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Certain acts declared misdemeanors.—To knowingly cheat or falsely weigh any wheat or other agricultural product, or to violate any provision of the statute, is made a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $1,000, and imprisonment for not more than one year.
Testing and sealing scales and measures.—The board of commissioners, or any member thereof, is privileged at any time, without notice, to enter public warehouses and test and seal all weighing scales and measures in use, and for that purpose is authorized to furnish itself with standard weights and measures.
Producers excepted from act.—Producers are permitted to market, store, or ship their own products in any manner they choose, without license or bond.
Warehouse sites.—The following acts have been passed by the legislature of the State of South Dakota on this subject, to wit:
1. An act entitled “An act to provide a procedure for the condemnation of public warehouse sites on the right of way of railways." Approved March 10, 1891.
2. An act amendatory thereof, approved February 3, 1893.
3. An act entitled "An act to provide a procedure for condemnation of public warehouse sites on the right of way of railways." Approved March 4, 1895.
These three acts considered together form a very complete system to attain the end proposed. Its machinery is put in motion only after the railway has refused the privilege of construction of a warehouse upon its depot grounds or warehouse lots to a person or firm requesting it, and the Railroad Commissioners after due consideration have determined that the construction of such a warehouse is necessary and will advance the public welfare. If their determination is adverse to the applicant, it is final, and no further procedure can be had in the premises. In case of a favorable determination, it becomes the duty of the Board of Railway Commissioners to fix the location of the public warehouse, and furnish a memorandum of such determination and of the location of the site to the applicant therefor.
Compensation of the railroad company.-- The applicant for the site must file a verified petition in the circuit court of the county where the property is situated, praying that a just compensation to be made for such property may be ascertained by a jury. Provisions are made for the summoning of jurors, the holding of a special term of the court, the empaneling of a jury, the trial and rendering of a verdict, as in a trial in the circuit court. The only question to be tried that of the compensation to be paid for the property so taken. Upon the return of a verdict the court directs that it be recorded, and enters judgment thereon as the case may require. Upon payment or tender of the damages assessed by the jury to the clerk of the court for the benefit of the railway company, the plaintiff (applicant) may proceed to erect a public warehouse upon such site, the right of occupancy being vested in him or his heirs or assigns.
Side-track facilities.-An act was approved March 6, 1899, requiring railroads to furnish side-track facilities between their main track and elevators, warehouses and flouring mills upon or contiguous to their rights of way, under severe penalties for noncompliance, whenever the Board of Railroad Commissioners orders such side tracks to be constructed and maintained.
Warehouses.—The statute authorizes 3 or more adult persons, residents of the State, to form a corporation to construct and operate warehouses.
Connection with tracks of railroads.-The owner of an elevator or warehouse inay, at his own expense, construct a railroad track from such elevator or warehouse to such railroad and connect with the same by a switch at a point within the yard limits of the station or terminus, and the railroad corporation is required to allow such connection. The side track and switch are to be kept in repair and operated for the benefit of the owner by the railroad, but at the expense of the former, who is to pay monthly the actual cost of such maintenance and operation.
False receipts. — The issuance of a receipt by a warehouseman for property not actually in store at the time, or the selling or incumbering, shipping, or in any manner removing beyond his immediate control property received by him, without the consent of the holder of the receipt issued in respect to such property; or the delivering of property to a person other than the one holding the receipt therefor, and the surrender and cancellation of such receipt; or the issuing of a second or duplicate receipt for such property, while any former receipt is outstanding and uncanceled, without writing across the face thereof the word “duplicate,” is punishable by imprisonment in the State prison not more than 3 years, nor less than 1 year, or by imprisonment in the county jail not more than 1 year, or by a fine not exceeding $1,000.
Negotiability of receipts.-A warehouse receipt is made transferable by delivery without indorsement or assignment, and the person to whom it may be transferred is deemed the owner of the property therein specified, so far as to give validity to any pledge, lien or transfer made or created by such person, unless the receipt is marked with the words "not negotiable" plainly written or stamped on the face.
The last preceding section was amended by an act approved April 10, 1899, by adding thereto as follows: “And any warehouse receipt issued by any person or persons keeping, running and managing a public warehouse, on goods, wares, or merchandise owned by him or them, and which he or they have, at the time of issuing such warehouse receipt, actually stored in the said warehouse, shall have the same force and effect to protect the owner and holder thereof on any loan or advance of money he may have made on the same, as a warehouse receipt issued by the keeper and manager of a public warehouse to any other person who brings goods, wares, or merchandise to be stored in such public warehouse.'
An act was approved April 26, 1899, permitting all persons, firms, or corporations owning or dealing in grains, seeds, or other farm products, and various other commodities, who own or control the structures wherein any such business is conducted or commodities stored, to issue elevator or warehouse certificates or receipts for any such commodities actually on hand and in store the property of such person, firm, or corporation, and thereby sell, assign, encumber, or pledge such commodities.
The act, however, prescribes various duties to be performed before such certificates or receipts can be lawfully issued, such as a written declaration containing the name and place of residence or location of such person, tirm, or corporation, etc., to be filed with the register of deeds of the county wherein such structures are situated, and to be by him recorded.
Nothing in the act, however, is to interfere with or impair the right to issue and negotiate warehouse receipts or certificates under existing laws or under any regulations of any chamber of commerce or board of trade within the State.”
DECISIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES,
AND OF THE SUPREME COURTS OF CERTAIN STATES, GIVING CONSTRUCTION TO THE LAWS RELATING TO PUBLIC WAREHOUSES AND ELEVATORS.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES. Elevator charges may be regulated by State legislation.-An act of the legislature of New York (Laws of 1888, chap. 581) provided that the maximum charge for elevating, receiving, weighing, and discharging grain should not exceed five-eighths of 1 cent a bushel, and that in the process of handling grain by means of floating and stationary elevators the lake vessels or propellers, the ocean vessels or steamships, and canal boats should only be required to pay the actual cost of trimming or shoveling to the leg of the elevator when unloading and trimming cargo when loading: Held, that the act was a legitimate exercise of the police power of the State over a business affected with a public interest and did not violate the Constitution of the United States, and was valid.
Munn v. Illinois (94 U. S., 113) reviewed and adhered to and its application in cases decided in the State courts considered. The case of Munn v. Illinois is fully digested in Volume II of the reports of the Industrial Commission, pp. 57, 58.]
Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway Company v. Minnesota (134 U. S., 418) explained.
Although the act of New York did not apply to places having less than 130,000 population, it did not deprive persons owning elevators in places of 130,000 population or more of the equal protection of the laws. (February 29, 1892. Budd v. New York, 143 U. S., 517.)
Public and private warehouses distinguished under the laws of North Dakota.Brass, the plaintiff in error, owned and operated a grain elevator in Grand Harbor, N. Dak. Stoeser, the defendant in error, owned a farm adjoining the village, on which in the year 1891 he raised about 4,000 bushels of wheat. On September 30, 1891, Stoeser applied to store a part of his wheat crop for the compensation fixed by section 11 of chapter 26 of the laws of North Dakota for the year 1891, which Brass refused to do unless paid therefor at a rate in excess of that fixed by statute. On this refusal, Stoeser filed in the district court of Ramsey County, N. Dak., a petition for an alternative writ of mandamus. The court granted the writ. Brass made return by answer, and to this Stoeser interposed a general demarrer, which was sustained, and Brass electing in open court to stand on his return, a peremptory writ of mandamus was allowed. From this judgment an appeal was taken to the Supreme Court of Dakota, which affirmed the order and jrdgment of the district court. Brass sued out a writ of error to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Held, the act of March 7, 1891, of North Dakota, “regulating grain warehouses and weighing and handling of grain,” declaring elevators, etc., to be public warehouses and their owners to be public warehousemen and requiring them to give bond conditioned for the faithful performance of their duty as such, fixing rates of storage, and requiring them to keep insured for the benefit of the owners all grain stored with them, does not apply to elevators built by a person only for the purpose of storing his own grain, and not to receive and store the grain of others, and being so construed it does not deny the equal protection of the laws to the owner of an elevator made a public warehouse by it, does not deprive him of his property without due process of law, does not amount to a regulation of commerce between the States, and is not in conflict with the Constitution of the United States. Munn v. Illinois, 94 U. S., 113, and Budd v. New York, 143 U. S., 517, reviewed and adhered to. (May 14, 1894. Brass v. North Dakota, ex rel. Stoeser, 153 U.S., 391.)
Identity of stored merchandise preserved under certain conditions.-Although warehouse receipts, when issued, may fail to state on their face the brands or distinguishing marks, yet if, before any valid liens attach to the property stored, the party storing the same specifically sets apart and allots the merchandise in the warehouse to such receipts, then in the hands of assignees for value, the uncertainty as to goods called for by the receipts will, as against the storer and those seeking to assert his rights, be removed, and the lien of the receipts enforced as to the property thus identified and set apart; and this, though the substitution and setting apart of the property may be done without the knowledge of the holders of the receipts. The rights of such holders rest upon estoppel, and not upon contract. (June 23, 1892. Hoffman v, Schoyer, 143 U.S.,598.)
STATE SUPREME COURTS.
Where a warehouseman receives grain, he will be liable to the party storing the same if he delivers it to any other person without authority from the owner, unless the latter has done some act or acts to estop him from denying permission to make such delivery.
Order required for delivery of grain-Sampler's ticket not a warehouse receipt.It is the usual custom on the board of trade in Peoria, when grain has been consigned to a dealer and the railroad cars in which it was shipped remain upon the track, to cause the grain to be sampled by a person appointed by the board of trade for that purpose, the sampler giving to the consignee a ticket stating the kind and grade of the grain inspected, and the consignee named, with a sample of the grain. It appeared also to have been the custom when a sale was made on the board for the seller to mark on the sampler's ticket the name of the purchaser and the price and give the same to the purchaser, with an order, either verbal or written, to deliver the grain sold at such place as the buyer may designate. It was held that a warehouseman to whom a shipment of grain had been delivered on the order of one who had purchased under the conditions mentioned was not authorized to deliver the grain to such purchaser merely upon the presentation of the sampler's ticket with the name of the purchaser and the price marked thereon, without any order from the seller. The sampler's ticket was not a warehouse receipt, in the sense of the term used in the statute. (June 13, 1885. Peoria v. Pekin Rwy. Co., 114 Ill., 337.)
Warehouse receipts—Effect of possession.—To affect subsequent purchasers without notice and creditors there must be an actual delivery of personal property to consummate a sale; but the rule has its exceptions, as in the case of warehouse receipts. Usage has made the possession of such documents equivalent to the possession of the property itself.
Purchase of grain by warehouseman.-The law makes no distinction in respect to grain purchased or acquired by the holder of such receipts from others, and those acquired from the warehouseman himself. The law does not prohibit him from selling his property, and if he does so in good faith he may become its future custodian, and the fact that he keeps a public warehouse is sufficient to put parties on inquiry as to the ownership of grain stored.
Warehouseman as agent.-Where a warehouseman purchased grain stored by him, for another person, and with such other person's money, and took up his outstanding receipt held by the vendor, it was held that the grain was not liable thereafter to be taken in execution against the warehouseman. (January term, 1875, Broadwell v. Howard, 77 Ill., 305.)
Usage of the market. A person who deals in a particular market must be taken to deal according to the known, general, and uniform custom or usage of that market, and he who employs another to act for him at a particular place or market must be taken as intending that the business to be done will be done according to the custom and usage of that place or market, whether the principal in fact knew of the usage or custom or not. Warehouse receipts not property of consignor, but eridences of debt.
Under the custom of trade in Chicago a commission merchant to whom grain is consigned, may dispose of the warehouse receipt given him for the same, although directed by the consignor not to sell, bui to hold the grain for further orders, if he keeps on hand, ready for delivery when called on, other receipts for a like quantity and grade of grain. The receipts are not the consignor's property, and do not represent his property, but are merely evidences of a debt to the consignee.
Special bins.-The shipper of grain may, by consent of the warehouseman, have his grain kept in a separate bin by itself, which consent must appear upon the
face of the receipt, as well as the number of the bin, or he may instruct the commission man, and require him to keep the identical receipts received upon his shipment, and not part with them except when he sells on his account.
Consignee a debtor:- Where a consignee of grain stores the same in a warehouse, and it is intermixed with other grain of like grade, and a receipt is taken for the amount, the grain being no longer capable of identification, the owner parts with his property in the same, and the consignee to whom the receipt is given, instead of being a bailee, becomes a debtor to the owner.
Accountability of commission merchant.-If a commission man places the grain of his consignor in a warehouse, taking a receipt therefor, and disposes of the receipt, and afterwards fails to keep warehouse receipts for the same amount and grade of grain, it will not amount to a conversion of the grain. The only effect will be a bar to his charges for storage and insurance.
Commission merchant-Compensation for advances.-A commission merchant may rightfully sell grain consigned to him to reimburse himself for advances made, after a reasonable time, when such is the usage of trade.
Commission merchants-Storage and insurance charges.- Accounts of sales rendered monthly by a commission merchant to the consignor for several years, containing items of charges for storage and insurance, unobjected to until after suit brought by the former for a balance due him, is prima facie evidence of the correctness of the account, and the right to make such charges. (September term, 1877. Bailey v. Bensely, 87 Ill., 556.)
Inspection of grain-Inspectors appointed by board of trade.-By the act of 1867, incorporating the East St. Louis Board of Trade, there were conferred upon that board all the powers and privileges, and it was subjected to all the restrictions, of the Chicago Board of Trade, as then existing under its charter of 1859. Section 10 of the charter of the Board of Trade of Chicago merely authorizes an inspection of grain by inspectors appointed by the board of trade among its members, or to any other person who may agree thereto, and such inspectors so appointed have no authority to act in any other case or under other or different circumstances.
Board of trade inspectors not affected by Illinois act of 1871.—The act of 1871, for the regulation of public warehouses, was not intended as an amendment of the charters of boards of trade. That act was intended as a complete system of itself, in no manner connected with or depending upon any other law on the subject. Under it no provision is made for the appointment of inspectors of grain for public warehouses in Class B.
Under the act of 1871, in relation to public warehouses, it making no provision for the appointment of inspectors of grain in Class B, the owners or proprietors of that class of warehouses could conduct their business without inspection, as before the passage of the law. This seeming defect in the act can not be construed to invest boards of trade with the power of appointing such inspectors.
Section 19 of the act of 1871 prohibits warehousemen of Class B from receiving and mixing the grain of different owners until the same shall have been inspected in all places where there are legally appointed inspectors of grain. Such inspectors are not such as are appointed by a board of trade, but such as might be appointed under power subsequently conferred by law.
So inspectors appointed by the Board of Trade of East St. Louis are not legally appointed under this section. (January term, 1883. East St. Louis Board of Trade v. People ex rel. McCormick, 105 Ill., 382.)
Warehouse receipts.- A warehouse receipt stands in the place of the grain it represents, and the possession of the receipt is regarded as the possession in law of the grain itself; and as the warehouseman is not required to surrender the grain until the return of the receipt and the payment of charges, one who obtains it under such circumstances as would charge him with notice of a want of title in his assignor, the real owner, may recover of him, in trover, the value of the grain on his refusal to surrender the receipt to him. (November term, 1882. Canadian Bank v. McRae, 106 Ill., 281.)
The weight of the American authorities is that when the sale or exchange is part of a mass of the same kind, quality, and grade-as of part of the corn or wheat in an elevator-separation from the mass or other specification of the particular part sold is unnecessary to its appropriation, independent of the statute vesting the ownership in the holder of a warehouse receipt." (May 11, 1891. Cloke v. Shafroth, 137 ml., 393.)
Where the grain of different owners has all been intermingled in one common mass, according to the usage of warehousemen and without objection by the owners, it becomes common property, owned by the several parties in the proportion in which each has contributed to the common stock,