« ForrigeFortsett »
testifying that they tried in good faith to reach fair cash values. Held,
that the court will not intervene merely on the ground of a mistake
in judgment on the part of the officer to whom the duty of assessment
was entrusted by the law. It is not beyond the power of a State, so
far as the Federal Constitution is concerned, to tax the franchise of a
corporation at a different rate from the tangible property in the State.
Coulter v. Louisville & Nashville R. R. Co., 599.
8. Fourteenth Amendment-Validity of Kansas Anti-Trust Act.
The act of the legislature of Kansas of March 8, 1897, defining and pro-
hibiting trusts, is not in conflict with the Fourteenth Amendment to
the Federal Constitution as to a person convicted thereunder of com-
bining with others to pool and fix the price, divide the net earnings
and prevent competition in the purchase and sale of grain. Smiley
v. Kansas, 447.
1. Effect of words 'more or less" in contract to furnish goods.
In engagements to furnish goods to a certain amount the quantity specified
governs. Words like "about" and "more or less" are only for the
purpose of providing against accidental and not material variations.
Under the contract in this case for delivery of "about" 5,000 tons of coal
the United States cannot refuse to accept more than 4,634 tons but is
liable for the difference in value on 366 tons tendered and acceptance
refused. Moore v. United States, 157.
2. Custom and usage affecting-Demurrage.
Usage may be resorted to in order to make definite what is uncertain, clear
up what is doubtful, or annex incidents, but not to vary or contradict
the terms of a contract. Under contracts between a San Francisco
coal dealer and the United States for the delivery of coal at Honolulu
"at wharf" or "on wharf as customary," the customs referred to held
to be those of Honolulu and not of San Francisco, and that the United
States, in the absence of any provision to the contrary, could not be
held liable for the demurrage paid by the shipper to the owners of
vessels carrying the coal for delay in discharging their cargoes on
account of the crowded condition of the harbor. Ib.
3. Construction of contract by United States for use of patented process—
Denial, by United States, of validity of patent not available defense in
The United States made a contract with the steel company for the use of
a process described as patented. The contract provided that in case
it should at any time be judicially decided "that the company was
not legally entitled under the patent to the process and the product
the payment of royalties should cease. In a suit by the company for
royalties the United States attempted to deny the validity of the
patent while admitting there was no outstanding decision against it.
Held, that this defense was not open. Held further, that under the
circumstances of this case, the contract, properly construed, extended
to the process actually used even if it varied somewhat from that
described in the patent. United States v. Harvey Steel Co., 310.
See CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, 2;
INTERSTATE COMMERCE, 1;
See BANKRUPTCY, 5;
1. Right of creating power to impose regulations concerning ownership of stock.
The sovereign that creates a corporation has the incidental right to impose
reasonable regulations concerning the ownership of stock therein and
it is not an unreasonable regulation to establish the situs of stock for
purposes of taxation, at the principal office of the corporation whether
owned by residents or non-residents, and to compel the corporation to
pay the tax for the stockholders giving it a right of recovery therefor
against the stockholders and a lien on the stock. Corry v. Mayor and
Council of Baltimore, 466.
2. Validity of regulation establishing situs of stock for purposes of taxation.
Where valid according to the laws of the State such a regulation does not
deprive the stockholder of his property without due process of law
either because it is an exercise of the taxing power of the State over
persons and things not within its jurisdiction, or because notice of the
assessment is not given to each stockholder, provided notice is given
to the corporation and the statute either in terms, or as construed by
the state court, constitutes the corporation the agent of the stockholders
to receive notice and to represent them in proceedings for the correc-
tion of the assessment. Ib.
3. Provisions of constitution and general laws of State as part of charter.
While the liability of non-resident stockholders for taxes on his stock may
not be expressed in the charter of the company if it existed in the gen-
eral laws of the State at the time of the creation of the corporation or
the extension of its charter, and the constitution of the State also
contained at such times the reserved right to alter, amend and repeal,
those provisions of the constitution and general laws of the State are
as much a part of the charter as if expressly embodied therein. Ib.
See CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, 7;
JURISDICTION, B 2;
See AUTOMATIC COUPLERS.
PUBLIC LANDs, 7;
1. Federal Circuit Court as court of the State in which it sits-Controlling
force of state law.
In the exercise of the jurisdiction conferred upon it of controversies between
citizens of different States, a Circuit Court of the United States is for
every practical purpose a court of the State in which it sits and will en-
force the rights of the parties according to the law of that State taking
care, as a state court must, not to infringe any right secured by the
Constitution and the laws of the United States. And in a case of
condemnation it would proceed under the sanction of, and enforce,
the state law so far as it was not unconstitutional. Traction Company
v. Mining Company, 239.
2. Rule as to interference by Federal court with State's administration of its
Where the only constitutional ground on which the complainant can come
into the Circuit Court obviously fails the court should be very cautious
in interfering with the State's administration of its taxes upon other
considerations which would not have given it jurisdiction. Coulter
v. Louisville & Nashville R. R. Co., 599.
3. State-Power to prescribe extent of state statute.
The power in the state court to determine the meaning of a state statute
carries with it the power to prescribe its extent and limitations as well
as the method by which they shall be determined.
Smiley v. Kansas,
1. Case arising under section 1782, Rev. Stat., relative to taking by United
States Senator of compensation in matters to which United States is a
A Senator of the United States was indicted and tried in the Eastern Dis-
trict of Missouri for a violation of § 1782, Rev. Stat., the indictment
averring that he had rendered services for a certain corporation before
the Post Office Department in matters in which the United States was
interested, that is whether a "fraud order" should issue against such
corporation, and that he had received payment at St. Louis therefor.
The defendant denied that the United States was interested in the
matters referred to in the indictment within the meaning of § 1782,
Rev. Stat., or that he had rendered any service in violation thereof
and alleged that the service which he had rendered to, and had been
paid for by, the corporation, were those of general counsel, and not
connected with the "fraud order." It was proved without contradic-
tion that the compensation he received under certain counts was sent
to him from St. Louis and received by him in Washington in the form
of checks on a St. Louis bank which he deposited in his bank in Wash-
ington, receiving credit therefor at once, and which checks were sub-
sequently paid in due course. On the trial the jurisdiction of the court
was denied, the offense, if any there was, having been committed at.
Washington and not at St. Louis, and the defendant also asserted his
privilege from arrest under § 16, Art. I of the Constitution. The court
held that the privilege from arrest was waived and submitted to the
jury whether there was any agreement by which the place of payment
of the checks was St. Louis and not Washington. Held, that the facts
alleged in the indictment showed a case that is covered by the pro-
visions of § 1782, Rev. Stat. Burton v. United States, 283.
2. Locus criminis where payment by check.
The payment of the checks to defendant in this manner was a payment
at Washington, and if any crime was committed it was not at St. Louis,
and, in view of the evidence, it was error to submit to the jury any
question as to where the payment was made, and those counts in the
indictment which were based on allegations of payments in St. Louis
should have been dismissed as the court had no jurisdiction thereover.
This is not the case of the commencement of a crime in one district
and its completion in another so that the court in either district would
have jurisdiction under § 731, Rev. Stat. Ib.
See CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, 5;
Contribution; rule as to, held inapplicable.
A railroad company delivered a car with imperfect brakes to a terminal
company; both companies failed to discover the defect which could
have been done by proper inspection; an employé of the terminal
company, who was injured as a direct result of the defective brake,
sued the terminal company alone and recovered. In an action brought
by the terminal company against the railroad company for the amount
paid under the judgment: Held, that as both companies were wrong-
doers, and were guilty of a like neglect of duty in failing to properly
inspect the car before putting it in use, the fact that such duty was
first required of the railroad company did not bring the case within the
exceptional rule which permits one wrongdoer, who has been mulcted
in damages, to recover indemnity or contribution from another, on
the ground that the latter was primarily responsible. Union Stock
Yards Co. v. Chicago &c. R. R. Co., 217.
DEED OF TRUST.
See CONTRACTS, 3;
DELEGATION OF POWERS.
See PUBLIC LANDS, 3.
See CONTRACTS, 2.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
See INSURANCE (Hunt v. Springfield F. & M. Ins. Co., 47).
STREETS AND HIGHWAYS (Wolff v. District of Columbia, 152).
WILLS (McCaffrey v. Manogue, 563; Keely v. Moore, 38).