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MEANS v. BANK RANDALL.

decided: December 19, 1892.

MEANS
v.
BANK OF RANDALL.



ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS.

Author: Blatchford

[ 146 U.S. Page 621]

 MR. JUSTICE BLATCHFORD delivered the opinion of the court.

This is an action brought in the district court for the county of Cloud, in the State of Kansas, by the Bank of Randall, a Kansas corporation, doing business at Randall, in that State, against C. G. Means, W. W. Means, and C. H. Means, co-partners as C. G. Means & Sons, to recover $6700, $4 protest fees, and $402 damages. The suit was accompanied by an attachment, and, before answer, was removed by the defendants, who were citizens of Missouri, into the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Kansas.

The amended petition filed in the Circuit Court of the United States set forth the following cause of action: On September 14, 1887, one Patterson was the owner of 98 cattle, of the value of $6700, which he agreed to sell to one Lyons, who applied to one Bramwell, the cashier and agent of the

[ 146 U.S. Page 622]

     plaintiff, for a loan of $6700, to pay for the cattle, until he could ship them to Kansas City and sell them. It was agreed by Patterson, Lyons and the plaintiff, that if the plaintiff would advance and pay to Patterson $6600 and $100 for expenses, the plaintiff should have a lien upon the cattle, and retain the title to them, until the money was repaid; that the cattle should be shipped by Lyons as consignor, by way of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, to the defendants at Kansas City, Missouri; and that four car-loads of the cattle were to be shipped in the name of Lyons as consignor, and two car-loads in the name of one Guthrie as consignor. The defendants were engaged at the time in buying and selling live stock at Kansas City. In pursuance of that agreement, Patterson sold and delivered the 98 cattle to Lyons, and the plaintiff paid to Patterson the $6700. Lyons delivered the cattle on board the cars of the railroad company, in the town of Randall, consigned to the defendants at Kansas City, and received from the railroad company one bill of lading, for four cars, by which that company acknowledged the receipt of the cattle from Lyons, and agreed to deliver them to the defendants at Kansas City. This bill of lading Lyons endorsed and delivered to the plaintiff. No bill of lading was issued to Guthrie, but by agreement between the agent of the railroad company, Lyons, and the plaintiff, two cars were loaded each with 16 steers, and shipped to the defendants at Kansas City, as consignees, and Guthrie as consignor. The four cars for which the bill of lading was issued in the name of Lyons contained 66 steers in all. It was agreed by the company, Lyons and the plaintiff, that the plaintiff waived no title to the steers, or to the money to be derived from their sale, by permitting them to be shipped in the name of Guthrie; and that they should be delivered to the defendants with the other steers, and the proceeds be applied to the payment of the $6700. Thereupon, Lyons drew his draft on the defendants, dated September 14, 1887, whereby he directed them to pay to his order $6700, at sight, in Kansas City, which draft he endorsed and delivered to the plaintiff. The 98 steers were transported by the railroad company to Kansas City, and to the stock-yards

[ 146 U.S. Page 623]

     there, and on September 15, 1887, at 9 o'clock A.M. delivered to the defendants according to the contract set out in the bill of lading. The defendants received the steers, sold them for account of Lyons, converted the proceeds to their own use and benefit, and refused to pay the plaintiff for any of them or render to it any account of sales. At the time the steers were delivered to the defendants, the latter were advised by Lyons that the plaintiff had advanced the money to pay for the steers, and that Lyons had drawn his draft on the defendants and assigned it to the plaintiff. By those transactions, the plaintiff became the owner of the steers, and entitled to their proceeds. On September 15, 1887, at 11 o'clock A.M. the draft and bill of lading were presented to the cashier of the defendants, at their office in the Kansas City stock-yards, and payment demanded. The cashier, after examining the draft, directed the bank messengers who brought it to leave it at the Stock-Yards Bank, promising to pay it if they would do so. The draft was so deposited, and at 2.30 o'clock P.M. of the same day was presented by the messengers of that bank to the defendants at their office, payment was refused, and the draft was protested for non-payment. When the draft and bill of lading were first presented to the defendants, the steers had not been disposed of by them, and were being received by them from the cars. For more than twelve months before September 14, 1887, Lyons had bee engaged in shipping stock to the defendants, and accustomed to drawing drafts in favor of the plaintiff and others against such shipments, and transferring the bills of lading and cattle so shipped to the parties holding such drafts on account of the shipments. The defendants, before September 15, 1887, were accustomed to and did pay all such drafts, and had never refused payment of any of the same. The defendants had not paid to the plaintiff any part of the $6700.

The defence set up in the answer to the amended petition was, that before the shipment of the cattle the defendants advanced to Lyons more than $7500, to be used by him to buy cattle for them, with the agreement that the cattle, when purchased, should be delivered by him to the defendants to

[ 146 U.S. Page 624]

     be sold by them on account of such advances, and that the cattle were to be delivered on board of the cars at Randall, Kansas; that the cattle in question were delivered to the defendants at Randall on board of the cars; that four cars thereof were consigned to the defendants as per the bill of lading; that no bill of lading was issued for the two cars shipped by Guthrie; that all of the cattle, at the time they were delivered to the defendants, were their property and in their possession before the bill of lading was delivered to the plaintiff; that Lyons and Guthrie accompanied the cattle from randall to Kansas City and remained with them while in transit; that when the cattle reached Kansas City the defendants took them from the cars with the knowledge and authority of Lyons and Guthrie, and with like knowledge and authority sold the cattle and applied the proceeds in payment of the amount so advanced to Lyons; that the bill of lading was never endorsed to the plaintiff, and the latter had no right or authority, by virtue of its corporate power, to receive the same or take any title to it or the property represented by it; that the defendants had no knowledge or notice that Lyons had drawn any draft on them until the cattle had been received and sold by them and the proceeds applied as aforesaid; that the draft was not drawn with the knowledge, consent or authority of the defendants or any one of them; that, as to the two cars of cattle, no bill of lading was issued by the railroad company, and no delivery thereof, symbolic or otherwise, was made to the plaintiff; that the plaintiff did not have possession of any of the cattle at any time; and that the defendants had no notice that the plaintiff claimed to have any interest therein or lien thereon.

The case was tried before a jury, which was directed by the court to render a verdict for the plaintiff for $6681.55. The defendants objected and excepted to such direction, and prayed the court to submit instructions to the jury on the pleadings and evidence, which prayer the court refused, and to such refusal the defendants excepted. The verdict was rendered accordingly, and a judgment ...


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