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Statement of the seventh error assigned.
indorsed when delivered to English is of any consequence, the reason why they were not indorsed would seem to be of equal consequence. It might have been an oversight. It might have been something else. Whatever it was the reason should go with the fact, so that the latter might not have a greater effect ou one side or the other than it ought to have. Facts proved by way of circumstantial evidence, may always be explained by the party against whom they are adduced.
Further evidence was given in the case tending to show that the loan was entered in a memorandum-book kept by the defendants, as made on the note of Shermau individually and not as cashier; and that the amount of the two drafts was placed to the credit of English on the books of the Merchants' Bank, and that he checked out the same; and that Sherman was credited for the amount of dividend due on the stock. A statement of further evidence, containing the testimony of Hutchinson and Frissell, the cashier and assistant cashier of the defendants, materially conflicting with that of Sherman, is annexed to the bill of exceptions, but not made a part of it, and, therefore, cannot properly be taken into consideration.
The evidence being closed, the respective parties prayed the court to give certain instructions to the jury. The seventh error assigned is that the court granted the plaintiffs' first prayer for instructions, which was in substance that if the jury found, from the evidence, that the note of Sherman was passed to and received by the defendant as the evidence of money or negotiable drafts lent to him, and that the sole consideration on which the loan was made was the personal responsibility of Sherman on said note and the collateral stock, then the said Merchants’ Bank was in no way chargeable with the note, nor could it be legally tendered to them by the defendant as part payment of Robinson's check, unless the jury should find from the evidence that said loan was really made to Sherman in behalf of the
Opinion of the court on the eleventh error assigned.
Merchants’ Bank, and the proceeds thereof went to its use and benefit. This instruction was given, subject to the qualifications contained in the first instruction prayed for by the defendant, which were, in effect, that if the contract of loan was really between the two banks, then the note ought to be allowed as part payment of the check. The substance .and effect of the instruction, and indeed of the whole charge, was, that if the jury believed that the loan was made to Sherman for the Merchants’ Bank, they must find for the defendants; but if made to him on his own behalf they must find for the plaintiff. This seemed to be the pole star which guided the court in all its answers to the various instructions applied for. And we think the court was clearly right. The case seems to have been very fairly put to the jury on this cardinal point, and it would be a useless task to make a critical examination of each request for the purpose of showing the truth of this proposition.
The tenth error assigned is the refusal of the court to charge that the plaintiff could not recover unless the jury found that, before suit brought, the note of Sherman and the collateral certificate of stock attached thereto were tendered to the defendants. Why should these papers be again tendered? They were once tendered and refused. The objection is not even plausible.
The eleventh assignment complains of the refusal to charge that the Merchants' Bank was liable for the loan, if it had been in the habit of borrowing money of the defendants by Sherman, as cashier, and if the defendants believed that the loan in question was for the benefit of the Merchants’ Bank. The evident answer to this assignment is, that the belief of one party to a transaction is not the criterion by which the rights of the parties are to be governed, unless the other party, by his conduct or declarations, induced that belief. The naked fact of previous loans being made to the Merchants’ Bank, through Sherman as cashier, could not, as a matter of law, be adjudged as sufficient cause for such a be
lief on the part of the defendants in view of the other evidence in the cause.
The eighth, ninth, and twelfth errors are founded upon the refusal of the court to instruct the jury that the Merchants' Bank was bound by an alleged settlement of the controversy, if they believed certain evidence which does uot appear upon the bill of exceptions, namely, to the effect that the president of the Merchants’ Bank, on the day after the presentation of the check sued on, in a conversation with Hutchinson, acceded to his view of the subject and allowed Sherman's note as part payment of the check. It appears that the court granted the two former instructions prayed for, with this qualification, namely, provided the loan was originally made between the defendant and the Merchants' Bank, and not with Sherman, or that the proceeds went to the benefit of the bank as part of its assets or property. As the bank went into bankruptcy within forty-eight hours after this supposed settlement, the qualification was probably not an unreasonable one. But as the bill of exceptions before us does not contain a particle of evidence on the subject, it is unnecessary to decide this question. These being all the errors assigned, the judgment must be
THE NUESTRA SEÑORA DE REGLA.
1. In prize cases, wherever it appears that notice of appeal or of intention to
appeal to this court was filed with the clerk of the District Court within thirty days next after the final decree therein, an appeal will be allowed
to this court whenever the purposes of justice require it. 2. Counsel fees before a commissioner on the settlement of damages on an
award of restitution, disallowed as excessive and unwarranted. 3. A Spanish-owned vessel on her way from New York to Havana put in
distress, by leave of the admiral commanding the squadron, into Port Royal, $. C., then in rebellion, and blockaded by a government fleet, and was there seized as prize of war and used by the government. ... She was afterwards condemned as prize, but ordered to be restored. She never was restored. Damages for her seizure, detention, and value being
Statement of the case.
awarded. Held, that clearly she was not lawful prize of war or subject of capture; and that her owners were entitled to fair indemnity, though it might be well doubted whether the case was not more properly a subject for diplomatic adjustment than for determination by the courts.
APPEAL from the District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The steamer Nuestra Señora de Regla, then recently built in New York for a Spanish corporation doing business in Cuba, and owned by it, was on her way, November, 1861, to Havana. On her voyage thither, being in distress and want of coal, she put into Port Royal, near Charleston, S. C. (then in rebellion against the United States, and blockaded by a government squadron), under permission of the admiral in command. She was here seized November 29th, 1861, as prize of war, and used by the government till June, 1862, when she was brought to New York and condemned in prize. On the 20th of June, however, in the following year (the United States in the meantime using the vessel), a decree of restitution was ordered. The vessel, however, never was restored. The case being referred to a commissioner to ascertain the damages for the seizure and detention, he made a report on the 10th of May, 1871, in which he awarded
For the use of the vessel from November 29th, 1861,
up to and including June 20th, 1863, being 568
annum to the date of his report,
maining with and attending to said vessel,
restored, at the rate of six per cent., with interest,
Several exceptions (not necessary to be specified, as they were not passed on by this court) were taken to this report by the government, but on the 28th of October, 1871, the exceptions were overruled and the report confirmed, and final judgment rendered against the libellants and captors for said sum, together with $6086.84, interest thereon from
Opinion of the court.
the date of the report to the date of this decree, the sum as finally decreed amounting, in all, to $220,970.84.
On the 7th of November, 1871, the United States filed with the clerk of the District Court at New York, notice that the libellant “appeals to the Supreme Court of the United States from the decree made in the said action on the 28th of October, 1871,” and the case was now here, and a notice of the appeal served by copy on the proctor for the claimants, on the 17th of the same month. On the 17th of February, 1872, the appeal was allowed by Mr. Justice Swayne, of the Supreme Court, at Washington, and the claimants cited to appear before said court on the 21st of March, 1872.
The questions were argued in this court:
Mr. G. H. Williams, Attorney-General, and Mr. C. H. Hill, Assistant Attorney-General, for the appellants ; Mr. W. M. Evarts and C. Donohue, contra
The CHIEF JUSTICE delivered the opinion of the court.
In prize cases, wherever it appears that notice of appeal, or of intention to appeal, to this court was filed with the clerk of the District Court within thirty days next after the final decree therein, an appeal will be allowed to this court whenever the purposes of justice require it. An appeal is accordivgly allowed in this case, under the second section of the act of March 3d, 1873, making appropriations for the naval service, and for other purposes.
The decree of the District Court included the sum of $5000, for counsel fees. We think that the amount was greatly excessive, and the allowance of counsel fees wholly unwarranted
It is clear that the vessel was not lawful prize of war or subject of capture, and the corporation which owned her is doubtless entitled to fair indemnity for the losses sustained by the seizure and employment of the vessel; but it may be