8 D.C. 144 (D.C.D.C. 1873), 8936, Starkweather v. Prince

Docket NºAT LAW.- 8936.
Citation8 D.C. 144
Opinion JudgeCARTTER, C. J.
AttorneyL. G. Hine for the plaintiff. W. F. Mattingly contra.
CourtSupreme Court of District of Columbia

Page 144

8 D.C. 144 (D.C.D.C. 1873)




AT LAW.-No. 8936.

Supreme Court, District of Columbia.

September Term, 1873

I. Where a span of horses and other chattels are conveyed, upon an agreement that the owner may repurchase the same within six months, upon paying the amount advanced, with two and a half per cent. per month for the use thereof: HELD, that the contract is usurious upon its face, and the agreement valid only for the actual sum advanced.

II. Where it was also agreed that the owner should have the reasonable use of the property, and pay the expenses of keeping the same, and he tendered the sum advanced within six months, but the pledgee had disposed of the property to a third party: HELD, that the owner may maintain trover for their conversion. HELD, also, that if the latter had been deprived of the reasonable use of the property, the expenses of keeping it could not be recovered from him.


This was an action in trover for a pair of horses, a buggy, harness, & c., tried before the chief-justice at the last January term of the circuit court.

The plaintiff introduced in evidence the following written paper:

" WASHINGTON, March 20, 1871.

" Know all men by these presents that I, M. H. Prince, of the city of Washington, D. C., have this day bought of N. G. Starkweather one reversible buggy, one set double harness, shaft and pole, one set single harness, two gents' and one lady's saddle, and bridle, carriage and stable blankets, two whips, mat, and two lap-robes, one horse named Peacock and one mare named Rhoda, for four hundred dollars, and I agree to hold the above-named property for the space of six months from the above date for N. G. Starkweather, giving him the right at any time within the above-stated six months to repurchase the above-named property, he paying me at the rate of two and one-half per cent. per month for the use of said four hundred dollars, and also granting him the reasonable use of above-named property; and during the term of the six months specified, he, the above-named N. G. Starkweather, is to pay the livery and shoeing of horses, or, if I pay the same, the amount so paid to be repaid to me in addition to the four hundred dollars within mentioned; and I also agree, if any damage should occur to the within-named property through any carelessness on my part, to have the same repaired at my cost and expense, or if any. damage should occur to said property while in my use to pay expense of such damage as may occur; and in the event of said N. G. Starkweather not being able to repurchase the within-mentioned property in the time herein mentioned then the said property to be sold to the best advantage, and any amount over and in excess of the amount due me to be paid over to said N. G. Starkweather or order; and it is further agreed that none other than myself shall drive the within-named horses, Peacock and Rhoda.


" Witness: JACOB WOLFE."


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