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the liens given by custom the only ones that are general are the factor's lien and in England (query as to the United States) a packer's lien.
No lien for detention charges. In British Empire Shipping Company v. Somes (20) the defendants, who were shipwrights, had repaired a ship for the plaintiff and refused to surrender possession until their bill for repairs was paid or security given, and, the plaintiff doing neither, the defendants gave the plaintiff written notice that the defendants would charge storage from the time when the bill was rendered. The plaintiff, later, paid the whole amount claimed, under protest, and then brought an action for money had and received. It was held that the plaintiff was entitled to recover back the amount paid for storage. The defendants had a lien for the charges for repairs, but the law gives a bailee holding a chattel on a lien no right to charge for the expense of keeping it nor any lien therefor. There can be no implied promise on the part of the owner of the chattel to pay for it when it is being kept against his will.
SECTION 2. LIENS GIVEN BY WRONGDOER.
§ 59. Innkeeper's lien. The early case of Robinson v. Walter (21) established the general principle that an innkeeper has a lien on property brought to the inn by a guest even if the property does not belong to the guest. In that case a stranger brought with him a horse to defendant's inn and, after staying some time, left the horse at the inn. In trover by the owner of the horse against
(20) E. B. & E. 353. (21) 3 Bulst. 269.
the innkeeper, it was held that the innkeeper had a lien on the horse until paid for the keep of the horse, because the innkeeper is compelled to receive the guest.
It has since been settled that the lien is on every part of the property for the entire charges in respect to both guest and property (22).
In Threfall v. Borwick (23) a guest brought with him to defendant's inn a piano belonging to the plaintiff, but which the defendant supposed to belong to the guest. The defendant retained it to secure the bill of the guest and the latter's wife and sister. In an action by plaintiff for the detaining it was held for the defendant. He had the lien claimed. Although the property here was of a kind that the innkeeper might not, perhaps, have been obliged to receive as the guest's baggage, yet he did receive it, thinking it to belong to the guest and had his lien on it. The decision seems to be based principally upon the ground that as the innkeeper is responsible for the property he should have a lien to secure his charges.
$ 60. Same: Property known to be bailed to guest. In Broadwood v. Granara (24) the defendant, an innkeeper, detained plaintiff's piano for the hotel bill of a person to whom plaintiff had lent the piano. The defendant knew that the piano belonged to the plaintiff and that it had been lent to the guest. The guest had had the piano sent to the hotel after he had come there as a guest. The plaintiff demanded the piano when the guest left the
(22) See Mulliner v. Florence, & 56, above. In this case the property was left at the inn by a guest who was not the owner of it.
(23) L. R., 7 Q. B. 711. (24) 10 Exch. 417.
hotel, and, on refusal by the defendant to allow it to be taken, brought trover It was held that the defendant did not have a lien. The court said it was not the case of goods brought by a guest to an inn as his goods; that the piano was sent to the guest at the hotel for a particular purpose; that the lien cannot be claimed except in respect of goods which the innkeeper is bound to receive; and the fact was emphasized that the innkeeper knew the goods did not belong to the guest.
In Robins and Company v. Gray (25) a commercial traveller brought certain sewing machines, the property of his employers, the plaintiffs, to defendant's hotel, for the purpose of selling them to customers in the neighborhood. While the guest was in the hotel the plaintiffs sent him from time to time more sewing machines for the same purpose. He left without paying his bill and left
. in the hotel some of the machines so sent. Before the machines had been received into the hotel the defendant had been expressly told that they were not the property of the guest but belonged to the plaintiffs; but the defendant received the goods into the hotel as the guest's baggage. The defendant refused to allow the machines to be taken from the hotel, claiming a lien for the amount of the guest's bill upon the machines left by him at the hotel. It was held that defendant had the lien claimed; that whether the goods are goods that he might have refused to take in is immaterial if he does take them in as the guest's luggage; that it is also immaterial that the innkeeper knows the goods do not belong to the guest and
(25) (1895) 2 Q. B. 501.
that the fact that some of the machines were sent to the inn after the traveller had gone there made no difference, because the innkeeper accepted them as he had accepted the machines originally brought to the inn by the traveller - as the goods of the traveller, but not as his property.
In respect to Broadwood v. Granara, the master of the rolls said: “There the proposition that if a guest brings goods into an inn as his luggage they must be treated as if they were his goods was fully recognized. The judges held in that case that a piano, not brought to the inn by the guest as his luggage, but sent in by a tradesman for the guest to play upon during his stay at the inn, was not offered to, nor taken possession of by, the innkeeper under the custom of the realm as the luggage of the guest, and therefore that the piano was not subject to the innkeeper's lien. Whether we should have agreed with the decision is immaterial. The case was expressly decided upon the ground that the law of innkeepers did not apply. It is, therefore, no authority in the case now before us, where, as the learned judge in the court below has found, the goods were brought to the inn as the goods of the traveller and accepted as his goods by the innkeeper.'
§ 61. Same: Summary. It has been suggested (26) that the real reason for denying the lien in Broadwood v. Granara was the definite bailment relation between the owner and the guest, known to the inkeeper. Whether that or any other is a sufficient ground of distinction between Broadwood v. Granara and Robins and Company
(26) Beale, Innkeepers, p. 185.
v. Gray or not, it is certain that any doubts as to the innkeeper's right to the lien, even when he knows the goods do not belong to the guest, that were raised by Broadwood v. Granara, have been set at rest by Robins and Company v. Gray; and it is now clear law that the innkeeper has the lien in such cases notwithstanding his knowledge as to the ownership if he receives the property as being baggage of the guest. Further, the dicta in the later case and the decision in Threfall v. Borwick (27) justify us in regarding it as law that the lien exists even if the property is of a kind that the innkeeper is not obliged to receive if he, in fact, does receive it as baggage of the guest.
§ 62. Same: Guest's possession known to be wrongful. Johnson v. Hill (28) was an action of trover brought by the true owner of goods against an innkeeper who had refused to deliver the goods on demand, asserting a lien. The goods had been illegally seized under color of legal process, and taken by the wrongdoer to the inn. On the trial of the action, the court charged the jury that “the question was whether the defendant knew, at the time when the horse was delivered into his custody, that Pritchard was not the owner of the property, but a mere wrongdoer; if he knew that fact, he made himself a party to the wrongful act of Pritchard, and could not insist on any recompense for keeping the horse." As applied to cases where the possession of the guest is wrongful and
(27) See note (23), above. (28) 3 Stark. 172.