uld be authorized to find a verdict foror 4 feet high, with gangways upon each plaintiff, that such a charge was erroneous; side, closed by rails binged to the bulwarks, and that, if the jury could not find any rational of the same height, and coming down upon stanground upon which to impute negligence to chions in the center of the gangway, leaving the defendant, they should give a verdict in its space beneath open. This deck was not defavor. McCuiğ v. Erie R. Co. 8 Hun, 599; signed for passengers, but they were permitted Searles v. Manhattan R. Co. supra.

to come upon it with knowledge of defendant's 6. Again, if the city is to be held responsi- employees. D. came out thereon. His bat blew ble for failing to keep open the vents to the off. He sprang to recover it, slipped under sewers witbin its jurisdiction, is it to be held the gangway rail, fell overboard, and was liable also if some person passing while the drowned. It appeared that all the boats upon vents are open casts a lighied match into one the lake were constructed in the same manner; of them, or ibe gas from it rises and catches that they had been so run for many years; and fire from a streei lamp, thereby causing an ex- there was no proof tending to show that any plosion? Is it possible that the city can be thusone had ever before gone overboard in this held responsible whether it does or does not way, or that such danger had been appreopen vents?

And yet, if the position taken by hended. Held, that the evidence failed to plaintiff as ground for recovery in this action show negligence on the part of defendant, be correct. —that the city is respionsible for the and that plaintiff was properly nonsuited. So, gases wbich breed in its sewers,--then the too, in Hubbell v. Yonkers, plaintiff was riding spectacle will soon be presented of actions for along one of defendant's streets, the roadbed damages against the city because–First, it does of which was 30 feet wide, macadamized, and not open its sewers, and ibereby allow the in good condition. On one side, where ibe gases therefrom to escape, thereby causing an street was graded up about 12 feet, there was explosion; because, second, it does open its a sidewalk 10 feet wide, separated from the sewers, and thereby an explosion is caused; road bed by a curbstone 8 inches high. There because, third, it opens its sewers to allow ibe was no fence, wall, or other obstruction to gases to escape, and thereby becomes liable for guard ibe outer edge of the sidewalk. The disease and death scattered by reason of the es borse attached to the wagon in which plaintiff cape of such gases; because, fourth, it does was riding became frigbiened and commenced not pump out the sewage from the sewers, or to shy, and, spite of the efforts of the driver, at least does not use a liberal quantity of dis- went over the curbstone and sidewalk, and infectants so as to deodorize ihe contents of down the embankment, carrying the wagon the sewer and ihus render them, if not sweet, and plaintiff with him. In an action to at least innocuous. Such are the possibilities of recover damages for injuries received by municipal liability which present themselves plaintiff it appe:red that the street had been if the present action can be maintained. And in the same condition since its opening, over ter if it can, it might be well to suggest that, if years before, and, so far as appeared, no simithe city is thus to be made an insurer, it ougbt, lar accident had occurred. Held, that defendat leasi, as some compensation, to be allowed ant was pot liable, that the accident was one to issue accident policies, and take premiums of a class so rare, unexpected, and unforeseen, on the multitudinous risks it is thus compelled defendant could not be charged with neglito assunie. Hitherto it bad been supposed that gence for a failure to guard against it. 104 N. it was the peculiar and exclusive purpose and Y. 434, 58 Am. Rep. 522. A mule caught its function of sewers, and that they were foot in a bole in a railroad track so small that adapted, devised, and designed, to conceal and no one could have foreseen such result. Held. carry off the foulness which accumulates no liability. Nelson v. Chicago, M. & St. P. where great bodies of people congregate', and R. Co. 30 Minn. 74. Similar nonliability was not to disseminate mephitic odors and gases, announced where a workman was painting by thus poisoning the atmosphere throughout the lamplight the inside of a tank with an apcity.

proved and long used paint, bought ready for 7. Furthermore, Mill Creek sewer, as was use, and the benzine in the paint caused an conceded at the trial, was constructed in a explosion. Allison Mfg.Co. v. VcCormick, manner that left nothing to be desired. It had 118 Pa. 519. From some unexplained cause a been built some thirty-four years, and no acci- telegraph wire across a track sagged, and, hitdent of the nature now presented had ever oc- ting a brakeman on top of a car, broke, at the curred in it. Indeed, it does not appear that same time becoming fastened to the car brake. an occurrence of such sort had ever before The end caught a man engaged in business happened. Now, it is settled by abundant au- near the depot, and, the wire being drawn thorities, and by numerous and frequent ad. along by the moving train, the man was killed. judications, that it is not negligence to omit a Held to be an accident. “Negligence,” says precaution which, if taken, would have pre Mitchell, Ch. J., “is not to be presumed from vented the injury, when the injury could not the fact of an occurrence like that involved in reasonably have been anticipated, and would the present case, the statement of which sugnot, unless in exceptional circumstances, have gests its anomalous, exceptional, and extraordihappened because of the omission. Such in. nary, character.", Wabash, St. L. & P. R. Co. stances are assigned to the domain of inevitav. Locke, 112 Ind. 404. Like rulings have ble accident, for wbich, no one being negli. been announced where accidents have hapgent, no one is responsible. Thus in Dougan pened from machinery, where their liability io v. Champiain Transp. Co. 56 N. Y. 1, D., bappen is proved only by their actual bappen. plaintiff's intestate, was a passenger upon de ing. Richards v. Rough, 53 Mich. 212; fondant's boat on Lake Champlain. The for: Sjogren v. Hall, Id. 274. In O'Malley v. Misward deck was surrounded by bulwarks 31 souri P. R. Co. 113 Mo. 319, the tunnel bad


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been used for thirteen years, and in an action contaminated by foul odors and other contabrought for the death of the plaintiff's husband, gious and infectious gases and emanations. employed in the defendant's tunnel, through | When a city has, as in this instánce, built a which it operated locomotives and cars, the sewer in a most admirable manner, and bas petition charged that the tunnel, because the kept such health-preserving conduit free from fan that ventilated it was out of repair, was in obstructions, its complete duty, whether cona dangerous condition, being filled with steam, sidered a public or a corporate one, has been smoke, and poisonous gases; and that defend entirely discharged. ant, well knowing this fact, which was un- 9. It only remains to say that there is nothknown to the deceased, negligently ordered ing in the facts in evidence which by any poshim to go into the tunnel, whereby he was sibility casts any blame or liability on defendchoked, strangled, and killed. Held that as ant oil company. It cannot be considered as there was total failure of the evidence to sbow having permitted the oils to escape and run that the smoke in the tunnel, wben dece lent into the sewer, merely because it did not forbid entered, was dangerous to human life, or to the oils which ran from its premises into the show ibat defendant could have anticipated a streets and on the railroad tracks from being condition of the tunnel dangerous to human turned, by means of trenches dug, into the life, plaintiff could not recover. To the like sewer, por because it did not use force to preeffect, see Cooley, Torts, 91 et seq.; Withers v. vent this from being done. For the foregoing North Kent R. Co. 27 L. J. Exch. 417; Loftus reasons the judgment should be affirmed; and v. Union Ferry Co. 84 N. Y. 455, 38 Am. Rep. for which reasons I dissent from the majority 533; Cleveland v. New Jersey S. B. ('0. 68 N. opinion. Y. 306; Sutton y. New York C. & H. R. R. Co. 66 N. Y. 243; Bishop, Non-Cont. L. SS 182, Burgess and Robinson, JJ., 447; Bishop v. 'Union R. Co. 14 R. I. 314, 51 Am. Rep. 386; Wright v. Wilmington, 92 N. C. 156. The same principle is recognized in Flori v. St. Louis, 69 Mo. 341, 33 Am. Rep. 504, wbere the city was held not liable to a

(Division 2). person for injuries inflicted by the fall of a

STATE of Missouri, Appt., market house, caused by a wind storm of unprecedented force and violence. It is unnecessary to say here whether the case might not

Alexander McCABE et al., Respts. bave rested on another ground. It is certainly opposed, in any event, to a recovery by plain

(........Mo.........) tiff. 8. Moreover, the defendant city, in the con

1. The name and signature of a claim. struction of Mill Creek sewer and in its main.

ant agency subscribed to threatening letters

and circulars which are sent in violation of Rey. tenance, was and is engaged as a governmental

Stat. 1859, 8 3782, is entirely immaterial to the agency in the performance of a public, sanitary

offense of the persons who sent them. duty for the public good, and not for its own 2. The constitutional rights of property private advantage or emolument. In such circumstances it is well settled in this state, as

do not include the right to send letters

or circulars to a debtor, threatening to advertise well as in many other jurisdictions, ihal a mu

a claim against him for sale, which constitutes nicipality is not liable in damages for the

an offense under Rev. Stat. 1889, $ 3782, as a threat wrongful or negligent acts of its officers and

to injure his credit or reputation. servants, unless made thus liable by positive 3. The constitutional guaranty of the law or by inevitable implication. Murtaugh

right to speak, write, or publish on any v. St. Louis, 44 Mo. 479; Heller v. Sedalia, 53

subject, does not extend to the sending of letters Mo. 159, 14 Am. Rep. 444; Mckenna v St. or circulars to a debtor, threatening to advertise Louis, 6 Mo. App. 320; Armstrong v. Bruns- a claiin against him for sale, which is a threat to wick, 79 Mo. 319; Carrington v. St. Louis, 89 injure his credit or reputation, in violation of Mo. 212, 58 Am. Rep. 108; Moxmilian v. Nero Rev. Stat, 1889, 83782. York, 62 N. Y. 160, 20 Am. Rep. 468; Hill v. Boston, 122 Mass. 344, 23 Am. Rep. 332; De

(October 7, 1896.) troit v. Blackeby, 21 Mich. 84, 4 Am. Rep. 450; 2 Dill, Mun. Corp 4th ed. $$ 965, 9650 975-| APPEAL by the state from a judgment of 977, 980, and cases cited. Carrington v. St.

the St. Louis

, supra, while it correctly states the prin quashing an indictment for sending threatening ciple applicable to this class of cases, yet its letters contrary to the provisions of the statute.

Reversed. application in that instance suggests an interrogation point, as to which see :$ 58, 60, 210,

The facts are stated in the opinion. 974, 975, Dill. Mun. Corp. 4th ed. Besides, if

Messrs. Thomas E. Mulvihill, James the iheory contended for by plaintiff is to pre

L. Hopkins, and Howe & Howe, for apvail, it would result in casting on defendant pellant: city a task impossible of performance, as

The information is drawn under $ 3782, Rev.. already indicated, and one which, if it could Stat. 1889, and is in proper and approved

form. be performed, would subject the city to fresh liabilities by reason of such performance, and,

Kelley, Crim. Law & Pr. § 919; State v. in addition thereto, would defeat and destroy Barr, 28 Mo. App. 84. the very purpose and function wbich a

NOTE.--For libel by bad-debt collection agency, is obviously designed to accomplish, to wit, to

see also State v. Armstrong (Mo.) 13 L. R. A. 419; prevent the air of the municipality from being Muetze v. Tuteur (Wis.) 9 L. R. A. 86.





This is an unlawful threat and was made for, Wait, Act. & Def. 35, 36; Cooley, Torts,! 2d ed. the purpose of extorting money through fear 832. that could not be collected by legal proc- The letters sent out in the information show

But if the threat were even anbiguous that the claimant agency beld for a creditor a the state is entitled to introduce parol evidence claim against Post the existence and validity to explain its contents or meaning, and whether of which claim are not negatived in the init contained the alleged threat as charged is a formation, and is therefore confessed. question for the jury.

State v. Hammond, 80 Ind. 80, 41 Am. Rep. Kelley, Crim. Law & Pr. $ 919; State v. 791: Embry v. Com. 79 Ky. 439. Linthicum, 68 Mo. 66; People v. Braman, 30 The unpaid and valid claim against Post in Mich. 463: State v. Barr, supra.

the hands of the creditor or his agent Mr. Willis H. Clark, for respondents: attorney was and is as much property as a

Pedal statutes are always to be strictly con- borse or a house. Its owner possessed every strued for the benefit of the citizens. Å stat. right and attribute of ownership over it includ. ute ought to be so construed that no man who ing the right to demand and receive payment is innocent can be punished or endangered. or to advertise and sell it, as he might sell any State v. McLain, 49 Mo. App. 398; State v. other property and as

are daily McCance, 110 Mo. 398; State v. Bryant, 90 Mo. bought and sold. 534.

Reg. v. Coghlan, 4 Fost. & F. 316; McClair v. On an indictment for robbery in the first de- Wilson, 18 Colo. 82; Wilson Sewing Mach. Co. gree, the prosecuting witness gave evidence v. Curry, 126 Ind. 161. tending to prove the offense, and the defendants Depriving an owner of property of one of gave evidence admitting taking money from its essential attributes is depriving him of his bim by force and violence, but showing, if property within the meaning of the constitutrue, that he owed one of them $2, that ibey tional provision that no person shall be de. demanded it of bim, forcibly took a $5 bill prived of life, liberty, or property without due and some silver from him, and offered to give process of law. him his change over the $2, wbich he refused. State v. Julou, 129 Mo. 163, 29 L. R. A, The act committed was within the letter 257. of the statute ($ 3530), but was it within its intention and spirit? This court ruled that if the

Gantt, P. J., delivered the opinion of the

court; evidence of defendants was true there was no offense committed and defendants should be

This is an appeal by the state from a judg

ment of the St. Louis court of criminal coracquitted.

State v. Broun, 104 Mo. 365; Broun v. State, rection, quashing an information against the 28 Ark. 126; Driscoll v. People, 47 Mich. 413. mation was filed in said court charging de

respondents. On January 17, 1896, an inforOne does not commit robbery, who by vio- fevdants with the offense of sending a threat. lence compels a debtor to pay him what he

ening letter. It was quashed on motion of Bishop, Crim. L. $ 1162; Reg. v. Ilemmings, defendants. On January 28th an amended 4 Fost. & F. 50; Reg. v. Johnson, 14 U. c. Q. information was filed by the assistant proseB. 569.

cuting attorney, in words and figures as fol

lows: The statute against sending threatening let. ters with a view of extorting money, etc., was State of Missouri, Plaintiff, cs. Alexander Mcintended to embrace only cases where the in- Cabe, Henry S. McCabe, and H. tent is to obtain that which ip justice and

M. Tileston, Defendants. equity the writer of the letter is not entitled to In the St. Louis Court of Criminal Correcreceive.

tion. People v. Griffin, 2 Barb. 427; Mann v. State, Richard M. Johnson, assistant prosecuting 47 Ohio St. 556, 11 L. R. A. 656; People v. attorney of the St. Louis court of criminal Thomas, 3 Hill, 169; Rer v. Williams, 7 Car. & correction, now here in court on bebalf of the P. 354: State v. Hammond, 80 Ind. 80, 41 Am. state of Missouri, amended information makes Rep. 791; Com. V. Jones, 121 Mass. 57, 23 Am. as follows: Rep. 257; United States v. Elliott, 51 Fed. Rep. That Alexander McCabe, Henry S. McCabe, 807; Embry v. Com. 79 Ky. 439.

and H. M. Tileston, in the city of St. Louis An injury, legally speaking, consists of a aforesaid, on the 8th day of January, 1896, wrong done to a person, or in other words a unlawfully, knowingly, and maliciously did violation of his right.

send and deliver to one James Post, by United Parker v. Griswold, 17 Conn. 302, 42 Am. States mail, inclosed in one envelope, certain Dec. 739; Victor Min. Co. v. Morning Star letters, writings, printings, circulars, and cards, Min. Co. 50 Mo. App. 525; Charless v. Ran with the name and signature of “The Claimant kin, 22, 566, 66 Am. Dec. 642; Cooley, Torts, Agency” subscribed thereto, directed to the 2d ed. 830.

said James Post by the name and description Where a party has a legal right to do a par- of Mr. James Post, signed on the back thereof. ticular act the motive with which he may as- then and there and therein threatening to in sert his right will not give a right of action jure the credit and reputation of the said James even where malice prompted the act.

Post, which said letters, writings, printings, Mahan v. Broun, 13 Wend. 261, 28 Am. Dec. circulars, and cards were and are in words and 461: Auburn & ('. Pl. Rond Co. v. Douglass, 9 figures as follows, that is to say: N. Y. 444; Chatfield v. Wilson, 28 Vt. 49; OC- "The Claimant Agency (Incorporated), Room cum Co. v. A. & W. Sprague Mfg. Co. 34 Conn. 120, Laclede Building, St. Louis, Mo., 1-18, 530; Sterenson v. Neunham, 13 C. B. 285; 1' 1896. We are authorized to publish in our



For Sale columns the claim we hold against to inform these defendants with certainty you. You bave ignored it so long, the patience as to the nature and cause of the accusation of your creditor has become exhausted. The against them, therein violatiog, the provi. Claimant will contain the same in its next is. sions of the Constitution of the state of sue. We must also place every month in the Missouri and the Constitution of the United houses opposite and adjacent to your residence States of America. (7) Said information is in fifty of the inclosed circulars directed to your violation of the provisions of the Constitutions address. If you are unable to settle in full, a of the state of Missouri and of the United payment will stop proceedings against you, as States of America with reference to the depri. well as publication of the debt.

vation of life, liberty, and property without Respectfully,

due process of law. (8) Said information afThe Claimant Agency. firmatively shows that neither of these defend“Make settlement direct with tbis office. ants is guilty of any offense against the laws

“The claim of $ we hold against you of the state of Missouri such as is charged is yet unpaid. "Honesty is the best policy.' against them tberein. (9) Said information Call and make arrangements to settle the debt. affirmatively shows that neither of these de

“Complimentary. The Claimant Agency, fendants is guilty of any offense against the Publishers, Room 120, Laclcde Building, st. laws of the state of Missouri. (10) Ühe names Louis. Fill out the coupon, and return to us of all material witnesses are pot indorsed upon with list of accounts. We will offer for sale said information." This motion also was susten claims complimentary, and mail copy of tained, and the prosecuting attorney took all the Claimant containing same to each debtor. proper steps to have said ruling of the court Before publishing we will endeavor to obtain reviewed in this court, on the ground that the some money for you on the accounts. The decision of the cause involved ihe construction Claimant Agency.

of the Constitutions of the United States and “Collection Department. Our regular mem- of this state. Mo. Const. art. 6, § 12. bership fee is $10.00 per year, including sub- The information was intended to charge an scription to the Claimant. Claims For Sale' offense under $ 3782, Rev. Stat. 1889, which can be inserted therein at the rate of 25 cents provides that “every person who shall knowper dame, per month, by nonmembers. ingly send or deliver any letter, writing, print

"FOR SALE-The following judgments: ing, circular, or card, with or without a name Against Leon D. Boucher, 1049 De Hodia subscribed thereto or signed with a fictitious mont avenue, $24.88, for unpaid grocery bill. pame, or any letter, mark, or device, threaten. Against George W. Ferguson, 5036 Bell ave- ing to accuse any person of a crime, or to kill, pue, $64.25, for unpaid grocery bill. Against maim, or wound any person, or to do any inJohn J. McCann, 1710 Chestnut street, $29.95, jury to the person, property, credit, or reputafor unpaid grocery bill.

tion of another, though no money or property “The Claimant Agency (Incorporated), Pub- be demanded or extorted thereby, sball, on lishers and Collectors, Room 120, Laclede conviction, be ad judged guilty of a misde. Building, St. Louis, Mo.”

meanor." It will be observed that this section Which said letters, writings, priptings, cir- which was numbered 1526, Rev. Stat. 1879, bas culars, and cards were sent out and delivered been amended by inserting the words “credit through the United States mails to the said or reputation.” The St. Louis court of apJames Post by said defendants, unlawfully, peals, in State v. Barr, 28 Mo. App. 84, in 1887 knowingly, and maliciously, for the purpose held that the sending of a letter threatening to of, and therein threatening to, injure the credit publish a person's name in a "dead beat” book, and reputation of the said James Post, by whereby his credit would be ruined, was not bringing bim into disrespect and disrepute an offense under $ 1526, Rev. Stat. 1879, bewill his friends, neighbors, and associates, cause "credit and reputation” were not propcontrary to the forin of the statute in such erty, within the meaning of the section as it case made and provided, and against the peace then read. It is obvious that the insertion of and dignity of the state.

"credit and reputation” in the next revision Richard M. Johnson. after the promulgation of that decision was inAsst. Pros. Atty. for St. Louis Court of Crimi. tended to cover threats of injury to the credit nal Correction.

or reputation, as well as to property or person. Subscribed and sworn to by James Post, The information sufficiently charges that the Jany. 28, 1896, before the clerk of said court. defendant sent a letter to the prosecuting wit

ness which contained circulars and writings On the same day the defendants filed their threatening to injure his credit among his motion to quash, in the following words: “(1) neighbors, and fully set out the means and the Said information is not sufficient in law. (2) character of the agencies which would be Said information is not sutficient in substance. adopted and employed to effectually destroy (3) Said ivformation is vague, indefinite, his credit and reputation, to wit, by placing and uncertain. (4) Several distinct charges every month in the houses opposite and adjaagainst these defendants are alleged in said cent to his residence fifty of the circulars ininformation in one count. (5) The acis closed, directed to bis address. charged against these defendants in said in- The point made that there is no allegation as formation are such as these defendants have to what the “Claimant Agency” was, or bow an inherent right to do, wbich right is guar- defendants were connected with it, is without anteed to them, and each of them, under and force, for the reason that it is wholly immateby the Constitution of the state of Missouri, and rial whether it is a corporation or a firm name, under and by the Constitution of the United or wholly fictitious. The offense charged is States of America. (6) Said information fails that defendants sent these threatening circulars and writings. They are guilty in lending says: "The constitutional liberty of speech themselves to this scheme of destroying the and of the press, as we understand it, implies credit and reputation of the prosecuting with a right to freely utter and publish wbatever ibe Dess. They were fully advised in the infor citizen may please, and to be protected against mation of the nature and character of the any responsibility for so doing, except so far offense with which they were charged. as such publications, from their blasphemy,

They raise the question of the constitution obscenity, or scandalous character, may be a ality of the law itself. They assert that, con public offense, or as by their falsehood and ceding i hey did threaten to ruin the credit and malice they niay injuriously affect the standreputation of the prosecuting witness as a ing, reputation, or pecuniary interests of indibusiness man, they were guilty of no offense viduals.” The Constitution grants no immuunder the laws of this state, because they say pity from punishment for criminal libels. thes bad a right to do so. Let us examine this “Libel" is defined by our law as follows: “A contention. Can it be maintained that the libel is the malicious defamation of a person guaranty in the Federal and state Constitutions made public by any printing, writing, sigo, of life, liberty, and property justifies any citi- picture, representation or eitigy, tending to zen in threatening to destroy the credit or provoke him to wrath or expose bim to public reputation of another citizen? If it can, then barred, contenipi, or ridicule, or to deprive bim it amounts to this: that not only are ibe courts of the benefits of public contidence and social open to bim to obtain a judgment for any sum intercourse; any malicious defamation made due bim, and the process of the law is awarded public as aforesaid designed to blacken and him to enforce that judgment, but in addition vilify the memory of one who is dead, and thereto be bas tbe right 10 threaten the publi- tending to scandalize or provoke his surviving cation of a criminal libel whereby be may relatives and friends." Rev. Siat. 1889, 53869 destroy his debtor's credit and reputation. As was said in State v. Armstrong, 106 Mo. 395, More iban this, be may avoid the courts alto. 13 L. R. A. 419. "The evideni purpose and getber, der rive bis debtor of all just credits and design of the defendant and the association be sel offs, all lawful pleas in defense, and, employed was to publish the prosecutrix through fear of the ruin of his credit, he may as a bad debior, a dishonest person, who would even collect an unjust debt, or obtain an un- not pay her bonest debts, and to degrade her conscionable advantage. The law will not in the eyes of the public and her employers, countenance or tolerate this method of collect and as such was clearly libelous, and within ing debts. The state has provided every the meaning of the statute.” The proposed needed remedy, both ordinary and extraordi. mode of publishing the threatened libel clearly nary, 10 enforce the payment of all just debts indicates ibat it was actuated by malice. There through the agency of her couris of justice, is nothing in the Bill of Rights which would and among these remedies is not included the exonerate defendants from responsibility for right to threaten to destroy credit and reputa- such a criminal libel, if actually uttered and tion. Such a course is well calculated to pro- published, nor to shield ihem from the offense duce a breach of the peace. If once permited denounced against sending a letter threatening and sanctioned by the courts, it will soon to so libel bim. The reason why libelous pub. degenerate into an intolerable and oppressive lications are public offenses is their direct tenwrong

Upjust claims will be extorted dency to provoke breaches of the public peace from timid debtors. Honest and deserving by the injured parties, and their friends and men will be held up to scorn, and published families to acts of revenge, and the same reason as dishonest, merely because they have not the underlies statutes against letters which threaten means with which to meet their obligations. extortion by means of libel. Such statutes do The position of counsel that, because a map is not infringe the constitutional right of any too poor or unable to meet all his obligations law-abiding citizen. Communications of ibis as soon as due, no wrong can come to him by cbaracter, with the intention of extorting publishing his inability to do so, in the most' money, bave been the common subjecis of offensive manner, cannot be countenanced by legislation both in Eugland and ibe states of tbis court. It is alike upsound in law and ibis Union. 2 Archbold, Crim. Pr. & Pl. morals The law does not authorize the col. p. 1060, and notes. And such laws have never lection of just debts even by the malicious been supposed to be obnoxious to freedom of threatening to injure the debtor in his person, speech, as understood in our free institutions. property. credit, or reputation. To deny bim On the contrary, it is a libel on the Bill of the privilege of so doing in po sense deprives Rigbts, which guarantees free speech, to assert bim of the protection of bis property rights that it was intended to protect anyone in such under the Bill of Rights or Constitution. despicable practices. State v. Goodwin, 37 La.

Does it uerch upon that other constitutional | Ann. 713. righi, securing freedom of speech, wbich guar- Without further elaboration, we hold that antees “that every person shall be free to say, the court of criminal correction erred in quashwrite, or publish whatever he will on any ing the information, and its judgment is reversed subject, being respopsible for all abuse of that and the cause remanded. liberty?" Judge Cooley, in his great work on Constitutional Limitations, 6th ed. p. 518, Sherwood and Burgess, JJ., concur. 34 L. R. A.


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