Mutual Reserve Fund Life Ass'n v. Hamlin
139 U.S. 297 (1891)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Mutual Reserve Fund Life Ass'n v. Hamlin, 139 U.S. 297 (1891)

Mutual Reserve Fund Life Association v. Hamlin

No. 184

Argued March 2-3, 1891

Decided March 23, 1891

139 U.S. 297

ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED

STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT

Syllabus

The plaintiff in error was an association formed "to furnish substantial aid to their families or assigns in the event of a member's death." The husband of the defendant in error became a member, and received a certificate stating that, in consideration, among outer things, "of the payment of all dues and of all mortuary assessments," his wife should be entitled to receive $10,000 from the death fund of the association. The constitution and bylaws of the association provided that a mortuary assessment should be made on the first days of February, May, August and November, but did not fix any rate; that it should be the duty of a member failing to receive notice of an assessment on or before those days to notify the home office thereof, and that a failure to pay the assessment within thirty days from said first days should work a forfeiture of membership. When the husband died, he had failed for more than thirty days to pay an assessment which had been made, and had not informed the association that he had failed to receive notice of it. To an action brought by the beneficiary to recover the amount insured, the association set up these failures in defense.

Held:

Page 139 U. S. 298

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