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Opinion of the Court.
Upon an indictment of one Hunter for the murder of one Armstrong at Camden, the Court of Errors and Appeals of New Jersey unanimously held that Armstrong's oral declarations to his son at Philadelphia, on the afternoon before the night of the murder, as well as a letter written by him at the same time and place to his wife, each stating that he was going with Hunter to Camden on business, were rightly admitted in evidence. Chief Justice Beasley said : “In the ordinary course of things, it was the usual information that a man about leaving home would communicate, for the convenience of his family, the information of bis friends, or the regulation of his business. At the time it was given, such declarations could, in the nature of things, mean harm to no one; he who uttered them was bent on no expedition of mischief or wrong, and the attitude of affairs at the time entirely explodes the idea that such utterances were intended to serve any purpose but that for which they were obviously designed. If it be said that such notice of an intention of leaving home could have been given without introducing in it the name of Mr. Hunter, the obvious answer to the suggestion, I think, is that a reference to the companion who is to accompany the person leaving is as natural a part of the transaction as is any other incident or quality of it. If it is legitimate to show by a man's own declarations that he left his home to be gone a week, or for a certain destination, which seems incontestable, why may it not be proved in the same way that a designated person was to bear him company? At the time the words were uttered or written, they imported no wrongdoing to any one, and the reference to the companion who was to go with him was nothing more, as matters then stood, than an indication of an additional circumstance of his going. If it was in the ordinary train of events for this man to leave word or to state where he was going, it seems to me it was equally so for him to say with whom he was going.” Hunter v. State, 11 Vroom (40 N. J. Law) 495, 534, 536, 538.
Upon principle and authority, therefore, we are of opinion that the two letters were competent evidence of the intention of Walters at the time of writing them, which was a material
Counsel for Plaintiff in Error.
fact bearing upon the question in controversy ; and that for the exclusion of these letters, as well as for the undue. restriction of the defendants' challenges, the verdicts must be set aside, and a new trial had.
As the verdicts and judgments were several, the writ of error sued out by the defendants jointly was superfluous, and may be dismissed without costs; and upon each of the writs of error sued out by the defendants severally the order will be Judgment reversed, and case remanded to the Circuit Court,
with directions to set aside the verdict and to order a new trial.
SOUTH SPRING HILL GOLD MINING COMPANY v.
AMADOR MEDEAN GOLD MINING COMPANY.
ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA.
The court, being informed that the control of both the corporations, parties
to this suit, had come into the hands of the same persons, but that there was a minority of stockholders in the Amador Medean Gold Mining Com. pany who retained the interest that they had, at the time the decision was rendered - that the two corporations were still in existence and organized - and that the present managers and owners of the properties were anxious that the question should be decided, in order that the minority of the stockholders might receive whatever, by the finding of the court, would be due to them — reverses the judginent and remands the case for further proceedings in conformity to law, without considering or passing upon the merits of the case in any respect.
The case is stated in the opinion.
Mr. George S. Boutwell for plaintiff in error.
No appes rance for defendant in error.
Opinion of the Court.
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE Fuller delivered the opinion of the court.
This was an action brought by the Amador Medean Gold Mining Company against the South Spring Hill Gold Mining Company in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of California, where it was tried on an agreed statement of facts, and a judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, to review which this writ of error was prosecuted." The opinion of Judge Sawyer, holding the Circuit Court, will be found reported in 36 Fed. Rep. 668.
When the case came on for argument in this court the attorney for plaintiff in error very properly called our attention to the fact that, since the decision in the Circuit Court, “the control of both the corporations, parties to this suit, had come into the bands of the same persons, but that there was a minority of stockholders in the Amador Medean Gold Mining Company who retained the interest that they had at the time the decision was rendered;" “that the two corporations were still in existence and organized, and that the present managers and owners of the properties were anxious that the question should be decided, in order that the minority of the stockholders might receive whatever, by the finding of the court, would be due to them.” No appearance has been entered for defendant in error, but a copy of the opening and closing briefs, filed on its behalf in the Circuit Court, has been printed and filed here by plaintiff in error. We cannot, however, consent to determine a controversy in which the plaintiff in error has become the dominus litis on both sides. We assume that this is not an agreed case gotten up by collusion; but the litigation has ceased to be between adverse parties, and the case therefore falls within the rule applied where the controversy is not a real one. Wood-paper Company v. IIeft, 8 Wall. 333; Cleveland v. Chamberlain, 1 Black, 419; Lord v. Veazie, 8 How. 251; Washington Market Co. v. District of Columbia, 137 U. S. 62.
If the writ of error be dismissed the judgment will remain undisturbed, and the plaintiff in error might be cut off from
Statement of the Case.
submitting the questions involved to the determination of the appellate tribunal; while if the judgment be reversed the minority of the stockholders of defendant in error would be deprived of the benefit of an adjudication in its favor. But although the latter might be thereby subjected to the delay and expense of further litigation, they would still be free to vindicate whatever rights they are entitled to.
Without considering or passing upon the merits of the case in any respect, we deem it most consonant to justice to reverse the judgment and remand the case for further proceedings in conformity to law, and it is so ordered.
HOYT v. HORNE.
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR
THE DISTRICT OF 'MASSACHUSETTS.
No. 336. Argued April 26, 27, 1892. – Decided May 16, 1892.
The machine manufactured under letters patent No. 347,043, issued August
10, 1886, to John H. Horne for "new and useful improvements in rag engines for beating paper-pulp” is an infringement of the first claim in letters patent No. 303,374, issued August 12, 1884, to John Hoyt, for a
rag engine for paper making. Whether it infringes the second claim in Hoyt's patent is not decided.
The court stated the case as follows:
This was a bill in equity for the infringement of letters patent No. 303,374, issued August 12, 1884, to John Poyt, for a rag engine for paper making. “This invention,” said the patentee in his specification, “relates to engines for beating rags and similar fibrous material into pulp for the manufacture of paper. In these machines a beater-roll set with knii: around its periphery is used, in combination with a bed-plate also set with knives, the said parts being placed in a tank or vessel in which a constant circulation of the material to be pulped is maintained.
Statement of the Case.
“Heretofore ordinarily the material has been circulated horizontally around an upright partition termed a “mid-fellow,' and the beater-roll and bed-plate have been placed in the alley or channel between this mid-fellow and one side of the tank. The beater-roll lifted the material over a sort of dam, (termed a 'back-fall,') and the material then flowed by the action of gravity around the mid-fellow and entered again between the beater-roll and the bed-plate. It has, however, been proposed to dispense with the mid-fellow and have the material turned under the back-fall and bed-plate. In either case, however, the circulating force is that of gravity due to the piling up of the liquid or semi-liquid on the side of the back-fall opposite from the beater-roll. Consequently the flow is comparatively feeble, and it is necessary to use a large quantity of water in order to prevent the fibre in suspension from depositing. In the present invention a much more rapid and vigorous circulation is maintained. · The beater-roll is placed at one end of the vat, which is of a depth sufficient to contain it, and the other part of the vat is divided by a horizontal partition or division, which extends from the beater-roll nearly to the other end. The material to be pulped is carried around by the beater-roll, and is delivered into the upper section above the partition. It flows over the partition, then passes down around the end of the same, and returņs through the lower section of the vat to the beater-roll. The bed-plate is placed at the bottom of the vat under the beater-roll. The beater-roll not only draws in the material, creating a partial vacuum in the lower section of the vat, but delivers it into the upper section with considerable force, impelling it forward very rapidly. By the aid of this more rapid as well as more vigorous circulation not only is the material returned more quickly, and therefore acted upon more often by the beaterroll in the same time, but it may be worked with a much less quantity of water, and thereby very important advantages may be secured. These advantages are, first, in the improved quality of the product, for when a considerable body of the fibrous material is drawn between the knives the different pieces are rubbed together and thus disintegrated without