« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
case under consideration, then, the creditor or stockholder sues on a purely legal demand. He sues on such demand in behalf of the corporation, and the cause of action belongs to it. The equitable remedy is merely a mode of enforcing this demand. Here certainly is no technical trust, and it is only in the case of such a trust that the bar of the statute of limitations is properly suspended. Mason v. Henry (1897) 152 N. Y. 529; Wallace v. Lincoln's Savings Bank (1890) 89 Tenn. 630; Landes v. Saxon (1895) 105 Mo. 486Kane v. Bloodgood (1825) 7 Johns. Ch. 9o.
Rights OF PLEDGEES OF Personal PROPERTY UNDER CONFLICTING Laws. — Lord LOUGHBOROUGH, in 1791, laid it down as a “clear proposition, not only of the law of England, but of every country in the world, where law has the semblance of science, that personal property has no locality,” and that, “with respect to the disposition of it, with respect to the transmission of it, either by succession or the act of the party, it follows the law of the person." Sill v. Worswick (1791) 1 H. Bl. 665. Since then there has been a constantly growing disposition to change that rule of law to meet radical changes in economic conditions, which have given to accumulations of personal property —until the last century of comparatively little consequence, and often actually cum persona—an even greater importance in the state than is attached to land. The new conditions have called for the recognition of the principle that, as transactions relating to really are governed by the lex situs, similarly, transactions with respect to personalty should be governed by the lex rei sita, approving the doctrine developed on the continent and expounded by Savigny, that no distinction should be made in this respect between movables and immovables. Savigny, VIII, Sec. 366; Whart. Conf. L. p. 297, 305.
In the departure from the old rule, a distinction is drawn definitely between cases of succession, as in marriage, death and bankruptcy, where the property is conceived of as grouped round the person, and so governed by the law of the domicile, and isolated transactions of alienation and the creation of special claims against the property, in which it is to be considered independently of its owner, and so governed by the law where it is situated. Westl. Priv. International Law, p. 172. It will be noted that this distinction was not made by Lord LOUGHBOROUGH. Out of it comes a present rule that questions as to the transfer or acquisition of property in corporeal movables, or of any less extensive real rights in them, as pledge or lien, are generally to be decided by the lex rei sita. Inglis v. Usherwood (1801) 1 East, 515; Coote v. Jeekes (1872) L. R. 13 Eq. 597. The Supreme Court of Minnesota has adopted this view in denying a preference, under a voluntary assignment for the benefit of creditors, to non-resident pledgees, who held grain warehouse receipts as security for promissory notes, the grain being situated in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakuta, where such pledge was invalid, holding that the transaction was governed by the lex rei sitæ. In re St. Paul & K. C. Grain Co. (Minn. 1903) 94 N. W. 218.
It was early decided in the Supreme Court of the United States that, as to priority of conflicting liens, the lex rei sita prevails, the
right of priority being a “personal privilege, dependent on the place where the property lies and where the court sits which is to decide the cause.” Harrison v. Sterry (1809) 5 Cranch, 289, 298. The rule has also been established that, in case of conflict between two states upon an assignment for the benefit of creditors, made in one state, and an attachment of the property of the assignor situated in the other state, the lex rei sita governs. The reason for this ruling is found partially in the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution. Warner v. Jaffray (1884) 96 N. Y. 248; Green v. Van Buskirk (1866) 5 Wall. 307. The decision in the latter case, however, unquestionably affirms the modern doctrine in cases where the courts of both states have been set in motion.
In the reasons which American judges have given for applying the lex rei sita to movables, the protection of citizens of their own states holds a prominent place, although, it must be admitted, little stress is laid on the fact of the domicile of the attaching creditor, and none at all in the United States courts. Oliver v. Towns (La. 1824) 2 Mart. 92; Blake v. Williams (1828) 6 Pick. 286; Milne v. Moreton (Pa. 1814) 6 Binn. 353; Taylor v. Boardman (1853) 25 Vt. 581, 589. It has been held squarely that a title to movables gained by foreign prescription cannot be unseated by the removal of the chattel to the state of the forum. Waters v. Barton (Tenn. 1860) i Cold. 43.
As applied to the principal case, there is much force in the suggestion made by Mr. Justice STORY (Confl. L. p. 537) of the injustice arising from the impracticability of the parties knowing, with minute accuracy, the law of transfers in the different states where the subjectmatter of the transaction happens to be. But on the whole, there is ample reason for the view that the old legal fiction, expressed in the familiar maxim mobilia personam sequuntur, must give way to the modern fact that movables have a situs. The legal qualities incident to that status follow of necessity. See Whart. Confl. L. § 297 et seq.; Southern Law Rev. vol. VI, p. 689.
ADMIRALTY-JURISDICTION OF UNITED STATES Courts of ADMIRALTY OVER Torts COMMITTED ON FOREIGN VESSELS. The plaintiff, an American citi. zen, was injured on a British ship on the high seas by the negligence of the servants of the defendant in charge of the ship. The defense was that English Courts of Admiralty did not have jurisdiction in such cases and that, therefore, the United States Courts of Admiralty, since they had to administer the British law as the defendant was a British subject, could not take jurisdiction. Held, the United States Courts of Admiralty had jurisdiction irrespective of the question whether or not the British Courts of Admiralty would have had in a case of this kind. Pouppirt v. Elder Dempster Shipping, Limited (1903) 122 Fed. 983. en Although no other case presenting the same facts as here stated is to be found, the decision is in accord with the well-settled rule of international law, that, in the absence of treaty, nothing within the territory of a nation is without its jurisdiction, and that in time of peace, all persons have the right to resort to the tribunals of the nation where they happen to be for the protection of their rights. Benedict's Admiralty, $ 282; The City of Carlisle (1889) 39 Fed. 807; The Barque Havana (1858) i Sprague 402. AGENCY-COMMITTEE OF UNINCORPORATED ASSOCIATION- LIABILITY OF MEMBER. A committee of a military company, appointed for other purposes, assumed the preparation of a memorial souvenir booklet and delegated full managerial and financial responsibility to one of its members. The latter procured the matter to be printed by the plaintiff who sued the treasurer of the company under $ 1919 Code Civ. Proc. which allows an action against the president or treasurer of such an association where the members thereof are jointly or severally liable. Held, defendant not liable. Stikeman v. Flack (1903) 175 N. Y. 50.
The Court of Appeals reversed the Appellate Division, First Department, upon the dissenting opinion of Mr. Justice Ingraham, concurred in by Hatch, J , which opinion accords with the principles of liability of a club member suggested in 3 COLUMBIA LAW REVIEW 407. The facts that the association was not a business one requiring the creation of indebtedness to carry out its purposes, and that no agency to incur the obligation in dispute was shown, were regarded as controlling. CARRIERS—" Act of God.” The plaintiff shipped wheat by the defend, ant's road. The defendant was negligent, causing delay in delivery of goods which were destroyed by an unprecedented storm. Had it not been for the defendant's negligence no loss would have occurred. Held, the violent storm was the proximate cause of the loss which was therefore due to the “ Act of God" and excused the carrier. Hunt Bros. v. Missouri K. & T. Ry. Co.of Texas (Tex. 1903) 74 S. W. 69. See Notes, p. 484. Carriers-EXPULSION OF PASSENGER—“SCALPING” ON TRAIN. Plaintiff had been doing a small “scalping" business in defendant's tickets, had been warned to desist, and had promised to do so. The manager of the defendant, having reason to believe plaintiff had pot desisted, had him ejected from a train, on which he was a regular passenger going to and from his work. Plaintiff had not "scalped" any tickets on that trip, nor did the manager have any reason to believe he intended to do so. Held, the ejection was unlawful. Ford v. East Louisiana Ry. Co.(La. 1903) 34 So. 585.
It is well settled that the plaintiff could have been lawfully ejected had he been detected while on the train in the act of dealing in the tickets, or if it had been his evident purpose to deal in them there. The D. R.
Martin (1873). 11 Blatch. 233. It has also been held, though the reasoning is not so convincing, that a carrier may refuse to carry one whose object in reaching his destination is to return by the same line and, on such return trip, to solicit trade for a rival. Per Story, J., in Jencks v. Coleman (1835) 2 Sumn. 221. The principal case tests the right of a carrier to eject one who is travelling as an ordinary passenger, merely because he has been a chronic offender against its rules. The Court properly refused to sanction any such right.
CARRIERS-RIGHT TO CHANGE LOCATION OF Station. The defendant railroad had had a station at B., but owing to the fact that it did not pay its expenses, removed same to D. some years later. Those living near B. had built their roads and conducted their businesses with reference to the location of the station. Held, the railroad could be compelled, by mandamus, to move the station back to B. State v. Northern Pacific Railway Co. (Minn. 1903.) 96 N. W. 81. See Notes, p. 485.
CONFLICT OF LAWS-PREFERENCE OF PLEDGEES UNDER A VOLUNTARY ASSIGNMENT FOR THE BENEFIT OF CREDITORS. A Minnesota grain corporation, having elevators in that and other states, pledged its warehouse receipts as security for notes given to some of its creditors, none of whom resided in any of the other states. Such a pledge was valid under the laws of Minnesota, but invalid in the other states. The corporation made a voluntary assignment for the benefit of creditors. The pledgees claimed a preference in the distribution of the fund arising from the sale of all the grain in the warehouses. Held, that the laws of the situs of the personalty governed, and no preference should be given the pledgees in respect to the grain in the other states. In re St. Paul & K. C. Grain Co. (Minn. 1903) 94 N. W. 218. See Notes, p. 488.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-COMPULSORY REGISTRATION OF ELECTORS. Plaintiff on behalf of himself and 5,000 other negroes prayed for compulsory enrollment on the voting lists of Montgomery Co., Ala., and for a declaration that certain sections of the State constitution fixing the qualifications for registry be held void as repugnant to the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. Held, the relief was properly denied as equity does not remedy political wrongs, and even if it did it would not aid a party to enrollment under a system alleged to be unconstitutional, nor where the enrollment of the individual plaintiff would not check the mischief charged in the bill. Giles v. Harris (1902) 189 U. S. 475.
Notwithstanding the attempt of the court to discuss the case on its merits it is doubtful whether anytbing more was decided than that the plaintiff had misconceived his remedy. It is sound law that equity has no jurisdiction over violations of the political rights of the citizen. (Green v. Mills 69 Fed, Rep. 852.). However if the plaintiff has been unjustifiably refused registration either by reason of the arbitrary decision of the Board of Registrars or because the entire system of registration is unconstitutional and void, he may bring the matter before the Federal Courts in a suit at law. Wiley v. Šinkler (1900) 179 U. S. 58; Swafford v. Templeton (1901) 185 U. S. 487. But there is no way of obtaining specific relief from a Federal Court, as equity will not act to compel registration, and such courts have no power to issue a man. damus.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-FRAUDULENT CONVEYANCE-Power of LEGISLATURE TO DEFINE PRIMA Facie CASE. Act 99 of 1897 (Comp. Laws of Mich. $ 10,203) provided that, in suits in aid of execution, the complainant should make out a prima facie case of fraudulent conveyance by proving a judg. ment against the principal defendant, execution and levies thereon, and the conveyance complained of. Held, (Grant and Moore, JJ., dissenting), the act was constitutional. Crane v. Waldron (Mich. 1903) 94 N.
In prescribing what shall be evidence and which party shall assume the burden of proof, the power of the legislature is, in civil cases, practically unrestricted. Cooley Const. Lim. (6th ed.) 452; Ogden v. Saunders (1827) 12 Wheat. 213 at 349. Even in criminal cases it may enact that certain facts shall be prima facie evidence of the main fact. Commissioners v. Merchant (1886) 103 N. Y. 143; Robertson v. People (1894) 20 Col. 279. Contra: State v. Beswick (1881) 13 R. I. 211. In criminal cases, however, the fact upon which the presumption rests should have some fair relation to the main fact; should not be purely arbitrary or extraordinary. People v. Cannon (1893) 139 N. Y. 32. The principal case was a civil action. But even considering it as quasi-criminal, it would seem that the legislature has not exceeded its powers, and that the evidentiary fact does bear a fair relation to the fact in issue.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-LIMITATIONS APPLICATION TO New POSSESSIONS. After the annexation of Hawaii the defendant was convicted of manslaughter under a criminal procedure other than that described in Amendments V and VI. The Annexation Resolution provided that the laws of the Republic of Hawaii should remain in force unless contrary to the Constitution of the United States. Heid, conviction sustained. The Hawaiian criminal procedure was not contrary to the Constitution under the meaning of the Annexation Resolution. Hawaii v. Mankichi, (1903) 190 U. S. 197. See Notes, p. 481.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-SEPARATION OF Powers—JUDICIAL ACTS. N. J. Gen. St. p 2618. authorized the appointment, by a justice of the Supreme Court, of park commissioners in a certain class of counties. Held, the legislature had constitutional authority to confer such powers upon the Supreme Court. Ross v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Essex et al. (Md. 1903) 55 Atl. 310.
Md. Acts 1896, p. 314, C. 195, provided that a petition under the local option law in W. county should be presented to the circuit court, which should count the signers, ascertain whether they had voted at the last state election, and thereupon order an election. Held, the act was void, as imposing on the court non-judicial duties, in violation of the State constitution. Board of Sup'rs of Election for Wicomico County v. Todd et al. (Md. 1903) 54 Atl. 963.
Md. Acts 1902, P.: 670, c. 455. places the court house and grounds of certain counties in the custody of the crier of the circuit court of such counties. Const. art. 4, § 9, provides that the judges of any court may appoint the necessary court officers, etc. Declaration of Rights, art. 8, declares that no person exercising judicial functions shall discharge duties of another character. Held, the statute violated the constitution in imposing on the judges-who appoint the crier-non-judicial functions. Prince George's County Com'rs v. Mitchell. (Md. 1903) 55 Atl. 673.
Two questions are presented in these cases: (1) Is the judiciary confined to functions essentially judicial, or may it discharge functions not expressly or impliedly delegated by the constitution to other departments and (2) What acts are essentially judicial, executive or legislative? The Maryland cases hold that the judiciary is confined to essentially judicial functions, and others cannot be imposed on it even indirectly ; while the New Jersey case, overruling In re Cleveland (1889) 51 N. J. Law 311, and Schwartz v. Dover (1902) 53 Atl. 214, holds that the judiciary may do anything not expressly or impliedly allotted in the Constitution to the other departments. The two holdings represent contradictory lines of decision in various jurisdictions. New Jersey is supported by People v. Morgan (1878) 90 Ill. 558; Fox v. Mc Donald (1892) 101 Ala. 51; Russell v. Cooley (1882) 69 Ga. 215. Maryland is supported by Case of Supervisors of Election (1873) 114 Mass. 247; State ex rel." White v. Barker (la 1902) 89 N. W. 204 : Houseman v. Kent (1885) 58 Mich. 364. As to what are essentially judicial functions see 3 COLUMBIA Law REVIEW, 280.