State v. Williams

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtMcIver, J
Citation10 S.E. 876,32 S.C. 123
Decision Date20 February 1890
PartiesState v. Williams.

10 S.E. 876
(32 S.C. 123)

State
v.
Williams.

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

Feb. 20, 1890.


Master and Servant —Breach of Contract — Indictment—Constitutional Law.

1. Gen. St. S. C. § 2081, provides that contracts between land-owners and laborers "shall clearly set forth the conditions upon which the laborer or laborers engage to work, embracing the length of time, the amount to be paid, and when." Section 2084 makes the violation of such contracts an indictable offense. Held, that a contract by which the employer agrees to pay the laborer a certain sum for his services for a year, and the laborer agrees to serve for a year for the specified sum, giving 26 days in each month, does not sufficiently set forth the time when the amount is to be paid.

2. An indictment under Gen. St. S. C. § 2084, for the violation of a written contract to serve as a laborer, which fails to set out the contract, or to show that the contract alleged to have been violated was of such a character as that described in the statute, does not charge an indictable offense.

3. A request to charge "that, if the jury should find that the contract does not state the time when the laborer was to be paid, the contract is void, and the defendant should be acquitted, " is properly refused, as it is the province of the court to construe the contract.

4. A statute which makes the violation of contracts for service a criminal offense is not unconstitutional, as imposing involuntary servitude.

5. Gen. St. S. C. § 2084, which makes the violation of a contract between a land-owner and a laborer indictable, and fixes the limit of punishment in the case of the land-owner, but imposes no limitation in the case of the laborer, is unconstitutional, as making a discrimination in the punishment which may be imposed.

Appeal from general sessions circuit court of Laurens county; Aldkich, Judge.

Mr. Schurnpert, Sol., for the State. Ben-et & McGowan and Johnson & Richey, for defendant.

McIver, J. The defendant was indicted, under section 2084 of the General Statutes, for the violation of a written contract to serve the prosecutor as a laborer for the year 1889. The indictment, a copy of which is in the case, does not set out the contract alleged to have been violated; but the allegation, simply, is that the defendant "willfully, unlawfully, and maliciously did violate a certain written contract entered into on the twenty-fourth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-eight, between the said Jule Williams, laborer, and one J C. Workman, landlord, and then and there did fail, willfully and without just cause, to give the labor reasonably required of him, the said Jule Williams, under the terms of said written contract, against the form of the statute, " etc...

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10 practice notes
  • Ex Parte Hollman.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • January 16, 1908
    ...penalty not to be a debt, but a punishment for the crime of bastardy. If, however, we follow the cases (State v. Williams, 32 S. C. 124, 10 S. E. 876; State v. Chapman, 56 S. C. 420, 34 S. E. 961, 76 Am. St. Rep. 557; State v. Easterlin, 61 S. C. 71, 39 S. E. 250), then this act must be uph......
  • Ex parte Bottjer, 5126
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • November 10, 1927
    ...provisions of C. S., sec. 5279, are unconstitutional, void and class legislation. (Const., art. 3, sec. 19, subd. 2; State v. Williams, 32 S.C. 123, 10 S.E. 876; Brown v. Alabama G. S. R. Co., 87 Ala. 370, 6 So. 295; Ragio v. State, 86 Tenn. 272, 6 S.W. 401; State v. Garbroski, 111 Iowa 496......
  • Xepapas v. Richardson, (No. 12573.)
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • February 5, 1929
    ...Case suggested that the statutes[146 S.E. 691]might be attacked upon the ground now made. In the case of State v. Williams, 32 S. C.123, 10 S. E. 876, the court had under consideration a statute then in existence, providing for the punishment of the breach of certain labor contracts by both......
  • Musgrave v. State, 16,579
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • December 22, 1892
    ...Ind. 485. Other courts hold the same general doctrine. State v. Van Doran, 109 N.C. 864, 14 S.E. 32, S. C., 14 S.E. 32; State v. Williams, 32 S.C. 123, 10 S.E. 876; People v. Quinn, 63 Hun 634; State v. Shaw, 22 Ore. 287, 29 P. 1028. Defects that do not affect the substantial rights of the ......
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10 cases
  • Ex Parte Hollman.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • January 16, 1908
    ...penalty not to be a debt, but a punishment for the crime of bastardy. If, however, we follow the cases (State v. Williams, 32 S. C. 124, 10 S. E. 876; State v. Chapman, 56 S. C. 420, 34 S. E. 961, 76 Am. St. Rep. 557; State v. Easterlin, 61 S. C. 71, 39 S. E. 250), then this act must be uph......
  • Ex parte Bottjer, 5126
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • November 10, 1927
    ...provisions of C. S., sec. 5279, are unconstitutional, void and class legislation. (Const., art. 3, sec. 19, subd. 2; State v. Williams, 32 S.C. 123, 10 S.E. 876; Brown v. Alabama G. S. R. Co., 87 Ala. 370, 6 So. 295; Ragio v. State, 86 Tenn. 272, 6 S.W. 401; State v. Garbroski, 111 Iowa 496......
  • Xepapas v. Richardson, (No. 12573.)
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • February 5, 1929
    ...Case suggested that the statutes[146 S.E. 691]might be attacked upon the ground now made. In the case of State v. Williams, 32 S. C.123, 10 S. E. 876, the court had under consideration a statute then in existence, providing for the punishment of the breach of certain labor contracts by both......
  • Musgrave v. State, 16,579
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • December 22, 1892
    ...Ind. 485. Other courts hold the same general doctrine. State v. Van Doran, 109 N.C. 864, 14 S.E. 32, S. C., 14 S.E. 32; State v. Williams, 32 S.C. 123, 10 S.E. 876; People v. Quinn, 63 Hun 634; State v. Shaw, 22 Ore. 287, 29 P. 1028. Defects that do not affect the substantial rights of the ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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