NOTES OF DECISIONS.
The libellant is entitled to a reasonable sum for towage and taking passengers. If the parties do not agree, a reference on that point may be taken. The costs up to this time are allowed, and the libellant should pay the disbursements on the arrest of the vessel.
Bonds in Aid of Railroads.
TOWNSHIP OF NEW BUFFALO 1'. CAMBRIA IRON Co., Sup. Ct. U. S. Oct. Term, 1881. Error to the circuit court of the United States for the west-ern district of Michigan. Plaintiff, in the court below, recovered judgment <m certain bonds which were issued to a railroad company by the plaintiff in error to aid in the construction of a railroad, and by the railroad company transferred to defendant in error. The bonds had been issued to the railroad company under authority of an act of the legislature of the state. On the part of the plaintiff in error it is contended that by the settled law of the state as it existed willen the bonds were issued they were void. The decision of the supreme court of the United States was rendered on March 27, 1882, Mr. Justice Harlan delivering the opinion of the court affirming the judgment of the circuit court. Where, by the law of the state as expounded by its supreme court and acted upon by its legislative and executive departments, bonds issued to a railroad company were held valid obligations of the municipality by whom they were issued, this court will not feel bound to follow later decisions of the state supreme court modifying their former opinions. The defendant in elIClr is a bona fide holder for value, and his rights and obligations depend upon the same rule. In the absence of constitutional provisions making a distinction between municipal subscriptions to stock and municipal appropriations of money or credit, there is no solid ground upon which the legislature can rest such a distinction. That the bonds were voted to one <railroad company, and were delivered to a consolidated company, will not invalidate them, as they must be deemed to have been given in view of the then-existing statute authorizing two or more railroad companies forming a continuous or connected line to consolidate and form one corporation and investing the consolidated company with the powers, rights, property, and franchises of the constituent companies. H. F. Severens, for plaintiff in error. W. J. Smiley, for defendant in error. Cases cited in the opinion: As to constitutionality of state law, Taylor v. Ypsilanti, 4 Morr. Tr. 326, followed; and People v. Salem, 20 Mich. 452; Bay State v. State Treasurer, 23 Mich. 499; Thomas v. City of Port Huron, 27 Mich. 320, not followed. Rights of holder for value: Railroad Co. v. National Bank, 102 U. S. 14. Donations and descriptions: Railroad Co. v. County of Otoe, 16 Wall. 674; Olcott v. Supervisors,16 Wall. 678; Town of Queensbury v. Culver, 19 Wall. 91. Consolidation of railroads: County of Scotland v. 'fhomas,
94 U. S. 682; Town of East Lincoln v. Davenport, rd. 801 j Wilson v. Salamanca, 99 U. S. 504; Nugent v.Supervisors, 19 Wall. 252; EmpiTe v.Darlington, 101 U. S. 91; Menasha v. Hazard, 102 U. S. 81; Harter v. Kemochan, 103 u. S. 574: Tipton Co. v. Locomotive Works, rd. 532.
Fraudulent Representations-Property Value. GORDON v. BUTLER, U. S. Sup. Ct. Oct. Term, 1881. Error to the circuit court of the United States for the northern district of New York. This wa.o; an action for alleged fraud in obtaining a loan upon insufficient security. 'fhe decision was rendered in the supreme court May 8, 1882, Mr. Justice Field delivered the opinion of the court, reversing the judgment and remanding the cause for a new trial. The law does not hold one responsible for the extravagant notions he may entertain of the value of property dependent upon its future successful exploitation, or the result of future enterprises; nor for expressing them to one acquainted with its general character and condition. The law does not fasten responsibility upon one for expressions of opinion as to matters in their nature conjectural and uncertain. A statement of an opinion aSRigning a certain value to property, like a mine or quarry not yet opened, is not to be pronounced fraudulent because the property upon subsequent de\relopment may prove to . be worthless: nor is it to be pronounced honest because the property may turn out of much higher value. Whenever property of any kind depends for its value upon contingencies which may never occur, or developments which may never be made, opinion as to its value must necessarily be more or less of a speculative character; and no action will lie for its expression, however fallacious it may prove, or whatever the injury a reliance UpOIl it may produce; but for opinions upon matters capable of accurate estimation by application of mathematical rules or scientific principles, such as the capacity of boilers or the strength of materials, or for opinions of parties possessing special learning or knowledge upon the subject. the case may be different; and for false statements, where deception is designed, and injury has followed from reliance on them, an action may lie. Leslie W. Russell, for plaintiff in error. Harry Bingham and A. X. Panser, for defendant in error Case cited: Holbrook v. Connor, 60 Me. 578.
UNITED STATES v. RrNDSKOPF, U. S. Sup. Ct. Oct. Term, 1881. Error to the circuit court of the United 8tates for the eastern district of Wisconsin. The decision of the supreme court was rendered on April 24, 1882. Mr. Justice Field delivered the opinion of the court, reversing the decision of the circuit court and remanding the case for a new trial. The assessment of the commissioner of internal revenue was only prima facie evidence of the amount dile as taxes upon the spirits distilled between the dates mentioned. It established a prima facie case of liability. and if not impeached it was sufficient to justify a recovery; but every material fact upon which his liability was asserted was open to contestation. The distiller and his sureties were at liberty to SllOW that no spirits, or a less quantity than