55 N.W. 628 (Minn. 1893), Dean v. St. Paul & Duluth Railroad Co

Citation:55 N.W. 628, 53 Minn. 504
Opinion Judge:Vanderburgh, J.
Party Name:Michael C. Dean v. St. Paul & Duluth Railroad Co
Attorney:J. D. Armstrong and Lusk, Bunn & Hadley, for appellant. Robert C. Saunders, for respondent.
Case Date:June 16, 1893
Court:Supreme Court of Minnesota

Page 628

55 N.W. 628 (Minn. 1893)

53 Minn. 504

Michael C. Dean


St. Paul & Duluth Railroad Co

Supreme Court of Minnesota

June 16, 1893

Submitted on briefs April 14, 1893.

Appeal by defendant, St. Paul and Duluth Railroad Company, from a judgment of the District Court of Pine County, F. M. Crosby, J., entered December 3, 1892, against it for $ 27.98.

One C. E. Peterson was at work for defendant as brakeman during March, 1892, for which it owed him $ 50.53. He owed the plaintiff, Michael C. Dean, five dollars for board, and gave him an order upon the Railroad Company for that amount. The Company returned the order to plaintiff, saying it declined to collect claims against its employes. On April 15, 1892, Dean commenced this action against the Railroad Company before William Ginder, a Justice of the Peace of Pine County, to recover the five dollars, and on May 12, 1892, he obtained judgment. Defendant appealed to the District Court on questions of law alone. There the judgment of the Justice was affirmed, the Judge saying: "I think it must be held in this state, and that it ought to be held everywhere, that an assignee of a part of an entire demand may maintain an action upon it. See Canty v. Latterner, 31 Minn. 239; Risley v. Phenix Bank, 83 N.Y. 318." Defendant appealed to this court.

Judgment reversed.

J. D. Armstrong and Lusk, Bunn & Hadley, for appellant.

We ask the court's attention to a case involving a trivial sum, but an important principle, and a serious nuisance to those who employ very numerous servants. The law applicable was stated in the leading case of Mandeville v. Welch, 5 Wheat. 277. The rule in this case has been generally followed and approved. It was indorsed by this court in Lewis v. Trader's Bank, 30 Minn. 134, and in Canty v. Latterner, 31 Minn. 239. The case of Risley v. Phenix Bank, 83 N.Y. 318, cited by the learned District Judge, in no way goes to support this action. It is not questioned that partial orders and assignments may bind the debtor when the custom of trade shows the debtor's consent, as in case of checks or orders on a bank. It is not disputed that, under the Code, the real party in interest must sue. But this proves only that assignor and assignee, in case of partial assignments, must join in the suit. The assignee can no more sue alone for his interest in the debt than the original creditor could have brought two...

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