Hickman v. Littlepage

Decision Date30 October 1834
Citation32 Ky. 344
PartiesHickman v. Littlepage.
CourtKentucky Court of Appeals


Mr Draffin for Plaintiff.

No appearance for the Defendant.



Littlepage having, on an appeal from a judgment by a magistrate obtained a verdict and judgment against Hickman, for twenty dollars, which he (Littlepage,) had bet on a congressional election, and deposited with Hickman as a stake holder,--this writ of error is prosecuted to reverse that judgment.

Attempt by one who had bet on an election, to recover back his money from the stake-holder.

The only objection to the judgment, is, that the suit was brought in the name of Littlepage alone, and for his own exclusive benefit.

Money or property bet on any game or hazard, and so forfeited by the act of '99, can be recovered, only by a qui tam action.

The act of 1799, 1 M. & B's. Dig. 775, subjects to forfeiture--one-half to the county, and the other half to any person suing for it--all money, or other property, which shall have been bet or staked on any game, or hazard whatsoever; and no other than a qui tam action can be maintained under that statute, for any such money or property.

The fifth section of an act of 1828, " more effectually to guard the right of suffrage, and for other purposes; " 1 M. & B's. Dig. 602, declares, in substance, that any money, or other thing, bet on the event of an election, shall be forfeited to the Commonwealth, and that a suit may be maintained therefor, either in the name of the Commonwealth alone, or in that of any person who may choose to sue qui tam, for the joint benefit of himself and the Commonwealth.

Money, or other thing, bet on an election, is forfeited, and may be recovered in the name of the Commonwealth alone, or by a qui tam action. Act of 1828, section 5.

The third section of an act of 1833, " to amend the several acts against unlawful gaming," provides, " that if any person shall be stake holder of money bet on any game, sport, or pastime whatever, and be notified by the person making the stake or deposit, not to pay the same over, but to return it, it shall be the duty of the person so holding the stakes, to forthwith return them to the proper owners; and, on failing to do so, he, she or they, so failing, shall be liable to an action thereupon to the party aggrieved."

The stake-holder of money bet on any game, sport or pastime, is bound to restore it, upon notice; and on failure so to do, is liable to the action of the party aggrieved. Act of '33, section 3.

And the twenty-third section of the same act declares, that the " act shall be construed as an amendment to the several acts against unlawful gaming, and not as repealing any such act," except as to the time prescribed for bringing suit.

Act of 1833 declares that previous acts against gaming are not repealed by it.

In this case, Littlepage having deposited the twenty dollars with Hickman, and having afterwards demanded a restitution, the circuit judge instructed the jury that the suit could be maintained, as brought, in the name and for the sole benefit of the depositor.


Although all the statutes against gaming, should be taken in pari materia, and be made to harmonize with as full effect to each as possible, the more especially, as the act of 1833 expressly declares, that it was not the purpose of the legislature, in its enactment, to repeal any provision in any of the antecedent enactments, excepting only as to the limitation prescribed for bringing suit:...

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1 cases
  • Craig v. Curd
    • United States
    • Kentucky Court of Appeals
    • 1 March 1949
    ...presiding judge of the county court, wherever the person violating subsection (1) of this section may be found.' In Hickman v. Littlepage, 1834, 32 Ky. 344, 2 Dana 344, this court 'A bet on an election can not, with strict propriety of language, be denominated, 'a bet on any game, sport or ......

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