State v. Grant,

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtKINNE
Citation53 N.W. 120,86 Iowa 216
PartiesSTATE v. GRANT ET AL.
Decision Date10 October 1892

86 Iowa 216
53 N.W. 120

STATE
v.
GRANT ET AL.

Supreme Court of Iowa.

Oct. 10, 1892.


Appeal from district court, Hamilton county; D. R. HINDMAN, Judge.

The defendants were indicted, convicted, and sentenced for a conspiracy, and appeal.

[53 N.W. 120]

D. C. Chase, for appellants.

John Y. Stone, Atty. Gen., and Thos. A. Cheshire, for the State.


KINNE, J.

1. It appears that in April, 1888, the defendant Cole Grant came to Webster county, Iowa, and on the 13th of the same month made a contract under the name of Cole Grant & Co. with Breece & Breece of Ft. Dodge to manufacture a combination slab and wire fence, which he had the right to manufacture and sell in that county. He procured from said firm a certificate that they had entered into such a contract with Cole Grant & Co. He then employed a number of men, among them the defendant McNeal, to establish agencies among the farmers, authorizing said agents, by written and printed contracts, to build or sell the manufactured fence aforesaid, which they were to procure from Breece & Breece, and which was to be furnished them at certain prices per rod, depending upon the height of the fence desired and the number of wires used therein. On all fences sold by Breece & Breece at the factory, there was to be credited to the township agent, wherein the fence was to be used, the sum received in excess of the prices provided for in the agent's contract. The fence was to be sold so that the agent's net profit should be 15 cents per rod, or $48 per mile. The agent, on his part, agreed to use his best endeavors to sell fence in his territory, keep an account of the same, and remit to Cole Grant & Co. five cents per rod of his commission, after he had received all of his commission, amounting to $360 on the first 7 1/2 miles that he sold, having paid Grant & Co. $100 commission on two miles of fence at the time he entered into the contract. Said two miles of fence were to be sold within one year from date of the contract; if not, Grant & Co. were authorized to cancel the contracts, and appoint another agent, returning to the first agent his original obligation of $100, but no commissions paid thereon. These forms of contract were, it appears, furnished to all employes, together with blank notes to be signed by those who might be thus appointed agents. The commission which the contract provided to be paid down was in the form of a note taken by the employer. The contracts, while varying in some minor details, were all substantially as above described.

2. It is insisted that the indictment in this case is insufficient in that it does not charge that the defendants conspired “to obtain” the notes, and also that the mutual “intent” of the defendants is not averred. The indictment charges that “the said Cole Grant and A. W. McNeal, on the 10th day of May, 1888, and at various other days to this grand jury unknown, in the county aforesaid, did unlawfully, willfully, and feloniously conspire

[53 N.W. 121]

and confederate together for the unlawful, malicious, and felonious purpose, and with fraudulent and malicious intent and purpose, wrongfully, feloniously, and unlawfully to obtain from” (certain parties therein named and others) their names and signatures to “certain written and printed promissory notes and evidences of debt, the fraudulent making of which would be forgery, by false statements and representations and promises.” It further charges that the defendants did obtain certain notes, by “so conspiring and confederating together,” of the value of $1,000, from persons named in the indictment and from others, and that the signatures of such persons to said notes, the false making of which would be forgery, were obtained by “false and fraudulent representations, statements, and promises,” etc., and all of which said false representations, statements, and promises were made in pursuance “of said conspiracy an combination between the defendants.” Code, § 4087, provides: “If any two or more persons conspire or confederate together with the fraudulent or malicious intent wrongfully to injure the person, character, business, or property of another, or to do any illegal act injurious to the public trade, * * * or to commit any felony, they are guilty of a conspiracy,” etc. Code, § 4073, provides: “If any person designedly and by false pretense, or by any privy or false token, and with intent to defraud, obtain from another any money, goods, or other property, or so obtain the signature of any person to any written instrument, the false making of which would be punished as forgery, he shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary not more than seven years, or by fine not exceeding five hundred dollars and imprisoned in the county jail not exceeding one year.” And section 4104 of the Code defines a felony thus: “A felony is a public offense which is, or, in the discretion of the court, may be, punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary.”

The indictment fully and clearly charges the defendants with the crime of conspiracy to commit a felony. The claim made by appellants that the indictment should in terms charge that defendants conspired “to obtain,” etc., instead of with “the intent to obtain,” etc., hardly merits serious consideration, in view of the language of the statute under which it was drawn. It reads: “If any two or more persons conspire or confederate together with the fraudulent or malicious intent to” do certain acts, they shall be guilty of a conspiracy. In the particular complained of, the indictment follows the provisions of the statute as closely as possible. This has always been held sufficient.

Furthermore, there can be no question that the charge as made is of a mutual intent to do the acts complained of. They are charged with having conspired together to commit the crime named, and with in fact having committed it. The indictment in this respect complies with Code, §§ 4085, 4086.

3. It is said that the indictment is defective, in that it fails to fully disclose the means by which the crime was to be accomplished. It is well settled in this state, and is the law in many states, that, where the indictment charges a conspiracy to do an act which is a crime, it is sufficient if it be described by the proper name or terms by which it is generally known in law. It is only where the charge is that an act in itself not criminal is sought to be accomplished in an illegal manner, or by illegal means, that the means used for its accomplishment must be averred. State v. Potter, 28 Iowa, 554;State v. Savoye, 48 Iowa, 562;State v. Ormiston, 66 Iowa, 148, 23 N. W. Rep. 370; 4 Amer. & Eng. Enc. Law, pp. 624-626.

4. It is contended that the indictment fails to charge a statutory offense, because the words “designedly, and by false pretenses,” which are used in our statute defining the crime of obtaining property by false pretenses, are not used therein. The language of the indictment is that the crime was accomplished “by the making of false statements and representations and promises.” These terms are in legal effect synonymous with those used in the statute. A “pretense” is defined as “a representation; simulation; device.” And. Law. Dict. “False pretenses” are said to be “false representations and statements made with fraudulent design,” etc. Black, Law Dict. And again, as “a representation of some fact or circumstance calculated to mislead, which is not true.” And. Law Dict. Also, “any person who by false and fraudulent representations or statements of an existing or past fact, made with knowledge of its falsity, and with the intent to deceive and defraud, induces another to part with money or property of value, is guilty of a false pretense.” 7 Amer. & Eng. Enc. Law, p. 700. “A representation of some fact or circumstance calculated to mislead, which is not true.” Com. v. Drew, 19 Pick. 179. This court has held a “pretense” to be “the holding out or offering to others something false and feigned. This may be done either by words or actions, which amount to false representations. In fact, false representations are...

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27 practice notes
  • State v. Moritz, No. 62991
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 18, 1980
    ...U.S. 49, 53-54, 63 S.Ct. 99, 102, 87 L.Ed. 23, 28 (1942). This court expressed very similar views in the earlier case of State v. Grant, 86 Iowa 216, 223-24, 53 N.W. 120, 122 It is insisted with much confidence that the indictment charges more than one offense because the object, aim, and p......
  • State v. Howard
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • December 3, 1901
    ...22 Am. Rep. 719; Thomas v. People, 113 I11. 531; State v. Stewart, 59 Vt. 273, 9 Atl. 559, 59 Am. Rep. 710; State v. Grant, 86 Iowa, 216, 53 N. W. 120; People v. Clark, 10 Mich. 310; 2 Bish. New Cr. Proc. 207 (2). Code Civ. Proc. § 259, provides, "The court may in all cases order a bill of ......
  • Imboden v. People
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • June 3, 1907
    ...Pl. & Pr. 723; Cole v. People, 84 Ill. 216; McCutcheon v. People, 69 Ill. 601; Elkin v. People, 28 N.Y. 177; State v. Grant, 86 Iowa 217, 53 N.W. 120. The objection made to the fifth count is that the property which it is alleged the conspirators colluded to obtain from the Denver Savings B......
  • State v. Moore, No. 41607.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • December 12, 1933
    ...N. W. 995;State v. Caine, 134 Iowa, 147, 111 N. W. 443;State v. Loser, 132 Iowa, 419, 104 N. W. 337;State v. Grant et al., 86 Iowa, 216, 53 N. W. 120. Although the information in the case at bar sets forth numerous purposes or objects of the conspiracy, yet the conspiracy itself, as charged......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
27 cases
  • State v. Moritz, No. 62991
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 18, 1980
    ...U.S. 49, 53-54, 63 S.Ct. 99, 102, 87 L.Ed. 23, 28 (1942). This court expressed very similar views in the earlier case of State v. Grant, 86 Iowa 216, 223-24, 53 N.W. 120, 122 It is insisted with much confidence that the indictment charges more than one offense because the object, aim, and p......
  • State v. Howard
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • December 3, 1901
    ...22 Am. Rep. 719; Thomas v. People, 113 I11. 531; State v. Stewart, 59 Vt. 273, 9 Atl. 559, 59 Am. Rep. 710; State v. Grant, 86 Iowa, 216, 53 N. W. 120; People v. Clark, 10 Mich. 310; 2 Bish. New Cr. Proc. 207 (2). Code Civ. Proc. § 259, provides, "The court may in all cases order a bill of ......
  • Imboden v. People
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • June 3, 1907
    ...Pl. & Pr. 723; Cole v. People, 84 Ill. 216; McCutcheon v. People, 69 Ill. 601; Elkin v. People, 28 N.Y. 177; State v. Grant, 86 Iowa 217, 53 N.W. 120. The objection made to the fifth count is that the property which it is alleged the conspirators colluded to obtain from the Denver Savings B......
  • State v. Moore, No. 41607.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • December 12, 1933
    ...N. W. 995;State v. Caine, 134 Iowa, 147, 111 N. W. 443;State v. Loser, 132 Iowa, 419, 104 N. W. 337;State v. Grant et al., 86 Iowa, 216, 53 N. W. 120. Although the information in the case at bar sets forth numerous purposes or objects of the conspiracy, yet the conspiracy itself, as charged......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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