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Raine and Littledale, for plaintiffs.
Scarlett, Richardson, and F. Pollock, for defendants.
BREED and Others
THE declaration stated that the defendant was An innkeeper,
who has a li. 1 an innkeeper, and licensed to let post horses.; cense to let that on the 22d of December, 1815, plaintiff was received into his house as a guest and traveller ;
and rovellon. the common that he requested the defendant to let him to hire a them to a tra
veller, though post chaise and horses to convey him on his jour- he have a
chaise and ney: it then stated that defendant at the time had horses post chaises and horses unemployed. The declaration likewise averred the tender of a reasonable application,
and though a sum for the hire of the chaise, &c.; but that the reasonable
price be tendefendant refused to let him have one. Plea: Not dered to him
for the hire. guilty
The defendant kept an inn at Four Lane Ends, at Hulton, in Lancashire. Upon the sign over his door was written “ licensed to let post horses.” Notice had been given him to produce his license. Plaintiff was on his road from Wigan to Manchester, and stopped at defendant's inn to change
horses, and to proceed on his journey. It was stated by the plaintiff's Counsel, that the defendant at the time had post chaises and horses at liberty in his stables; and that he offered to convey the plaintiff on his journey with four horses; but plaintiff would only consent to take two, which were refused.
Scarlett, for the plaintiff, contended, that when an innkeeper takes out a license to let post horses, he enters into a contract with the public to let them out for the accommodation of passengers. He has no right to select his customers; to say, he will serve one man and not another. He cannot evade this duty by demanding exorbitant prices. If he has the convenience, he ought to furnish it when a reasonable price is tendered. The plaintiff tendered the money, and no private pique ought to induce an innkeeper to withhold the accommodation.
Raine, for the defendant, contended, that this was an action of first impression; that it could not be supported in law; but that he was ready to meet it on the merits.
LE BLANC, Justice.-The declaration does not state any custom of the realm, but merely a duty. I am of opinion that there is no legal obligation on the defendant to let post chaises and horses, notwithstanding he has obtained a license for so doing. The action, therefore, is not maintainable. I will, however, save the point.
The defendant's counsel, to prevent coming again, requested that the case might go to the Jury on the merits. Accordingly they called witnesses, and proved that the defendant had not horses capable of performing the journey at the time.
Verdict for the defendant.
Scarlett and Cottingham for plaintiff.
[Attornies, Smith. Foulkes.]
FARNWORTH and Others, Assignees of CURTIN, a
Bankrupt, v. Packwood. THE defendant was an innkeeper at Birming- If a guest I
demand, and ham.. On the 23d of January, 1813, Curtin lave exclusive brought goods with him to the inn for sale as he
possession of a
as he room, for the was travelling through the country. He staid at purpose of
shop or ware. the inn about 14 days, and eat and slept there. house, he ex.
onerates the His goods were deposited in a parlour on the landlord from
any loss he ground floor; for two or three days he had the
may sustain in key of this room in his possession, and used to lock
which he it up. Afterwards the landlady wished to put some keeps in that
apartment. goods of other travellers there, and asked his per- But if he have
not an exclumission. He gave her leave, and delivered her the sive posseskey for that purpose ; but desired that the key lord is liable, should always be kept within the bar, that he might have it when he wanted it. Other parcels were put in the room; and, a few days after Curtin delivered up the key, he lost a package of the value of 501. Vol. I.
1816. Raine, for the defendant, contended, that if this
had been a lodging-room the landlord would have FARNWORTII and Others
been answerable for any loss, though the guest had 0. a key to lock it. But the room in question was
taken as a warehouse for Curtin's goods. It was not an apartment to sleep or dine in, but for the purposes of trade. The landlord, therefore, was not responsible under such circumstances.
The defendant's Counsel then called witnesses to prove that the key was exclusively under Curlin's controul; the evidence on this point was contradictory.
Le Blanc, Justice.-The landlord is not liable, in a case where the guest, by way of excessive caution and security, takes an exclusive charge of a room or of goods. The guest may so conduct himself as to wave the common law liability of the landlord. But the question is, did Curtin take upon himself exclusive possession of the parlour ; that is to say, exclusive of the landlord and other persons. A landlord is not bound to furnish a shop to every guest. If a traveller applies for a room, not to sleep or live in, but as a shop or warehouse, and takes an exclusive possession, he exonerates the landlord. Whilst Curtin kept the key himself, the landlord was not answerable ; but when he delivered up the key to the landlady; when other persons had access to the room, and other goods were deposited there, the landlord's liability revived. If Curtin had exclusive possession he must bear the loss; but if, at the time the goods were lost, they were not under Curtin's exclusive care, the defendant is responsible. .
His Lordship left the case to the Jury on the 1816. evidence, who found a verdict for the defendant.
FARNWORTH Scarlett and Richardson, for plaintiff.
PickWOOD. Raine and Littledale, for defendant.
The goods of a traveller are secure place; and if the travel. not in the custody of the inn- ler refuse, the innkeeper is not keeper, so as to charge him responsible for its safety. Ibid. with any loss, unless they are. The host cannot oblige the placed within the inn. Calye's guest to take charge of his own case, 8 Rep. 63. Therefore, goods, for this, in effect, would if the guest require the host to be a refusal to admit them into turn his horse out to pasture, the inn. (See Bennet v. Mel. who accordingly does so, the lor, 5 T. R. 273.) And it is no liability of the innkeeper is excuse for an innkeeper to say, discharged. Secus, if the inn. that he delivered the key of the keeper of his own accord puts chamber, in which the proit to grass; in which case his perty stolen was placed, to the responsibility is the same as if guest, who left the door open. the animal had remained in his Calye’s case, 8 Rep. stable. 8 Rep. 64. The guest But in a late case Lord Elneed not deliver the goods in lenborough observed, that alspecial charge to the innkeeper, though the landlord cannot nor acquaint him that he has exonerate himself by merely any. ' If the traveller have handing over a key to his property with him, or about guest, yet, if the guest takes his person, the innkeeper is the key, it is a proper question bound to the custody of it with- for the jury whether he takes out communication. The duty it animo custodiendi, and for is founded on the common law, the purpose of exempting the and is derived from the relation landlord from his liability. of traveller and host. Ibid. Burgess v. Clements, K. B. But the innkeeper may require Trioity Term, 55 G. 3. See that the property of his guest likewise Comyn's Digest, Vol. - be delivered into his hands, in 1, 285; and Hammond's Law order that it may be put into a of Nisi Prius, 322, 323.