173 N.Y. 359, Veazey v. Allen

Citation173 N.Y. 359
Party NameJAMES N. VEAZEY, Appellant, v. HENRY ALLEN et al., as Copartners under the Firm Name of HENRY ALLEN & Co., Respondents.
Case DateFebruary 10, 1903
CourtNew York Court of Appeals

Page 359

173 N.Y. 359

JAMES N. VEAZEY, Appellant,

v.

HENRY ALLEN et al., as Copartners under the Firm Name of HENRY ALLEN & Co., Respondents.

New York Court of Appeal

February 10, 1903

Argued October 13, 1902.

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Page 365

COUNSEL

Sidney G. Stricker, Herbert R. Limburger, Edward Lauterbach and Edgar M. Johnson for appellant. The judgment is a mere nonsuit. Consequently the only question is whether there was any evidence to support a cause of action, and the evidence to support a cause of action being ample and complete, the judgments below must be reversed.

Page 366

(Place v. Hayward, 117 N.Y. 487; Raabe v. Squier, 148 N.Y. 81; Bliven v. Robinson, 152 N.Y. 333; Ware v. Dos Passos, 162 N.Y. 281; Scofield v. Hernandez, 47 N.Y. 313; Forbes v. Chichester, 125 N.Y. 769; Woodbridge v. F. Nat. Bank, 166 N.Y. 238; D. & C. F. Co. v. People, 156 Ill. 448; White v. Drew, 56 How. Pr. 53.)The agreements sued upon were legal, and it was error to hold them void as against public policy, for the reasons that: The contracts did not contemplate the use of any unlawful means on the part of Veazey in pursuading Congress to investigate the Whisky Trust. Nor did the fact that Veazey was to be paid in profits to be made by selling stocks short vitiate the agreement. Nor was the investigation sought for any unlawful purpose, the object of the investigation being merely to elicit the truth regarding the practices of the Whisky Trust. (Dowley v. Schiffer, 13 N.Y.S. 552; Ormes v. Dauchy, 82 N.Y. 443; Maloney v. Nelson, 12 A.D. 545; Curtis v. Gokey, 68 N.Y. 300; Chesebrough v. Conover, 140 N.Y. 382; Dunham v. H. P. Co., 56 A.D. 244; Southard v. Boyd, 51 N.Y. 177; Cummins v. Barkalow, 1 Abb. Ct. App. Dec. 479; Trist v. Child, 21 Wall. 441; D. & C. F. Co. v. People, 156 Ill. 448.)

Charles F. Brown, Charles H. Brush and John J. Crawford for respondents. The agreements testified to by the plaintiff were contrary to public policy, and void. (Campbell v. Seaman, 63 N.Y. 568; Cogswell v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 103 N.Y. 10; Bohan v. P. J. G. L. Co., 122 N.Y. 18; Booth v. R., W. & O. R. R. Co., 140 N.Y. 267, 274; Dunham v. H. P. Co., 56 A.D. 244; Barry v. Capen, 151 Mass. 999; Greenhood on Pub. Policy, 194; Freeman v. Stone, 42 Barb. 169; Adams v. Page, 7 Pick. 541; Lumley v. Guy, 2 E. & B. 216; Oscanyan v. Arms Co., 103 U.S. 261.) The appellant's contention that the judgment appealed from is one of nonsuit only, and that it must be reversed if there is any evidence to sustain the plaintiff's contention, is wholly unimportant upon this appeal. (Gray v. Hook, 4 N.Y. 449.)

Page 367

The contracts sued upon being illegal, no recovery can be had thereon, and the complaint was properly dismissed. (Marshall v. B. & O. R. R. Co., 16 How. [U. S.] 153; Tool Co. v. Norris, 2 Wall. 49; Hunt v. Hunt, 40 N.Y. 543; Planters' Bank v. Union Bank, 16 Wall. 483.)

WERNER, J.

Before proceeding to discuss the question whether the contract, under which the plaintiff makes his claim, is void as being repugnant to public policy, it may be well to fix the point of view from which it is to be considered. The learned counsel for the appellant asserts that it makes a vital difference in the case whether the referee's decision is to be regarded as a determination upon the merits, or whether it is to be treated simply as a nonsuit. It appears that after the plaintiff had rested his case, counsel for the defendants moved for a dismissal of the complaint on various grounds, one of them being that the contract testified to by the plaintiff was void as against public policy. After this motion had been made and discussed, the referee twice adjourned the further hearing of the case, when he made his decision in the short form, in which he finds and decides 'that the defendants are entitled to judgment herein against the plaintiff dismissing the plaintiff's complaint,' and directs judgment accordingly, 'upon the ground that each of the agreements set forth in the complaint was and is contrary to public policy and void, and that the plaintiff, therefore, has no cause of action against the defendants upon either of said agreements.' As the 'agreements' referred to in the decision are all of the same character and involve but one question, we shall refer to it as a single contract.

In form, and according to the decided cases, the referee's decision was simply a nonsuit...

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44 practice notes
  • 99 Misc.2d 159, McCall v. Frampton
    • United States
    • April 16, 1979
    ...opposed to sound morality and is based on the illicit association of the parties. Thus it is void and unenforceable (see Veazey v. Allen, 173 N.Y. 359, 66 N.E. 103; Locke v. Pembroke, 280 N.Y. 430, 21 N.E.2d 495; Rhodes v. Stone, 63 Hun. 624, 17 N.Y.S. 561; Vincent v. Moriarty, 31 A.D. 484,......
  • 269 P. 96 (Idaho 1928), 4879, McCornick & Co., Bankers, v. Tolmie Bros.
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court of Idaho
    • July 23, 1928
    ...statutes and therefore against public policy. (C. S., sec. 5305 et seq.; 6 R. C. L. 702, secs. 108, 109, 114, 115, 120; Veazey v. Allen, 173 N.Y. 359, 66 N.E. 103, 62 L. R. A. 362; Hall v. O'Neil Turpentine Co., 56 Fla. 324, 16 Ann. Cas. 738, 47 So. 609; Franklin Sugar Refining Co. v. Willi......
  • 232 N.W. 267 (Iowa 1930), 40038, Sullivan v. Murphy
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court of Iowa
    • September 26, 1930
    ...Line R. Co. v. Beazley, (Fla.) 54 Fla. 311, 45 So. 761; Brooks v. Cooper, (N. J.) 50 N.J.Eq. 761, 26 A. 978; Veazey v. Allen, (N. Y.) 173 N.Y. 359, 66 N.E. 103; McClanahan v. Breeding, (Ind.) 172 Ind. 457, 88 N.E. 695." (Writer's italics). Many decisions of various courts on this subje......
  • 237 Mass. 5 (1921), Noble v. Mead-morrison Manufacturing Co.
    • United States
    • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • January 5, 1921
    ...States, 240 U.S. 74. Sage v. Hampe, 235 U.S. 99. Hayward v. Nordberg Manuf. Co. 29 C. C. A. 438, 445, 446; 85 F. 4, 11. Veazey v. Allen, 173 N.Y. 359. In the application of these principles in other jurisdictions there have been statements of the law directed to Page 22 particular facts the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
44 cases
  • 99 Misc.2d 159, McCall v. Frampton
    • United States
    • April 16, 1979
    ...opposed to sound morality and is based on the illicit association of the parties. Thus it is void and unenforceable (see Veazey v. Allen, 173 N.Y. 359, 66 N.E. 103; Locke v. Pembroke, 280 N.Y. 430, 21 N.E.2d 495; Rhodes v. Stone, 63 Hun. 624, 17 N.Y.S. 561; Vincent v. Moriarty, 31 A.D. 484,......
  • 269 P. 96 (Idaho 1928), 4879, McCornick & Co., Bankers, v. Tolmie Bros.
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court of Idaho
    • July 23, 1928
    ...statutes and therefore against public policy. (C. S., sec. 5305 et seq.; 6 R. C. L. 702, secs. 108, 109, 114, 115, 120; Veazey v. Allen, 173 N.Y. 359, 66 N.E. 103, 62 L. R. A. 362; Hall v. O'Neil Turpentine Co., 56 Fla. 324, 16 Ann. Cas. 738, 47 So. 609; Franklin Sugar Refining Co. v. Willi......
  • 232 N.W. 267 (Iowa 1930), 40038, Sullivan v. Murphy
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court of Iowa
    • September 26, 1930
    ...Line R. Co. v. Beazley, (Fla.) 54 Fla. 311, 45 So. 761; Brooks v. Cooper, (N. J.) 50 N.J.Eq. 761, 26 A. 978; Veazey v. Allen, (N. Y.) 173 N.Y. 359, 66 N.E. 103; McClanahan v. Breeding, (Ind.) 172 Ind. 457, 88 N.E. 695." (Writer's italics). Many decisions of various courts on this subje......
  • 237 Mass. 5 (1921), Noble v. Mead-morrison Manufacturing Co.
    • United States
    • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • January 5, 1921
    ...States, 240 U.S. 74. Sage v. Hampe, 235 U.S. 99. Hayward v. Nordberg Manuf. Co. 29 C. C. A. 438, 445, 446; 85 F. 4, 11. Veazey v. Allen, 173 N.Y. 359. In the application of these principles in other jurisdictions there have been statements of the law directed to Page 22 particular facts the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results