Hodge v. Combs - 66 U.S. 192 (1861)
U.S. Supreme Court
Hodge v. Combs, 66 U.S. 1 Black 192 192 (1861)
Hodge v. Combs
66 U.S. (1 Black) 192
1. If one person constitutes another his "general and special agent to do and transact all manner of business," this does not necessarily authorize the agent to sell stocks or other property of the principal.
2. If the agent sells public stocks under such vague and indefinite authority, it is at least necessary for the purchaser, when his title comes in controversy, to show that he bought in good faith and paid a fair consideration.
Leslie Combs brought his bill in the circuit court against John L. Hodge, administrator of Andrew Hodge, deceased, William L. Hodge, and James Love, complaining that Love, having in his hands certain bonds of the Republic of Texas which belonged to the plaintiff, sold and transferred them for his own benefit, and without authority or consent of the plaintiff, and that he, the plaintiff, had since learned that they were in possession of and claimed by the other defendants. The bill prays that the defendants be restrained from receiving any money on the bonds, and that the bonds be surrendered to the plaintiff as the true owner, and for further relief.
The answer denies all the main facts set forth in the bill, asserts that Love had authority to make the transfer, and that the plaintiff has no title or just claim to the bonds.
When the cause was first heard the circuit court dismissed the bill, but that decree was reversed by the Supreme Court on appeal and the record remanded for a further hearing. 62 U. S. 21 How. 397. Afterwards a decree was made below that the bonds be surrendered to the plaintiff. From this decree the present appeal was taken by the defendants. At the last hearing, the evidence was the same as on the first except the paper embodied in the opinion of MR. JUSTICE GRIER, which was not produced until after the cause had been remanded.