10 U.S. 192 (1810), Korn v. Mutual Assur. Soc.

Citation:10 U.S. 192, 3 L.Ed. 195
Case Date:March 15, 1810
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 192

10 U.S. 192 (1810)

3 L.Ed. 195




United States Supreme Court.

March 15, 1810

ERROR to the circuit court of the district of Columbia, sitting at Alexandria.

This was a motion, in the court below, in the name of the principal agent of the Mutual Assurance Society for judgment against Korn & Wisemiller for 116 dollars, 'being the amount due from them for a half quota under a declaration for insurance made to the society with 6 per cent, interest thereon from the 1st day of June, 1805.'

The court below gave judgment according to the motion, and the defendants brought their writ of error.

This society was incorporated by the legislature of Virginia, by an act passed on the 22d of December, 1794, entitled 'An act for establishing a Mutual Assurance Society against fire on buildings in this state.'

The principles of the society are declared to be, 'That the citizens of this state may insure their buildings against the losses and damages occasioned accidentally by fire; and that the insured pay the losses and expenses, each his share according to the sum insured.'

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The act provides that the rules and regulations which should be concluded upon by a majority of the subscribers at the first meeting, should be binding on all those who should insure their property in that society; and that a majority of the society might at any time alter and amend the rules and regulations as they should judge necessary. That certain premiums should be agreed upon to be paid by the insured to constitute a fund to pay losses. And that if that fund should not be sufficient, a 'repartition' among the insured should be made, and each should pay on demand of the cashier his share according to the sum insured and the rate of hazard. It also provides that the property insured should be bound for the payment, and for that purpose might be sold. That such quotas when called for should be advertised, and when any person should neglect to pay hisquota, his insurance should cease until it should be paid. If the property should be sold, the purchaser was to become a subscriber in lieu of the vendor. The subscribers might be compelled to pay the premiums, on request of the cashier, with 6 per cent. interest to the day of payment.

By a subsequent act, passed in December, 1795, it was enacted, 'That the said subscribers, a majority of them in person or by deputation being present, or a majority of the sum subscribed, when any meeting shall be held, being there represented, shall have power and authority to proceed and act in all matters and things in the first recited act mentioned, in as full, absolute, and unlimited a manner as they might or could do if all and every of the said subscribers were actually present and attending at any such meeting.'

By an act passed the 12th of January, 1799, it is enacted, 'That the said mutual insurance society shall have full power to recover the whole, or any part of such premiums or quotas as are, or may hereafter become, due from any delinquent subscriber or member, under his subscription or declaration for insurance made to the said society, on motion of the cashier of the society before the court of the county, or the court of the district wherein such delinquent may reside, ten

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days' notice of such motion being previously given; and such court shall have full jurisdiction to hear and determine such motion, and to cause their judgment to be enforced with costs by any legal executions; saving to any person, against whom a motion shall be made, the right of a trial by jury, if he shall desire it.'

By an act passed the 27th of January, 1803, it is enacted, 'That the said society may insure buildings in the county of Alexandria, provided congress shall pass a law subjecting those who declare for insurance in that society to the provisions and regulations of the laws of Virginia, which are already, or may hereafter be, passed concerning the said society. The act to commence and be in force as soon as congress shall pass a law subjecting the citizens of the county of Alexandria who shall hereafter subscribe for insurance in the said society, to the same mode of recovery in the court of the county of Alexandria as is now allowed and granted by the laws of this commonwealth against defaulting subscribers residing within this state.'

On the 3d of March, 1803, congress passed such an act as was contemplated by the legislature of Virginia.

On the 29th of...

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