HUNTINGTON . . V. SAUNDERS.
she acted her own will and judgment, and did not abandon both to the supposed wishes and opinions of her husband, there was no undue influence" although the testatrix might have had full faith in the supposed communications, and have regarded them as her husband's advice. The .same rule as to undue influence of this kind was applied in another case, where the will of & spiritualist was upheld. although be believed that he had received, through spirit mediums, communications from his deceased wife, bad consulted mediums concerning his business and proposed inventions, and had engaged in speculation on advice from such sources. It appeared that believed in two kinds of spirits,-soij1ethat would deceive him and others that were reliable, -and that if the advice accorded with his own judgment, he believed it came from the latter class, and followed it; but if it did not accqrd with his judgment, he believed it came from the former class and disregarded it. The· court said: .. He brought them all to the test of his jUdgment and acted accordingly. It is difficult to find evidenc.e of insane delusion, or any peculiar exposure or liability to undue influences, in a faith thus absolutely subordinated to the jUdgment."(c) . Where, as in the principal case, the spirit medium is a beneficiary under a will made in accordance with such communications, the burden is upon those seeking its probate to show that it was the voluntary and well-understood act of the testator's mind. From such a relation, the. exercise of dominion and influence by the medium over the mind of the testator is implied.(d)
(c) Sml&h'. Will, 6a Wil. GU.
(d) Compare 14011. ,. HOOle, L. K.4I JI.'l. 066.
and others, As·signees,
(Uireuit Oourt, D. MaBBachuBtttB. February 6, 1883.)
BAlOtRUPTCY-8ulT AGAINST BAlOtRUPT-BILL :NOT SUSTAINABLE.
A bill brought by the assignees of a bankrupt against him and hts wife, to recover property, or its proceeds, charged to have been bought by the bankrupt with his own money, and placed in the hands of his \Vife, from time to time, within eight years before his bankruptcy, but which did not describe the property, and in which no facts are alleged, except that by information from lOme person not named, who heard a statement or statements made by the hus. band, or who is in a position to be informed that lOme one else heard· such statement or statements, and which bill seems to be founded only on suspi. cion and inference, without information of any specific facts, cannot be 1.\18tained on demurrer and will be dismissed. .
The plaintiffs, as assignees in bankruptcy of William A. Saunder$, bring this bill against him and his wife to reco'Ver property or its proceeds, charged to have been bought by the bankrupt with his own money, and placed in the hands of his wife, from time to time,
*Aftirmed. Bee'Z Sup. Ct. Rep. MI.
within eight years before his bankruptcy, in 1875. The bill alleges that the plaintiffs have obtained about $23,000 by settlement with the wife for such property, but the bill is supposed to relate to some other and distinct property. A demurrer to the bill was sustained, and a new bill has been filed by amendment. The defendt;tnts demur again to the amended bill for nncertainty in its charges, and for want of equity, and because of the bar of the special statute of limitations contained in the bankrupt law. Those parts of the bill which are material to, these qUe'!3tions are suhstantill.lly as follows: That for 16 years before 1875 the bankrupt was possessed of a large amount of property, of the estimated value of $200,000; that he failed in 1875, and has been ill and confined to his bouse ever since, and has disclosed very little property, though his (lebts were about $300,000; that he has not rendered proper accounts, etc.; that for a period of eight years before his bankruptcy,he, at divers times, procured with his own means, and transfened to and placed in the hands of his wife, divers large amounts of personal property in the form of money, bonds, stocks, and other like secnrities, being in the whole of great value, to-wit, of the value of $50,000, none of which can the plaintiffs more particularly describe, because information is withheld by all persons who have it to give, and because the property has been invested for income, and often changed in form by reinvestment, and in pursuance of devices for more effectual concealment. Proper a,,-erments are now made in theamimded bill to show that such gifts were constructively fraudulent as agaiJ:lst creditors. To avoid the bar of the statute the plaintiffs allege that they had no information, notice, or definite suspicion of the said transfer and c'oncealine,nt of personal property until about the first of July, 1880, when they were informed by a person who was 'ina position to have information about the matter, but whose information was unknown to the plaintiffs, that for ,many years prior to his bankruptcy the said A. Saunders, from time to time, purchased bonds in Boston to be presented to his wife, as he then stated j that thereupon they exttIIliriedthewI£e and two other witnesses in the bankruptcy,who admitted that the wife had property, which, 'however, they officiously declared to be her own. and the plaintiffs are satisfied, on inquiry, that this fund 'was not' derived from her separate estate, and therefore: bring, suit· . George :W. Park, for complainants. J .. II. Yaung. for defendants.
HUNTINGTON V. SAUNDERS.
C. J. One of the defendants' objections seems to be weI: taken, and perhaps two. This bill will not lie for money received by the wife, under the decision of the supreme court in Phipps v. Sedgwick, 95 U. S. 3. It is not, therefore, an equitable assumpsit or trover, but replevin for the recovery of specific property conveyed by the husband to the wife by way of gift, when he was insolvent, or specific property into which .the first has been converted. The plaintiffs do not make out any case, which can be admitted or denied, for the recovery of any such property. It is plain that they neither know nor have information of any such property. Some one, who was in a position to have information, has told them "that for many years prior to his bankruptcy the said William A. Saunders, from time to time, purchased bonds in Boston, to be presented to his wife, as he then stated," and thereupon they examined her and other witnesses, and discovered that she has property which',on inquiry they do not believe was derived from her separate estate, though she ,and all the other witnesses swear that it was. What specific property do the plaintiffs seek to recover? They do not know. They wish to put the defendant Mary P. Saunders to the proof of the general denial that she holds any property by gift from her husband; made after he became insolvent, except that for which the bill alleges that she has already paid $23,000 by way of compromise. There are no facts alleged except that by information from some person not named, who heard, a statement or statements made by the husband, or who is in a position to be informed that some one else heard such statement or statements, that the husband bought bonds between 1867 and 1875, to be presented to his wife. Suppose the bill were taken pro confesso, wb,.at decree could be made upon it? What injunction could be under it? None, must be answered to both these questions. The parties sustain no such relation to each other that a general bill for an account will lie as it might if the defendant Mary had been with or bailiff of her husband. I am of opinion, therefore, t.ha,t there is iIi the bill which requires an answer. It seems to be a bill founded on suspicion and inference, without information of any specific facts. Then why was not the suit brought :within two years'? Tpere are general allegations of concealment, which, ,possibly, the bill on demurrer. But,taking all thechargesandstatementstagether, and supposing them sufficiently definite, it is very doubtful whether there has. been any It maybe that a to disclose to his assignees whatever
any right to take, and that his silence would be a concealment. But the wife is not the bankrupt, and it is against her that the bill is brought. The bankrupt is not a proper part,y to a bill of this kind, except to join with his wife in a conveyance which may be ordered by the court, if the state law makes his joinder necessary. Whether any such property is involved in this case no orte can say. Formerly, it was the practice in England to make the pankrupt a defendant in such cases; but this was when the very absurd practice prevailed of permitting him to dispute his bankruptcy collaterally, and therefore it was necessary that he should be called on in every suit in chancery to admit or deny the title of his assip;nees. The law of this country, under the statutes of the states and the acts of congrt38S, except that of 1800, has always been that the adjudication of bankruptcy is conclusive. This is now the law of England, and in neither country is the bankrupt a proper party, except as I have above stated. Now, it is by no means clear on this bill that the wife has concealed anything. If gifts from husband to wife are assailed, it is because they are thought to be unjust to his creditors, under all the circumstances, by reason of his condition as to debts and property when they were made. They are constructive rather than actual frauds, and there is, generally speaking, no concealment of the fact that such a piece of land or such a share of stook has been given. Howevel',my decision is placed upon the point first considered · . Demurrer sustained. Bill dismissed.
STARRETT 17. ATHOL MAjJHINE
Co. and others.
January 31, 1883.)
(Circuit (]ourt, D. Massclchusdtt8.
Where a manufacturing company and firm entered into a contract, by which the former let out to the latter all the power, machinery, etc., of the company, to be used for the manufacture of tools,and for carrying on the business of the company agreed to be done by the latter parties in co-operation with the directors, the firm agreeing to pay as rent 10 per cent. of their net sales, the profits of the consolidated company to be shared in certain proportions, held, that the manufacturing company are not responsible for the manufacture of trysquares complained of"made by the firm for its own use in the rented premises.
Maya iandlord he enjoined from permitting his tools and machinery to btl' used for the injury of a third person! QUIETI!.