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there bought and sold with no intention of an actual bona fide delivery of the articles and things so bought and sold." He was found guilty as charged, and sentenced to a fine of two hundred dollars and imprisonment for thirty days. The case was carried to the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas, and judgment affirmed. The court in its opinion stated the contention to be that the evidence did not show a violation of the statute, namely, Art. 377 of the Penal Code; and held on a consideration of the facts that Fullerton had clearly brought himself within and violated the statute. 75 S. W. Rep. 534. Fullerton thereupon moved for a rehearing, which motion was overruled. This application for rehearing assigned, among other grounds, that the statute as construed by the court was in violation of the Constitution of the United States, vesting in Congress the power to regulate commerce among the several States. In overruling the motion, the court delivered a second opinion on the question of the sufficiency of the indictment, which was attacked, not in the motion for rehearing, but in an additional brief presented after the submission of that motion. The court, however, held the indictment good and, after stating that “the motion for rehearing was mainly devoted to an attack on the original opinion wherein the evidence was held sufficient,” adhered to that opinion. 75 S. W. Rep. 535. No reference to the Constitution of the United States was made by the court, nor does the record disclose any such reference, except in the petition for rehearing as before stated.
We have repeatedly ruled that it is too late to raise a Federal question by a petition for rehearing in the Supreme Court of a State after that court has pronounced its final decision, although if the state court entertains the petition and disposes of the Federal question, that will be sufficient. Mallett v. North Carolina, 181 U. S. 589. In that case it was observed: “Had that court declined to pass upon the Federal questions and dismissed the petition without considering them, we certainly would not undertake to revise their action." Some weeks after the denial of the motion for a rehearing,
this writ of error was allowed by the presiding judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals, who certified that on that motion it was contended “that under the evidence in the cause plaintiff in error was engaged in interstate commerce and commerce between different States within the meaning of article one, section eight, of the Constitution of the United States, and that the statutes of the State of Texas could not make such matters and transactions an offense, and that to do so would violate said constitutional provision.” And further "that said contention was duly considered by us and decided adversely to plaintiff in error."
But on the face of the record proper and from the opinions, the reasonable inference is that the court may have denied the application in the mere `exercise of its discretion, or declined to pass on the alleged constitutional question, in terms, because it was suggested too late, and nothing is more firmly established than that such a certificate cannot in itself confer jurisdiction on this court. Henkel v. Cincinnati, 177 U. S. 170; Dibble v. Bellingham Bay Land Company, 163 U. S. 63.
Writ of error dismissed.
CENTRAL OF GEORGIA RAILWAY COMPANY v.
ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA.
No. 111. Argued December 16, 1904.-Decided January 9, 1905.
Where the highest court of the State holds that a statute fixing the liability
of common carriers applies to shipments made to points without the
State, this court must accept that construction of the statute The police power of the State does not give it the right to violate any pro
vision of the Federal Constitution. The imposition, by a state statute, upon the initial or any connecting carrier,
of the duty of tracing the freight and informing the shipper, in writing, when, where, how and by which carrier the freight was lost, damaged or destroved, and of giving the names of the parties and their official position, if any, by whom the truth of the facts set out in the information can be established, is, when applied to interstate commerce, a violation of the
commerce clause of the Federal Constitution; and $8 2317, 2318 of the Code of Georgia of 1895, imposing such a duty on common carriers is void as to shipments made from points in Georgia to other States. Richmond & Alleghany R. R. Co. v. Tobacco Company, 169 U. S. 311 distinguished.
The plaintiff in error brings this case here to review the judgment of the Supreme Court of Georgia, affirming a judgment of the trial court, in favor of the defendants in error, for the damages sustained by them on the shipment of certain grapes, as hereinafter more particularly stated. (First reported, 113 Georgia, 514, and again on appeal from judgment on second trial, 116 Georgia, 863.)
The trial court gave judgment for the shippers of the grapes, who were plaintiffs below, for the amount of the difference between the market price of the grapes as shipped in good order and the amount they actually received for the same in their damaged condition, being the sum of $434.55. The action was commenced in the Pike County Court, in the State of Georgia, and the petition averred that on July 31, 1897, the petitioners shipped a carload of grapes from Barnesville, Georgia, consigned to Rocco Brothers, Omaha, Nebraska, by way of the Central of Georgia Railway Company. The freight was to be conveyed by more than two common carriers, the initial carrier being the Central of Georgia Railway Company, and the freight was shipped under a contract of shipment in which it was provided that the responsibility of each carrier should cease upon delivery to the next“in good order.” The grapes were greatly damaged on the route between Barnesville and Omaha, and the damage resulted from the negligence of the common carriers on the route. The petitioners applied to the plaintiff in error, the initial carrier on the route, and served it with an application in writing August 20, 1897, in which they requested that the railway company should trace the freight and inform the petitioners, in writing, when, how and by which carrier the freight was damaged, and also that the company should furnish the petitioners the names of the parties and their official position, if any, by whom the truth of the facts set forth in the
information could be established. The railroad company failed to trace the freight and give the information in writing within the thirty days required by law, wherefore the petitioners averred that the railroad company became indebted to the petitioners to the amount of the damage to the grapes as stated.
The plaintiff in error demurred to the petition, the demurrer was overruled, and it then put in an answer denying many of the allegations of the petition. Upon the trial it appeared that the grapes were shipped from Barnesville, Georgia, to Omaha, Nebraska, and they were “routed” by the shippers over the Central of Georgia, then the Western and Atlantic, then the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis, then the Louisville and Nashville, and then the Wabash Railroads. The initial carrier, the plaintiff in error, issued to the shippers, A. O. Murphey and Hunt, a bill of lading for the carload of grapes, which showed the routing as above stated, and the bill was signed by Murphey and Hunt, as the contract between the plaintiff in error and themselves. It contained a promise" to carry (the grapes) to said destination, if on its road, or to deliver to another carrier on the route to said destination, subject in either instance to the conditions named below, which are agreed to in consideration of the rate named.” Omaha, Nebraska, is not on the road of the plaintiff in error. Paragraph 5 of the bill of lading, under which the shipment of grapes was made, reads as follows:
“5. That the responsibility, either as common carrier or warehouseman, of each carrier over whose line the property shipped hereunder shall be transported, shall cease as soon as delivery is made to the next carrier or to the consignee; and the liability of the said lines contracted with is several and not joint; neither of the said carriers shall be responsible or liable for any act, omission or negligence of the other carriers over whose line said property is or is to be transported.”
The grapes were carried under the contract contained in the bill of lading, and arrived at Omaha, in the State of Nebraska, in a damaged condition.
The law under which the action was brought is found in
sections 2317 and 2318 of the Code of Georgia of 1895. Those sections are set forth in full in the margin."
On the twentieth day of August, 1897, the shippers availed themselves of these provisions of the statute, and duly demanded of the plaintiff in error that it should trace the grapes and inform the shippers, in writing, when, how and by which carrier the grapes were damaged, and the names of the parties and their official position, if any, by whom the truth of the facts set out in the information could be established. They also demanded that the information should be furnished within thirty days from the date of the application. The plaintiff in error, although it endeavored so to do, failed to furnish the information within the time mentioned in the statute. It offered to prove on the trial that the car in which the grapes were originally shipped at Barnesville, on the road of the plaintiff in error, reached Atlanta, Georgia, the end of the line of the plaintiff in error, in due time, and that the grapes were then in good order, and the car was promptly delivered to the next connecting line, that is, the Western and Atlantic Railroad, and by that road it was delivered to the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railroad Company, at Nashville, Tennessee, with the grapes in like good order and condition. The evidence was rejected, the court holding that the plaintiff
'Sec. 2317. When any freight that has been shipped, to be conveyed by two or more common carriers to its destination, where, under the contract of shipment or by law, the responsibility of each or either shall cease upon the delivery to the next "in good order" has been lost, damaged or destroyed, it shall be the duty of the initial or any connecting carrier, upon application by the shipper, consignee or their assigns, within thirty days after application, to trace said freight and inform said applicant, in writing, when, where, how and by which carrier said freight was lost, damaged or destroyed, and the names of the parties and their official position, if
any, by whom the truth of the facts set out in said information can be established.
Sec. 2318. If the carrier to which application is made shall fail to trace said freight and give said information, in writing, within the time prescribed, then said carrier shall be liable for the value of the freight lost, damaged or destroyed, in the same manner and to the same amount as if said loss, damage or destruction occurred on its line.