State v. Tardiff

Decision Date05 May 1914
Citation90 A. 424,111 Me. 552
CourtMaine Supreme Court

Exceptions from Supreme Judicial Court, Penobscot County, at Law.

Edmund Tardiff was indicted for an offense. Demurrer to the indictment overruled, and he excepts. Exceptions overruled.

Argued before SAVAGE, C. J., and SPEAR, KING, HANSON, and PHILBROOK, JJ.

Donald F. Snow, Co. Atty., of Bangor, for the State. George E. Thompson, of Bangor, for defendant.

SPEAR, J. This case comes up on exceptions to the overruling of a demurrer to the following indictment: "The grand jurors for the state aforesaid upon their oath present that Edmund Tardiff, otherwise known as Edmond Tardiff, of Brewer, in the county of Penobscot, on the twelfth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and thirteen, at Glenburn, in the county of Penobscot, aforesaid, willfully, mischievously, and maliciously entered upon the railroad track of the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad Company, a corporation then and there owning and operating a steam railroad in and through the state of Maine, and without consent of or permission from said Bangor & Aroostook Railroad Company then and there willfullly, mischievously, and maliciously set in motion on the track of said railroad company in said Glenburn a railroad car, to wit, a railroad hand car, and propelled the same for a great distance along said track, against the peace of said state, and contrary to the form of the statute in such case made and provided." The statute upon which this indictment was based reads as follows: "Whoever willfully, mischievously or maliciously breaks and enters any railroad car on any railroad in the state, or destroys, injures, defiles or defaces any railroad car on any railroad in the state, or mischievously or maliciously releases the brakes upon, moves or sets in motion any railroad car on the track or side track of any railroad in the state shall be punished by imprisonment not exceeding two years, or by fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, and shall also be liable to the corporation injured in an action of trespass for the amount of injury so done, and for a further sum not exceeding in all three times such amount as the jury deems reasonable." The only question involved is: Does the term "railroad car," as used in the above section, include a "hand car?" Or, in other words, is a "railroad hand car" a "railroad car," within the meaning of the statute. We think it is. This statute embraces several offenses, each punishable by the same penalty. The offense for which the respondent was indicted is found in this clause: "Whoever willfully, mischievously or maliciously * * * removes or sets in motion any railroad car on the track or side track of any railroad in this state shall be punished," etc. The undoubted purpose and object of this statute was not to prevent annoyance and damage to the railroad itself, but to protect the traveling public against accident from any possible collision with a railroad car which might thus be moved or set in motion upon the track. It is not improbable that the dominant purpose of this clause was thus to protect travelers against accident and injury. If this interpretation of the purpose is correct, then the broadest possible definition should be given to the words "railroad car." It should include any and every vehicle constructed and calculated for operation over railroad tracks, since any vehicle capable of so being operated, whether moved and running wild, or in the hands of an irresponsible person, may be the efficient cause of a...

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2 cases
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Ohio
    • December 17, 1962
    ...205 S.W.2d 198, 1 A.L.R.2d 1092 (1947); Industrial Commission v. Roth, 98 Ohio St. 34, 120 N. E. 172, 6 A.L.R. 1463 (1918); State v. Tardiff, 111 Me. 552, 90 A. 424, L.R.A. 1915A, 817 Counsel for the Government, in support of its position that the technical meaning of a word should prevail ......
  • Salo v. North American Acc. Ins. Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • October 19, 1926
    ...the conclusion here reached. See People v. Smith, 156 Mich. 173, 120 N. W. 581,21 L. R. A. (N. S.) 41,16 Ann. Cas. 607;State of Maine v. Tardiff, 111 Me. 552, 90 A. 424, L. R. A. 1915A, 817. Obviously a bicycle equipped with a motor would not be a ‘motor-driven car,’ although it would be a ......

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