8 Mo.App. 198 (Mo.App. 1879), Alt v. Meyer

Citation:8 Mo.App. 198
Opinion Judge:BAKEWELL, J.
Party Name:MAGDALENA ALT ET UX., Respondents, v. CHARLES F. MEYER, Appellant.
Attorney:D'ARCY & NAGLE, for the appellant, A. R. TAYLOR, for the respondents.
Judge Panel:Judge LEWIS did not sit; Judge HAYDEN concurs.
Case Date:December 30, 1879
Court:Court of Appeals of Missouri

Page 198

8 Mo.App. 198 (Mo.App. 1879)

MAGDALENA ALT ET UX., Respondents,


CHARLES F. MEYER, Appellant.

Court of Appeals of Missouri, St. Louis.

December 30, 1879

A married woman who is the legal owner of personalty may sue at law one who takes it and converts it to his own use; and such a case is triable by jury.

APPEAL from the Circuit Court of St. Louis County.


D'ARCY & NAGLE, for the appellant, cited: Bauer v. Bauer, 40 Mo. 61; Long v. Cockrell, 55 Mo. 93; Gage v. Gage, 62 Mo. 412; Lincoln v. Rowe, 64 Mo. 138; Pratt v. Eaton, 65 Mo. 157; Harrison v. Thistle, 67 Mo. 596; Holthaus v. Hornbostle, 60 Mo. 441.

A. R. TAYLOR, for the respondents.



The petition alleges that plaintiffs are husband and wife, and that plaintiff Magdalena, at a date named, being then the wife of her co-plaintiff, was sole owner of a horse and wagon worth $305, upon which defendant directed to be levied an execution in his favor against plaintiff Henry, and caused the property to be seized and sold under said execution as the property of the husband. There was a verdict and judgment for plaintiffs.

Defendant, at the trial, objected to a jury, on the ground that the proceeding was equitable in its nature. The only question presented by the record is as to the action of the trial court in trying this cause as an action at law.

It is not disputed that Mrs. Alt received this property by gift since the passage of the Act of March 25, 1875. It is by virtue of that statute made her separate property. The language of the law is: " Any personal property belonging to any woman at her marriage, or which may have come to her during coverture, by gift, * * * shall be and remain her separate property, and under her sole control, and shall not be liable to be taken by any process of law for the debts of her husband." Rev. Stats., sect. 3296; Acts 1875, p. 61.

At common law, the chattels personal of the wife in her possession vested in the husband and became absolutely his. Equity recognized a settlement of property in trust for the sole and separate use of the wife, and, if necessary to protect her rights, would in some cases regard the husband as owning such property as her trustee. The effect of our statute is not to create a trust in the husband for the benefit of the wife, and to settle certain property upon him, or...

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