JUDCH II. OLlBK.
(Oire-uit Oourt,8. D. Georgia,
January 17, 1882.)
NBGOTIABLB lNSTRUMENTS-MARRIBD WOMEN-INNOCENT PURCHASER.
A negotiable instrument exeouted by a married woman in a state, the statute of which provides that any contract by the wife to pay the debts of her husband is void, is sUl>ject to the defence that the consideration thereof was the payment of her husband's debt, although transferred to an innocent purchasel before maturity, and although .the instrument itself reciteathat it was give.. for advances to her.
March, Price & Co. sued Mrs. E. A. Clark on the following paper:
ALBANY, GA., May 7, 18HO. On fifteenth October next, pay to myself, or order, five hundred and eight dollars, for cash furnished me to make my crops; this to be an advance twder my mortgage to you of the twenty-third day of January, 1880. Home. stead and other exemptions and protest waived. E. A. CLARK. [Signed] To Welch Bacon, Facton, Warehou.te and (JommurioA MwchantB, .AZbanv, Georgia.
The draft was indorsed by said E. A. Clark, and accepted by Welch <t Bacon, who assigned the same to the plaintiffs, before maturity. The defendant pleaded that the draft was given by defendant "to pay a draft drawn by E. M. Clark, who is the husband of defendant, and having been thus given, and not for any debt of her own, she is· not liable under the law to pay the same or any part thereof." When the defendant offered evidence in support of the foregoing pIeR, counsel for plaintiffs objected, on the ground that the draft had been transferred to plaintiffs, before matority, for value, and that l'Iuch defence, however good against Welch & Bacon, could not avaH !t.gainst bonafide holders. This was the main question of law in the case, and the ruling of the court thereon is stated below. The evidence was conflicting as to whetijer the consideration of the draft was goods furnished by Welch & Bacon for the benefit of the husband of defendant or herself; and this question the court submitted to the jury as a question of fact. ERSKINE, D. J. The defendant, Mrs. E. A. Clark, appears on the paper sued upon as drawer and indorser. Welch & Bacon are primarily liable; she is only secondarily liable. It is So oonceded facs in the case that the defendant is & married woman.
-Reported by W. B. Hill, Esq.· of Uw Macull bar.
The statute of Georgia (Code of 1873, § 1783) is as follows:
"The wife i8 a feme sole as to her1separate estate, unless controlled by the settlement. Every restriction upon her power in it must be complied with; but while the wife may contract, she cannot bind her separate estate by any contract of 8UI1"etyship, nor by any assumption· of thefkbts of her· lmsband; and any sale of her separate state, made to a creditor of .her husband in extinguishment of his debts, shall be absolutely void."
Under if this draft was made to pay a debt of defendant's husband, the draft is not. merely voidable, but void. It is a contract inhibited by the of this state. It was contended for the plaintiffs that the defendant was estopped from denying the l'ecital therein, that it was furnished her to make her crops, etc., as against bona fide holders of the paper. If the contract were not void under the statute cited the court might so hold, but in view of the construction now adopted of that statute, the court is compelled to decide that defendant may offer evidence of the consideration as alleged in the plea. This being a Georgia contract must be governed by the law 6fGeorgia; and the consequences above stated result from the provision of the case. The court will· admit the evidence and submit the disputed questions onact to the jury.
In re CARY, Bankrupt.
(District Uourt, S, D. New York.
1. December 30,1881.)
Upon an order of reference to a register in bankruptcy to take proofs, the depositions of witnesses taken by a stenographer, before a register, and afterwards reduced to long-hand, will be suppressed if not read to and signed by the witness, according to general ordcr 10, after they are written out, though the witness' subsequent attendance for that purpose could not be procured. The reference in section 5003 to the practice inequity is controlled by general order No. 10, adopted by section 4990.
In Bankruptcy. Henry G. Beach, for bankrupt. Philo Chase, for creditors. D. J. Upon a petition of the bankrupt for an order direct· ing that certain persons be punished for contempt in disobeying a prior order of this· court, an order of reference was made to the register to report the facts pertaining to the alleged contempt. A great mass of .testimony is submitted, annexed to the registElr'a report,