Timmer v. Talbot

Decision Date16 December 1935
Docket NumberNo. 3703.,3703.
Citation13 F. Supp. 666
PartiesTIMMER v. TALBOT et al.
CourtU.S. District Court — Western District of Michigan

Knappen, Uhl, Bryant & Snow, of Grand Rapids, Mich., for plaintiff.

Dunham & Sherk, of Grand Rapids, Mich., for defendant.

RAYMOND, District Judge.

The parties have submitted to the court the question of the constitutionality of Act No. 18 of the Extra Session of the Michigan Legislature held in 1934. They concede that the right of the trustee to recover is largely dependent upon alleged invalidity of the chattel mortgage sale under which defendant Lemmen claims title to the property in dispute. Process was not served on defendant Talbot, and the case as to him has been dismissed. Plaintiff asserts that the mortgage was void as against creditors because of noncompliance with the provisions of Act No. 18.

The portion of the statute here involved reads: "Every mortgage or conveyance intended to operate as a mortgage of goods and chattels which shall hereafter be made covering future advances shall be absolutely void as against the creditors of the mortgagor, and as against subsequent purchasers or mortgagees in good faith, beyond the sum stated therein and unless the same, or a true copy thereof, shall be filed as above provided and when so filed said mortgage shall constitute a first lien for the sum therein stated without creating any obligation on the part of the mortgagee, or his assigns, to make such advances."

Defendant contends that the act is unconstitutional because it does not deal with any subject expressly stated in any message of the Governor to the special session of the Legislature. Defendant also asserts that, contrary to constitutional prohibition, the act is broader than its title and that it embraces more than one subject, and, further, that in its enactment the provision of the State Constitution which prohibits amendment or alteration of an act during its passage through either house so as to change its original purpose, meaning, or intent, was violated. Defendant also contends that the act has no application to the chattel mortgage involved in this suit because the words "future advances," used in the statute, refer only to cash advances; it being conceded here that the future advances secured by the chattel mortgage were not of cash but were credits for merchandise sold.

Section 22 of article 5 of the State Constitution provides: "No bill shall be passed at a special session of the legislature on any other subjects than those expressly stated in the governor's proclamation or submitted by special message." The Governor's message to the Legislature, so far as it related to the matter here under consideration, was as follows: "In its activity in financing and refinancing installment mortgages on live stock and farm produce, the Federal loan agencies engaged in that field have experienced some difficulty; and considerable delay has resulted from the fact that the law requires such mortgages to be filed with the township clerks. This presents difficulty in determining the amount of such liens as may be outstanding against the chattels submitted for loans, and it has been suggested that it would be better to have such chattel mortgages filed with the county register of deeds. The matter is submitted to you for your consideration and action." Defendant contends that if the Legislature went further, by intent or inadvertence, than to deal with installment mortgages on livestock and farm produce, the act is unconstitutional.

Counsel cite many authorities illustrative of their contentions. However, the Supreme Court of Michigan recently has stated the principles applicable to this class of cases and analysis of those cited by counsel is thereby rendered unnecessary. In the case of Smith v. Curran, 268 Mich. 366, 371, 372, 256 N.W. 453, 454, that court quoted the following with approval: "`The guiding principle in sustaining legislation of a special session is that it be germane to, or within, the apparent scope of the subjects which have been designated as proper fields for legislation. In construing a call, the words of any portion thereof must be interpreted, not only as commonly and universally understood, but also as applicable to the subject intended to be affected by legislation. While the Legislature must confine itself to the matters submitted, it need not follow the views of the Governor or legislate in any particular way. Within the special business or designated subjects submitted, the Legislature cannot be restricted or dictated to by the Governor. It is a free agent, and the Governor, under the guise of definition, cannot direct or control its action. Nor is it confined to any one subject, but may chose (choose) from parts of different subjects, provided a new subject, unrelated to those stated, is not acted upon.'" And commented that: "We may disregard the reference in the Governor's message to the bill prepared by the legislative council because the Governor cannot...

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3 cases
  • State Tax Commission v. Preece
    • United States
    • Utah Supreme Court
    • February 3, 1954
    ... ... The message specified the enactment of unemployment relief, a bill granting relief to the poor was upheld as not outside the proclamation; and Timmer v. Talbot 9 in which the call related to rectifying difficulties encountered by Federal Loan Agencies in financing installment mortgages on ... ...
  • Pfister v. Johnson
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Oklahoma
    • February 15, 1936
  • Timmer v. Talbot, 3703.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of Michigan
    • June 4, 1936
    ...beyond the sum stated therein. The constitutionality of the statute has been sustained by this court. See opinion filed herein December 16, 1935, 13 F.Supp. 666. The act places chattel mortgages as to future advances and beyond the amount stated therein, even though the mortgage be duly fil......

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