Leonard v. Davis
66 U.S. 476

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U.S. Supreme Court

Leonard v. Davis, 66 U.S. 1 Black 476 476 (1861)

Leonard v. Davis

66 U.S. (1 Black) 476

Syllabus

1. If it be stipulated in a contract that a duty arising out of it shall be performed by a particular officer, the performance of such duty by deputies, under his direction, will not satisfy the terms of the contract nor bind the parties except in cases where it was known that such officer was accustomed to act by deputies.

2. Where parties contract for the sale of a quantity of logs, to be delivered at a future time, and the vendee binds himself to take all merchantable logs at a certain price, the vendor does not, by his assent to such contract, make warranty that all the logs he delivers shall be merchantable, but only leaves it optional with the vendee to reject such as are not.

3. Logs floating in the water are in the constructive possession of the owner, and when sold a symbolical delivery is sufficient to pass the title.

4. When the terms of sale are agreed on and the bargain is struck, and everything the seller has to do with the goods is complete, the contract of sale becomes absolute as between the parties without actual payment or delivery; the buyer becomes the owner and takes the risk of all subsequent accidents to the goods.

4. He is entitled to the goods on payment or tender of the price, and not otherwise, when nothing is said at the sale as to the time of delivery, or the time of payment.

5. But if the goods are sold upon credit, and nothing is agreed upon as to the time of their delivery, the vendee is immediately entitled to the possession and the right of property vests at once in him.

This was assumpsit brought in March, 1858, in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Michigan, by F. B. Leonard and C.P. Ives, citizens of the state of New York, against C. Davis, a citizen of Michigan, A. E. Loomis and J. C. Dore, citizens of Illinois, and T. Newell, a citizen of Connecticut, partners in the lumber business at Muskegon, in the State of Michigan, under the firm name of C. Davis & Co. The suit was brought on a written contract for certain saw logs. The

Page 66 U. S. 477

defendants pleaded the general issue, with notice of the set-off, averring that but a part of the logs ever came to their possession, and of this part but a few were merchantable, the balance of them being worthless, and claiming damages for the inferior quality of the logs. Verdict and judgment for defendants, with costs. Motion for new trial denied. A writ of error to the Supreme Court of the United States was sued out by plaintiff.

The facts in controversy are stated very fully in the opinion of MR. JUSTICE CLIFFORD.

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