Cresswell Ranch & Cattle Co. v. Martindale, 421.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
Citation63 F. 84
Docket Number421.
PartiesCRESSWELL RANCH & CATTLE CO., Limited, v. MARTINDALE et al.
Decision Date16 July 1894

63 F. 84

CRESSWELL RANCH & CATTLE CO., Limited,
v.

MARTINDALE et al.

No. 421.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

July 16, 1894


O. H. Dean and L. C. Krauthoff (William Warner, James Gibson, W. D. McLeod, J. V. C. Karnes, Daniel B. Holmes, and Edwin A. Krauthoff, on the brief), for plaintiff in error.

S. W. Moore (Gardiner Lathrop, Thomas R. Morrow, and John M. Fox, on the brief), for defendants in error.

Before CALDWELL and SANBORN, Circuit Judges, and THAYER, District judge.

SANBORN, Circuit Judge.

If the vendee of personal property, to be delivered and paid for in installments, refuses, upon the demand of the vendor, to accept and pay for a substantial part of an installment according to the contract, will the fact that he does so in good faith, and in the belief that he is not required by the contract to receive any of the property so rejected, deprive the vendor of his right to refuse to further perform the contract on his part? This is the principal question presented by this case.

September 19, 1892, the Cresswell Ranch & Cattle Company, Limited, a corporation, the plaintiff in error, sold to William Martindale [63 F. 85] and Thomas J. Price, the defendants in error, 5,021 steers, 1,321 of which were to be delivered not later than October 20, 1892, and the remaining 3,700 at the rate of 1,000 each week, commencing October 24, 1892. The vendees agreed to pay $28 per head for the cattle, and at the date of the contract paid $5,000, which was to be applied to the payment for the cattle as they were delivered at the rate of $1 per head. The 3,700 cattle were part of a herd of cattle owned by the vendor that was on a range in Texas, 40 miles square, and the contract provided that when any installment of these cattle was ready to load upon the cars the vendees should be notified, and might cut out any of the steers gathered that did not weigh 900 pounds. After the 1,321 cattle and two installments of the 3,700 had been delivered and paid for, making in all 2,289 steers, the parties met on November 14, 1892, for the fourth delivery, and the vendor tendered, and demanded that the vendees should receive, 980 steers that weighed over 900 pounds each, and that complied with the other requirements of the contract. The vendees cut out and refused to accept or pay for 282 of these cattle, on the ground that they did not weigh 900 pounds each, but accepted and paid for the remaining 698. Before the time for another delivery arrived, the vendor notified the vendees that they had violated the contract on their part by rejecting the 282 steers, and that the cattle company would deliver no more cattle to them thereunder. The vendees then brought this suit for damages for the failure of the vendor to deliver the remainder of the cattle specified in the contract, and for the balance of the $5,000 not yet applied to the payment for the cattle already delivered. The vendor answered that the vendees had committed the first breach by failing to receive and pay for the 282 cattle tendered November 14, 1892. At the close of the trial the court instructed the jury, in effect, that the mere fact that the vendees refused to accept the steers that complied with the contract on November 14, 1892, did not relieve the vendor of its obligation to make tender of the remainder of the 5,021 steers due under the contract, if the jury further found that the vendees made the rejection in good faith, in the belief that the rejected steers did not come up to the requirements of the contract. The court also refused to charge, as requested by the vendor, that the rejection of these steers entitled it to treat this action as a breach of the contract, and that, if the vendor notified the vendees that it so elected in a reasonable time after the rejection, the latter could not recover. The court also instructed the jury that, although they found that the vendor tendered and the vendees refused to accept cattle that fulfilled the requirements of the contract, yet, if the vendor had subsequently waived that breach of the contract, the vendees could recover damages for the failure of the vendor to make the subsequent deliveries. There was a verdict and judgment for the vendees for damages for the failure of the vendor to deliver the steers due subsequent to November 14, 1892. But the jury found that the 282 steers tendered and rejected on that day fulfilled the requirements of the contract, and gave the vendees no damages on account of those steers. The verdict does not disclose whether the jury found [63 F. 86] that the vendees' breach of the contract on November 14, 1892, was excused because they made it in good faith or because the vendor had waived it.

The contract on which this action was based was an entire contract. It was a contract for the sale of 5,021 cattle for $140,588, and the $5,000 earnest money paid at the time the contract was made was paid on account of the entire purchase. The subsidiary provisions of the contract, that the price was $28 for each steer, and that there were to be five deliveries of the cattle, no more made as many contracts of this one as there were to be installments of cattle delivered than it made as many as there were cattle to be delivered. Norrington v. Wright, 115 U.S. 188, 203, 6 Sup.Ct. 12; Iron Co. v. Naylor, 9 App.Cas. 434, 439. Nor was the vendees' breach of this contract slight or in an immaterial part. It was substantial, and went to the very root of the contract. It consisted in their refusal to accept 282 cattle, and to pay $7,896 for them, at the time and place they agreed to accept and pay for them under the contract. These cattle had been gathered by the vendor from a range 40 miles square by the labor of many men for many days and driven near to the railroad station to be delivered to the vendees. Their refusal to take them imposed upon the vendor the necessity of gathering other cattle from this extended range in the same manner to carry out its contract in the face of the fact that the vendees had refused to accept nearly three hundred cattle that complied with its provisions. A plaintiff cannot maintain his action for the breach of a contract made with him by a defendant unless he can establish such performance on his part as will entitle him to demand performance of the defendant. A prior...

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18 practice notes
  • Portner v. Tanner, 1060
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • 17 Julio 1923
    ...v. Goud, 10 A. 116.) Remedies for a breach are as binding as a stipulation for performance in a contract. (Cresswell Co. v. Martindale, 63 F. 84; 11 C. C. A. 33.) The checks sued upon, represented plaintiff's liquidated damages for breach of contract. (Roehm v. Horst, 178 U.S. 1, 44 L. ed. ......
  • American Bonding Co. v. Regents of University
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 14 Junio 1905
    ...Minn. 333, 7 N.W. 357; Pope v. Porter, 102 N.Y. 366, 7 N.E. 305; Rice v. Fidelity etc. Co., 103 F. 427; Creswell R. & C. Co. v. Martindale, 63 F. 84; Filley v. Pope, 115 U.S. 213, 6 S.Ct. 19, 29 L.Ed. 372.) The rule is firmly established that, where payments are to be made by installments, ......
  • Paepcke-Leicht Lumber Co. v. Talley
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • 3 Febrero 1913
    ...to base a contention that this contract is severable; on the contrary, it is indivisible and a breach of one part goes to the whole of it. 63 F. 84; 115 U.S. 188. MCCULLOCH, C. J. WOOD, J., dissents. SMITH, J., not participating. OPINION [106 Ark. 403] MCCULLOCH, C. J. This is an action ins......
  • National Surety Co. v. Long, 1,883.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • 23 Noviembre 1903
    ...v. Association, 60 F. 727, 9 C.C.A. 252; Rice v. Fidelity & Deposit Co., 103 F. 427, 433, 43 C.C.A. 270, 276; Cattle Co. v. Martindale, 63 F. 84, 89, 11 C.C.A. 33, 38; Norrington v. Wright, 115 U.S. 188, 204, 205, 6 Sup.Ct. 12, 29 L.Ed. 366; Filley v. Pope, 115 U.S. 213, 6 Sup.Ct. 19, 29 L.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Portner v. Tanner, 1060
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • 17 Julio 1923
    ...v. Goud, 10 A. 116.) Remedies for a breach are as binding as a stipulation for performance in a contract. (Cresswell Co. v. Martindale, 63 F. 84; 11 C. C. A. 33.) The checks sued upon, represented plaintiff's liquidated damages for breach of contract. (Roehm v. Horst, 178 U.S. 1, 44 L. ed. ......
  • American Bonding Co. v. Regents of University
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 14 Junio 1905
    ...Minn. 333, 7 N.W. 357; Pope v. Porter, 102 N.Y. 366, 7 N.E. 305; Rice v. Fidelity etc. Co., 103 F. 427; Creswell R. & C. Co. v. Martindale, 63 F. 84; Filley v. Pope, 115 U.S. 213, 6 S.Ct. 19, 29 L.Ed. 372.) The rule is firmly established that, where payments are to be made by installments, ......
  • Paepcke-Leicht Lumber Co. v. Talley
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • 3 Febrero 1913
    ...to base a contention that this contract is severable; on the contrary, it is indivisible and a breach of one part goes to the whole of it. 63 F. 84; 115 U.S. 188. MCCULLOCH, C. J. WOOD, J., dissents. SMITH, J., not participating. OPINION [106 Ark. 403] MCCULLOCH, C. J. This is an action ins......
  • National Surety Co. v. Long, 1,883.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • 23 Noviembre 1903
    ...v. Association, 60 F. 727, 9 C.C.A. 252; Rice v. Fidelity & Deposit Co., 103 F. 427, 433, 43 C.C.A. 270, 276; Cattle Co. v. Martindale, 63 F. 84, 89, 11 C.C.A. 33, 38; Norrington v. Wright, 115 U.S. 188, 204, 205, 6 Sup.Ct. 12, 29 L.Ed. 366; Filley v. Pope, 115 U.S. 213, 6 Sup.Ct. 19, 29 L.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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