LA.MONT '11. HOTEL MEN'S MDT. BEN. MS'N.
LA.MONT 'lI. HOTEL MEN'S MUT. BEN. AsS'N.
(Oircuit Oourt, N. D.lllinoia. May 16, 1887.)
liITE INSURANCE-AsSIGNMENT:'-"'INSUltABLE ETY. BENEI1'IT ·SOCI-
w. a. A8Q.y and Ogden, for Lamont. John Raldwin and Bates, Broughman &: Tuttle, for Graft.
J. This is a suit in equity to recover the sum of. :$2,000 upon a benefit certificate issued" by the defendant to one JohnP. Hulett. The defendant company is a corporation organized and existing un·der an act of the state of Illinois entitled" An act concerning corporations," approved April 18, 1872, and by one of the articles of the association it is provided as follows: "Upon positive proof of tna death of any member, the board of directors shall order an appropriation equal to two dollars for each member then on the rolls of the association,. unles!l.the same shall exceed 1.000 members, in which case the amount appropriated shall be limited to the sum of $2,000, and shall pay the same to the person or persons previously designated by the deceased upon his application for· as shown by the books of the association,' or as ordered by his last ,will and testament." The proof shows that Hulett became a member of this association on February 3, 1883, and up to the time of his death, which occurred August 11, 1885, he remained a member in good standing. In his application for membership he designated his daughter, Mary A. Lamont, as his beneficiary. On the sixteenth day of August, 1884, he designated EmilYR. Graft as his be\lefl(liary in the place of Mary A. Lamont; and this change was accepted and approved by the board of directors of the association, a.nd from that, time forward the name of Emily R. Graft as the beneficiary ofth'is member was carried on the books of the association. The complainant insists that the change was void and inoperative; that she acquired a. vested right to the benefit by virtue of Hulett's origil1al1:?enefit certificate; and that the assignment and transfer of the benefit to Mrs. Graft was wholly inoperative and void. Without taking time to discuss the large number of cases cited by each party". in this case, it is sufficJent to say that there is probably, a. conflict
lAs to the rights of an assignee of an insurance policy, when the assignee has no insurable interest in the life ot the insured, see ltuth V. E:atterman, (Pa.) '3 At!. Rep. 835, and note.
of authorities upon the question of transferring this class of benefits in voluntary benevolent associations; but inasmuch as, under the articles of association and of this dekndant, the benefits are payable to the person designated by the member,SJ.1 his application for membership, or by his last will and testament, it seems very clear to me that it was competent for Hulett, by his own act, at any time before his death, without the formality of a will, to make a transfer of this benefit from the original ben'eficiary named to any other person he might select, without regardto whether the person had or had not an insurable interest in his life; and in this case, the transfer having been made by Hulett before his death, and accepted by the company, and carried upon their books from that time forward, it seems to me the transferbecam8 operative, and the court must therefore enforce it. As Mrs. Lamont, the first beneficiary named, paid nothing, I do not see how she cim be said to have acquired any vested interest in the benefit fund pertaining to Hulett's membership which would prevent Hulett, at any time before his death, from changing the beneficiary with the consent of thedefendant. A decreewill therefore be entered dismissing the complainant's bill for want of equity, and directing the payment by the principal defendant of the benefit fund to Elllily R. Graft. '
(fJlrc'Uit Oo1.lrt, N. no G8()'1'gia. March Term, 1887.)
POST·OFFIOE-STEALING ABD' EMBEZZLING MAIL MATTER.
.A. letter or packet, to come withi!l thepl'ovisions of sectiolils 5467 and 5469 of the Revised Statutes, iIltothemail in some of, the ordip.ary waya provided by the postal authorities, and become fairly and reasonably part of the "mail matter," under controlof the. postal department. . '" . . .A. "decoy or test" was prepared as follows: .A. post-office inspector wrote a letter, placed it in an envelope, sealed, and directed it to a fictitious person, . and to a place where there was no post'officej then ,wrapped it up in a news,paper, and inclosed both letter and, papllr in a,n ordinary newspaper wrapper, wrapper sealed, and properly stamped, and directed .as tlie envelope in.slde. ThiS packet was then haniled' to a post-office OffiClal, to be placed by him, as a "decoy or test." in what is known as the "nixes basket, "areceptacle for apparently worthles.s and ,unmailable matter. said" nixes" to be opened and exammed by a postal employe, who was to send any Jetter or article of value found therein to another official, to be forwarded to the dead-letter office. Held, that this was not a mailing of· the packet, and, Hdid not become ,"mail matter," in the meaning of sections 5467,5469, R,l;lV. St.
Such packet, so placed in the post-offi<\e. and in the "nixes basket, "is "not intended to be conveyed by mail, " in the meaning of said sections. 4:.SAMJjl. ' , For an employe in the postal service to destroy the packet and letter so , placed in said "nixes basket," and to appropriate its contents, is not a violation of said sections.
by Benj. H. Hill, U. S. Atty.