Minter v. Southern Express Co., 153 N.C. 507 (1910)

Nov. 30, 1910 · Supreme Court of North Carolina
153 N.C. 507


(Filed 30 November, 1910.)

Pleadings — Demurrer — Corporations — Acts of Agents — Larceny— Ratification.

A complaint in an action against a corporation for damages based upon tbe ground that its agent and night watchman, acting under the instruction of the night foreman, swore out a search warrant and a warrant of arrest for plaintiff charging him with larceny from the defendant, is demurrable in the absence of allegation that the corporation authorized or ratified the acts of its agents.

Appeal from Long, J., at tbe July Term, 1910, of MeokleN-BURGr.

Tbe facts are sufficiently stated in tbe opinion of Mr. Justice Brown.

Civil action brought by tbe plaintiff to recover damages for an alleged wrong.

Tbe Southern Express Co. filed a demurrer to tbe complaint which was sustained. Plaintiff appealed.

Tillett & Guthrie for plaintiff.

Burwell & Gansler for defendant.

BeowN, J.

Tbe complaint alleges that tbe Southern Express Company maintained offices in tbe city of Charlotte at tbe Southern Eailway station; that Kreeger was tbe night foreman, and Eust was tbe night watchman of tbe express company, and that they were in charge of tbe business and bad custody and care of tbe property of tbe express company; that Eust, agent and night watchman of tbe express company, charged tbe plaintiff with stealing a beg of whiskey from tbe express company; that Eust, agent and night watchman of tbe express company, swore out and caused to be issued a warrant for tbe arrest of tbe plaintiff, charging tbe larceny from tbe express company of tbe whiskey; and that be also swore out and caused to be issued a search warrant for tbe search of tbe plaintiff’s premises for tbe whiskey; that in swearing out tbe warrant of arrest and tbe search warrant, Eust was acting under tbe or*508ders or instructions of Kreeger, foreman, and was also acting as tbe employee of tbe express company; that under tbe said warrants Rust went witb two policemen to tbe sleeping room of tbe plaintiff and made search for tbe whiskey. Tbe defendant demurred on tbe ground that it is not allege'd in tbe complaint that tbe express company authorized or ratified tbe acts of its agents and employees.

We deem it unnecessary to do more than to refer to tbe elaborate discussion of this question by Mr. Justice Walker in Daniel v. R. R., 136 N. C., 517, and to tbe very apt quotation therein from tbe opinion of Justice Blackburn in Allen v. R. R., L. R. 6 Q. B., 65.

In sustaining tbe demurrer, bis Honor followed well established precedents.