Billings v. State

Citation6 N.E. 914,107 Ind. 54
PartiesBillings v. State.
Decision Date23 April 1886
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Appeal from Daviess circuit court.

Baker & Padgett, for appellant.

The Attorney General, for appellee.

Elliott, J.

The information charges that the appellant forged the name of Louis C. Morgan, deceased, to an instrument purporting to be a promissory note; that the forgery was committed after his death, and was committed for the purpose of defrauding the estate of Louis C. Morgan. The objection urged against this information is that it does not aver that the forgery was committed with the intent to defraud any person. The reason advanced in support of this proposition is that the law does not regard the estate of a decedent as a person. This intention cannot prevail. The estate of a decedent is a person in legal contemplation. “The word ‘person,”’ says Mr. Abbott, “in its legal signification, is a generic term, and includes artificial as well as natural persons.” 2 Abb. Dict. 271; Douglass v. Pacific, etc., Co., 4 Cal. 304;Planters', etc., Bank v. Andrews, 8 Port. (Ala.) 404. It is said in another work that “persons are of two kinds: natural and artificial. A natural person is a human being. Artificial persons include (1) a collection or succession of natural persons forming a corporation; (2) a collection of property to which the law attributes the capacity of having rights and duties. The latter class of artificial persons is recognized only to a limited extent in our law. Examples are the estate of a bankrupt or deceased person.” 2 Rapalje & L. Law Dict. 954. Our own cases inferentially recognize the correctness of the definition given by the authors from whom we have quoted, for they declare that it is sufficient, in pleading a claim against a decedent's estate, to designate the defendant as the estate of the deceased person, naming him. Ginn v. Collins, 43 Ind. 271. Unless we accept this definition as correct, there would be a failure of justice in cases where, as here, the forgery is committed after the death of the person whose name is forged; and this is a result to be avoided if it can be done consistent with principle. We perceive no difficulty in avoiding such a result; for, to our minds, it seems reasonable that the estate of a decedent should be regarded as an artificial person. It is the creation of law for the purpose of enabling a disposition of the assets to be properly made, and, although natural persons as heirs, devisees, or creditors, have an interest in the property, the artificial creature is a distinct legal entity. The interest which natural persons have in it is not complete until there has been a due administration; and one who forges the...

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10 cases
  • Bennett v. State
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • 8 Julio 1896
    ...these facts is sufficient to sustain the charge of forgery. 1 Wharton, Cr. Law, sec. 743; 3 Greenleaf, Ev., secs. 18, 103; Billings v. State, 107 Ind. 54, 6 N.E. 914; West v. State, 22 N.J.L. 212; States v. Shellmire, Baldw. (C. C.) 370. "The courts are not entirely agreed as to how far the......
  • Bader v. State
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 28 Abril 1911
    ...that the accused has not been harmed by them are not cause for reversal in this court. Burns 1908, § 2063, subd. 10; Billings v. State, 107 Ind. 54, 57, 58, 6 N. E. 914, 7 N. E. 763, 57 Am. Rep. 77;Jay v. State, 69 Ind. 158;Musgrave v. State, 133 Ind. 297, 32 N. E. 885;Rivers v. State, 144 ......
  • Bader v. State
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 28 Abril 1911
    ...... quotation marks. . .          It is. well settled that minor defects in an affidavit, of such a. nature that the accused has not been harmed by them, are not. cause for reversal in this court. § 2063, subd. 10,. Burns 1908, Acts 1905 p. 584, § 192; Billings. v. State (1886), 107 Ind. 54, 57, 58, 57 Am. Rep. 77, 6 N.E. 914; Jay v. State (1879), 69. Ind. 158; Musgrave v. State (1893), 133. Ind. 297, 32 N.E. 885; Rivers v. State. (1896), 144 Ind. 16, 42 N.E. 1021; Drake v. State (1896), 145 Ind. 210; Selby v. State (1904), 161 Ind. 667, 69 N.E. ......
  • Muncie Pulp Company v. Keesling
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 21 Febrero 1906
    ...... . .          The. first paragraph of the complaint alleges that the defendant. is a corporation organized under the laws of the state of New. York, and is doing business in the State of Indiana; that. before the time of committing the wrongs hereinafter. described the plaintiff ...333; Newman v. Hazelrigg. (1884), 96 Ind. 73; Finch v. Bergins. (1883), 89 Ind. 360; Lewis v. Christie. (1885), 99 Ind. 377; Billings v. State. (1886), 107 Ind. 54, 57 Am. Rep. 77, 6 N.E. 914;. Indianapolis St. R. Co. v. Taylor (1905),. 164 Ind. 155, 72 N.E. 1045, and cases there ......
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