Слике страница
PDF
ePub

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW.
1. Section 6513 of the General Statutes of Minnesota for 1894 provides that

“All labor on Sunday is prohibited, excepting the works of necessity
or charity. In works of necessity or charity is included whatever is
needful during the day for the good order, health or comfort of the
community; Provided, however, that keeping open a barber shop on
Sunday for the purpose of cutting hair and shaving beards, shall not
be deemed a work of necessity or charity.” Held that the legislature
did not exceed the limits of its legislative police power in declaring
that, as a matter of law, keeping barber shops open on Sunday is not
a work of necessity or charity, while, as to all other kinds of labor, they
have left that question to be determined as one of fact. Petit v. Min-

nesota, 164.
2. The ordinance of the city of Chicago, authorizing the issue of a license

to persons to sell cigarettes upon payment of one hundred dollars, and
forbidding their sale without license, is no violation of the Federal Con-
stitution, and the amount of the tax named for the license is within

the power of the State to fix. Gundling v. Chicago, 183.
3. The provision in the act of March 4, 1893, of the State of Indiana “tliat

it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation having posses-
sion or control of any natural gas or oil well, whether as a contractor,
owner, lessee, agent or manager, to allow or permit the flow of gas or
oil from any such well to escape into the open air without being con-
fined within such well or proper pipes, or other safe receptacle, for a
longer period than two days next after gas or oil shall have been struck
in such well; and thereafter all such gas or oil shall be safely and se-
curely confined in such well, pipes or other safe and proper recepta-
cles," is not a violation of the Constitution of the United States; and
its enforcement as to persons whose obedience to its commands were
coerced by injunction, is not a taking of private property without ade-
quate compensation, and does not amount to a denial of due process
of law, contrary to the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to
the Constitution of the United States, but is only a regulation by the
State of Indiana of a subject which especially comes within its lawful

authority. Ohio Oil Company v. Indiana, No. 1, 190.
4. The due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitu-

tion of the United States does not control mere forms of procedure in
state courts, or regulate practice therein; and all its requirements are
complied with provided that in the proceedings which are claimed not
to have been due process of law, the person condemned has had suffi-
cient notice, and adequate opportunity has been afforded him to de-

fend. Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company v. Schmidt, 230.
5. The mere fact that in this case the proceeding to hold the Louisville and

Nashville Company liable was by rule does not conflict with due process
under the Fourteenth Amendment, since forms of procedure in stato
courts are not controlled by that amendment, provided the fundamen-

tal rights secured by the amendment are not denied. Ib.
6. Although the Louisville and Nashville Company appeared in response

to the rule, pleaded its set-off, and declared that its answer constituted

a

a full response, no defence personal to itself of any other character ex-
cept the set-off was pleaded or suggested in any form, and this court
cannot be called upon to conjecture that defences existed which were
not made, and to decide that proceedings in a state court have denied
due process of law because defences were denied when they were not

prosecuted. Ib.
7. Turner v. New York, 168 U. S. 90, is affirmed and followed to the point

that “the statute of New York of 1883, c. 448, providing that deeds
from the comptroller of the State of lands in the forest preserve, sold
for nonpayment of taxes, shall, after having been recorded for two
years, and in any action brought more than six months after the act
takes effect, be conclusive evidence that there was no irregularity in
the assessment of the taxes, is a statute of limitations, and does not
deprive the former owner of such lands of bis property without due
process of law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Con-
stitution of the United States," and is held to be decisive. Saranac

Land & Timber Co. v. Comptroller of New York, 318.
8. Whenever by any action of a State, whether through its legislature,

through its courts, or through its executive or administrative officers,
all persons of the African race are excluded, solely because of their
race or color, from serving as grand jurors in the criminal prosecution
of a person of the African race, the equal protection of the laws is
denied to him, contrary to the Fourteenth Amendment of the Consti-
tution of the United States. And when a defendant has had no oppor-
tunity to challenge the grand jury which found the indictment against
him, the objection to the constitution of the grand jury upon this
ground may be taken, either by plea in abatement, or by motion to
right duly set up and claimed by him under the Constitution and laws
of the United States, and must therefore be reversed by this court on

quash the indictment, before pleading in bar. Curter v. Terus, 442.
9. The question whether a right or privilege, claimed under the Constitu-

tion or laws of the United States, was distinctly and sufficiently pleaded
and brought to the notice of a state court, is itself a Federal question,
in the decision of which this court, on writ of error, is not concluded

by the view taken by the highest court of the State. 1h.
10. A person of the African race was indicted, in an inferior court of a

State, for a murder committed since the impanelling of the grand jury;
and, before pleading in bar, presented and read to the court a motion
to quash, duly and distinctly alleging that all persons of the African
race were excluded, because of their race and color, from the grand
jury which found the indictment; and, as was stated in his bill of ex-.
ceptions allowed by the judge, thereupon offered to introduce witnesses
to prove that allegation, but the court refused to hear any evidence
upon the subject, and, without investigating whether the allegation
was true or false, overruled the motion, and the defendant excepted.
After conviction and sentence, le appealed to the highest court of the
State in which a decision in the case could be had. That court affirmed
the judgment, upon the assumption that the defendant had introduced
no evidence in support of the motion to quash. Held, that this as-
sumption was plainly disproved by the statements in the bill of excep-
tions; and that the judgment of affirmance denied to the defendant a
within its power to agree for, and engages to pay for the same in bonds
which it is beyond its power to issue, and the work so contracted for
is done, the municipality is responsible for it in money as it cannot

writ of error. Ib.
11. The ordinance of the city of New Orleans set forth at length below in

the statement of the case, prescribing limits in that city outside of
which no woman of lewd character shall dwell, does not operate to
deprive persons owning or occupying property in or adjacent to the
prescribed limits, whether occupied as a residence or for other pur-
poses, of any rights secured by the Constitution of the United States,
and they cannot prevent its enforcement on the ground that by it their
rights under the Federal Constitution are invaded. L'Hote v. New

Orleans, 587.
12. Until there is some invasion of congressional power or of private rights

secured by the Constitution of the United States, the action of a State

in such respect is beyond question in the Federal Courts. Ib.
13. The settled rule of this court is that the mere fact of pecuniary injury,
does not warrant the overthrow of legislation of a police character. Ib.

See CORPORATION, 2, 3.

CONTRACT.
1. When a municipality contracts for a municipal improvement, which it is

pay in bonds. Houston & Texas Central Railroad Co. v. Texas, 66.
2. Where the validity of a contract is attacked on the ground of its illegal

purpose, that purpose must clearly appear, and it will not be inferred
simply because the performance of the contract might result in an aid

to an illegal transaction. Ib.
3. On the principles laid down in Baldy v. Hunter, 171 U. S. 388, the con-

tract in this case cannot be held to be unlawful. 16.
4. When the officers of the State, pursuant to its statutes, received war-

rants as payment, they acted for the State in carrying out an offer on
its part which the State had legal capacity to make and to carry out;
and the contract having been fully executed by the company and the
State, neither party having chosen to refuse to perform its terms,
neither party, as between themselves can thereafter act as if the con-

tract had not been performed. Ib.
5. A farmer made an arrangement with his son under which it was agreed

that the latter should undertake the management of the farm, farm im-
plements and live stock, make all repairs, pay all taxes and other ex-
penses, sell the products of the farm, replace all implements as they
wore out, keep up all live stock, and have as his own the net profits.
It was further agreed that each party should be at liberty to terminate
the arrangement at any time, and that the son should return to his
father the farm with its implements, stock and other personalty, of the
same kind and amount as was on the farm when the father retired, and
as in good condition as when he took it. Held, that no sale of the farm

property was intended; that the title to the same remained in the
father, and that the property was not subject to execution by creditors

of the son. Arnold v. Hatch, 276.
6. Specific performance of an executory contract is not of absolute right.

It rests entirely in judicial discretion, exercised, it is true, according
to the settled principles of equity, and not arbitrarily or capriciously,
yet always with reference to the facts of the particular case. Wesley

v. Eells, 370.
7. A court of equity will not compel specific performances if under all the

circumstances it would be inequitable to do so. 16.
8. It is a settled rule in equity that the defendant in a suit brought for the

specific performance of au executory contract will not be compelled to
take a title about which doubt may reasonably exist or which may ex-

pose him to litigation. Ib.
9. Speaking generally, a title is to be deemed doubtful where a court of co-

ordinate jurisdiction has decided adversely to it or to the principles on

which it rests. Ib.
10. July 22, 1869, Los Angeles City leased to Griffin and others for a named

sum its water works for a term of 30 years and granted them the right
to lay pipes in the street, and to take the water from the Los Angeles
river at a point above the dam then existing, and to sell and distribute
it to the inhabitants of the city, reserving the right to regulate the
water rates, provided that they should not be reduced to less than those
then charged by the lessees. The lessees agreed to pay a fixed rental,
to erect hydrants and furnish water for public uses without charge,
and at the expiration of the term to return the works to the city in
good order and condition, reasonable wear and damage excepted. This
contract was procured for the purpose of transferring it to a corpora-
tion to be formed, which was done. Subsequently the limits of the
city were extended as stated by the court, and the expenses of the cor-
poration were increased accordingly. The city subsequently established
water rates below those named in the contract, and the company col-
lected the new rates, without in any other way acquiescing in the change.
This suit was brought by the company to enforce the original contract.
Held, (1) That the power to regulate rates was an existent power, not
granted by the contract, but reserved from it with a single limitation,
the limitation that it sliould not be exercised to reduce rates below
what was then charged, and that undoubtedly there was a contractual
element, but that it was not in granting the power of regulation, but
in the limitation upon it; (2) that the city of Los Angeles, by its solemn
contract, and for various considerations therein stated, gave to the
party under whom defendant claims, the privilege of introducing, dis-
tributing and selling water to the inhabitants of that city, on certain
terms and conditions, which defendant has complied with, and it was
not within the power of the city authorities, by ordinance or otherwise,
afterward to impose additional burdens as a condition to the exercise
of the rights and privileges granted; (3) that by acquiescing in the regu-
lations of rates ever since 1880 the company is not estopped from claim-
ing equitable relief and is guilty of no laches. Los Angeles v. Los An-
geles City Water Co., 558.

See INSURANCE;

WATER RATES.

CORPORATION.
1. A suit was brought in the Circuit Court of the United States for the

Western District of Michigan by parties citizens of other States than
Michigan against a Michigan mining corporation and certain individual
defendants holding shares of stock in that corporation and being citi-
zens residing in Massachusetts. The plaintiffs claimed that they were
the real owners of certain shares of stock of the corporation the certi-
ficates of which were held by the Massachusetts defendants, and souglit
a decree removing the cloud upon their title to such shares and adjudg.
ing that they were entitled to them. Held, (1) That the defendants,
citizens of Massachusetts, were necessary parties to the suit; (2) that
they could be proceeded against in respect of the stock in question in
the mode and for the limited purposes indicated in the eighth section
of the act of Congress of March 3, 1875, 18 Stat. 470, c. 137, which au-
thorized proceedings by publication against absent defendants in any
suit commenced in any Circuit Court of the United States to enforce
any legal or equitable lien upon or claim to, or to remove any incuin-
brance or lien or cloud upon the title to real or personal property within
the district where such suit is brought; (3) that for the purposes of
that act the stock held by the citizens of Massachusetts was to be
deemed personal property “within the district" where the suit was
brought. The certificates of stock were only evidence of the owner-
ship of the shares, and the interest represented by the shares was held
by the Company for the benefit of the true owner. As the habitation
or domicil of the Company is and must be in the State that created it,
the property represented by its certificates of stock may be deemed to
be held by the company within the State whose creature it is, when-
ever it is sought by suit to determine who is its real owner. Jellenik

v. Huron Copper Mining Co., 1.
2. It is well settled that a State has the power to impose such conditions

as it pleases upon foreign corporations seeking to do business within

it. Waters-Pierce Oil Co. v. Texas, 28.
3. The statute of Texas of March 30, 1890, prohibiting foreign corporations,

which violated the provisions of that act, from doing any business
within the State imposed conditions which it was within the power of
the State to impose; and this statute was not repealed by the act of

April 30, 1895, c. 83. Ib.
4. A limited partnership, doing business under a firm name, and organized

under the act of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania approved June 2,
1874, entitled “ An act authorizing the formation of partnership asso-
ciations in which the capital subscribed shall alone be responsible for
the debts of the association, except under certain circumstances,” is
not a corporation within the rule that a suit by or against a corpora-

« ПретходнаНастави »