14 Cal. 134, Ryer v. Stockwell

Citation14 Cal. 134
Opinion JudgeBALDWIN, Judge
AttorneyBooker & Bridges, for Appellant, Baine & Bouldin, for Respondent.
Judge PanelJUDGES: Baldwin, J. delivered the opinion of the Court. Cope, J. concurring.
Case DateOctober 01, 1859
CourtSupreme Court of California

Page 134

14 Cal. 134




Supreme Court of California

October, 1859

Appeal from the Fifth District.

A demurrer was put in, that the complaint did not state a cause of action; and, that the cause of action did not accrue within two years. The Court below sustained the demurrer, and plaintiff appeals.


Booker & Bridges, for Appellant, argued: that the limitation applicable to this case is four years; because, the offer in the newspaper, and its acceptance by plaintiff, together with performance of the service, constituted a written, and not a verbal, contract.

Baine & Bouldin, for Respondent.

1. The Statute of Limitations did not begin to run with the instrument sued on, for the reason, that this instrument is not a contract, or an agreement, or an obligation, within the law. It was a proclamation, and not a contract.

2. The demurrer was rightly sustained for another reason: the plaintiff, having done no more than the law requires of every citizen to do, cannot entitle himself to any reward, unless he lays some special matter of fact foundation, which is, in its nature beyond the ordinary duty which law, morals, and reason, require of every good citizen.

JUDGES: Baldwin, J. delivered the opinion of the Court. Cope, J. concurring.



Page 135

This action is brought to recover the amount of a certain reward offered by the defendant for information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who set fire to the defendant's house, in the north part of the city of Stockton, on the morning of the 18th of June, 1856. This reward was offered by publication in a newspaper. The complaint after setting out this publication, charges that the plaintiff saw and read the notice, and proceeded on the faith of it to institute inquiries and investigations with regard to the persons who set fire to the house of defendant, and did detect the criminal and gave information to the proper authorities to wit: a Justice of the Peace of the county and to the District Attorney; which information led to the arrest and conviction of one Callahan, on an indictment preferred against him for the crime of arson in the second degree. The prisoner was, in Jan. 1857, convicted in the District Court of San Joaquin. The complaint avers a demand on defendant for the reward on the 24th...

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