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bound to receive travellers and the goods which they bring with them to the inn. Then, inasmuch as the effect of such lien is to give him a right to keep the goods of one person for the debt of another, the lien cannot be claimed except in respect of goods which, in performance of his duty to the public, he is bound to receive. The obligation to receive depends on his public profession. If he has only a stable for a horse he is not bound to receive a carriage. There was no ground whatever for saying that the defendant was under an obligation to receive this pianoforte.
ALDERSON, B. I am of the same opinion.
Platt, B. The case of Johnson v. Hill, 3 Stark. 172, shows the principle of law which is applicable to the present case. If a person brings the horse of another to an inn, the innkeeper may detain it from the owner until its keep is paid. But if, as the jury found in Johnson v. Hill, the innkeeper knew that the person bringing the horse illegally got possession of it, and therefore had no right to pledge it for his debt, then the lien does not attach. Here the plaintiffs send a pianoforte to the room of the guest, and the innkeeper well knew that it was not the property of the guest, and that it was not competent for him to pledge it for a debt of his own. Then how can it be said that any act of the plaintiffs gave the defendant a right to detain the pianoforte for his guest's debt? The plaintiffs might have taken it away the next minute. The case does not fall within the principles of law relating to the lien of innkeepers.
Judgment for the plaintiff's.
THREFALL v. BORWICK.
QUEEN'S BENCH. 1872.
(Reported L. R. 7 Q. B. 711.) DECLARATION for detaining a pianoforte of plaintiff.
First plea, not guilty ; and, inter alia, third plea, that defendant was an innkeeper, and kept a common inn for the reception of travellers and others. That defendant had a lien upon the piano for money payable by one Butcher to defendant for lodging and entertainment for himself and his wife and sister, and that Butcher, being then lawfully possessed of the piano, brought it to the inn with him, and defendant detained it in exercise of his lien as innkeeper.
Issue joined; and replication to the third plea, that the piano was let on hire to Butcher by plaintiff for a certain time which had elapsed before the detention by defendant, and the piano was not goods which a traveller ordinarily travels with, and defendant was not bound by law to take it in, and plaintiff never authorized Butcher to pledge it or create any lien upon it.
t ot hrefall & Barrick.
I bf huper of a common inn. lue Butcher a quest to was fossend la pians - her indebted to Def sew lodging ete to £45. If detained Thiama rhich he believed was ornedh Butcher. | centruded by nat bound es lar to take piaus in as not being poder thich. W troseller av.livarif travels with in demand of Pl. Sel claimed to altain piano tecance of his kenan innkeeper for keht duely Butcher. It there no aushanty for proposition that the liew of the anna
inter nh extends to goodes which as traveller way be ar
dinars expected to bring with him. I whether lef boned to receire fiano or not he did recere E ! it we the gooder of the guest and so became Case for it and
kenbore must be entitled to his liew. - fundo for life
board, &c., £45Weeks, Butcher lenas put in the
At the trial, at Lancaster Spring Assizes, 1872, before Lush, J., it appeared that the defendant kept the Ferry Hotel, on Lake Windermere, and that one Butcher came there with his wife and sister in April, 1871. In addition to board and lodging, Butcher had a private sitting-room, for which he paid 168. a week. Butcher brought with bim a pianoforte, which defendant thought was Butcher's own, but which he had in fact only hired of the plaintiff. This was put in the private sitting-room. After several weeks, Butcher left the hotel in defendant's debt for board, &c., £45 ; and, on demand by the plaintiff, the defendant claimed to detain the piano in exercise of his lien as innkeeper for the debt due by Butcher.
A verdict passed for defendant, with leave to move to enter it for plaintiff for twenty-two guineas.
A rule was obtained accordingly, on the ground that the defendant had no lien upon the plaintiff's piano.
Holker, Q.C., showed cause.
MELLOR, J. The rule must be discharged. It is not necessary to say anything as to the amendment of the pleadings, because we are all of opinion that the plaintiff's counsel has failed to show that the limits of the innkeeper's liability on the one hand, and of his privilege on the other, are such as he sought to establish. Whether or not the innkeeper would have been liable, if an indictment had been brought against him, for not receiving this guest and his goods, having accommodation for them, it is unnecessary to consider; when, having accommodation, he has received the guest with his goods and thereby has become liable for their safe custody, it would be hard if he was not to have a lien upon them. And, under such circumstances, the lien must be held to extend to goods which he might possibly have refused to receive. In Turrill v. Crawley, 13 Q. B. 197; 18 L. J. (Q. B.) 155, the case which was most relied upon for the narrower view, Coleridge, J., says, we must give effect to the changing usages of society, and in noticing the distinction attempted between carriages and horses, he says the fact that most of the decisions are with respect to horses is "obviously explainable by reference to the mode of travelling in former times. New usages have grown up; and, as carriages are commonly used in travelling, the innkeeper's duties and privileges are extended to them.” That, therefore, is no authority against the defendant; and the decision was that though the guest was not the true owner of the carriage, that made no difference if the innkeeper did not know it. In Broudunood v. Granara, 10 Ex. 417; 24 L. J. (Ex.) 1, the innkeeper knew that the piano did not belong to the guest, and did not receive it as part of the guest's goods; and on that ground alone the |innkeeper was held not entitled to a lien ; although there are some dicta, not necessary to the decision, to the effect that the innkeeper was not bound to receive the piano. Possibly not, though the liability may well be extended according to the extended usages of society ; but, whether the defendant was bound to receive the piano or not, he did receive it as the goods of the guest, and so became liable for it, and therefore must be entitled to his lien. The rule must, therefore, be discharged.
Lush, J. I am of the same opinion. The innkeeper's lien is not restricted to such things as a travelling guest brings with him in journeying; the contrary has been laid down long ago. It extends to all goods which the guest brings with him, and the innkeeper receives as his. This is laid down in Calye’s Case, 8 Rep. 32 a, at least as to the innkeeper's liability, and his lien must be co-extensive. If he has this lien as against the guest, the cases have established beyond all doubt that he has the same right as against the real owner of the article, if it has been brought to the inn by the guest as owner.
QUAIN, J. I am of the same opinion. There is no authority for the proposition that the lien of the innkeeper only extends to goods which a traveller may be ordinarily expected to bring with him. In the fifth resolution in Calye's Case, 8 Rep. at f. 33 a, the expression in the writ of bona et catalla is shown to be extended by the subsequent words, ita quod hospitibus damnum non eveniat; and although the words bona et catalla “ do not of their proper nature extend to charters and evidences, &c., or obligations, or other deeds or specialities, being things in action, yet in this case it is expounded by the latter words to extend to them; for by them (that is, the loss of them] great damages happen to the guest; and therefore if one brings a bag or chest, &c., of evidences into the inn, or obligations, deeds, or other specialities, and by default of the innkeeper they are taken away, the innkeeper shall answer for them.” A chest of deeds is certainly not ordinary traveller's luggage, and there is, therefore, no pretence for saying that there is any rule which confines the liability of the innkeeper to such articles; and certainly we ought not to confine his correlative lien within narrower limits. The liability, as shown by the
the guest and so received, even a chest of charters, or obligations; and why not a pianoforte? If, therefore, the innkeeper be liable for the loss, it seems to follow that he must also have a lien upon them. And if he has a lien upon them as against the guest, the two cases cited (and there are more) show that if the thing be brought by the guest as owner, and the landlord takes it in thinking it is the guest's own, he has the same rights against the stranger, the real owner, as against the guest.
1 Affirmed, Cam. Scacc. L. R. 10 Q. B. 210.