U.S. Supreme Court
Eldridge v. Hill, 97 U.S. 92 (1877)
Eldridge v. Hill
97 U.S. 92
Forty-four record books, some deeds, mortgages, and other papers of a county having been stolen, the county officers deposited $3,500 in the hands of A., upon condition that it should, upon the return of the stolen property, be paid to the person causing the return. It was also stipulated that the failure to "deliver some small paper or papers" should not invalidate the agreement. Within the time limited, A. received a paper, signed by the deputy sheriff of the county, acknowledging the receipt of the record books "also papers and small index books." He thereupon paid the money to the person presenting the receipt. The county then brought suit against A. to recover the money, alleging that some of the books were, upon their return, in such a damaged condition as to be rendered comparatively worthless, and that he had therefore, not performed his contract. Held that A., being a simple bailee of the money deposited in his hands, without compensation, was not, in the absence of bad faith on his part, responsible for the condition of the property at the time of its return.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.