The Lawyer's Corner: 1898 #1

Responses to Questions Of General Public Interest in the Year 1898
 
 

Is a bicycle a vehicle in contemplation of law?

It depends upon the purpose for which the bicycle is being considered. Under a tax law imposing a rate of duty upon vehicles a bicycle has been held to be a vehicle, but under the turnpike laws it is not a vehicle because propelled by human agency. Probably no article that has ever been so generally used as a motive power or means of transportation has ever figured in the courts less than the bicycle. it has been held under a statute against fast riding that damages can be collected form bicycle riders who ride more rapidly than the law allows, and the laws of the road compelling drivers to keep to the right apply to bicycles without any special statutes. With these exceptions the laws relating to bicycles are rather vague and uncertain. The Supreme Court of Michigan held in the recent case of Murfin vs. the Detroit and Erie Plank Road Company that a statute providing that toll road companies may exact toll from "persons traveling on their road and for any vehicle, sled, sleigh or carriage drawn by one or two animals" does not authorize such company to charge toll for use of its road by persons riding bicycles. The court said: "There is nothing in this act that gives the right to charge toll against pedestrians, and we have never heard it claimed that such charges were made. Nor have we known of toll being charged for wheelbarrows or hand sleds or baby carriages propelled by human agency, though a good road is as essential to these as to bicycles."

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"G.H.C."__A check is not a negotiable instrument nor even an evidence of indebtness. it is only an order from a first person to a third person to pay money to a second person. It may be given where no indebtedness exists and frequently is. Endorsers of a check, however, are liable in case it is not honored by the person upon whom it is drawn.

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"J.S.E."__While a person who verbally promises to stand good for the debt of another is not liable under such a promise, it being a contract that the law requires to be in writing, yet if he pays the debt under the impression that he is legally liable, he cannot recover the money, as such payment would be a voluntary one.

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"L.G.D."__An action for damages for injuries sustained by reason of careless driving is a personal one. When the defendant in such a case dies the remedy is gone. No suit can be brought against the executors.

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"A.T.P."__The statute of limitations does not run against a state, but almost without exception the courts have held that the statute of limitations will run in favor of the state.

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"T.H.A."__Where a lease is silent as to improvements to be made by a landlord during a tenancy he is bound to keep the place in habitable repair and you will have a perfect right to replace dangerous steps with safe ones in case the landlord after reasonable notice refuses to do so, and deduct the cost of the same from the amount due from you under your lease.

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"L.Q.R."__ If goods were damaged by a parcels delivery company on the way from the store where purchased to your residence the person from whom they were purchased, not the delivery company, is responsible to you. The responsibility of the delivery company is to the merchant, they acting as his agents.

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"W.P.K." had what he believed to be a valid claim to certain real estate. He placed his claim in the hands of an attorney who agreed to push it through the courts without any fee in case he was unsuccessful and for one-half the land in case he was successful. Through the negligence of the attorney the case was not filed until the statute of limitations had barred the claim. The correspondent asks if he has a cause of action against the attorney upon the contract, it being in writing. As far as the contract is concerned, it is void. An agreement by an attorney at law to prosecute at his own expense a suit to recover land in which he personally has and claims no title or interest, in consideration of receiving a certain portion of what he may recover, is contrary to public policy, unlawful and void. If the attorney had brought the suit and won the case he could not have recovered any interest in the land. Independently of the contract, however, the correspondent can sue the attorney for negligence in failing to file the suit or return the papers, this being a matter of tort and not of contract.

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"W.B.T." receives a check by mail in payment of an indebtedness due him from a firm in Philadelphia. He did not place the check in bank for four or five days and when it reached Philadelphia the bank upon which it was drawn had failed. If the check had been placed in bank upon the day that it was received, it would have reached Philadelphia before the failure of the bank and been honored. The correspondent notified the drawer of the check that it had not been paid and received reply that the debtor did not feel himself responsible and would not issue a new check. The correspondent has lost the amount of the check. The drawee of a check must exercise reasonable diligence in presenting the same for payment and if by reason of his failure to do so the bank upon which it is drawn fails to pay it, the drawer of the check is not responsible and as between him and the drawee the amount represented by the check has been paid.

 

Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: The Lawyer's Corner: 1898 #1
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina

Source:

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle January 16, 1898
Time & Date Stamp: