U.S. Supreme Court
Fisher v. Kelsey, 121 U.S. 383 (1887)
Fisher v. Kelsey
Argued March 30, 1887
Decided April 11, 1887
121 U.S. 383
The particular responsibility imposed at common law upon innkeepers does not extend to goods lost or stolen from a room in a public inn furnished to a person for purposes distinct from his accommodation as a guest.
A statute of Missouri provides that no innkeeper in that state
"shall be Liable . . . for the loss of any merchandise for sale or sample belonging to a guest unless the guest shall have given written notice of having such merchandise for sale or sample in his possession after entering the inn, nor shall the innkeeper be compelled to receive such guest with merchandise for sale or sample."
Held that actual knowledge that a guest has in his possession merchandise for sale, or the consent of the innkeeper to the guest's use of one of his rooms for such a purpose, does not fix upon the innkeeper full responsibility for the safety of such merchandise; such responsibility arises only upon written notice being given as required by the statute.
This was an action at law. Judgment for defendants. Plaintiffs sued out this writ of error. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.