit a State from taxing, in the hands of one of its resident citizens, a debt held by that citizen upon a resident of another State, such debt being evidenced by the bond of the debtor, and the payment being secured by deed of trust or mortgage upon real estate situated in the State in which the debtor resides. - Kirtland v. Hotchkiss, U. S. Sup. Ct., Cent. L. J., Dec. 5, p. 445.

[ocr errors]

TRADE-MARKS. Constitutional law - Authority of Federal government to pass trade-mark laws. The legislation of Congress in regard to trademarks, contained in the act of July 8, 1870, secs. 77-84, and embodied in the United States Revised Statutes, secs. 4937-4947, is unconstitutional. Congress has no power, either under the authority given by the Constitution to pass laws securing to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries (Art. I., sec. 8, subd. 8), to enact a law relating to trade-marks, or, under that given to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several States, to enact a general trade-mark law without limitation as to its application. The trade-mark legislation being invalid, the criminal enactments designed to protect the rights conferred by such legislation are invalid. - United States v. Steffens, U. S. Sup. Ct., Alb. L. J., Dec. 6, p. 447; Cent. L. J., Dec. 5, p. 449; Ch. Leg. N., Dec. 6, p. 103.

TRUST. When voluntary trust will not be enforced. - Defendant, when depositing his own money in a savings-bank, in order to obtain more interest therefor, deposited it in several sums in trust for each of his children. He retained control of the same for his own use, stating that he wished it to be considered his money, and added to it from his earnings, and drew from it for his use during a number of years. Held, that a trust was not established in the moneys deposited so as to entitle defendant's children to ask a court of equity to interfere with defendant's control of such moneys. Weber v. Weber, Sup. Ct. N. Y., Alb. L. J., Jan. 17, p. 51.

WILL.-Direction to devisee to pay legacy does not create a charge on land. It is well settled that a mere direction by a testator that a devisee shall pay a legacy does not thereby create a charge on land. There must be something more, -express words, or necessary implication from the whole

« PředchozíPokračovat »