« ForrigeFortsett »
to a company which owned a vessel to be used in paying off claims which were liens thereon under the state law was the treasurer of such company does not prevent him from acquiring a lien of equal standing where it is clearly shown that the loan was made on the credit of the vessel, and that while his being the legal custodian of the company's funds is strong evidence that the loan was made on the credit of the company and not of the vessel, as was said in the case of the Murphy Tugs (28 Fed. 429), it is not conclusive and may be overcome by evidence showing the company's condition, (The City of Camden, 147 Fed. 847). Whether a part owner can, in any circumstances, obtain a maritime lien against his partners, is not settled, the authorities being in conflict. The common law courts decided against the right, (Ex Parte Young, 2 Ves. & B. 242, 2 Rose 78, cited in the notes in 70 L. R. A. p. 367), although it has been held that a material man, who places necessary repairs on a vessel, has a lien for their value as against his co-owner, (Pettit v. The Charles Hemje, 5 Hughes 359, Fed. Cas. No. 11,047a.), the fact that the agent was a part owner being regarded as a technical objection only, (The West Friesland, Swabey, Adm. 454). The courts have, however, for the most part followed the common law precedents (The St. Joseph, Brown Adm. 202 Fed. Cas. No. 12,229. The Union Express, Brown Adm. 537 Fed. Cas. No. 14,364. Braden v. Gardner, 4 Pick. 456. The Daniel Kane 35 Fed. 785) and where one of two persons who build a ship together, to be owned by them in certain proportions, advances more than his proportion of the expenses, he has no lien on the ship for the balance due him, (Merrill v. Bartlett, 6 Pick. 46).
W. S. N. MARRIED WOMEN-LIABILITY UPON PROMISSORY NOTE-ACCOMMODATION PARTY.-Suit against married woman upon promissory note given by her in consideration of the payment of a check of equal amount to restore funds paid by her bank to honor the last of a series of notes upon which she had been an accommodation indorser or maker and therefore exempt from liability thereon. Defense, that she was an accommodation maker within the purview of Section 5 Comp. St. 1910, 3226. Reply, that she received a benefit to her separate estate by reason of her signature to note, and so came within the exception to the proviso that exempts a married woman from liability. Held, that she was liable upon note, the court deciding that, although the original notes were undoubtedly accommodation acts by her, yet she had, as a legal result of what she had done and authorized others to do, voluntarily paid off these debts, and the subsequent making of the note sued upop was legally an entirely distinct and separate transaction, (Newark Trust Co. v. Curtiss, et al., 89 Atl. 990 N. J.). The married woman's acts conferring upon feme coverts capacity to contract, etc., expressly except from their operation contracts of guarantee or surety or accommodation signatures whereby she or her estate is not benefited. In regard to these her incapacity has remained exactly as at Common Law. And, consequently, no court of law or equity would ever enforce them, either prior or subsequent to the statute. For cases at law, see: (Woolverton v. Van Syckle, 57 N. J. L. 393, 31 Atl. 603; Cooley v. Barcroft, 43 N. J. L. 363; Vliet v. Eastburn, 64 N. J. L. 627; 47 Atl. 735, 1061. In equity; Beck v. La Baw, 21 N. J. Eq. 269; Bishop v. Bourgeois, 58 N. J. Eq. 417, 43 Atl. 655.) Nor is the rule altered in cases where the plaintiff is a holder in due course. Her incapacity is a real defense. (Cooley v. Barcroft, and Bishop v. Bourgeois, supra;
Herm. Estop. Sec. 1105. Union Nat. Bank v. Craig, 1 N. J. L. 186.) She will be held liable, however, if benefited even slightly by her act. Thus consideration of $80. for her signature to $2,080 note was held sufficient to render her liable for the full amount thereof, (Vliet v. Eastburn, supra; but see, contra Christiansen v. Wells, 30 S. E. 611, 50 S. C. 499.) And where wife united with husband in note to pay off mortgage upon real property owned by him, the fact that her inchoate dower estate was enhanced in value by removal of the mortgage, was deemed sufficient benefit to found her liability upon. (Beberdick v. Crevier, 60 N. J. L. 389, 37 Atl. 959). A married woman may borrow money in order to pay her husband's existing debts and give a binding note therefor, in absence of knowledge of payee. (White v. Stocker, 85 Ga. 200; Johnson v. Gulledge, 115 Ga. 981.) But such a transaction cannot be used as a cloak to cover an attempt to evade the statute. (Field v. Campbell, 164 Ind. 389, 108 Am. St. Rep. 301, 72 N. E. 260; Temples v. Equitable Mtg. Co., 100 Ga. 503, 28 S. E. 232.) And it has even been held in New Jersey, that she does not become a surety by purchasing an outstanding debt of her husband and giving_her_own note in payment therefor. (First Nat. Bank v. Dohm, 52 N. J. L. 263, 19 Atl. 258.) Of like import are Harrar v. Croney, 13 Pa. Co. Ct. 193, Hotchkiss v. Lamphier, 22 Pa. Co., Ct. 574, Sample v. Guyer, 143 Ala. 613, 42 So. 106. The reasoning of the court in the principal case seems to be exceptionally cogent, and the decision is in accord with the preponderance of American authority upon the point, as well as an application of a clear rule for determining such questions which may be gathered from a comparison of two New Jersey cases upon the subject, (Hackettstown Nat. Bank v. Ming. 52 Eq. 156, 27 Atl. 920, and Peoples Nat. Bank v. Schepplin, 73 N. J. L. 29, 62 Atl. 333). The actual possession and control over the proceeds of the instrument, regardless of the purpose or of the subsequent disposition thereof by the wife seems to be the controlling element of her liability and the criterion whereby the same may be determined; bare instantaneous possession, however, which is a mere precautionary step or incident in the transaction will not amount in legal contemplation to the necessary ownership which is a prerequisite to her liability.
J. W. M., Jr.
NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS-LIABILITY OF PERSONS SIGNING IN REPRESENTATIVE CAPACITY-HOLDER IN DUE COURSE.-Defendant indorsed note "Peter Weber, President", and was sued individually thereon by holder in due course. He offered to prove his authority and intention to bind corporation alone, and the understanding of the payee of such intention. Offer overruled and judgment directed for defendant. On appeal, HELD, that Sec. 20 of the N. I. Act (3 Comp. St. p. 3737) does not alter the common law rule which prevailed in New Jersey, that where a person subscribed an instrument with words indicating that he signs in a representative capacity, the obligation is prima facie that of the individual; but this presumption is rebuttable, and the signer may absolve himself from liability by introducing parol evidence showing authority to bind a principal and the intention between the parties to the note that such principal was to be bound thereby, and not the individual signer or indorser, and that this rule prevails not only between the original parties but as to bona fide holders for value. (Phelps v. Weber, 84 N. J. L. 630, 87 Atl. 469.) The general rule is that no party can be charged as principal upon a negotiable
instrument unless his name is thereon disclosed. (Crogin v. Lovell, 109 U. S. 194, Bass v. O'Brien, 12 Gray 477, Cortland Wagon Co. v. Lynch, 82 Hun 173, 31 N. Y. Supp. 325.) And in some jurisdictions this principle has been held to apply although it could be proved that the payee knew of the agency when the note was made, and it was understood that the principal and not the agent should be bound, for such evidence would vary the terms of the written instrument. (Connor v. Clark, 12 Cal. 168, Williams v. Robbins, 16 Gray 77, Story on Notes, sec. 68, Rawling v. Robson, 70 Ga. 596, Bank v. Cook, 38 Oh. St. 444, Tucker Man. Co. v. Fairbanks, 98 Mass. 101.) But as between the immediate parties to the note parol evidence has been admitted to absolve the signer and charge the principal under such circumstances, where some word denoting representative capacity is added to the signature of the agent. (Salmon v. Hopkins, 61 Conn. 49, 23 Atl. 716. Keidan v. Winegar, 95 Mich. 430. Crandall v. Rollins, 82 N. Y. Supp. 317, 83 App. Div. 618.) A promissory note drawn thus "I promise to pay" and signed "A, Pres. of B. R. R." has been held to be clearly the note of the individual, the titular words being merely descriptio personarum. (Barker v. Mechs. Ins. Co., 3 Wend. 94, and cases cited.) And where it reads "B. R. R. promises to pay" and is signed "A, Pres.", it is the obligation of the company. (Mott v. Hicks, 1 Cowen, 533.) And if the instrument be signed in the corporate name, followed by the name of a corporate officer who affixes to his name his official title, such note is conclusively taken to be corporation paper only, even though the pronoun "we" be used in the body thereof. (Reeve v. Bank, 54 N. J. L. 208, 23 Atl. 853, 33 Am. St. Rep. 675. Accord: Draper v. Mass. Steam Heat Co., 5 Allen 338; Castle v. Belfast Co., 72 Me. 167; Falk v. Moehs, 127 U. S. 597. See also Dun. Neg. Inst. 6th Ed. par. 299-305.) But Heffner v. Brownell, 70 Ia. 591 holds, contra, that parol evidence may be introduced to show individual obligation. Where note reads "We, the trustees of the Blank Lodge, promise, etc." and is signed with the designation "trustees", parol evidence is admissible to relieve the signers of their prima facie personal liability. (Simanton v. Vliet, 61 N. J. L. 595.) Contra: (Bank v. Croton Mfg. Co. (R. I.) 17 Atl. 170.) In Kean v. Davis, 21 N. J. L. 683, 47 Am. Dec. 182, a draft was signed "J. K. Pres. of E. & S. R. R. Co." no pronoun being used in the instrument to indicate the intention of the drawer, held, that this left it ambiguous whether J. K. or the company is the drawer, and in such case, without explanatory proof, J. K. individually would be considered the drawer. But parol evidence is receivable to show who really intended to sign the instrument and upon whose credit the plaintiff accepted it. This decision is the sole authority cited in the principal case to support the application of the rule against a holder in due course. But the Davis case merely concerned the propriety of introducing evidence "that at the time of the delivery of the bills to the plaintiffs" (not merely to the non-suing payee as in the Phelps case) "they were informed that the company were the drawers of the bills". Also, in the Davis case the alleged principal's name appeared on the drafts. In fact, there seems to be no precedent where extrinsic evidence has been admitted in the suit of a bona fide holder for value, to absolve the actual signer and charge a principal whose identity is not disclosed upon the instrument. It is otherwise indicated in Shappe v. Bellis, 61 Penn. St. 69. The case under discussion is therefore exceptional. J. W. M., Jr.
REAL PROPERTY - FIXTURE - POWER OF STATE OVER PUBLIC MONUMENT ERECTED BY IT UPON LANDS OF A COUNTY.-The State of New Jersey placed a memorial statute upon a site in a county park. Held, that the monument remained personal property belonging to the State. Wilson, Attorney General v. Board of Freeholders (90 Atl. 1021). It is well settled in this State that in order for a chattel to become a part of the realty, three requisites must unite: (1) It must be physically affixed to the realty, or something appurtenant thereto; (2) it must be applied to the use or purpose of that part of the realty to which it is annexed; (3) the party placing it there must intend to make it a permanent accession to the freehold. (Williamson v. R. R., 29 N. J. E. 311.) "Permanent" is used in the sense as distinguished from merely temporary, but does not necessarily mean perpetual. (Feder v. Van Winkle, 53 N. J. E. 372, 33 Atl. 399.) It has been held in another State that a large statue on a pedestal held on its base by force of gravitation alone, became real property (Snedeker v. Waring, 12 N. Y. 170). In the principal case the monument was firmly inbedded in the ground, and the first two requisites were clearly met. But when a structure is erected by A upon B's land with B's permission, the intention of the parties with respect thereto is a question of fact, to be decided according to their actual or implied agreement. If there is no agreement, the reasonable inference is that they intended the structure not to change ownership, but remain personalty (Pope v. Skinkle, 45 N. J. L. 39; Newhoff v. Mayo, 48 N. J. E. 619, 23 Atl. 265). There being no express agreement in the principal case, this rule was applied, and with more readiness inasmuch as public property was involved.
J. A. A.
WILLS EXERCISE.-Testator bequeathed to his widow all his property to hold, possess, and own during her natural life, with remainder to testator's children should the widow not decide otherwise. Held, that the widow acquired a life estate, with power of appointment as to the remainder, and that her will containing devises to a certain child and grandchildren constituted a proper exercise of the power. (Smith v. Wagner, 91 Atl. 599.) The rule was laid down in Wooster v. Cooper, 53 N. J. Eq. 682, and has ever since been followed in New Jersey that a devise of an estate, generally, with absolute power of disposal shall be construed as creating an estate in fee, but where testator gives an estate for life and annexes a power of disposal, the devise will be for life only. Where a life or other limited estate is granted and there follows an additional power of disposal or appointment to the tenant for life, it will not have the effect of conferring an additional right of property upon the tenant by being construed to enlarge to a fee or obsolute estate the estate which had been previously expressly declared to be for life or other limited term only, but will be carried into effect only as powers over the property given to the life tenant. (31 Cyc. 1089. Robeson v. Shotwell, 55 N. J. Eq. 318, 36 Atl. 780.) The distinction, made from the time of the earliest cases, is between an estate given indefinitely in the first instance and one given expressly for life, although the distinction is perhaps slight. (Bradly v. Westcott, 13 Ves. Jr. 452, Downey v. Borden, 36 N. J. L. 460, Pratt v. Douglas, 38 N. J. Eq. 516.)
B. J. F.
NEW JERSEY BAR EXAMINATIONS.
NOVEMBER TERM, 1914.
1. The Legislature passed an act granting to the Trenton Gas Company the exclusive privilege of furnishing gas to the citizens of Trenton. Was the act constitutional?
2. A died intestate owning real estate, leaving a half-brother and a brother of the whole blood. To whom did the real estate descend?
3. A made a will in 1890, leaving all his real estate to his sons B and C, their heirs and assigns forever. In 1900 he died without changing his will. In 1895 a child was born to him. Has it any interest in his real estate?
4. A made a contract with B to purchase certain goods to be delivered in installments. B failed to make delivery of the first installment at the time agreed. A then notified B that he rescinded the contract, but B immediately offered to comply with his contract of delivery. Could A rescind the entire contract?
5. A constable who had levied upon goods and left them with B for safe keeping sued B for the same. B's defense was that since the goods had been left with him they had been sold to him by a person claiming to own them. Was it a valid defence?
6. A agreed to purchase certain goods from B, payment to be made in personal property, namely, hardware. After the delivery of the goods A tendered B the hardware. B refused to accept anything but money, and sued A for the price of the goods. The defence of A was the agreement. Was it a valid defence?
7. A purchased certain goods of B. Before delivery A had not examined them, but upon delivery did so, and found them to be not in conformity with the contract. He immediately notified B thereof, who at once commenced suit for the contract price. A pleaded nonacceptance. Under the above statement was such defence admissible?
8. A made a contract in writing to manufacture for, and deliver to, B certain goods within a specified time. Before that time expired, A agreed with B verbally to enlarge the time for delivery. B refused, however, to accept the goods, claiming that the contract being in writing could not be varied verbally. Is his contention valid?
9. A, with his consent, was held out as a partner, although he was not. B sold goods to the firm not knowing that A was so holding himself out, but believing that two other persons constituted the firm. Is A liable to B for the price of said goods?
10. A, falsely representing himself as the agent of B, obtained castings from C, which were afterwards set up in B's foundry and used by him, knowing that they had been so obtained. B denied the agency. Is B liable in a suit brought by C against him for the price of the castings?