« AnteriorContinuar »
tate was given to J. C. unconditionally, and was not charged with payment of the legacy to K. White v. Kauffman, Court of Appeals, Maryland Oct. 9, 1886; 5 Atl. Rep. 865. 36. -Construction.—“All my property lease
hold and freehold."-R. by will, after appointing executors and directing his debts and funeral expenses to be paid, gave his wife "all my property leasehold and freehold which I now possess.” Held, that all the testator's real and personal estate passed under the gift to his widow, and not only his leaseholds and freeholds. Re Roberts Kif v. Roberts, Eng. Ct. App., 1886; 54 Law Times Rep. 386.
Remainders— Trusts-How Affected by Void Disposition oj Fund-Based on Illegal BequestWhere a testator, by will, gives his property to trustees, with directions to pay the income in equal portions to his two daughters, and on the death of the surviving daughter to divide the principal among his grandchildren, or their issue then living, one share to each grandchild and one to the issue of each deceased grandchild, the gifts to the grandchildren do not vest until the division after the death of the surviving daughter, and are therefore void by force of the statute against perpetuities. Where, by the provisions of a will, the property is to be divided on the death of testator's daughters, and one share given to each grandchild, the interest of the grandchild is only contingent, until the death of the daughters and the division of the property. If he dies before that time, without issue, his interest is extinguished; if he leave issue, they take, not as his heirs, but as purchasers under the will. Declaring the final disposition of the trust fund void, does not affect trusts whose objects are so independent and severable from the illegal object, that they can be carried into effect with due regard to the legal rights of all parties interested, without annulling any of the legal provisions of the will, and without adding anything thereto. A trust whose foundation is a part of an illegal bequest, of which it is a mere incident or auxiliary, must fall with it. Andrews v. Rice, S. C. Conn., May 31, 1886; 5 Atl. Rep. 823.
QUERIES AND ANSWERS.
[Correspondents are requested to draw up their answers the form in which we print them, and not in the form of letters to the editor. They are also admonished to make their answers as brief as may be.-Ed.]
-“All the property settled on my marriage over which I have any disposing power." -P., a married woman, made a will the day after her marriage in the following terms: "In pursuance an exercise of the power of appointment vested in me by the settlement executed previously to my marriage and of every other power enabling me, I hereby appoint, give, and bequeath all the property settled by me on my marriage, and over which I have any disposing power unto my dear husband.” After the execution of the will, but in the lifetime of P., 0. died, having by will bequeathed 1001. East Indian Railway Annuities, in trust for P. for life, with remainder as she should by will appoint, with remainders over. Heid, that P.'s will was not confined to the property comprised in her marriage settlement, but operated to exercise the power given her by the will of 0. Re Old's Trusts; Pengelley v. Herbert, Eng. Ct.
App. 1886; London Law Times, Rep. Vol. 54, 677. 38.
Constructions—Testation–Technical Words.-A testator's intention may be more clearly indicated by the general tenor of the will than by technical words or phrases, especially when it is apparent that certain words are used in a sense different from their legal and technical meaning. Wiggin, Trustee v. Perkins, Supreme Court of New Hampshire July 30, 1886; 5 Atl. Rep. 904.
Substitutional Gift- Vesting.-Gift of residue to A. for life, and afterwards equally between the children of testator's brothers and sisters, “the issue of any deceased child to take the parent's share." A testator, who died in 1871, by his will dated in 1870, gave his residuary estate to trustees upon trust to pay the income thereof to his widow for her life, and after death he gave the property unto and equally between all and every the children of his brothers and sisters, share and share alike, “the issue of any deceased child to take the parent's share.” The testator's widow died in 1881. Some of the children of the brothers and sisters of the testator survived him, but died in the lifetime of the testator's widow, leaving issue. The question was, whether the issue of the deceased children of the brothers and sisters of the testator were respectively entitled to the shares of their deceased parents. Held, that the substitutional gift took effect in the case of any child of a brother or sister of the testator who had died in the lifetime of the testator's widow. Re Gilbert v. Matthews, Eng. Ct. Appl. 1886; 54 Law Times Rep. 752.
30. A. brings replevin against B. for a piano. B. executes a retaining bond and retains the piano. Pending the action, B. sells the piano to C. At the trial, judgment is rendered in favor of A., that he recover the piano or $200, its value. Execution is issued to sheriff for the piano or its value and he takes the piano from C.'s possession. Is he a trespasser in doing so? Did B.'s retaining bond relieve the piano of A.'s claim of ownership, so as to pass a good title to C. or not?
Query 24. [23 Cent. L. J., 335.) A. sells town lot to B. for $1,000; before the deed is given, B. sells to C. for $1,500. By an arrangement between A. and B. to which C. is not a party, the deed runs from A. to C. direct, and names the considation as $1,500. C. is not informed of the actual amount received by A. The title fails and C. is ousted. In an action by C. against A. upon the covenants of warranty in A.'s deed, can C. collect the $1,500 actual sum paid by him, or only the $1,000, amount received by A.?
H. P. R.
Answer.-A. is responsible upon his covenant of warranty to C. for the full amount $1,500, which by its terms he has acknowledged that he has received from C. He is estopped by his deed from denying that he received the sum named in it as the consider
40. Trust – Perpetuities — Contingent Re
mainders—Devise to Grandchildren-Contingent
ation of the conveyance. Besides, if he could equity show, that in point of fact he received no more than $1,000, he is precluded from that defense because C. was not a party to the agreement between A. and B. by wbich A. was to make the title direct to him, and he had no notice that A. had received only $1,000. A. and C. both being innocent parties, the loss, by a well established rule equity, must fall upon the one whose action rendered the loss possible.
MEMPHIS, MO., Oct. 26th, 1886. TO THE EDITOR OF THE CENTRAL LAW JOURNAL:
Dear Sir:-I desire to call your attention to the decision of the Supreme Court of Missouri in the case Davidson v. Davis, 86 Mo. 440. It is possible that the doctrine of estoppel by the conduct of the heirs may have justified the court in reaching the conclusion it did, but the facts seem not to justify even that. But the court announces the unqualified doctrine that, "a widow cannot take the devise and bequest under the will and at the same time insist upon her homestead right.” It appears to me that, the court overlooked the principle of law laid down by so many of our text books and supported by so many authorities, that "If the terms of the will do not indicate a clear intention that the bequests are made in lien of homestead, then she will take the bequests in the will and also her estate of homestead under the law." Thompson on Homesteads, section 544,Bryant v. McCune 49 Mo. 546. In Hassenritter v. Hassenritter, 77 Mo. 162, quoting approvingly from Sheldon v. Bliss 8 N. Y. 31. The court says “It is an established principle, that a provision in the will of the husband in favor of the wife will never be construed by implication to be in lien of dower or any other interest in his estate given by law; the design to constitute one for the other must be unequivocally expressed."
In Davidson v Davis, the terms of the will are not stated, neither is it affirmed that it contained unequivocal expressions indicating that the bequest in the will was in lieu of homestead. Possibly it did contain such expressions, but the court puts its decision upon the broad ground which I stated in the outset. The decision as it stands, as I think, is misleading and directly in the face of former decision of the same Court.
I call your attention to this case with some diffidence, as I claim to be no law critic, and besides I have a high respect for our Supreme Court.
Respectfully, WM. T. KAYS. The authorities cited by our correspondent fully sustain his views, and upon principle the same doctrine can be maintained. A testator will always be presumed to devise and bequeath with reference to the law affecting his estate which may be in force when his will takes effect. The homestead right of the widow is the creation of the law, goes into effect at the death of the testator, and withdraws the property, upon which it operates, from the general power of disposition which every testator possesses over his whole estate. He cannot devise the homestead to a stranger, if he devises it to the party entitled to it by the law, he does a work of supererogation; if he devises other property to the widow upon condition that she renounce her homestead right, the condition is a limitation upon her right to the other property, and not upon the homestead. By such a devise, he puts her upon her election between that which he gives her and that which the law gives her. That such an intention must clearly appear, is abundantly supported by
authority. In Missouri and in New York it has been held that such a limitation cannot be established by implication, but must be by express words. Bryant v. McCune, 49 Mo.546; Hasenritter v. Hasenritter, 77 Mo. 162; Bliss v. Sheldon, 8 N. Y. 31. In Vermont, however, the court does not go quite so far, it says: “The intent to exclude the widow from her legal right must clearly appear; if it be doubtful she is not to be excluded. It is not necessary that this should appear in express words. If the terms of the instrument clearly and plainly imply it, * # then the court will find the intent to exclude." Meech v. Meech, 37 Vt. 419.
Upon the whole, it seems to us very clear that a widow cannot be put upon her election, between the homestead or dower provided by the law, and the land devised by the will, unless the terms of that instrument clearly and unequivocally show that the land was devised upon condition that the devisee should renounce the homestead.-[EDITOR CENTRAL LAW JOURNAL.
RAILWAY ACCIDENT LAW-The liability of railways
for injuries of the person. By Christopher Stuart Patterson of the Philadelphia Bar. Philadelphia: T. & J. W. Johnson & Co., 535 Chestnut Street 1886.
This is a live book upon a subject, which like the poor, we have alwave with us, and perhaps more than any other, comes into the current litigation of the day. It is of course a subdivision of the great subject of negligence which from its immense and ever increasing mass will well bear subdivision. Mr. Patter. son has acted wisely in confining himself to the liabilities of railroads, and treating that branch of the subject as exhaustively as he has done. In doing so, he has produced a book which cannot fail to be of great use to all practitioners in every State, for wherever the iron horse appears, the ubiquitous "damage suit” follows. Mr. Patter. son's arrangement is very good. His work is divided into four books, the first treats of the general nature of the railway's liabilily; the second, of the persons for whose acts or omissions the Railway is liable; the third, of the persons for injuries to whom the Railway is liable; the fourth, treats of the remedy.
Each book is subdivided into chapters and they into sections, so that in the way of careful and methodical arrangement, nothing is left to be desired, while the very full table of cases cited, attest the diligent and laborious research of the author. The book is hand. somely gotten up, the printing being particularly neat and clear. We have no doubt the work will prove very useful to the profession.
JETSAM AND FLOTSAM.
THE DEVIL's Own.-The London Law Times mentions a painful rumor that the well-known regiment of volunteers raised by the Inns of Court, appropriately named the Devil's Own," and, presumably, composed of “limbs," is about to“ disappear." We are quite confident that there can be no truth in the report, for nothing is better settled than that the deyil takes care of his own.
The Central Law Journal. between those cases and those in which the
tender regard of the law for the sacred rights
of personal security is abused for purposes ST. LOUIS, NOVEMBER 19, 1886. of deliberate murder. The law as it stands,
or more properly, perhaps, its application, is
necessarily vague and indefinite. The old CURRENT EVENTS.
rule was that one must “retreat to the wall”
before he can excusably kill his adversary. CRIMINAL LAW REFORM.-In a former | What is the wall? number of this JOURNAL' we noticed an arti
When the retreat to the wall was first cle in the New York Nation in which promulgated as the rule of self-defense, correspondent advocates the formation brawlers fought with swords and clubs, and of a “National Association for Crimi
the line of forbearance was distinct and apnal Law Reform,” from which should pro
preciable. Now, it is indefinite as possible. ceed projects of reform of criminal law to
How can a man retreat to the wall when he be laid before congress and the legislatures is “covered” by a six-shooter? He must get of the several States. Upon three of the six
the "drop" on his antagonist or go under points upon which it was urged that reform
himself. The change in weapons has pro
duced much confusion in the application of was necessary, we expressed our views as fully as the limited space at our command
the law, but the principle remains that the would permit, and deferred the consideration
assailed must abstain as long as he can with of the others to a more convenient season.
safety to himself from killing his assailant. These deferred subjects are:
That principle cannot be impaired in any 1. The definition of self-defense in cases
government which professes to protect the of homicide.
lives of its citizens; the trouble is, and 2. The allowance of new trials, and writs always has been, that the lenient caution of of error or appeals.
courts and mistaken sympathy of juries have 3. The pardoning power, its restriction or
allowed it to operate in far too many cases to regulation.
which it was in no proper sense applicable.
The chief fault of the law in this connecOn the first of these points, it is manifest to every one who has observed the usual tion is that it is too indefinite, and we think practice in criminal cases, that the plea of that some good might be effected by careful self-defense in cases of homicide is more
and well considered legislation designed to generally abused than any other line of de
define and limit the plea of self-defense. fense open to the accused, except that of
And, among other things, we think that the "emotional insanity." Those expert in
plea should not be allowed in cases in which
the homicide had been committed with a "single fight and mixed affray” seldom find much difficulty in leading an inexperienced
weapon that had been unlawfully carried conantagonist into such a position of quasi ag
cealed by the accused. gression, as will probably justify a reasonable
As for abuses of the pardoning power, we doubt as to self-defense, and then killing
do not believe that they exist to such a dehim. Especially is this the case in those sec
gree in any of the States as to render any tions of the country cursed with the preva
legislation on the subject necessary, or any lence of the habit of carrying concealed wea
agitation for such legislation judicious or expons. And in our judgment the enactment
pedient. and relentless enforcement of the most strin
Whether miscarriages of justice occur from gent laws against that detestable practice
abuses of the rights of appeal, new trials, and would go further, than any other line of of sueing out writs of error, and what may legislation, to remedy the evil in question. be the best and most appropriate remedies The plea of self-defense is, in proper cases, for such abuses, are questions which we will and in those only, very meritorious; but the consider in a future number. practical difficulty always is, to draw the line 1 23 Central Law Journal, 290. Vol. 23.–No. 21.
NOTES OF RECENT DECISIONS: either by express or implied grant, or by
prescription which presupposes a grant, a EASEMENT WATER AQUEDUCT PRE- conveyance of that estate will carry with it SCRIPTION—UNITY OF TITLE.—The Supreme such easement, whether mentioned in the Court of Maine recently decided a casel deed or not, though it may not be necessary involving questions of interest relating to the enjoyment of the estate by the to easements in flowing streams and grantee.”4 And the court adds, that evidence in aqueducts, and rights by prescription, showing an adverse and exclusive use as connected therewith.
of water for forty-five years will be considThe facts were that, in 1836 Herrick ac- ered presumptive evidence of a grant." quired a lease for 999 years of a certain "And this is as true," says Parker, C. J., spring, and the right to conduct its waters "in relation to water flowing through an through the lands of conterminous proprietors. aqueduct for use at a house, by the occuHe constructed an aqueduct a mile long, from pants, as it is in relation to the water of a which the neighbors drew water for domes river used for propelling machinery." tic and farm purposes by branch pipes, each To this may be added the language of paying a water rent for the privilege. Three
Chief Justice Mellen: "The law gives a persons, however, paid no water rent, but natural construction to the conduct of the contributed in proportion to keep the aque- parties, and after a long succession of years duct in repair. One of these was the pre- presumes that the person enjoying the easedecessor of the plaintiff, and the de
ment, having no right to enjoy it unless fendant had succeeded to the farm and dom- under the grant of the true owner, had such icile of another. After Herrick's death in
a grant; and that in consequence of it he had 1864, his rights in the aqueduct were sold to never been molested in his enjoyment." the defendant and Patten, who died, and by Another point of interest is discussed and his will left all his property to his wife and settled by the court in this case: That although daughter. In 1879, they conveyed the farm by the sale of the aqueduct property to deto the plaintiff Dority, including in the deed fendant and Patten there was a union of title "all the branch water pipes, etc.” After- in the latter of both the aqueduct and the wards they conveyed to defendant Dunning easement in it of his own farm, which was all their interest in the aqueduct property. subsequently conveyed to the plaintiff, the Thereafter Dunning excluded Dority from all
easement appurtenant to the farm did not use of the water, and he brought suit claim- merge in Patten's hand with the aqueduct ing that his water right was an easement ap- property which he acquired from Herrick's purtenant to his estate, and had passed to him
administrator, and was extinguished by it. by the deed of Patten's widow and daugh- On this subject the court says: ter.
“That an easement will become extinguishUpon this the court held the law to be, that
ed by unity of title and possession of the an easement of this character will not pass as dominant and servient estates in the same peran appurtenance to an estate conveyed, unless
son by the same right, is a principle of law too it has ripened into a legal right and become
general and elementary to be questioned. attached to the estate. An easement of this
But this principle, like many others, is subdescription does not pass by virtue of the
ject to qualifications. In order that unity of habendum clause of the deed, for that only
title to the two estates should operate to exlimits and describes, but never extends the subject matter of the grant.
tinguish an existing easement, the ownership
of the two estates should be co-extensive, The court says, however: “But when an easement, although not originally belonging equal in validity, quality, and all other cirto an estate, has become appurtenant to it,
4 2 Washb. Real Property, 28; Kent v. Waite, 10
Pick. 138. i Dority v. Dunning, 6 Atl. 6, Sept., 28, 1886.
5 Watkins v. Peck, 13 N. H. 370; Wallace v. Fletcher, 2 Spaulding v. Abbott, 55 N. H. 428; See also Brown 30 N. H. 432; Ashley v. Ashley, 4 Gray, 200; White v. v. Manter, 21 N. H. 533; Sumner v. Williams, 8 Mass. Chapin, 12 Allen, 519; Jewell v. Hussey, 70 Me. 437;
Murchie v. Gates, 78 Me. 304; s. C., 4 Atl. Rep. 695. 3 Manning v. Smith, 6 Conn. 289.
Watkins y. Peck, supra.
cumstances of right. If one is held in sever- twenty or thirty years. The
uestion was alty, and the other only as to a fractional whether the evidence showed thau a warranty part thereof by the same person, there will had been given by the defendant. The conr be no extinguishment of such easement.? held in effect, that if a vendor furnishes to Thus it was held by Abinger, C. B., in the his salesman a price-list or pamphlet containEnglish court of exchequer, in Thomas v. ing a description and list of prices of his Thomas, in which case one estate was held
wares for distribution among his customers, in fee, and the other for a term of 500 years,
and in that list durability is enumerated that unity of possession did not extinguish
among the necessary qualities of a good the easement, but only suspended it during boiler, by doing so he authorized his salesthat unity of possession; and upon parting
man to warrant the qualities so specified in with the premises to different parties the
the price-list as essential to a good boiler.
The presumption is that he intends to sell a. right revived."
good article and not an inferior one. The court applying these principles holds that there could be no extinguishment of the
" The representations of the de
fendants, contained in their pamphlet and easement by reason of the anity of title in Patten of the easement and the aqueduct binding upon them as though orally made by
distributed by their authorized agent, are as itself, because his interest in the latter was fractional, and because, at best, it was a
them to a purchaser, or included in a bill of
sale." chattel interest, limited to 999 years. This
The court held, further, that the presumplatter reason, however, seems to have little
tion that the vendor was acting in good faith in force for the duration of the easement-at the utmost only extended to that precise period. distributing the pamphlet, might well be the
basis of a further presumption of authority in The former reason, that Patten, owning the land owned also the easement, did
his agent to warrant the goods to be all that not own the whole of the aqueduct, only half
in the pamphlet they were represented to be. of it; and if the union of title of the easement and the aqueduct would operate to extinguish the former, it does not follow that A PLEA FOR STRICT CONSTRUCTION. utiny of title of the easement and half the aqueduct would bave the same effect.'
It is part of the respect and loyalty due the constitution to interpret it faithfully and precisely according toits letter and spirit. We
should love it as much for the restraints it Sale — WARRANTY-AUTHORITY OF AGENT
imposes as for the powers it delegates. -REPRESENTATIONS OF VENDOR IN PRICE-List.
“This government,” says Chief Justice -The Supreme Court of New Hampshire
Marshall (4 Wheat. 405), is acknowledged decided last summer a caselo that should be a
by all to be one of enumerated powers.” warning to too enterprising firms and over
Just as the grant of an estate is at common zealous salesmen. The facts found by the
law a limitation of the estate granted, so the court were as follows: The defendants, by
enumeration of certain powers in the constitheir agent Chesley, sold to plaintiff a steam
tution is a limitation of such powers and heating boiler, warranting it to be durable,
a prohibition against transcending them. meaning by that term, as understood by both
"The government being one of granted parties, that, with due care, it would last
powers its authority was limited by them,” i Ritger v. Parker, 8 Cush. 147; 2 Washb. Real Prop.
says Justice Field, and this is the view *85.
adopted in numerous instances
by the $ 2 Cromp., M. & R. 34.
supreme court. 9 On this subject generally, see, In re Gay, 5 Mass. 419; Chapman v. Gray, 15 Mass. 445; Brewster v. Hill,
The tenth amendment is virtually a rule 1 N. H. 350; Hollenback v. McDonald, 112 Mass. 249; and warrant placed in the constitution itself McConnell v. American, etc. Co., 5 Atl. Rep. 785, and
for a strict construction: note; Cross v. Ketts, 10 Pac. Rep. 409. 10 Smilie v. Hobbs, Gordon & Co., 2 New Eng. Rep.
“ The powers nnt delegated to the United 345, July 29, 1886.
States by the constitution, nor prohibited by