Minkus v. Armstrong, 12,731

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
Writing for the CourtWHITFIELD, C. J.
Citation44 So. 32,90 Miss. 751
PartiesLEO MINKUS v. WILLIAM H. ARMSTRONG
Docket Number12,731
Decision Date10 June 1907

44 So. 32

90 Miss. 751

LEO MINKUS
v.
WILLIAM H. ARMSTRONG

No. 12,731

Supreme Court of Mississippi

June 10, 1907


FROM the circuit court of Lee county, HON. EUGENE O. SYKES, Judge.

Mrs. Minkus, appellant, was plaintiff in the court below; Armstrong, appellee, was defendant there. From a judgment in defendant's favor the plaintiff appealed to the supreme court.

Appellant recovered a judgment in the chancery court of Shelby county, Tenn., against Armstrong, appellee, for money lost by her late husband in dealing with appellee in transactions commonly called "futures."

The present suit was upon the Tennessee judgment.

Affirmed.

J. M. Thomas, and Sam Holloway, for appellant.

The sole question therefore for the determination of this court is whether or not this court will refuse to enforce a judgment of a court of record of a sister state, the basis of which judgment is a recovery by a widow of a judgment for money lost by her deceased husband in dealing in futures.

It is a matter of common knowledge that most of the states of the Union now have statutes expressly authorizing the wife or widow to sue for money lost by her husband in gambling transactions, and it should be noted in the very beginning of this argument that such statutes are construed by the courts as remedial and not penal. This holding has been expressly sanctioned by the supreme court of the United States in the case of Huntington v. Attrill, 146 U.S. 657, 36 Law Ed., 1128. This opinion is by Mr. Justice GRAY, and he cites several authorities to the same effect.

The question above propounded, therefore, can be restated so as to read: "Shall the courts of Mississippi refuse to give full faith and credit to a judgment of a court of record of a sister state based upon a remedial statute of such sister state?"

The history of legislation in Mississippi in regard to recovery of money lost at gambling is rather curious and interesting. The Code of 1892 expressly provided in sec. 2116 that the wife could recover for money lost by her husband in gambling transactions. The supreme court in the case of Isaacs v. Silverberg, 87 Miss. 185, S.C., 39 So. 420, held that this section was inoperative, because it conflicted with sec. 2114, and the court declined to give any efficacy to sec. 2116, holding that the legislature clearly did not intend that the wife should be entitled to any such recovery. That decision was rendered on the 20th day of November, 1905. The legislature of 1906 re-enacted § 2116 of the Code of 1892 into § 2303 of the Code of 1906, and this action of the legislature shows beyond any question that it was the legislative intent that the wife or widow should recover for money lost by her husband at any game of chance. We take it, therefore, that the law in Mississippi at this date is beyond any question that a wife or widow could recover money lost by her husband in future deals.

But it is insisted by counsel for appellee that the provisions of the Code of 1906 did not go into effect until the first day of October, 1906, and that therefore the law upon this subject at the time of the beginning of suit by Mrs. Minkus, June, 1906, was the same as announced by this court in the case of Isaacs v. Silverberg, supra. It is true that the case did not reach the trial judge in the court below for his determination until the middle of October, 1906, and therefore after the time fixed by the legislature for the new code to go into effect; but the trial judge took the position that in determining this cause he must be governed by the law as it existed at the time of the beginning of the suit and not by the law existing at the time such suit was before him for determination.

Bearing in mind that a statute permitting a wife or widow to recover money...

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1 practice notes
  • Armstrong v. Minkus
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • November 9, 1908
    ...children of one paying money on a "future" transaction to recover it, was not operative when the suit was begun. See Minkus v. Armstrong, 90 Miss. 751, 44 So. 32, 12 L. R. A. (N. S.) 873. The decision of the supreme court, however, was without prejudice to the right of Mrs. Minkus to bring ......
1 cases
  • Armstrong v. Minkus
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • November 9, 1908
    ...children of one paying money on a "future" transaction to recover it, was not operative when the suit was begun. See Minkus v. Armstrong, 90 Miss. 751, 44 So. 32, 12 L. R. A. (N. S.) 873. The decision of the supreme court, however, was without prejudice to the right of Mrs. Minkus to bring ......

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