Koley v. Williams

Decision Date08 January 1929
Citation265 Mass. 601,164 N.E. 444
PartiesKOLEY v. WILLIAMS.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court

OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Report from Superior Court, Suffolk County; Patrick M. Keating, Judge.

Action by Emma V. Koley against Ethel M. Williams. On report from the superior court. Judgment for defendant.

MacKusick, Hoe & Wenrich and Arthur W. Hoe, all of Boston, for plaintiff.

John F. Volk, of Boston, for defendant.

CARROLL, J.

The plaintiff, a passenger in a taxicab, was injured at the intersection of Boylston and Dartmouth streets, in Boston, by reason of a collision of the taxicab with an automobile owned by the defendant and driven by her son with her authority. It was admitted that the plaintiff was in the exercise of due care; that the negligence of the driver of the taxicab was not to be imputed to her. The jury found that the driver of the defendant's motor vehicle was not negligent.

[1][2] The defendant's name was Ethel M. Williams. She was the wife of John P. Williams. The automobile was registered in the name of Mrs. John P. Williams. The plaintiff contends that the automobile was not registered according to law for the reason that it was registered in the name of Mrs. John P. Williams instead of Ethel M. Williams; that the machine was unlawfully on the highway and for this reason the plaintiff can recover.

As matter of law the legal name of the defendant upon her marriage was Ethel M. Williams. The wife takes the husband's surname. Bacon v. Boston Elevated Railway, 256 Mass. 30, 32, 152 N. E. 35, 47 A. L. R. 1100. But it does not follow that, because the motor car was registered in the name of Mrs. John P. Williams, it was illegally registered. A woman whose husband is prominent in public life is frequently known by her husband's name with the prefix ‘Mrs.’ In some instances married women conduct business in the husband's name; not infrequently a married woman is known and identified under the given namd and surname of the husband and signs her name in this way with the prefix ‘Mrs.’ The defendant usually signed her name Mrs. John P. Williams.’ She probably was better known under this name and could easily be identified by such a designation.

The purpose of the statute requiring registration of a motor vehicle in the name of the owner was for identification in order that an injured person might be able to ascertain the name and address of the owner. Fairbanks v. Kemp, 226 Mass. 75, 115 N. E. 240;Rolli v. Converse, 227 Mass. 162, 116 N....

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23 cases
  • Doe v. Registrar of Motor Vehicles
    • United States
    • Appeals Court of Massachusetts
    • 30 Septiembre 1988
    ...with accurate information as to the owners and operators of automobiles and in making such data readily available. Koley v. Williams, 265 Mass. 601, 603, 164 N.E. 444 (1929); Direct-Mail Serv., Inc. v. Registrar of Motor Vehicles, 296 Mass. at 355, 5 N.E.2d 545. Whether more than names and ......
  • Secretary of Com. v. City Clerk of Lowell
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • 4 Agosto 1977
    ...name Mrs. Walter O. Bacon or in another name by which she was generally known would have been proper. Koley v. Williams, 265 Mass. 601, 603, 164 N.E. 444 (1929) (Mrs. John P. Williams). Bridges v. Hart, 302 Mass. 239, 245, 18 N.E.2d 1020 (1939) (Theophilus Doucette, generally known as Thoma......
  • Nash v. Lang
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • 16 Septiembre 1929
    ...highway. In principle the case at bar on this point does not differ from Harlow v. Sinman, 241 Mass. 462, 135 N. E. 553, and Koley v. Williams (Mass.) 164 N. E. 444. It bears no resemblance to cases like Nichols v. Holyoke Street Railway, 250 Mass. 88, 145 N. E. 33,Bacon v. Boston Elevated ......
  • Doyle v. Goldberg
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • 1 Abril 1936
    ... ... of the statute as to the easy identification of the ... registrant. Crompton v. Williams, 216 Mass. 184, ... 187, 103 N.E. 298; Rolli v. Converse, 227 Mass. 162, ... 165, 116 N.E. 507; Koley v. Williams, 265 Mass. 601, ... 603, 164 ... ...
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