Silver v. Silver, No. 24

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtSTONE
Citation50 S.Ct. 57,280 U.S. 117,65 A.L.R. 939,74 L.Ed. 221
PartiesSILVER v. SILVER
Decision Date25 November 1929
Docket NumberNo. 24

280 U.S. 117
50 S.Ct. 57
74 L.Ed. 221
SILVER

v.

SILVER.

No. 24.
Argued Oct. 25, 1929.
Decided Nov. 25, 1929.

Page 118

Messrs. Thomas R. Robinson, Arthur B. O'Keefe, David M. Reilly and Herman Levine, all of New Haven, Conn., for appellant.

[Argument of Counsel from page 118 intentionally omitted]

Page 119

Mr. Wm. L. Hadden, of New Haven, Conn., for appellee.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 119-120 intentionally omitted]

Page 121

Mr. Justice STONE delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is an appeal under section 237 of the Judicial Code, as amended by Act of February 13, 1925 (28 USCA § 344), from a judgment of the Supreme Court of Connecticut upholding the constitutionality of a state statute. Chapter 308 of the Public Acts of Connecticut of 1927 (printed in the margin1)

Page 122

provides that no person carried gratuitously as a guest in an automobile may recover from the owner or operator for injuries caused by its negligent operation. The appellant brought suit in the superior court of New Haven county against appellee, her husband, for injuries so sustained. Judgment for the defendant was affirmed by the Supreme Court. Both courts ruled that the statute barred appellant, a guest carried gratuitously, from recovery for injuries caused by ordinary negligence in the operation of the car, and the Supreme Court, by divided bench, held that the statute did not deny to appellant the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. 108 Conn. 371, 143 A. 240.

As the record does not disclose the constitutional grounds on which the appellant challenged the validity of the statute, our review will be limited to the single question arising under the Federal Constitution which was considered in the opinion of the court below. Saltonstall v. Saltonstall, 276 U. S. 260, 48 S. Ct. 225, 72 L. Ed. 565. We need not, therefore, elaborate the rule that the Constitution does not forbid the creation of new rights, or the abolition of old ones recognized by the common law, to attain a permissible legislative object. See Louis Pizitz Dry Goods Co. v. Yeldell, 274 U. S. 112, 116, 47 S. Ct. 509, 71 L. Ed. 952, 51 A. L. R. 1376; New York Central Railroad Co. v. White, 243 U. S. 188, 37 S. Ct. 247, 61 L. Ed. 667, L. R. A. 1917D, 1, Ann. Cas. 1917D, 629; Mountain Timber Co. v. Washington, 243 U. S. 219, 37 S. Ct. 260, 61 L. Ed. 685, Ann. Cas. 1917D, 642; Wilmington Star Mining Co. v. Fulton, 205 U. S. 60, 74, 27 S. Ct. 412, 51 L. Ed. 708.

The use of the automobile as an instrument of transportation is peculiarly the subject of regulation. We cannot assume that there are no evils to be corrected or permissible social objects to be gained by the present statute. We are not unaware of the increasing frequency of litigation in which passengers carried gratuitously in automobiles, often casual guests or licensees, have sought the recovery of large sums for injuries alleged to have

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336 practice notes
  • Howell v. Burk, No. 2801
    • United States
    • New Mexico Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • July 19, 1977
    ...of new rights, or the abolition of old ones recognized by the common law, to attain a permissible legislative object." Silver v. Silver, 280 U.S. 117, 50 S.Ct. 57, 74 L.Ed. 221 (1929). See Smith v. Allen-Bradley Company, 371 F.Supp. 698 (D.C.Va.1974); Rosenberg v. Town of North Bergen, supr......
  • PRESIDENT AND DIRECTORS, ETC. v. Madden, Civ. No. K-77-1438.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • September 24, 1980
    ...Dandridge v. Williams, 397 U.S. 471, 485 1970 * * *. Such action by a legislature is presumed to be valid.41 In Silver v. Silver, 280 U.S. 117, 122, 50 S.Ct. 57, 58, 74 L.Ed. 221 (1929), the Court, in upholding the constitutionality of a Connecticut automobile guest statute, stated in an op......
  • Lamb v. Wedgewood South Corp., No. 156A82
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • May 31, 1983
    ...the creation of new causes of action or the abolition of old ones to attain permissible legislative objectives. See Silver v. Silver, 280 U.S. 117, 122, 50 S.Ct. 57 74 L.Ed. 221 (1929). Our jurisprudence has recognized the validity of legislative regulation of causes of action, including re......
  • Brown v. Merlo
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • February 20, 1973
    ...in the instant proceeding, and we accordingly intimate no opinion as to its validity. 4 Over 40 years ago, in Silver v. Silver (1929) 280 U.S. 117, 50 S.Ct. 57, 74 L.Ed. 221, the United States Supreme Court did uphold the constitutionality of a Connecticut automobile guest statute in the fa......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
336 cases
  • Howell v. Burk, No. 2801
    • United States
    • New Mexico Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • July 19, 1977
    ...of new rights, or the abolition of old ones recognized by the common law, to attain a permissible legislative object." Silver v. Silver, 280 U.S. 117, 50 S.Ct. 57, 74 L.Ed. 221 (1929). See Smith v. Allen-Bradley Company, 371 F.Supp. 698 (D.C.Va.1974); Rosenberg v. Town of North Bergen, supr......
  • PRESIDENT AND DIRECTORS, ETC. v. Madden, Civ. No. K-77-1438.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • September 24, 1980
    ...Dandridge v. Williams, 397 U.S. 471, 485 1970 * * *. Such action by a legislature is presumed to be valid.41 In Silver v. Silver, 280 U.S. 117, 122, 50 S.Ct. 57, 58, 74 L.Ed. 221 (1929), the Court, in upholding the constitutionality of a Connecticut automobile guest statute, stated in an op......
  • Lamb v. Wedgewood South Corp., No. 156A82
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • May 31, 1983
    ...the creation of new causes of action or the abolition of old ones to attain permissible legislative objectives. See Silver v. Silver, 280 U.S. 117, 122, 50 S.Ct. 57 74 L.Ed. 221 (1929). Our jurisprudence has recognized the validity of legislative regulation of causes of action, including re......
  • Brown v. Merlo
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • February 20, 1973
    ...in the instant proceeding, and we accordingly intimate no opinion as to its validity. 4 Over 40 years ago, in Silver v. Silver (1929) 280 U.S. 117, 50 S.Ct. 57, 74 L.Ed. 221, the United States Supreme Court did uphold the constitutionality of a Connecticut automobile guest statute in the fa......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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