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V.

(1840) 10 Watts, 289, 36 Am. Dec. assigned to the ancestor of the claim176.

ant. Texas. Foster v. Eoff (1898) 19 In McCoy v. Cunningham (1901) 27 Tex. Civ. App. 405, 47 S. W. 399. Tex. Civ. App. 476, 65 S. W. 1084, it

Washington. — Crosby v. Wynkoop is held that where, in a chain of title (1910) 56 Wash. 475, 106 Pac. 175. upon which a subsequent owner of

The recital in a deed as to the heir- land must rely for his title, there is ship of the grantors does not operate a deed from the children of the owner, as an estoppel against an heir who conveying to him their interest in the does not join therein. CARTER land as heirs of the owner's deceased THOMPSON (reported herewith) ante, wife, the property being community 1053.

property, any subsequent vendee is put And see New York & T. Land Co. upon inquiry as to the interest of each v. Hyland (1894) 8 Tex. Civ. App. 601, of the deceased wife's surviving heirs, 28 S. W. 206, where, in holding that and as to whether or not they all the right of heirs who had not joined joined in the conveyance, and where in a

conveyance was enforceable one of them did not so join in the conagainst a subsequent purchaser, not- veyance, the grantee cannot claim to withstanding that the latter bought in hold the land as against her interest. the belief that he was buying from all See, upon this point, Scripture v. the heirs of the estate, the court re- Copp (1900) Tex. Civ. App. -, 57 marked that, "if such purchaser can S. W. 603, holding that the facts in any event assert an innocent pur- charged the vendee of land with notice chase from a part of the heirs to the that children of the wife of the vendor exclusion of other heirs, he ought to had an heirship interest in the land, show not only that he was ignorant of on the ground that it was community the existence of other heirs, but that property. he had also made inquiry or exercised A conveyance in a chain of title by diligence to ascertain if other heirs a married man is notice to subsequent existed." It, however, expressed a purchasers of the property that the doubt as to whether, in any case, a land was community property, and is purchaser from a part of the heirs sufficient to put them upon inquiry as entitled to the estate will be protected to the death of the wife and existence as an innocent purchaser against the of her heirs. Hardy Oil Co. v. Burnclaims of other heirs who are not ham (1909) 58 Tex. Civ. App. 285, 124 guilty of some act of estoppel or want S. W. 221. And see same case, subseof care calculated to mislead a pur- quent appeal, in (1912) – Tex. Civ. chaser, although the utmost diligence App. —, 147 S. W. 330, which is afhas been exercised by such purchaser firmed in (1917) 108 Tex. 555, 195 S. in ascertaining who are all the heirs. W. 1139.

A purchaser who buys land from In J. M. Guffey Petroleum Co. v. the heirs of the deceased owner is Hook (1907) 47 Tex. Civ. App. 560, 106 charged with notice of all the heirs S. W. 690, it is held that an instruof the deceased. Root v. Baldwin ment of adoption duly executed and (1899) Tex. Civ. App. —, 52 S. W. filed for record in a proper office, with 586; Ferguson v. Kentucky Land & intent that the clerk should record it, Live-Stock Co. (1894) Tex. Civ. is notice to a subsequent purchaser of App. --, 25 S. W. 1074.

the land from the heirs of the adoptive In Cook v. Caswell (1891) 81 Tex. parent, of the heirship of such child, 678, 17 S. W. 385, an heir's interest in and he takes the land subject to this the real estate of his ancestors was heirship interest. protected, notwithstanding subsequent The rule that the interest of an heir conveyances to different persons by in the land of his ancestor cannot be the other heirs, where by a duly re- affected by any conveyance of the corded decree in a partition proceed- other heirs has been recognized by the ing it appeared who the actual heirs courts where the matter has been prewere when the land in question was sented in other aspects.

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Thus, in Gates v. McWilliams (1837) rights if the land ultimately came to 6 Dana (Ky.) 42, the title was held to them. be defective notwithstanding in the Upon this point, see McArthur v. chain of title there was a decree of Scott (1885) 113 U. S. 340, 28 L. ed. title against certain persons described 1015, 5 Sup. Ct. Rep. 652, where afteras the heirs at law of the record owner. born remaindermen were allowed to The court said that the decree against enforce a trust in lands devised by such persons ås heirs was no better their grandfather under a will which evidence of their being the heirs than was adjudged void in action a mere deed executed by them. Ex- brought and decided before their trinsic proof of their title would be as birth, the judgment being invalid upon necessary in the one case as in the the ground that there were no parties other.

in being interested in sustaining the In recognition of this rule, it has trust, but all being interested in debeen held that where after-born chil- stroying it. dren have a contingent interest in real In Calhoun v. Moore (1906) 79 Ark. estate under a certain construction of 109, 94 S. W. 931, the purchaser of a deed thereof, and there is no one in land from the widow of a deceased being, at the time of a suit to reform owner was denied the right to hold the deed, having a common interest the land as against the interest of the with the infants in sustaining such children of the deceased, although he construction of the deed, a decree re- purchased it relying upon an invalid forming the deed and cutting off the order of the probate court assigning rights of the infants is not binding as

the land to the widow. The judgment to them, and hence where title rests

was in favor of both the minor and upon the validity of such a decree it adult heirs of the deceased, adverse is defective. Downey v. Seib (1906)

possession as to the latter not having 185 N. Y. 427, 8 L.R.A.(N.S.) 49, 113

been established.

In Stokes v. Hyde (1897) 14 App. Am. St. Rep. 926, 78 N. E. 66.

Div. 530, 44 N. Y. Supp. 132, where So, in Richman v. Standard Oil Co.

life tenants of property undertook to (1924) 95 N. J. Eq. 745, 123 Atl. 608,

cut off a contingent interest of minor title to land was held to be defective

children by conveying the property to where an infant's interest in the es

a third person, who thereafter contate was sold by order of court, the

veyed an absolute title to them, the infant's interest, however, being de

title which they thereafter joined in pendent upon a will by the terms of

conveying to a third person was held which it was uncertain to whom the not to be valid as against the conproperty might ultimately fall, and tingent interest of such minor chilhence the sale would not cut off their dren.

A. G. S.

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PETER PANTEBAKOS

v.
ROCKINGHAM COUNTY LIGHT & POWER COMPANY.
New Hampshire Supreme Court - January 26, 1925.

(- N. H. , 128 Atl. 534.)
Electricity, $ 1 - duty to inform patrons as to economical use.

1. A corporation furnishing electricity for heating and lighting purposes is under no obligation to intending patrons to inform them as to the proper methods of securing the electricity for heating purposes in the most economical manner.

[See note on this question beginning on page 1065.]

Sales, $ 1 - rule of caveat venditor.

2. Caveat venditor is not the law if
by it is intended anything more than
that it is the seller's duty to do what
the ordinary man would do under the
circumstances.
Electricity, § 1 performance of

duty to patrons.
3. A corporation furnishing elec-

tricity for heating and lighting purposes performs its duty to an intending customer for both uses by telling him that he would save money by installing two meters, even though the cost of the additional meter would be considerable.

TRANSFER by the Superior Court for Rockingham County for the opinion of the Supreme Court of questions arising on exception by defendant to the rulings in an action for a rebate upon money paid by plaintiff to defendant for service, which resulted in a verdict for plaintiff.

On plaintiff's application to defendant for current to light his hotel he informed one whom he met in the office that he intended to use electricity for both lighting and heating, and was told he would save money by installing two meters if he was going to use much electricity for heating. Plaintiff, however, installed but one meter and paid the lighting rates for the electricity used. Had he installed the second meter the electricity used for heating would have cost only about one quarter of what he paid for it.

Messrs. Sewall & Waldron for plain- Stevens, 79 N. H. 228, 107 Atl. 602; tiff.

Barrett v. New England Teleph. & Mr. George T. Hughes, for defend- Teleg. Co. 80 N. H. 355, 23 A.L.R. 947, ant:

117 Atl. 264. Defendant's power as to rates was confined to the right to adopt reason

Young, J., delivered the opinion of able rates, and to serve the public

the court: without discrimination, and the pub- As the ruling excepted to is unlic, having notice from the filed sched- derstood, the court held that it is ules as to the terms upon which serv- the duty of a public service corporaice would be rendered, has the right tion, at the time a customer applies to adopt the means of securing service

to it for service, to use reasonable that may best suit its purposes. Texas & P. R. Co. v. Mugg, 202 U. S.

means to enable him to understand 242, 50 L. ed. 1011, 26 Sup. Ct. Rep.

what he must do to use electricity 628; Gulf, C. & S. F. R. Co. v. Hefley, economically. Is that the law? 158 U. S. 98, 39 L. ed. 910, 15 Sup. Ct. The duty, and the only duty, in so Rep. 802; Armour Packing Co. v. far as the question we are considerUnited States, 209 U. S. 81, 52 L. ed. ing is concerned, which the law im694, 28 Sup. Ct. Rep. 428; Schenberger

poses on a public service corporav. Union P. R. Co. 84 Kan. 79, 33

tion, in addition to those it imposes L.R.A.(N.S.) 391, 113 Pac. 433; Boston & M. R. Co. v. Great Falls Mfg.

on an individual engaged in selling Co. 79 N. H. 467, 111 Atl. 691.

goods or services, is that prescribed In the absence of misrepresentation by Laws 1911, chap. 164, § 7, in reor fraud by the seller, he incurs no spect to making and publishing its liability to the purchaser.

rates and charges, and the court has Page v. Parker, 43 N. H. 368, 80 found that the defendant had comAm. Dec. 172, 6 Mor. Min. Rep. 544; plied with the provisions of that secStewart v. Emerson, 52 N. H. 315;

tion at the time the plaintiff became Hall v. Butterfield, 59 N. H. 354, 47

one of its customers. Am. Rep. 209; Conway Nat. Bank v. Pease, 76 N. H. 326, 82 Atl. 1068;

The test, therefore, to determine Sleeper v. Smith, 77 N. H. 339, 91 Atl.

the validity of the defendant's ex866; Peerless Casualty Co. v. Howard, ception, is to inquire whether the 77 N. H. 357, 92 Atl. 165; Cotton v. common law makes it the duty of an

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caveat venditor.

(- N. H. —, 128 Atl. 534.) individual to use reasonable means 3, was decided, still caveat venditor to inform his customers in respect is not the law if by to the economical way to use the

it is intended any

Sales-rule of goods they purchase, for the plain- thing more than tiff's sole complaint is that the de- that it is the seller's duty to do what fendant failed to use such means to the ordinary man would do in a simgive him adequate information in ilar situation. respect to using electricity econom- If, however, it were assumed that ically.

it was the defendant's duty to use In other words, the plaintiff does ordinary care to inform the plainnot contend that the defendant lied tiff as to how he could purchase electo him, or even that it attempted to tricity most economically, the redeceive him. His sole complaint, as sult would be the

Electricitythe case is understood, is that the same, for all fair- performance of defendant failed to use reasonable minded men must

duty to patrons. means to make him comprehend how agree that that is what the defendgreat a saving he would make if he ant did when it told him that if he installed a second meter.

used much electricity for heating he As we have seen, there is no stat- would save money by installing two ute or specific rule of the common meters, one for lighting and one for law which imposes that duty on ei- heating, even though it cost him $40 ther an individual or a public serv

to install the second meter. ice corporation. On the contrary, it

From all that appears, there was is common knowledge that those en

nothing in the plaintiff's general apgaged in the business of selling pearance, except the fact that he standard goods are not accustomed

was a Greek and spoke broken Engto advise their customers as to the lish, to differentiate him from the

defendant's other customers; and best way to use them. In short, the court erred when it

there was no evidence tending to ruled that it is the duty of a public prove that Greeks are less intelliservice corporation

gent or less capable of looking out

for themselves than other nationalduty to inform

to use reasonable patrons as to means to give its

ities, and it is not common knowlcustomers adequate edge that that is the fact. There is information in respect to the eco

no evidence, therefore, in any view nomical way of using the electricity

of the law, tending to the conclusion they purchase, for, although it may

that the defendant was in fault. be true that there has been a great

· Defendant's exception sustained. change in the meaning of the maxim

Judgment for the defendant. "caveat emptor" since Chandelor v. Allen, J., did not sit. Lopus, Cro. Jac. 4, 79 Eng. Reprint, The others concur.

Electricity

economical

use.

ANNOTATION.

Duty of public service corporation to instruct patron as to economical man

ner of using the service, or give him equivalent concession.

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thať a public utility may, under some forth the financial disadvantages of circumstances, owe some such duty such meters. Winnetka v. North Shore to customers.

Gas Co. (1916; Ill.) P.U.R.1917B, 793. Thus, the Missouri public service And in Rothschild v. Commonwealth commission, in issuing orders to an Edison Co. (1918; IL.) P.U.R.1919B, electrical utility corporation, has 27, after stating that in previous ruled : “Where more than one rate orders it had indicated "its belief that schedule is in effect by a utility as the utility has a duty toward its conapplicable to the service of a certain sumers to see that they are notified prospective consumer, the principle of of the proper methods for utilizing fairness intended to be preserved and its energy," the commission added: promoted by our statute would sug- “Having notified the consumer, how. gest that such consumer should be ever, the duty of the utility may reagiven every reasonable assistance by sonably be expected to be discharged, representatives of the utility in select providing that, in its general survey ing that schedule which will obviously of conditions from time to time there result in the lowest total annual cost after, conditions which offer opporof service to the consumer. Should tunity for saving to the consumer conditions be such that it is impos- might well be again called to his atsible to determine accurately which tention.schedule offers a distinct advantage But in Hydrox V. Commonwealth to the consumer without a reasonable Edison Co. (1924; Ill.) P.U.R.1924C, trial, the consumer should be served 342, the Illinois commission declared: under the schedule which appears to "To hold the utility responsible for be the most advantageous for a suffi- notifying all its consumers of the most cient length of time to obtain assur- advantageous rate and for following ance as to the most advantageous up matters to see that such rates are schedule under the customer's con- taken advantage of would be practicaldition of use, connected load, etc.

ly to guarantee that a consumer would The utility should make it a regular be furnished service under the most practice to check each consumer's favorable rate conditions. The utility bills with assessed or measured de- should offer its advice in assisting the mand conditions as often as prac- consumer to get a proper rate, but the ticable, and determine accurately choice of the optional rate must finally whether the consumer is being fur- rest with the consumer." And in B. nished under the most advantageous A. Railton & Co. v. Commonwealth schedule then in force and effect. .. Edison Co. (1924; Ill.) P.U.R.1924E, It is quite difficult to exaggerate the 161, dismissing a complaint in which importance of the practice by utilities a customer sought reparation for an of giving consumers detailed and ac- alleged discrimination in not being, curate information and advice in the like others, advised regarding more original selection of the most advan- favorable rates, and also the refund tageous rate and any changes con- of the difference between the amount may desire

the utility paid for a year at higher rates and may deem advantageous to the con- what he would have been charged at sumer thereafter." Oliver Chilled Plow the lower rates, the commission conWorks v. Union Electric Light & P. sidered that a utility is not obliged to Co. (1915) 2 Mo. P. S. C. R. 656, see that a customer is at all times of P.U.R.1916B, 645.

the most favorable rate, in view of the For the purpose of enlightening pre- failure to allege noncompliance with payment meter consumers as to more a statutory requirement as to having economical service to be obtained by its rate schedules available for inchanging to standard meters, the Il- spection, of a showing that its praclinois commission has ordered the dis- tice was, in cases brought to its attribution, to all such consumers using tention, to advise customers as to the more than 1,000 cubic feet of gas a most economical rates, and of the fact month, of a printed circular setting that the circumstances as to the con

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