fietoU; 'then your country wise your verdict Inust be for
must be for the'plaintifr;·
The jury found ,a verdictforthe plaintiff.
Court, E. D. Missouri, E. D. May 21, 1890.)
L.!NTllIBSTATE COMMEROE-ExPRlllSS COMPANIES.
An indictment which charges that ,an express company is"acorporation and common carrier engaged in the transportlLtion of property by railroad from one state to other states, » but which does 'not show that, such company is a mere adjunct or bureau of a railroad company or ,combination of railroad companies, does ,not tiring such express company within the purview of said act.
,At Law. On demurrer to indictment. Indictment of Herman A. Morsman for alleged violation of the interstate commerce act as the agent of the Pacific Express Company. George D. Reynolds, Dist. Atty., fdr plaintiff. A.O. Davis and W. W. Morsman, for defendant.
THA YER, J, In the Case of the EJJpress Companies, 1 Int. St. Com. R. 349, the commission decided, after a very full and careful review of the provisions of the interstate commerce law, that express companies, independently organized as corporations or joint-stock companies for the .transaction of the express business on their own account, are not subject tQ the provisions of the interstate cotnmerce law, but that when a railroad company. by itself or in combination with other railway companies, by means engages in the express business, arid transacts such of its ordinary staff, it must conform to the provisions of the interstate commerce law in the management of that spechl1 department of its business. as 'Well as in the management of its ordinary freight traffic. The reasons assi'gned for such decision by the commission, if not entirely conclusive, Rre at least satisfactory; and it is quite probable that since the decision in question all independent organizations engaged in the express business have acted on the assumption that their business is not subject to the provisions of the act. This is a sufficient reason for following the decision, unless it is clearly erroneous. , Many provisions of the act, as pointed out by the commission, clearly indicate that, in fram,jng the act, congress only had in view those common carriers, ordinarily termed "railway companies," that are engaged in the transportaticin'business over lines of railroad by them or operated. At the time the act was passed, the' express business of the
UNlTEDSTATES ". MORSMAN.
country had grown to large proportions, was a business of a distinctive character, was carried on by numerous corporations and joint-stock companies under various arrangements with railway companies, and had been recognized as a distinct business in previous congressional enactments. Nevertheless, express companies are not mentioned in any of the provisions of the interstate commerce act. It is highly improbable that congress would have failed to mention this very important class of carriers in some manner, if it had been its intention to subject them to the provisions of the act. It is also a matter of such notoriety that the courts may properly take notice of the fact, that the grievances of which the public complained before the interstate commerce law was passed were charged almost exclusively to the account of the railway companies of the country; and congress may fairly be presunled, for that reason, to have had that class of carriers in mind, rather than express companies, when the law was enacted. At the time the act was passed, the method of doing business and fixing rates in vogue among the latter class of carriers had occasioned very little, if any, public criticism. It is also apparent that express companies are not strictly within the provisions of the first section of the act, defining who shall be subject to its provisions, because they are not engaged in the transportation of freight "wholly by railroad." Avery large part of the capital of'express companies is invested in teams, and vehicles for transportation other than railway. cars, and a very considerable part of the transportation service performed by such carriers,' for which they presumptively demand and receive compensation, is done otherwise than by railroad. They make a practice of collecting and delivering property by teams in all cities and villages ofany considerable size, which railroad companies, in this country at least, do not do, unless they are themselves engaged in the express business. Without going more into detail, inasmuch as the subject has been fully canvassed by the Mmmission, it will suffice to say that I concur in the view that the interstate commerce law only applies to common carriers engaged in operating lines of railway, or railway and water lines combined', and that it does not apply to "express companies," properly so termed; that is to say, to independent organizations that carryon the express or parcel business in the usual manner, and which do not operate railway lines. The sufficiency of the indictment, therefore, must be tested in accordance with that construction of the law. It will not be denied, I apprehend, that if the express business of the country is not subject to the provisions of the act except when it is carried on in a particular manner,-that is to say, by a railway company, or la. combination of railway companies, as a branch or department of their geneml freight traffic,-then an indictment like the one at bar, against a person alleged to be an agent of an express company, for violations of the interstate commerce law in transacting the companies' business, ought to contain proper averments showing that the particularbusi. ness with respect to which complaint is made, is subject to'the provisions of the law; otherwise an offense is not charged with that degree of certainty requisite in a criminal proceeding. In the indictment now ,unv .42F.no.8-29
derconsi<Jeration the defendant is brought within the purview of the act, if atall,by an averment" that the Pacific Express Company, at the date of the 'commiSsion of the various acts complained of, was a corporation and a common carrier engaged in the transportation of property by railroad from one state of the United· States to other states of the United 3tates,especiallyfrom the city of S1. Louis, in the state of Missouri, to Litchfield, in the state of Illinois, and that the defendant was the genagent of the Pacific Express Company at said city of St. Louis." 13utthis averment shows that the words "Pacific Express Company" are Hot merely a name under which a railway company, or a combination of railway compal'lies, transact a certain part of their business. The averment is that the company is a corporation, and that implies that it is a distinct legal entity, having stockholders. a board of directors, or trustees, and other officers; in short, that it is an independent organization, engaged in business on its own account. The name of the corporation, as well as . other averments of the indictment, also imply thM the company in. question is doing an express or parcel business,: according to the usnal method in vogue of carrying on that businesS,.and that the. defendant, its agent, was engaged in that line of traffie, for and in behalf of his principal, as distinguished from an ordinary railway freight traffic business, at the time of committing the supposed offenses described in the indictment. There is nothing in the bill that has the slightest tendency to establish that the Pacific Express Company Is a xnereadjunct or bureau of a railway company or combination of :.ailwaycompanies.All of the averments tend to show that it is an in..iependent concern, engaged in the express business for its own profit, and for that reason is not subject to the provisions of the interstate commercEfact as construed by the commision. It w8$contended on the hearing of the demurrer that the case was brought within the act, so far as is necessary by averment in an indictment, merely by the allegation that the Pacific Express Company is "a common carrier" engaged in interstate "transportation of property by railroad," because that is, in substance, the description of carriers declared,by the act to be subject to its provisions. It will observed, however, that the first section of the act describes those subject to its provisions as "common carriers engaged in the transportation of property wholly by railroad," etc., and in the present case it isnot even averred that the PaCific Express Company was engaged in transporting property wholly by railrQad. Therefore· the language of the first section of the aet,if that would suffice to bring the case within the statute, is not employed. But for othercreasons I conclude that the contention is not tenable. ltmight be said of any express company, and the allegation could probably be supported by proof, that it is engaged in interstate transportation of property by railroad, and that it is also a comrl1on carrier; but this would not necessarily bring it within the act,because,from the the law considered as a whole, congress does not appear to provisions l13ve intended to subject! "express companies," properly so termed, to· the, provisions .of the law.· When complaint is made by way of in<;1ict- .
ment of a violation of the act, growing out oftbe mKnner in which an express business has been conducted, it is essential, conceding that such business may, under cer4lin circumstances, when transacted by railway compa-nies, be subject to the regulations of the act, to show by proper averment that the circumstances exist, bringing the particular case within the purview of the law. For the reasons indicated, that is to say, because the indictment does not show that the Pacific Express Company is subject to the interstate commerce act, the demurrer is. sustained.
DANIElS 11. MORGAN.
(Circuit Court, D. Massachusetts. May 99, 1890.)
P"-TENTS POX INVENTIONS-WHO ENTITLED To-EVIDENCE.
On application of two claimants for letters patent for the same invention, it appeared that complainant had the plan of the invention in miud for some years, and was the first to embody it in a drawing; that afterwards two drawings were made by respondent containing modifications of the proposed machine and finally a machine was constructed and put in successful operation by him. ec;mplainant testi· fied that he showed respondent a plan of the work, and respondent told him to go ahead and make a drawing in accordance with it. In regard to the same drawing, respondent testified that it was made by his direotion, and in accordance with his suggestions. At the time respondent was and complainant an em. ploye under him, in a manufacturing company, the work of which suggested the lDvention. HeW, that complainant was entitled to the patent..
In Equity. Maynadie:r Beach, for complainant. George S. Boutwell, for defendant.
CARPENTER, J. This is a bill in equity, brought under section 4915 of the Revised Statutes, and prays a decree which shall authorize the issue of letters patent to the complainant for his alleged invention of a a new and improved apparatus for coiling wire rod as it comes from the rolls of a rolling-mill. He describes his invention, in the seventh claim of his application, as follows:
"The combination. with a rod-coiling receptacle or reel, of a spider or lifting plate mounted on a central shaft, which is supported and reciprocatively movable within the reel-supporting shaft. and provided with means f.or elevating said central shaft and plate, substantially as and for the purpose set forth."
For the apparatus here in dispute application for letters patent was made by the respondent June 24, 1886, and by the complainant June 26, 1886j and, after proceedings in interference, a patent was issued to the resp()Udent, numbered 416,940, under date of December 10, 1889. I am satisfied on the evidence, and it is indeed practically admitted, that the invention in question, which need not, for the present purpose, be more particularly described, was first embodied in a complete, materill-l form· in a'drawing which is produced by the complainant, and marked