NOTES OF CURRENT DECISIONS
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT.
Time-FractionS' of a.Day-Bonds in Aid of Railroads.
TOWN OF LOUISVILLE '0. PORTSMOUTH SAVINGS BANK, 13 Law Rep. 198. An election was held in a certain township in the state of Illinois on the second day of July, 1870, in which a donation was voted to be raised by special tax in aid of the construction of a railroad by the issuance of bonds. On the same day the people CJf Illinois voted in favor of the adoption of a new constitution, the second section of the fourteenth article of which was separately submitted, and is in these words: "No county, city, town, township, or other municipality shall ever become a subscriber to the capital stock of any railroad or private corporation, or make donations to or loan its credit in aid of any such corporation: provided. however, that the adoption of this article .shall not be construed as affecting the right of any such municipality, to make any such subscriptions where the same have been authorized under existing laws, by a vote of the people of such municipality prior to such adoption," The question in the case was whether the act of the town in voting for the issuance of the bonds was affected by the provision of the constitution which was passed on the same day that the vote was taken. The case was brought up to the supreme court in error to the circuijjcourt of the United States for the southern district of Illinois, and was decided in January, IB82, Mr. Justice Harlan delivering the opinion of the court affirming the judgment of the lower court, to the effect that the law does not, in general, take cognizance of the fractions of a day ; but courts may do so when substantial justice requires it. The section of the constitution above referred to went into operation on the second day of July, but it did not invalidate township bonds issued in aid of a railroad corporation pursuant to an election held on that day at an hour prior to the closing of the polls of the general election at which the people of the state voted on the adoption of the constitution-the bonds to be applied in discharge of a donation voted prior to said election, to be paid by special tax. W. J. Henry, for plaintiff in error. S. M. Cullom and T. C. Mather, contra. The cases cited in opinion were: Concord v. POlfRmfluth Say. Bank, 92 IT. S. 625; Fairfield v. Co. of Gallatin, 100 U. S. 50; Richards v. DOlJagho, 66 Ill. (765)
74; Wright v. Bishop, 88 Ill. 304; Grosvenor v. Magill, 37 111. 240; Arnold v. U. S. 9 Cranch, 119; Richardson's ease, 2.Story, 571 ;Lapeyre v. U. S. 17 Wall. 198; U. S. v. Norton, 97 U. S.170; BUl'gess v. Salmon; Iil.:S81; Kennelly v. Palmer, 6 Gray, 316; People v. Clark,l Cal. 406; Wrangham v. Hersey, 3\Vils. 274; Combe v. Pitt. 3 Burr. 1423: Harter v. Kernochan, 2 l\Tol'r. Tram'.
Common Carrier-Connecting Lines-Liability. ST. LOUIS'INS. Co. 'V. ST. LOUIS, VANDALIA, T. H. & I. R Co.. Wnsll. Law Rep. 323. In error to the circuit court of the United States. tor' the eastern district of Missouri. The general question presented by this case relates to the liability of the defendant for the value of certain cotton, part of shipments made at St. Louis for Liverpool, and which, having passed over defendant's road, thence over the lines of other railroads, was destroyed by an accidental tire in Jersey City, while in the custody 'Of t.be Erie RaHway Company for delivery ,to an ocean steamer for further transportation., The decision of the supreme court wits; ;rendered at the October term, 1881, Mr. Justice Ha1'lan delivering the opinion of the court affirmiilg the judgment ·ofhe lower court, to the effect: A common carrier of merchandise, in the absence of a special contract, express or implied, for the safe transportation of goods to their destination, is only bound to carry safely to the end.of its line, and there deliver to the next carrier in the route. Where the custom was to make a way-bill over its' own road,' it does not show an undertaking to transport beyond the terminus of its line, and such an untertaking cannot be implied from the fact that· the way-bills on their face indicated that the eotl;Qn was consigned to parties beyond its terminus. No arrangement between a dispatch company, undertaking to forward goods, and sundry railroad companies whose lines terminate at a given point, whereby the latter separately agrees to carryall goods for transportation of which tbe former should contract, at established tariff mt-es furnished by the railroad companies, will raise an implication of an agreement to. carry beyond the terminu8 of their respective routes. Nor would such an arrangement involve joint liability upon the part of the railroad companies, or make tl,lem partners, either inter sese or as to third parties. The cases cited in the opinion were: New Jersey St. Nav. Co. v. Merchants' Bank, 6 How. 383; Railroad Co.v. Manuf'g Co. 16WaU. 328' York Co. v. Central Railroad, 3 WaU1l3; Railroad Co. v. Pratt, 22 Wall. 129.
Life Insurance. KNICKERBOCKER LIFE INS. Co. "'. FOLEY, 13 Law Rep. 577. In error to the circuit court of the United States for the district of South tlaro1ina. 'fhis .action was brought to recover the amount of the policies and of premium overpaid, with interest. It was commenced in a state court, and, upon application of the insurance company, was removed to the United States circuit coiIrt. The company admitted the issue of the policies and the payment of the premiums, but set up as a defence that the plaintiff and insured did not make true and correct answers to the questions, whether' the party insured was of temperate habits, and had always been so. 'fhe case was dedded ill the supreme court on March 3, 1882, Mr. Justice Field delivering the