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reside. The terms and qualifications of applicants for admission will be made known. There will probably be no examination of graduates of colleges who are otherwise qualified, but non-graduates must understand that a limited knowledge, especially of the Latin language, will be required. Lectures and examinations for at least once a month will be had at San Francisco and at the University. There will be provision made for examination of applicants for advanced standing, so that it is expected there will be a number of students who will enter upon the second and third year at the commencement of the first term.

“The founder of this institution desires it to be understood that the term student is not limited to a young man without a diploma; for he never knew a good lawyer, no matter how well stricken in years, who was ashamed to acknowledge that he is as much a student as when he was in the days

a of his noviciate.

“This institution is intended to supply a substitute for the Inns of Court, the historic Inner Temple, a temple of the law, which shall extend its arms and draw within its portals all who shall be worthy to worship at its shrine, resulting in the coronation of its votaries as a reward for application, industry, and merit.”

THE Supreme Court of Minnesota, in the State vs. Armington, held, in a decision rendered April 25, 1878, that a divorce granted by a Utah court, where neither of the parties ever acquired a bona fide residence in Utah and were both during the conduct of the divorce proceedings residents of Minnesota, was not valid in Minnesota and not a protection against the consequences of a second marriage, and a belief in its validity was not a defense to an indictment for bigamy.

Supreme Court of the United States,


MEISTER, EXECUTRIX, vs. MOORE ET AL. In Error to the Circuit Court of the United States for the

Western District of Pennsylvania. MARRIAGE-WHEN VALID.-An informal marriage by contract, per rerba de presenti,

constitutes a valid marriage at common law; and in the absence of any positive statute of a State declaring that all marriages not celebrated in a prescribed manner shall be void, the rule is: whatever directions may be given respecting its formation or solemnization are merely directory, and not destructive of a

common law right to form the marriage relation by words of common assent. Mr. Justice STRONG delivered the opinion of the court:

The learned judge of the Circuit Court instructed the jury that if neither a minister nor a magistrate was present at the alleged marriage of William A Mowry and the daughter of the late Indian Pero, the marriage was invalid under the Michigan statute, and this instruction is now alleged to have been erroneous. It certainly withdrew from the consideration of the jury all evidence, if any there was, for informal marriage by contract per verba de presenti. That such a marriage constitutes a marriage at common law there can be no doubt, in view of the adjudications made in this country from its earliest settlement to the present day. Marriage is everywhere regarded as a civil contract. Statutes in many of the States, it is true, regulate the mode of entering into the contract, but they do not confer the right. Hence they are not within the principle that where a statute creates a right and provides a remedy for its enforcement, the remedy is exclusive. No doubt a statute may take away a common law right, but there is always a presumption that the Legislature has no such intention unless it be plainly expressed. A statute may declare that no marriage shall be valid unless they are solemnized in a prescribed manner, but such an enactment is a very different thing from a law requiring all marriages to be entered into in the presence of a magistrate or a clergyman, or that it be preceded by a license, or publication of bans, or be attested by witnesses. Such formal provisions may be construed as merely directory, instead of being treated as destructive of a common law right to form the marriage relation by words of common assent. And such, we think, has been the rule generally adopted in construing statutes regulating marriage. Whatever directions they may give respecting its formation or solemnization, courts have usually held a marriage good at common law to be good notwithstanding the statutes unless they contain express words of nullity. This is the conclusion reached by Mr. Bishop after an examination reached by the authorities. (Bishop on Marriage and Divorce, Sec. 283 and notes.) We do not propose to examine in detail the numerous decisions that have been made in the various State courts. In many of the States enactments exist very similar to the Michigan statute, but their object has manifestly been, not to declare what shall be requisite to the validity of a marriage, but to provide a legitimate mode of solemnizing it. They speak of the celebration of its rite rather than its validity, and they address themselves principally to the functionaries they authorize to perform the ceremony. In most cases the leading purpose is to secure a registration of marriages and evidence by which marriage may be proved, for example; by certificate of a clergyman or magistrate, or by an exemplification of the registry. In a small number of the States, it must be admitted, such statutes have been construed as denying validity to marriages not formed according to the statutory directions. Notably has this been so in North Carolina, and in Tennessee, where the statute of North Carolina was in force. But the statute contained a provision declaring null and void all marriages solemnized as directed without a license first had. So in Massachusetts it was early decided that a statute very like the Michigan statute rendered illegal a marriage which would have been good at common law, but which was not entered into in the manner directed by the written law. (Milford vs. Worcester, 7 Mass. 48.) It may well be doubted,

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however, whether such is now the law in that State. In Parton vs. Henry (1 Gray, 119), where the question was whether a marriage of a girl only thirteen years old, married without parental consent, was a valid marriage, (the statute prohibiting clergymen and magistrates from solemnizing marriages of females under eighteen, without the consent of parents or guardians), the court held it good and binding, notwithstanding the statute. In speaking of the effect of statutes regulating marriage, including the Massachusetts statute, (which, as we have said, contained all of the provisions of the Michigan one), the court said, “the effect of these and similar statutes is not to render such marriages, when duly solemnized, void, although the statute provisions have not been complied with. They are intended as directory only upon ministers and magistrates, and to prevent as far as possible, by penalties on them, the solemnization of marriages when the prescribed conditions and formalities have not been fulfilled. But in the absence of any provision declaring marriages not celebrated in a prescribed manner, or between parties of certain ages absolutely void, it is held that all marriages regularly made according to the common law are valid and binding, though had in violation of the specific regulations imposed by statute.” There are two or three other States in which decisions have been made like that in 7th Massachusetts.

We will not undertake to cite those which hold a different doctrine, one in accord with the opinion we have cited from 1 Gray. Reference is made to them in Bishop on Marriage and Divorce, sec. 283 et seq; in Reeve's Domestic Relations, 199, 200; in 2 Kent's Com., 90, 91; and in 2 Greenleaf on Evidence. The rule deduced by all these writers from the decided cases is thus stated by Mr. Greenleaf: “Though in most, if not all, the United States there are statutes regulating the celebration of the marriage rites, and inflicting penalties on all who disobey the regulations, yet it is generally considered that in the absence of any positive statute declaring that all marriages not celebrated in the prescribed manner shall be void, or that but certain magistrates or min


isters shall solemnize a marriage, any marriage, regularly made according to the common law, without observing the statute regulations, would still be a valid marriage.

As before remarked, the statutes are held merely directory, because marriage is a thing of common right, because it is the policy of the State to encourage it, and because, as has sometimes been said, any other construction would compel holding illegitimate the offspring of many parents conscious of no violation of the law.

The Michigan statute differs in no essential particular from those of other States which have generally been so construed. It does not declare marriages void which have not been entered into in the presence of a minister or magistrate. It does not deny validity to marriages which are good at common law. The most that can be said of it is that it contains implications of an intention that all marriages, except some particularly mentioned, should be celebrated in the manner prescribed. The 6th section declares how they may be solemnized. The 7th describes what shall be required of justices of the peace and ministers of the gospel before they solemnize any marriage. The 8th declares that in every case, that is, whenever any marriage shall be solemnized in the manner described in the act, there shall be at least two witnesses present beside the minister or magistrate. The 9th, 10th, 11th, 16th, and 17th sections provide for certificates, registers, and exemplifications of records of marriages solemnized by magistrates and ministers. The 12th and 13th impose penalties upon justices and ministers joining persons in marriage contrary to the provisions of the act, and upon persons joining others in marriage, knowing that they are not lawfully authorized so to do. The 14th and 15th sections are those upon which most reliance is placed in support of the charge of the Circuit Court. The former declares that no marriage solemnized before any person professing to be a justice of the peace or minister of the gospel shall be deemed or adjudged to be void on account of any want of jurisdiction or authority in such supposed minister or justice, provided the marriage be consummated with a full belief on the part

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