« ZurückWeiter »
ticket or get out; "that he would not stay there unless he did let (witness] see it. He finally offered it,” 928 though he held on to one end of it, and witness "saw enough to see where it was to and from." Nothing further was said, save that witness “told him he had no business there; that his train was gone, and if he came from Griffin he ought to have gone on the Albany train right on to Fort Valley." Witness approached the plaintiff only twice. "He was lying full length on the bench both times. ..., He was lying with his body over the arm the second time, with his head on the arm of the seat, and he was occupying two seats then." Witness asked for his ticket in order to ascertain whether or not he was a passenger; whether "he was going anywhere or not," and whether “he had any right to the building or not. Passengers are not allowed to lie across benches; it does not matter how many tickets they have.” Witness "did not see anyone else in the waiting-room lying across the benches asleep. There were cards hung on the back of each train in that shed at that time for the guidance of the people, showing what train it was, and where it went to. That was true in every instance at that time.” Plaintiff "explained how he got left."
1. The trial judge refused to give in charge to the jury the following written request: "If you believe from the evidence that the plaintiff, Isaac Motes, after being informed by the officer of the defendant company, who was in charge of the white waiting-room, that he could not sleep across the benches in such waiting-room, or could not lie across said benches for any purpose; and if you believe from the evidence that Motes persisted in lying across said benches, after having been informed by the officer in charge that he had no right to do so, then I charge you that the officer in charge had the right to use such force toward Motes as was necessary to enforce the regulation.” As will be noted, this request to charge was based upon the assumption that, as matter of law, the regulations adopted by the company with respect to lying across benches and sleeping in its waitingroom were reasonable. His honor did instruct the jury in general terms that the “defendant's agent was authorized in law to use such force as was necessary in enforcing reasonable regulations of the company," and further told the jury that it was for them to determine whether or not, in point of fact, the particular regulations adopted by the defendant company were, under all the circumstances, reasonable and proper. Apparently the jury found they were not. The question is, therefore, presented 02® whether it was or was not within the province of the jury
the lungs to suck of its patrons as find it con
Trenn on Triak, sec. 1057. The sube eaza de care of Southern Rs. Co. T. 29.1. 200, wherein the question 22.1 a carrier of passengers could lawfully de tre in flich a railroad ticket shouid be
z dr. Justice Little, who delivered the
0:11 the authorities which support imal trany may by rules and regula. a rich a ticket can be used for
passage za un coch regulations must be reasonable, 22:23 a verdation of this character is or is not verb to be determined by the court. On this
to determine this all-important matter. We think not. "A rail. road company has an implied authority (which is necessarily almost absolute) to make and enforce all reasonable rules and regulations for the control of its trains and the persons thereon, of persons using its stations and grounds, and of those transacting business with it, in order to provide for the safety of its passengers and employés, and to protect itself from imposition and wrong": 1 Elliott on Railroads, sec. 199. "To this end," carriers of passengers "may regulate the purchase of tickets, the time and manner of procuring and paying for the same, and the time and manner of surrendering them; the manner and time of entering and leaving the cars; and the conduct of the passengers while upon the cars or at stations waiting for trains, as that they shall not be boisterous or disorderly. ... Rules and regulations in regard to separate cars for ladies and their escorts” have been upheld as reasonable, as have also rules "prohibiting disorderly conduct on the cars.” And it is the right of common carriers to "exclude from their carriages and premises such percons as refuse to comply with their reasonable regulations": 1 Elliott on Railroads, sec. 200. “The reasonableness of such regulations and the manner of their enforcement in a given case has been held by some of the courts to be a question of fact for the jury. But it would seem that this must be a question of law for the court to decide, if any fixed and permanent regulations are to be established, and the better authority holds it to be such; since one jury in a given case might pronounce the rule reasonable, while another jury in another case might decide the same rule to be unreasonable. .... There are, doubtless, many cases in which the reasonableness of the rule depends, in the particular instance, upon disputed facts or circumstances, and, where this is true, it may, perhaps, be called a mixed question of law and fact; but, when the facts are undisputed, we think it is clear, both upon principle and according to the weight of authority, that the question is one of law for the court": 1 Elliott on Railroads, sec. 202. Says no less an authority than Judge Thompson: “Whether a certain rule of a railway corporation be reasonable and therefore valid is a question of law for the court-the general rule being that the reasonableness of the by-laws, rules and regulations of corporations, whether private or municipal, is to be decided as a question of law, and that such a by-law, 130 rule or regulation, if unreasonable, is to be held void as matter of law; and it is improper to submit the question of the reasonableness of such a by-law, ordinance, or regulation to the de
di stulentand it, is
, that where the facts are
1. Ge and page 213, 36 S.E.
, regulations forbidding the
teles at the carrier's depot during the a svetain tatil the scheduled departure of a mornPaul Luars later. Nor here we been cited to any
satans Tide which imposes upon & railway a dinty toward such patrons, or to one holding a i kamehitis own fault or misfortune, has missed an *** Scordingly, we shall endeavor to decide on
3 li stilis reasonable to assert that a 831 railway satu lait de considered unreasonable if it adopted perdry a passenger was not admitted to its waiting.
Serenger desired to take. Vor would it appear
cision of a jury": 1 Thompson on Trials, sec. 1057. The subject came under discussion in the case of Southern Ry. Co. v. Watson, 110 Ga. 682, 690, 36 S. E. 209, wherein the question arose as to whether or not a carrier of passengers could lawfully undertake to limit the time in which a railroad ticket should be used. In this connection, Mr. Justice Little, who delivered the cpinion of the court, said: “All the authorities which support the doctrine that a railroad company may by rules and regulations limit the time in which a ticket can be used for passage concur in the view that such regulations must be reasonable, and whether or not a regulation of this character is or is not reasonable is a question to be determined by the court. On this subject, the rule, as we understand it, is, that where the facts are Dot disputed, the reasonableness of a regulation of a common carrier affecting the transportation of passengers is one of law for the court, and not of fact for the jury: See, also, the cases cited on page 690, 110 Ga., and page 213, 36 S. E.
2. We shall not at this time undertake to do more than determine whether or not, as regards a waiting-room in a city such as Macon, where weary travelers may, if they wish, procure suitable accommodations for rest and comfort, regulations forbidding the use by passengers of benches as beds, or any other attempted transformation of a railroad waiting-room into a lodging-house, tend to deprive passengers of inalienable rights, or are for any other reason to be regarded as despotic and unreasonable. It is pertinent here to remark that there was no evidence introduced on the trial touching any rule promulgated by the railroad commission of this state with respect to the duty of a common carrier to furnish lodgings to such of its patrons as find it convenient to present themselves at the carrier's depot during the night, there to remain until the scheduled departure of a morning train several hours later. Nor have we been cited to any common-law or statutory rule which imposes upon a railway company any such duty toward such patrons, or to one holding a ticket, who, through his own fault or misfortune, has missed an evening train. Accordingly, we shall endeavor to decide on principle whether such a duty does or does not, as a general thing, exist. It seems reasonable to assert that a 931 railway company could not be considered unreasonable if it adopted a regulation whereby a passenger was not admitted to its waiting. room until an hour or so before the departure, on schedule time, of a train the passenger desired to take. Nor would it appear more unreasonable for the carrier to actually keep its waiting
prior to the time he was assaulted by
of rettem. After being twice told by that official
en it, closed his eyes, and dropped off into
hotely prep the official would protest, if present, against
ring an indignified and sprawling attitude 838 pien for a purpose other than that for which they * A. From the beginning to the end of his altercaLehto bring down upon himself the harsh treatment Set the hands of the company's agent. Should
nese to saime this position until the officer again
ang a right to demand of the carrier that he 22 lingtoom eight hours or so before the mintha a dce
, and there go to sleep as a matter ne is trein will not change his status from a
puest entitled to demand a place whereto en nin bound for his destination artives, 12 an into an innkeeper or proprietor of a
hali, te sonld stand upon no better footing
, who, after missing et au tardiness, might, simply because
za med tiket, unreasonably claim the pritthe bar at table in the room where meals were Co his tine in sleep until the arrival of decordingly
, we hold without hesitation payer may with propriety insist that such of vezaplate taking a morning train shall, if they
slamker during the intervening **ther than its waiting-rooms.
de Tertion given by the plaintiff himself
room open all night for the accommodation of its patrons, permitting them to enter it at any time they chose, on condition that they would not abuse the privilege thus accorded them, by undertaking to wrest from the carrier a night's sleep to which they were not entitled. Many good reasons might be suggested why, the carrier would be unwilling to extend an unqualified invitation to enter at will and stay as long as desirable. For instance, passengers expecting to take a particular train might, it permitted to indulge in opportune sleep, miss the train and be left complaining on the carrier's hands, instead of making a timely and orderly departure and giving place to other passengers entitled to enter its waiting-room and partake of the accommodations it afforded. Again, the carrier could have a laudable ambition to so conduct its waiting-room that passengers of culture and refinement might be spared the disgust of witnessing the uncouth and unseemly behavior of a different class of travelers, whose sense of decency fails to suggest to them the impropriety of sprawling over or upon benches or seats designed for a purpose cther than that of affording an opportunity to retire for the night in a grotesque, if not offensive, attitude of repose. The reasonableness of a regulation adopted by a carrier of passengers with respect to the use to be made of its premises is not to be arbitrarily determined by applying the test whether or not such regulation would be reasonable if adopted by a carrier of livestock. The circumstances of time and place are to be given due consideration. On the western frontier, vears ago, the reasonableness of attempting to regulate the "shooting out" of station lights by waiting passengers might have been seriously questioned by at least some members of the traveling public. To-day there is doubtless a growing sentiment in all parts of the country against converting into a smoking apartment a general waiting-room provided for the accommodation of both sexes, as well as against treating with contempt the invitation held out by the station-house "sand-box" or cuspidor, and other minor infractions of the laws of etiquette which obtain in polite society. The evolution which has taken place along this line 932 cannot properly be ignored by the courts; for carriers of passengers are to be encouraged, rather than disheartened, when they manifest a disposition to improve conditions which have become almost intolerable. To furnish adequate and comfortable accommodations to the traveling public is an exacting and serious business, not mere vain and expensive trifling. A prospective traveler who purchases a railroad ticket with a view to going on a journey
a finaling against the defendant company was
Sertustanding the plaintiff was exne elementioned regulations of the com
reitingain, he manifested a persistent
o regard to the same, and displayed a pinate and more to anger the official whose duty
are not permitted to sleep in the waiting-room, se realisere he waited until the official again left the Serengad back on the seat," where he could lay his
be he did not lay down that time it is
e llim to use the back of the seat as a pillow and seks at the point where it had been interrupted. He
pe in good faith try to observe the rule against
- 2 Eicial
, the plaintiff spoke and acted in a manner
does not thereby acquire a right to demand of the carrier that he be allowed to enter its waiting-room eight hours or so before the train he expects to take is due, and there go to sleep as a matter of course. To miss his train will not change his status from a waiting passenger into a guest entitled to demand a place wherein to sleep until the next train bound for his destination arrives, or transform the carrier into an innkeeper or proprietor of a lodging-house. Indeed, he would stand upon no better footing than would a patron of a public eating-house, who, after missing his supper through his own tardiness, might, simply because he was the holder of a meal ticket, unreasonably claim the privilege of occupying a chair at table in the room where meals were scrved, and there passing his time in sleep until the arrival of the breakfast hour. Accordingly, we hold without hesitation that a railway company may with propriety insist that such of its patrons as contemplate taking a morning train shall, if they desire to refresh themselves by slumber during the intervening night, find quarters other than its waiting-rooms.
3. According to the version given by the plaintiff himself touching what occurred prior to the time he was assaulted by the station agent, a finding against the defendant company was wholly unauthorized. Notwithstanding the plaintiff was expressly notified of the above-mentioned regulations of the company governing its waiting-room, he manifested a persistent determination to pay no regard to the same, and displayed a disposition to irritate and move to anger the official whose duty it was to enforce them. After being twice told by that official that passengers were not permitted to sleep in the waiting-room, the plaintiff confesses he waited until the official again left the room, and then "slipped back on the seat,” where he could lay his head on the back of it, closed his eyes, and dropped off into slumber. While he says he "did not lay down that time,” it is evident that he knew the official would protest, if present, against his thus assuming an undignified and sprawling attitude 939 which enabled him to use the back of the seat as a pillow and resume his nap at the point where it had been interrupted. He did not undertake to assume this position until the officer again left the room, nor in good faith try to observe the rule against using the benches for a purpose other than that for which they were provided. From the beginning to the end of his altercation with this official, the plaintiff spoke and acted in a manner well calculated to bring down upon himself the harsh treatment he finally suffered at the hands of the company's agent. Should