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A proper number and standard of grades for the inspection of grain are annually to be made, not alterable unless after public notice.
Designated State officers are charged with the duty of examining into the condition and management of all public warehouses and public elevators, and clothed with ample authority to inspect scales in use, to require written reports, and to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books of account and other written evidences required to be kept by a warehouseman.
Cancellation of licenses of public warehouseman upon satisfactory proof of misconduct in his business provided for. Qui tam actions are preserved and regulated; also suits by individuals for private damages sustained by reason of the acts of warehousemen, even though such acts involve offenses against the public, and may have been prosecuted and punished as such, or even when the accused is acquitted.
The selling of grain by sample has not been interfered with by law.
After long experience in the mode of selecting the officers having control of the inspection of grain and the supervision of the condition and management of public warehouses by appointment of the governor by and with the advice and consent of the senate, some of the States require such officers to be chosen by the qualified electors, as other State officers are chosen. One State has gone so far as to extend to the recognized political parties by statute the privilege of putting the candidates nomination, as for other State offices. (Act of Minnesota, approved March 6, 1899.) Respectfully submitted.
LAWS RELATING TO PUBLIC ELEVATORS AND WAREHOUSES.
Receipts.-A warehouseman is forbidden to issue any receipt for property unless it is bona fide in store and under his control at the time of issuance.
Money loaned.—The same rule applies, and like conditions must exist, in issuing a receipt for money loaned or other indebtedness.
Second receipt.—The issuing of a second receipt, while a former receipt for the samo property is outstanding and uncanceled, is made unlawful. Selling property.-Selling,
encumbering, shipping, transferring, or in any manner removing property beyond the immediate control of the warehouseman, is forbidden, unless the holder of the receipt for such property consent thereto by writing, in ink, indorsed on the receipt.
Receipts classified.-Receipts are divided into two classes: (1) Transferable or negotiable; (2) nontransferable or nonnegotiable. An indorsement of the first class is deemed a valid transfer of the property represented by the receipt.
Contents of receipts.-All warehouse receipts for property stored must distinctly state on their face for what they are issued, as also the brands and distinguishing marks; and in the case of grain the number of sacks and number of pounds and kind of grain; also the rate of storage per month or season charged for storing the same.
Delivery of property.—No warehouseman is permitted to deliver property without indorsing upon the back of the receipt given for the same, in ink, the amount and date of delivery. In case of nonnegotiable receipts no delivery of property shall be made except upon the written order of the person to whom the receipt was issued.
Nonnegotiable receipts shall have printed across their face in bold, distinct lotters, in red ink, the word “ nonnegotiable."
Loss by fire.- No warehouseman or person doing a general storage business is to be held for loss or damage by fire while the property is in his custody, provided reasonable care and vigilance be used to protect and preserve the same.
Punishment.--The foregoing provisions are from an act approved April 1, 1878, and any violation of the same is declared a felony, subjecting to indictment, and on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000, or imprisonment in the State prison not exceeding five years.
The rights of individuals aggrieved by such violations are preserved, and actions may be brought before any court of competent jurisdiction to recover the damages sustained, whether the offender shall have been convicted or not.
ARTICLE XIII OF THE CONSTITUTION OF 1870.
SEC. 1. All elevators or storehouses where grain or other property is stored for a compensation, whether the property stored be kept separate or not, are declared to be public warehouses.
SEC. 2. The owner, lessee, or manager of each and every public warehouse situated in any town or city of not less than 100,000 inhabitants shall make weekly statements, under oath, before some officer to be designated by law, and keep the same posted in some conspicuous place in the office of such warehouse, and shall also file a copy for public examination in such place as shall be designated by law, which statement shall correctly set forth the amount and grade of each and every kind of grain in such warehouse, together with such other property as may be stored therein, and what warehouse receipts have been issued and are, at the time of making such statement, outstanding therefor, and shall, on the copy posted in the warehouse, note daily such changes as may be made in the quantity and grade of grain in such warehouse, and the different grades of grain shipped in separate lots shall not be mixed with inferior or superior grades without the consent of the owner or consigneo thereof.
SEC. 3. The owners of property stored in any warehouse or holder of a receipt for the same shall always be at liberty to examine such property stored and all the books and records of the warehouse in regard to such property. (C., B. & Q. R. R. Co. 2. Hoyt, 1 Brad., 385.)
SEC. 4. All railroad companies and other common carriers on railroads shall weigh or measure grain at points where it is shipped and receipt for the full amount, and shall be responsible for the delivery of such amount to the owner or consignee thereof at the place of destination.
SEC. 5. All railroad companies receiving and transporting grain, in bulk or otherwise, shall deliver the same to any consignee thereof, or any elevator or public warehouse to which it may be consigned, provided such consignee or the elevator or public warehouse can be reached by any track owned, leased, or used, or which can be used, by such railroad companies; and all railroad companies shall permit connections to be made with their tracks, so that any such consignee and any public warehouse, coal bank, or coal yard may be reached by the cars on said railroad.
Sec. 6. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to pass all laws necessary to prevent the issue of false and fraudulent warehouse receipts and to give full effect to this article of the constitution, which shall be liberally construed so as to protect producers and shippers; and the enumeration of the remedies herein named shall not be construed to deny to the General Assembly the power to prescribe by law such other and further remedies as may be found expedient, or to deprive any person of existing common-law remedies.
SEC. 7. The General Assembly shall pass laws for the inspection of grain, for the protection of producers, shippers, and receivers of grain and produce.
AN ACT TO REGULATE PUBLIC WAREHOUSES, AND THE WAREHOUSING AND IN
SPECTION OF GRAIN, AND TO GIVE EFFECT TO ARTICLE 13 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS STATE. (APPROVED APRIL 25, 1871.)
Classification of public warehouses.-Section 1 divides public warehouses into three classes, designating them, respectively, as Class A, B, and C.
Section 2 provides that Class A shall embrace all warehouses, elevators, or granaries, located in cities of not less than 100,000 inhabitants, in which grain is stored in bulk, and in which the grain of different owners is mixed together, or in which grain is stored in such manner that the identity of different lots or parcels can not be accurately preserved.
Class B embraces all other warehouses, elevators, or granaries in which grain is stored in bulk and the grain of different owners mixed together.
Class C embraces all other warehouses or places where property of any kind is stored for a consideration.
License and bond.-Section 3 requires a license to be taken out before any business is transacted in a warehouse of Class A.
Section 4 requires bond to be given by a warehouseman of Class A in the penal sum of $10,000.
Section 5 imposes a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 for each and every day business'is carried on without a license.
Storage of grain.-SEC. 6. It shall be the duty of every warehouseman of Class A to receive for storage any grain that may be tendered to him in the usual manner in which warehouses are accustomed to receive the same in the ordinary and usual course of business, not making any discrimination between persons or between himself as the owner of grain stored in such house and other persons desiring to avail themselves of warehouse facilities; such grain, in all cases, to be inspected and graded by a duly authorized inspector, and to be stored with grain of a similar grade received at the same time as near as may be. In no case shall grain of different grades be mixed together while in store. But if the owner or consignee so requests, and the warehouseman consent thereto, his grain of the same grade may be kept in a bin by itself, apart from that of other owners, which bin shall thereupon be marked and known as a "separate bin.” If a warehouse receipt be issued for grain so kept separate, it shall state on its face that it is in a separate bin, and shall state the number of such bin; and no grain shall be delivered from such warehouse unless it be inspected on the delivery thereof by a duly authorized inspector of grain.
Nothing in this section shall be so construed as to require the receipt of grain into any warehouse in which there is not sufficient room to accommodate or store it properly, or in cases where such warehouse is necessarily closed.
Amendment.—The proprietors, lessees, or managers of public warehouses of Class A may store in any such warehouses owned, leased, or managed by them grain of their own and mix it with the grain of others of like grade stored therein, and may purchase warehouse receipts representing grain on store in such warehouses owned, leased, or managed by them; but when any such proprietor, lessee, or manager shall desire to so store and mix his own grain in any such warehouse or warehouses owned, leased, or managed by him, or to purchase receipts for grain on store therein, he shall so inform the chief inspector of grain of the county in which such warehouse or warehouses are located, and said chief inspector shall thereupon place and keep in such warehouse or warehouses, whenever necessary so to do, one or more assistant inspectors, who shall, in addition to their usual duties as assistant inspectors, have general supervision over the storing and care of grain stored in such warehouse or warehouses, under such rules and regulations as shall be made by the Railroad and Warehouse Commissioners; and said commissioners are hereby invested with full power and authority to make all rules and regulations concerning the storing, handling, and delivery of grain in warehouses of Class A in which the proprietors, lessees, or managers thereof store their own grain as may in their opinion be necessary to prevent any fraud upon or discrimination against other depositors of grain in their said warehouses, and to prevent any proprietor, lessee, or manager of such warehouse from securing to himself as the owner of grain stored therein any benefit or advantage over any other depositor of grain stored in such warehouse or warehouses. (As amended by act approved May 26, 1897, in force July 1, 1897. Laws of 1897, p. 302.)
Warehouse receipts.-Section 7 provides that the owner or consignee of grain in a warehouse of Class A shall be entitled to receive a warehouse receipt, all charges that are liens on such grain having been paid, such receipt to state on its face, among other things, the quantity and inspected grade of the grain; that it has been received in store, and is deliverable upon the return of the receipt properly indorsed. This section also requires all receipts for grain to be consecutively numbered, and prohibits the issuing of two receipts bearing the same number from the same warehouse during any one year. The case of lost receipts is provided for.
Section 8 requires that before delivery of grain from store the surrendered receipt shall be plainly marked across its face with the word “Canceled,” with the name of the person canceling the same.
Section 9 contains divers provisions relating to warehouse receipts tending to prevent fraud in respect thereto and to preserve the integrity thereof.
Section 10 prohibits a warehouseman from inserting in receipts issued by him any language limiting his liability or responsibility as imposed by the laws of the State.
Section 11 provides for the prompt delivery by the warehouseman of the property stored upon the return of the receipt issued by him properly indorsed and tender of all proper charges. In case of default in delivery the warehouseman is made liable to the owner of the receipts for damages for such default in the sum of 1 cent per bushel, and in addition thereto 1 cent per bushel for each and every day such neglect or refusal continues.
Statements.-Section 12 requires from each warehouseman of Class A weekly statements to be made out and posted up conspicuouslyin the business office of his warehouse, showing the amountof each kind and grade of grain in store in his warehouse; also a similar statement, under oath, to the warehouse registrar appointed under the act. A daily statement is also required to be made to the registrar of the amount of each kind and grade of grain received in store on the previous day: also the amount of each kind and grade of grain delivered or shipped by such. warehouseman during the previous day and what warehouse receipts have been canceled, etc.
Inspection and grading of grain.-Section 13 contained a full and complete statement as to the grade of the several kinds of grain accustomed to be stored in public warehouses, but was amended by an act approved April 15, 1873.
This amendatory act required the Board of Railroad and Warehouse Commissioners to establish a proper standard for the inspection of grain, with authority to change the same from time to time after public notice had been given of the con. templated change, provided that no mixture of old and new grades should be permitted while in store.
The amendatory act also required the commissioners to appoint three discreet and competent persons to act as a committee of appeals in every city wherein a warehouse of Class A was located, with power to make all necessary rules governing the manner of appeals.
Section 4 of the amendatory act was amended by an act approved June 26, 1885, which required the members of the committee of appeals to take an oath and execute a bond in the penal sum of $5,000 each, to be approved by the Railroad and
Warehouse Commissioners, before entering upon their duties, and prohibited the appointment of any person on such committee who was a purchaser or receiver of grain or other articles to be passed upon by the committee.
Section 14 was amended by an act approved June 7, 1897, as follows: Paragraph 1 makes it the duty of the Governor to appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, a suitable person, not a member of the board of trade, nor interested in any warehouse in the State, a chief inspector of grain, to hold his office for two years, in every city or county in which is located a warehouse of Class A or Class B. As to Class B, the appointment only to be made on the recommendation of the commission, such recommendation to be dependent upon the request of the county commissioners or board of supervisors of the county.
Paragraph 2 confers upon the chief inspector the duty of a general supervision over the inspection of grain, under the advice and direction of the commission.
Paragraph 3 authorizes the chief inspector to nominate to the commission, and the latter to appoint, a suitable number of persons qualified to act as assistant inspectors.
Paragraphs 4 and 5 require the chief inspector to take an official oath and to execute a bond in the sum of $50,000 when appointed for any city in which is located a warehouse of Class A, and in the sum of $10,000 when appointed for any other city or county; each assistant to take a like oath, and execute a bond in the sum of $5,000. Such bonds are to be executed with sureties to be approved by the commission.
Paragraphs 6 and 7. All inspectors of grain and other employees in connection therewith are to be governed in their respective duties by such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the board of commissioners, which board is empowered to fix their compensation, to make rules and regulations, and to fix the rate of charges for the inspection of grain and the manner of collection thereof.
Paragraphs 8 and 9 authorize the board of commissioners to appoint a warehouse registrar and necessary assistants; to have a general supervision and control over them, and prescribe their duties and fix their compensation.
Paragraph 10. The board of commissioners, upon complaint in writing, supported by reasonable and satisfactory proof, is empowered to remove any person appointed under this act for official misconduct, and to appoint his successor.
Paragraph 11. All necessary expenses incident to the inspection of grain, and to the office of registrar, are deemed expenses of the inspection service, and are required to be included in the estimate of expenses of such service and to be paid from the funds collected for the same.
Storage rates.-Section 15 requires each warehouseman of Class A to publish during the first week of January of oach year, in one or more newspapers published in the city in which his warehouse is located, a table or schedule of rates for the storage of grain in his warehouse during the ensuing year. It likewise fixes the maximum charges for storage, which are modified, however, in case of grain damp or liable to early damage, as indicated by its inspection when received.
Loss or damage by fire or from heating.–Section 16 relieves the public warehouseman from loss or damage to property by fire while in his custody in case he has exercised reasonable care and vigilance to protect the same; and likewise relieves him from liability for damage to grain by heating, if it can be shown that he has exercised proper care in handling and storing the same.
(This section contains other provisions, embracing both Class A and B warehousemen, to prevent injustice to them when grain is discovered to be out of condition, etc.)
Tampering with grain.-Section 17 declares it to be unlawful for any public warehouseman to mix any grain of different grades together, or to select different qualities of the same grade for the purpose of storing or delivering the same, or to attempt to deliver grain of one grade for another, or in any way to tamper with grain while in his possession or custody with a view of securing any profit to himself or any other person; and in no case is be permitted to mix grain of different grades together while in store.
E.xamination of property in store.-SEC, 18. Owners of property, or persons interested therein, and authorized inspectors thereof are authorized to examine all property stored in any public warehouse during ordinary business hours.
Scales.-All scales used for weighing property in public warehouses are made subject to examination and test by any authorized inspector or sealer of weights and measures at any time when required by any person whose property has been or is to be weighed on such scales.
The use of scales found to be in an imperfect or incorrect condition, until they have been found correct and properly sealed, by any warehouseman, makes him liable to be proceeded against. (See Criminal Code, sec. 101, “ False weights and measures.")