Page images
PDF
EPUB

The Supreme Court of Illinois did not hold that the ordering of fire drills by the employes of large manufacturing buildings is beyond the police power of the State, but only that none of the statutory provisions on the point gave the city authority to do so.

A SUNDAY NEWSPAPER A “WORK OF NECESSITY.”—The Supreme Court of Missouri has settled a controversy which has afflicted the lower courts of the State for some time, even the two intermediate appellate courts having taken different views on the question. The Supreme Court lays it down that publishing a Sunday newspaper is a “work of necessity” within the Sunday law of the State and that it is immaterial that the paper contains advertisements and that the labor used in making up, printing and delivering the paper is increased on account of the advertisements, and hence the recovery of a balance due for advertising cannot be defeated on the ground that the papers containing the advertisements were printed, mailed and delivered on Sundays. The following is from the opinion :

"While we have read both opinions of the Court of Appeals with much interest and great profit, yet we base our decision of this case upon the broad ground that the work and labor complained of by the defendant does no violence to said section 4801, which reads as follows:

" 'Every person who shall either labor himself, or compel or permit his apprentice or servant, or any other person under his charge or control, to labor or perform any work other than the household offices of daily necessity, or other works of necessity or charity, or who shall be guilty of hunting game or shooting on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and fined not exceeding fifty dollars.'

“By reading this statute it will be seen that household work of necessity and other works of necessity or charity are expressly excepted from its operation. That being true, then the only question presented for determination is whether or not the publication of the great daily papers of the country on Sunday is a work of necessity. In order to decide that question correctly we should take a brief view of the service the great daily papers of the cities, which constitute a large part of what we call the press of the country, are doing for the good of humanity. The press disseminates practically all of the public news of the world, and a large part of that which is personal; it imparts intelligence regarding the public health, public morals and public safety, and materially aids in the preservation of the two former and in the defense of the latter; it is the mouthpiece of the statesman and lawmaker, and proclaims to the world how government affairs are administered; it points to the capable and honest official usually with just commendation, and singles out the inefficient and those derelict in duty, and as a rule is at the head of those collecting and disbursing public charity.

"Moreover, the press is a great educator in literature, art and science, and points out their beneficent influence upon the home, morality and religion: it enables the poor who earn their bread by the sweat of their faces to procure employment, to familiarize themselves with the best and cheapest necessities of life and the most reliable places where they may be procured; it imparts to the business man price currents which largely

control the commerce of the world; it informs the financier the rates of items and exchange around the world which keep finances of all nations within conservative bounds, and it makes known to employers of labor the condition of the industrial world, etc., and so on to the end of all good and useful vocations of life. The great service the press is rendering to humanity is performed on Sunday as well as upon Monday, or upon any other day of the week, and its beneficence is more potent on the former than on the latter, for the simple reason that the toiling masses have more time to read the papers on Sunday than upon any other day of the week, and therefore acquire greater knowledge and information from them regarding the matters stated on that day than upon any other day.

“Upon this state of affairs, where is the court or jury in Christendom which would convict the publishers of the Post-Dispatch if indicted for publishing that paper on Sunday? This is the test. Of course, they do not exist, and that is because the former would take judicial notice of the fact that such publications are matters of public necessity, and the latter would not stultify itself by finding a verdict of guilty against the publishers in the face of overwhelming evidence which would be introduced in such a case. The fact that the paper contained the advertisement, and that a part of the labor which was used in making it up and printing and delivering it was increased on that account, in no manner altered the case, for the reason that the paper with its advertisements constituted the necessity, and such a paper without them would be practically worthless to thousands in every city.

"In the progress of time and the uplift of man things which used to be useless or luxurious have become prime necessities. For instance, the railroads, the street cars, the telegraph and the telephone. All of these have been declared public necessities, and this court, in the case of State v, Railroad (239 Mo. 196, 143 S. W. 785), held that railroads could be compelled, under a legislative enactment, to operate trains on Sunday, and in a number of cases that telephones are public necessities. The press is a greater public necessity than all of them. In my opinion it ranks as one of the four great institutions of the country, namely, the home, the church, the public school and the press. We have so recently been over the question, work of necessity, and collected and cited the authorities through the country bearing upon it, in the case of State v. Railroad (supra), no good or useful purpose would be served by a further discussion of it here."48

48 Pulitzer Pub. Co. v. McNichols, 181 S. W. 1.

NOTES OF RECENT DECISIONS. ADMIRALTY-MARITIME LIENS-LAW CREATING AND GOVERNING—"High SEA.”—The term “high sea" does not apply to the waters of a port or harbor, and while a tort committed on the high sea is amenable to the law of the ship's flag, one committed on a vessel in the port or harbor of another country is governed, as to the rights of the person injured, exclusively by the law of such country. A maritime lien is a matter of substantive law and not of procedure, and cannot be created by the courts. A stevedore, injured through the fault of those in charge of a vessel which he was helping to discharge in a port of British Columbia, the laws of which country do not give a lien for such injury, cannot maintain a suit in rem against the vessel therefor in a court of admiralty of the United States. The Cuzco, 225 F. 169.

BANKRUPTCY-TRANSFERS IN FRAUD OF CREDITORS.—Where a father made payments to his wife and to his daughter for her marriage trousseau, and it appeared that some of the payments at least were made after he knew of his bankruptcy, but it was not shown whether the daughter was not at that time an infant, or that the father did not suppose that he was bound to make provision for her, such payments, being reasonable, will not be held in fraud of creditors, and hence an offered composition will not be denied on the ground that the bankrupt had made transfers in fraud of creditors. Re Silberstein, 225 F. 665

BANKS AND BANKING-LETTER OF ADVICE-CLEARING HOUSE.-1. The sending, by the drawer of a cheque to the drawee, of a letter of advice reading "Please protect our cheques $75 o/ A. E. R. Assn. $30,000 o/ B. T. Co. $30,075 by the debit of our account” is not sufficient to take such cheques out of the general rule that a cheque does not constitute an assignment pro tanto of the fund on which it is drawn, or to establish a collateral agreement for such an assignment. 2. The exchange of cheques at the New York Clearing House, under the rules of the New York Clearing House Association, does not amount to a definitive payment of such cheques, but only to a tentative or provisional payment until the expiration of the time for demanding a refund from the paying bank, under the Clearing House rule, and if the bank on which a cheque is drawn declines, for any reason, to admit the item, and the amount is refunded by the bank which held the cheque, there has been no payment of the cheque (Columbia-Knickerbocker Trust Co. v. Miller, 215 N. Y. 191, and Hentz v. National City Bank, 159 App. Div., approved). Eastman Kodak Co. v. Bank, 54 N. Y. L. J. 2245. (U. S.)

CARRIERS OF PASSENGERS-WHEN DOES ONE BECOME A “PASSENGER"?Where one goes to a flag station on the line of a railway company, at which passenger trains are accustomed to stop to take on passengers upon being signaled, and gives a proper signal to indicate his intention to get upon an approaching passenger train, he does not ipso facto become a passenger, and a charge to that effect was erroneous. Georgia, Etc., R. Co. v. Tapley, 87 S. E. 473; 82 Cent. L. J. 105, note. (Ga.)

COMMERCE–INTERSTATE-SALE OF NATURAL GAS.-It is no part of interstate commerce to sell natural gas to the consumers thereof in this State (Kansas) where the gas sold is produced in both Kansas and Oklahoma, and that produced in Oklahoma, after being conveyed in pipe lines to this State, is so commingled, in the pipe lines conveying the same, with the gas produced in this State, that it is impossible to separate of distinguish that produced in Oklahoma from that produced in Kansas, and after being so commingled it is conveyed from city to city throughout this State and is there sold to the consumers thereof. 2. Assuming that the sale of natural gas produced in Oklahoma, from there transported into this State through pipe lines and here sold to consumers throughout the State, is interstate commerce, it is not national in its nature, it does not admit of one uniform system of regulation, it is not that kind of interstate commerce which requires exclusive legislation by Congress, and until Congress acts it is under the control of this State. State v. Independence Gas Co., 152 P. 22. (Kan.)

CONTRACTS-CONSTRUCTION-SUBJECT MATTER—"PASSENGER TRAIN."-A railway train operated on a fixed schedule is a "passenger train," within the contemplation of a contract using that term, if the train includes one or more cars for the accommodation and carriage of passengers under the regulations imposed by law for the transportation of passengers, notwithstanding it may include cars used exclusively for the transportation of freight. Atkinson v. Boggs, 86 S. E. 63. (Ga.)

FRAUDULENT CONVEYANCES—CLAIM FOR TORT.-A claimant ex delicto is a "creditor," within the meaing of the rule that conveyances may be set aside when made to defraud the grantor's creditors. Henry v. Yost, 152 P. 714; 82 Cent. L. J. 54, note. (Wash.)

HUSBAND AND WIFE-ACTIONS FOR TORTS-STATUTORY PROVISIONS.— Neither Shannon's Code, $ 6470, making one committing an assault and battery upon his wife for any cause whatsoever guilty of a misdemeanor, nor Acts 1913, c. 26, providing that married women are thereby fully emancipated from all disability on account of coverture, that marriage shall not impose any disability or incapacity on a woman as to the ownership, acquisition, or disposition of property, or as to her capacity to make contracts, and do all acts in reference to property which she could lawfully do if she were not married, but that every married woman shall have the same capacity to acquire, hold, control, and dispose of property and to make any contract in reference thereto and to bind herself personally, and to sue and be sued as if she were not married, abrogates the common-law rule that one spouse cannot sue the other for a tort committed during the marriage, as it must be assumed that, if it had been the purpose of the Legislature to change this rule, such purpose would have been clearly expressed, or would have appeared by necessary implication. Lillienkamp v. Rippetoe, 179 S. W. 628. (Tenn.)

INSURANCE, ACCIDENT—"EXTERNAL, VIOLENT AND ACCIDENTAL MEANS"“INVOLUNTARY” TAKING OF Poison.–1. Within a policy insuring against death, resulting from external, violent, and accidental means, death resulting from the taking of poison may result from "external, violent, and accidental means.” 2. Under a policy insuring against death, through external, violent, and accidental means, but providing that the insurer assumed no liability for death from the voluntary or involuntary taking of poison, where medicine given insured by a doctor contained strychnine which caused his death, the insurer was not liable, since while the taking of the poison as distinguished from the taking of the medicine was unintentional, a thing is not "accidental" which is intentional and voluntarily done, and the word "voluntary" infers an act done with volition, knowledge, and intent, while "involuntary” is an antonym of "yoluntary," and applies to an act done without volition and without knowledge and intent. Riley v. Accident Assn., 152 N. W. 617. (Ia.)

LIMITATIONS-ACTIONS-AMENDING COMPLAINT-NEW CAUSE OF ACTION. -The complaint in an action for the death of a pedestrian struck by a street car in both its counts based the right of recovery on the general allegation that defendant was careless and negligent in the running and operation of its car at the time and place of the accident. The scope of such general averment was not limited either by a statement that the car was being operated at great speed or by one that it was so operated after discovery of deceased in a position of danger. An amendment to the complaint was offered and allowed after time for commencing an action had elapsed to the effect that the fender on the car for picking up and

saving persons knocked down had negligently been folded up, so that it would not operate, by reason of which deceased was negligently injured. Held that such amendment added neither a new cause of action, nor a new act of negligence not already covered by the general allegation, nor even a contributing cause to the accident. Arbunich v, K. Co., 152 P. 51. (Cal.)

LIMITATIONS-SUSPENSION OF STATUTE-COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION IN COURT WITHOUT JURISDICTION.-Plaintiff brought this action in court with no jurisdiction over the party defendant before the statutory period and it was dismissed. Within a year afterward, but beyond the statutory period, he brought this action in the proper court. Held, the first action was sufficient to toll the Statute of Limitations. Gaines v. New York, 215 N. Y. 533.

MASTER AND SERVANT—DURATION OF EMPLOYMENT.—Where services are rendered under an offer to pay therefor at a stipulated sum per week or month, without specifying the duration of the employment, it may be terminated by either party at the end of any unit period. National Life Ins. Co. v. Ferguson, 69 S. 823; 81 Cent. L. J. 441, note. (Ala.)

MASTER AND SERVANT—CONTRACT TO PAY SHARE OF PROFITS-UNCERTAINTY.–A testified that while working for B, who was an architect, at a weekly salary, B said to him: "I am going to give you $5 more a week; if you boys will go on and continue the way you have and get me out of this trouble and get these jobs started that were in the office three years, on the first of next January I will close my books and give you a fair share of my profits." He further testified: "He said at that time, 'I am going to give you $5 more a week, starting this week. . . . You boys go on and continue the work you are doing and the first of January, next year, I will close my books and give you a fair share of my profits.' " In an action to recover a fair and reasonable percentage of B's net profits in his business it was held that the language above quoted was too vague, indefinite and uncertain with respect to the amount which A was to receive in addition to his salary to be the basis of a recovery. Varnes v. Ditman, 54 N. Y. L. J. 2001. (N. Y.)

MORTGAGES-CHATTEL-PRIORITY OF LIEN.—Where a livery stable keeper allows horses upon which he has a lien for food and shelter to be taken out and used in the ordinary manner by the owner, he loses his lien as against a mortgagee of the horses, who has no knowledge that they are boarded at his stable, since the temporary surrender of the horses gave the mortgagee a prior right, which from that time continued on without interruption. Drummond v. Griffin, 95 A 506; 81 Cent. L. J. 387, note. , (Me.)

MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS-BUILDING REGULATIONS.--An ordinance of the board of commissioners of Jersey City that, to protect property on residence streets, no building of any kind shall be constructed, built, erected, or moved upon any land in the city so as to be in front of the whole or any part of any dwelling house situated upon such land, or in any way that will cut off the frontage, unless a permit is obtained from the superintendent of buildings, is unconstitutional as transcending the limits of the city's police power. Lavery v. Commrs. of Jersey City, 96 A 292; 82 Cent, L. J. 142, note. (N. J.)

NEGLIGENCE-CONCURRING NEGLIGENCE.--Where plaintiff was injured when the spikes in the rear wheels of the steam roller which he operated under the direction of county officials pierced a gas main, resulting in an explosion which severely burned him as the gas came in contact with the fire box of the roller, the fact that the county officials had knowledge that the gas main was dangerously near the surface of the road, and nevertheless ordered plaintiff to operate his roller, will not excuse the gas company for negligently laying its main too near the surface, since

« PreviousContinue »