Descent and Distribution. Statutes. Adoptive Parents

1921 Columbia Law Review  
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more » ... ntent at http://about.jstor.org/participate--jstor/individuals/early-journal--content. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not--for--profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. COLUMBIA LAW REVIEW COLUMBIA LAW REVIEW former was to receive from X, as additional compensation, a sum equal to the dividends on forty-five shares of the stock of the defendant corporation of which he was record owner. No dividends were declared. The plaintiff was wrongfully discharged. In a suit for a sum equal to forty-five per cent of the profits, dictlum, no recovery at law since no dividends had been declared. Avedon v. Gemt Dress House Inc. (1st Dept. 1921) 194 App. Div. 678. The declaration of dividends is ordinarily within the discretion of the directors. Hyams v. Old Dominion Copper Min. etc. Co. (1913) 82 N. J. Eq. 507, 89 Atl. 37. The stockholder has no right to corporate assets until after dividends have been declared. See Beveridge v. New York Elevatied R. R. (1889) 112 N. Y. 1, 27, 19 N. E. 489. A court will not compel the declaration of dividends unless the management is arbitrary or capricious. See Marks v. American Brewing Co. (1910) 126 La. 666, 671, 52 So. 983. And so long as the directors act honestly no proceedings can be maintained against them in spite of a very large surplus. Marks v. A1merican Brewing Co., supra; see Burden v. Burden (1899) 159 N. Y. 287, 308, 54 N. E. 17. Also in the absence of oppression equity will not decree the declaration of dividends. See Gehrt v. Collins Plow Co. (1910) 156 Il. App. 98, 103. But where it can be shown that a dividend is withheld to defraud a stockholder, the court will interfere and award a sum equal to what the dividend should have been. Lawton v. Bedell (N. J. Eq. 1908) 71 Atl. In the instant case the plaintiff is clearly being denied a substantial part of the recompense for his labors for the corporation. And as X, the person liable to him, is one of the two directors in control of dividend action, it appears in the light of the amount earned by the corporation. that the conduct of the directors was of a nature to warrant interference by a court. The court was undoubtedly correct in denying a recovery; but, being a stockholder, it seems that the plaintiff could maintain an action for the declaration of dividends. DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION-STATUaTS-ADOPTIVE PARENTS.-A Kansas statute (Gen. Stat. 1915, ?? 3842, 3843) provides: "If an intestate leave no issue, the whole of his estate shall go . . . to his parents. If one of his parents be dead to the surviving parent." An adopted child died intestate leaving a natural mother and his adopting parents. Held, 'parents" include parents by adoption, and natural as well as adopting parents inherit. In re Yates' Estate (Kan. 1921) 196 Pac. 1077. Statutes which provide that an adopted child is for all purposes to be regarded as born in lawful wedlock, but which are silent as to the parents, are construed to mean that the adopting parents may not inherit. Edwards v. Yearby ( 1915) 168 N. C. 663, 85 S. E. 19; Reinders v. Koppelmann (1878) 68 Mo. 482. On the other hand, an adopting parent has been allowed to inherit in preference to the natural parents where the statute provided that the adopted child and adopting parents "shall sustain towards each other the legal relation of parent and child, and have all the rights and be subject to all the duties of that relation." Estate of Jobson (1912) 164 Cal. 312, 159 Pac. 606; Calhoun v. Bryant (1911) 28 S. Dak. 266, 133 N. W. 266. This construction is upheld on grounds of natural justice, since the adopting parents use their property to rear the child and thus relieve the natural parents of the burden of support. See Humphries v. Davis (1884) 100 Ind. 274, 275. A Kansas statute provides that " . . . such person so adopting such minor shall be entitled to exercise any and all the rights of a parent . . . " Kan.
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