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Lucas Circuit Court.

MR. T.J. GLADWELL,

“Dear Sir:—The lease executed between the late Horace Holcomb and yourself under date of the fifteenth day of December, 1888, and for one year, from the first day of January, 1889, to the first day of January, 1890, and under the continuation of which you have been in occupation of store No. 309 Monroe street, Toledo, Ohio, (old number 31 Monroe street) in Holcomb Block will expire and terminate on the first day of January, 1897, on which date you will please surrender and give up possession of said store as the owners have decided to make other uses of it, and will not renew the lease.

“ Yours very truly,

“ ELIZABETH H. HUME and
“ELIZABETH HOLCOMB, owners,

“By Wm. A. HUME, Agent.” "Served August 31, 1896."

On January 2, 1897, the owners, by Wm. A. Hume, their agen: served upon Mr. Gladwell another notice, notifying him to leave the premises described in the notice, and describing the same as in the first notice, and that his compliance with that notice within three days after its service would prevent legal measures being taken against him. The three days' time having expired, complaint was filed before a justice of the peace against Mr. Gladwell in the usual form. Upon the trial the justice instructed the jury-reading the part which is excepted to, as follows:

“This court would hold however, and so instructs you, that if you shall find from the testimony that the plaintiff served upon defendant a four months' notice, the notice of four months' duration, under the circumstances, this court would instruct you that it was a reasonable notice.”

The defendant asked the court to give this to the jury:

"If Mr. Gladwell entered into the use and occupation of the premises at issue in this cause under a lease for one year, to terminate on the first day of January, 1890, and if he, Gladwell, thereafter remained in the use and occupation of said premises from year to year, until the first day of January, 1897, paying rents therefor, as under the same written lease, and if such rents have been received by Mr. Holcomb during his life, and after his death they were received by the plaintiffs, his, Gladwell's tenancy of said premises is a tenancy from year to year, from said first day of January, 1890, to said first day of January, 1897, and if so, he, Gladwell, was and is entitled to a six months' notice to quit said premises, for any current year. And if the jury shall find from the evidence in this cause, that he (Gladwell) did thus enter upon and hold such premises, it was the duty of the plaintiffs if they desired to terminate said lease on the first day of January, A. D. 1897, to give Mr. Gladwell notice to quit said premises six months prior to said first day of January, 1897. And if the jury under such circumstances shall find that the plaintiffs failed to so notify Mr. Gladwell, they must return a verdict in his favor.”

The notice which I have read indicates that it was given to Mr. Gladwell more than four months before the commencement of proceedings and more than four months before the expiration of the year during which he was then holding these premises. The year would expire on the first day of January, 1897, and the notice was served on the thirtyfirst day of August, 1896, and it is claimed that the court should not have instructed the jury that four months was a reasonable time—or a reasonable notice—under the circumstances of the case, but that the court

Gladwell v: Holcomb and Hume.

should have instructed the jury that a six months' uotice is required by law. Or, if the court refuseâ tr, charge the jury that a six months' notice is required by law, it should have then charged the jury that reasonable rotice, or a reasonable time, should be given, and that the question of what is a reasonable time, should be left for the jury to determine under all the circumstances of the case; and this is the question which I desire to notice :

First, as to whether six months' notice is required by the law of Ohio to be given for a termination of a tenancy such as the one herethe holding over after the expiration of the lease and a holding over which has been held to be a holding over from year to year, or from term to term, depending upon its length of duration upon the term in the original lease. It is, I think, true, as claimed by counsel for the plaintiff in error-and substantially conceded—that the common law of England as established by the decisions of its courts, requires that a notice for six months shall be given to terminate a tenancy from year to year. And it is also claimed, and it is true that such is the law in some of the states of this Union—three or four-possibly more; and it is also true that in many states a different rule has been adopted by statute, and it is also true that in Ohio no rule has been adopted, either by statute or by the courts-so far as we are advised-at least we are referred to no decisions and have becn unable to find any-establishing a rule upon that subject, in Ohio.

Mr. Walker, in his work on American Law, says with reference to this subject :

“The next improvement was to determine that, unless there was an express agreement to hold at will, all tenancies for no stipulated term, should be construed as periodical tenancies from year to year, or some shorter period, accordir.g to the facts of the case. The establishment of this wholesome doctrine, is a virtual abolition of estates at will; and it has been fully recognized in this state. But since the creation of this periodical tenancy, there has been much diversity of opinion in different places, in regard to the notice to quit. In England, it is half a year; in come of the states, the same; in others, a reasonable time; but here nothing is settled. We have two ways of dispossessing a refractory tenant, namely: by the action of ejectment, and of forcible detainer. In ejectment, our statute requires ten days' notice before the commencement of the term to which the appearance is to be made; and in forcible detainer, three days' notice before the commencement of the suit; but this is a different thing from notice to quit.” (Walker's Am. Law, section 133.)

And, as I have said, in many of the states they have adopted a statute upon that subject; and in most of the states where there is a statute it has provided for a three months' notice—some of them I think four months' notice—but in a majority of them the time has been fixed at three months.

The question then occurs, What is the rule in Ohio? It is argued that it should be the common law rule—the rule most generally adopted by the states where there have been no statutes upon the subject. So far as the question whether we are required to adopt the common law rule is concerned, we think it has been decided by the supremc couri in a number of cases, that it will depend on circumstances. In Bloom v. Richards, 2 0. S., 387, the court say, on page 390 :

"The English common law, so far as it is reasonable in itself, suitable to the condition and business of our people, and consistent with the

Lucas Circuit Court.

letter and spirit of our federal and state constitutions and statutes, has been and is followed by our courts, and may be said to constitute a part of the common law of Ohio. But wherever it has been found wanting in either of these requisites, our courts have not hesitated to modify it to suit our circumstances or, if necessary, to wholly depart from it."

And the same court in 3 O. S., 172, and on page 178, in the opinion in the case of Kerwhacher v. C. C. & C. R. R. Co., say this:

"The common law, therefore, has no force in Ohio, except so far as it derives authority from judicial recoguition in the practice and couise of adjudication in our courts; and this extends no farther than it illustrates and explains the rules of right and justice as applicable to the circumstances and institutions of the people of the state.'

These cases were referred to and cited with approval in the case of Drake v. Rogers, 13 O. S., 36, in which the court quote from the opinion in the case of Kerwhacker v. Railroad, supra, and use this language:

"The common law has continued to be recognized as the rule of decision, in the absence of legislative enactments, so far as its rules and principles appeared to be baseu on sound reason, and applicable to our condition and circumstances.”

We feel, then, that we are nut bound to hold or to say that the common law rule is the law of Ohio, but are left to determine this question according to our best judgment and best light; and in doing so it is fair to say that only a majority of the court think that the rule as to the termination of tenancies like the one in question-which is that of a store-room rented for what might be called mercantile purposes onlythat the common law rule requiring a notice of six months, would be entirely inapplicable to the termination of that kind of a tenancy. If it were to be placed upon the ground of reason, we can discover no reason why such a rule should obtain. The tenant in this case entered into possession of this property under a specific contract which limited the duration of his occupancy to one year, and he knew when it ended. The law of Ohio, as declared by the decisions of its courts, has established the doctrine that if the tenant hold over beyond that year and continues in the occupation of the premises, paying rent, with the acquiescence and acceptance of the landlord, that those facts would create a tenancy for an additional year and he would be entitled to another full year; but that year would end exactly as the first would end-at the end of the calender year after the expiration of the term named in the lease, so that if he continued to hold for a second year, or a third year, his tenancy would be of the same nature, and it is a tenancy from year to year and nothing more, and how it can be said that he should acquire by reason of that any new rights when there as been no change in the contract, is something that my mind fails to comprehend. We think too, that it would interfere very materially with the transaction of ordinary business in the leasing and renting of property, and the termination of the occupancy of property at the expiration of the term of the lease whether that term be implied from the action of the parties or an expressed one in the terms of their contract; and so we are unwilling to hold that the rule of the common law is applicable in the state of Ohio to a lease like this.

This brings me to the question as to whether or not four months is a reasonable time, and whether or not the court should have so said to the jury in this case. Upon this point I will only refer to a single authority, as to whether that is a question of law or of fact. I should say first that we are entirely satisfied that four months is a reasonable

Gladwell v. Holcomb and Hume.

time, without fixing any rule—we are satisfied that four months will certainly include "a reasonable time." Now, as to whether it is a question of law, or of fact, or both to be determined by a jury, we refer to 19 American and Eng. Encyclopædia of Law, as to the question of reasonable time, reading from page 641:

“On principle it would appear that if a statute or any positive rule of law prescribes the doing of an act within a reasonable time, it is the province of the court, in construing such law, to declare whether a given time is, within the intent or meaning of the law, a reasonable time. So in the interpretation of a written instrument specifying a reasonable time, the question what is such time, is one for the court to answer, after considering the terms of the instrument and the intent of the parties. * * It has, however been said that the time in question may be so short or so long that the court will declare it, as a matter of law, to be reasonable or unreasonable.”

Several cases are cited under that proposition. We think that is perhaps a fair statement of what the law is upon that sutject; for if it becomes a question of what is a reasonable time, and the time is fixed, and if it be so long that the court could well say it was reasonable, then it is for the court to say, or if it be so short that the court could well say it was unreasonable, the court could say that; but if it is doubtful so that the court might say under one view of the facts it was reasonable, and under another view, that it was unreasonable, the court would have to submit the question to the jury. But, holding as we do, that under a tenancy of this kind, four months includes a reasonable time, we are well satisfied that the court was correct in charging the jury to that effect, that if they found this notice to have been given four months before the termination of this year, that, as a matter of law was a reasonable notice to quit these premises, that we take to be the law and we believe the court was correct in charging that proposition.

The judgment of the court of common pleas affirming the judgment of the justice of the peace, will be affirmed.

A. W. Eckert, Attorney for the Plaintiff.

G. H. Beckwith and U. G. Denman, Attorneys for the Defendant. PARKER, J. (dissenting opinion.)

I desire to indicate very briefly the reasons why I am unable to agree with the majority of the members of this court in their conclusions in this case. As stated ly the presiding judge, it is unquestionably the common law of England that in cases of leases from year to year, a six months or half yearly notice to quit must be given in order to terminate the tenancy. I agree with the majority of the court that if we are at liberty to hold that the rule as to the giving of notice for a reasonable time obtains or may be adopted as the rule in Ohio, that a reasonable notice was given in this case. But I cannot bring my mind to the conclusion that the court is at liberty to adopt that rule. As stated in the authority read from Bloom v. Richards, 20. S., 387.

“The English common law, so far as it is reasonable in itself, suitable to the condition and business of our people, and consistent with the letter and spirit of our federal and state constitutions and statutes, has been and is followed by our courts, and may be said to constitute a part of the common law of Ohio."

I find that this rule of six months notice was a rule of the common law, applicable to not only agricultural leases, but to the leases of houses and store buildings. My attention has not been called to any fact or circumstance indicating to my mind that this rule is not as well suitable to the condition of the business of our people as to the condition or business of the people from whom we derive the common law. Counsel for the parties and the court have most diligently searched the authorities and have been unable to find any case in which any court of any state in the union has departed from this common law rule. Wherever it has not obtained-wherever a different rule has been adopted, so far as we have been able to find, the change has been effected by legislation, and my opinion is, that in this state, to change the rule requires legislative action. The reason of the rule, as I understand it, is founded in the fact that there is an uncertainty about the termination of the holding. In the case of a holding for a year, of course no notice to quit is required; but where a tenant holds over, and is permitted to hold over from year to year, an un. certainty arises as to whether or not he will be required to quit the premises at the expiration of any current year. This rule applies not only to the landlord, but to the tenant. The tenant is required, in order to excuse himself from liability to pay the rent for the succeeding year, to give notice of his intention to quit a half a year before the expiration of the current year. It is within the power of the parties, of course, by their contract, to avoid this rule if they do not consider it consistent with their interest and purposes, by a provision in their contract. If I felt at liberty to conour in a judgment ixing a diferent rule, I would say that the holding that four months Includes a reasonable time, would meet my approbation.

Lucas Circuit Court.

CORPORATIONS.

[Lucas Circuit Court, June 19, 1897.)

King, Haynes and Parker, JJ. AUGUSTUS F. Bosche v. The TOLEDO DISPLAY HORSE CO. ET AL.

1. DUTY OF PERSONS DEALING WITH THE OFFICERS OF A CORPORATION. *

Persons dealing with officers of a corporation are only bound to know the legal power of the corporation to perform acts, they are not required to know tbat all the formalities required of the different officers in the performance of

their duties have been observed. 2. RIGHT OF CORPORATION TO BORROW MONEY AND GIVE SECURITY FOR THE SAME.

A corporation in Ohio has a right to borrow money to pay its debts and to run

its business, and it has a right to give a mortgage upon all the property it

possesses to secure that loan. 8. VALIDITY OF CHATTEL MORTGAGE EXECUTED BY THE PRESIDENT AND SECRETARY OF THE CORPORATION. Where a manufaciuring corporation borrows money from a bank and executes

to the bank its promissory note for the amount borrowed, which note was executed by the president and secretary of such corporation in their official capacity, and later the corporation, by its president and secretary, and under the seal of the corporation, executes to the bank a chattel mortgage upon its property to secure a new note for the amount of its entire indebtedness to the bank: 'Held, that such mortgage is valid and not given in fraud of creditors, and cannot be set aside by the general creditors but the bank shall be entitled

to the money realized on it. KING, J.

Iu this action certain creditors of the Toledo Display Horse Campany-a corporation here--are seeking to have distributed to them in payment of their claims, certain funds in the hands of a receiver, and to prevent the application of the funds to the payment, as a preferred claim, of the debt of the First National Bank of Toledo. The claim of the bank arises in this way: On the 22d of June, 1894, the corporation known as the Toledo Horse Display Company was doing business in Toledo, in the course of which they borrowed one thousand dollars of the First National Bank and executed to the bank its promissory note for that sum promising to repay the money in ninety days with interest at eight per cent. per annum. This note was executed upon its face by the president and secretary of the defendant company, in their official capacities, and at the same time the president and the secretary individually endorsed the note upon its back. The money was procured and used by the corporation in its business and for its benefit. At the time the money was borrowed these officers of the corporation promised or agreed with the bank that, if required or asked for, they would give other and additional security upon the property of the concern. Nothing further, however, was done in reference to the loan at that time. The note matured on September 28, or thereabouts, and the matter ran along and the corporation became indebted to the bank, not only for this note and interest accrued thereon, but also on a small over-draft, so that on November 22, the debt amounted to $1,060, and on this day–November 22, 1894—the corporation, by its president and its secretary, and under the seal of the corporation, executed to the bank a chattel mortgage upon all of its property -at least all of its chattel property, and there is no evidence before us

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