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times laid in the information, was a dealer in spiritnous, vinous, or malt liquors, without first having obtained the license required by law, they will find him guilty as charged in the information. * * If the jury believe from the evidence the defendant did not sell any spirituous, vinous, or malt liquors without first obtaining a license therefor, at the times charged in the information, they will find him not guilty. The sale of one drink, under the decision of the supreme court, is a violation of the law.

The defend. ant has the benefit of any reasonable doubt, which is doubt such as a reasonable man would entertain on the evidence." The evidence shows that on two different occasions the plaintiff in error sold "beer,” but it fails to show what kind of beer he sold. He was tried for selling spirituous, vinous, and malt liquors; and, in order to sustain a conviction, it was necessary for the state to prove that the accused sold, without license, one of the liquors as charged in the information; and, as this was not proved, the case clearly was not made out.

The attorney general in his argument assumes that the courts will take judicial cognizance that beer is a malt liquor; and cites Bish. St. Cr. 88 1006a, 1007; People v. Wheelock, 3 Park. Crim. R. 9; and Tompkins Co. v. Taylor, 21 N. Y. 173, as authorities to sustain his position. But do these authorities sustain the attorney general in the position he takes? We think not. Mr. Bishop, in his work on Statutory Crimes, & 1006a, and speaking on this subject, says: “The statutes have various terms to designate the liquor the selling whereof they regulate or forbid; and the meanings of the several terms, and whether or not the admitted or proven facts of a case are within them, are for the court, while the jury determine what facts the evidence establishes. Yet on this issue there are facts so familiarly known and certain, or so completely a part of the language itself, that the court will take judicial cognizance of them. Hence they need not be proved to the jury. For example, it is judicially known that lager-beer is a malt liquor, but probably not that pop' is; and whisky is judicially known to be intoxicating, but malt liquors are not so known.” This, we think, is the correct rule; and, applying it to this case, what is the result? Why, that the evidence should have shown, in order to warrant a conviction, that the beer sold was lager-beer, or some other beer made of malt, so as to bring it within the statutory prohibition for selling malt liquor without a license. This factthe fact that the beer sold was any one of the various kinds of beer that is made of malt-being established, it was not necessary to prove to the jury that the beer sold was a malt liquor, because the court could judicially take notice of that fact. This is what Mr. Bishop says, in substance; and he does not say, nor do we think that he intends to say, that the courts will judicially take notice that all the various kinds of beer are composed of malt, and hence malt liquors. The other authorities cited by defendant in error refer to cases arising under the statutes of New York, and which, we think, are not applicable to this case. We see no error in the charge of the court, but believe that the court erred in not granting a new trial. The judgment is reversed, and a new trial granted.

BARCO et al. o. FENNELL et ux.

(Supreme Court of Florida. October 8, 1998.) 1. EJECTMENT-PLEADING-ELECTION BETWEEN COUNTS.

In an action of ejectment, the defendant pleaded not guilty, and afterwards filed, with leave of the court, a special plea to the effect that the plaintiffs claimed title to the land described in the declaration as heirs of the intestate of the defendant, who is still administrator of his estate, and such estate remains unsettled. Upon motion of the plaintiff to require the defendant to elect between the two pleas, he elected to stand upon the special plea. Held, that as the matter set up in the special plea could have been proved under the general issue of not guilty, the court

should, of its own motion, have struck out the special plea. 2. SAME-RIGHT TO Possession.

A present right of possession is necessary to a recovery in ejectment. 3. SAME-BY HEIR AGAINST ADMINISTRATOR.

Ejectment does not lie in behalf of an heir as against an administrator, to recover

possession of land to wb the latter is entitled as an asset of the estate. 4. SAME-LAND USED AS HOMESTEAD.

An administrator is not entitled, as against the intestate's heirs, to the possession of land exempt as the homestead of the intestate from forced sale for the payment of his debts, under the constitution of 1868, and ejectment will lie in behalf of the heirs against the administrator to recover possession of such land from the administrator, where the land occupied by the intestate as a rural homestead at the time of his death consisted of 160 acres or less, or where prior to his death he has, when actually occupying more than 160 acres, fled a written declaration of his homestead in the probate office of the county judge, under act 1869, $ 11, p. 531, Mc

Clel. Dig. 5. Same-HEIR A MINOR.

Where one or more of the heirs is a minor, or otherwise incapable of binding himself, and the ancestor dies actually residing upon or occupying as his homestead or home place a tract of rural land exceeding 160 acres, and not having filed a written designation of a part thereof as his homestead, ejectment will not lie in behalf of such heirs, but the proper remedy for setting aside the homestead is by bill in equity, under section 2, c. 3246, Acts 1881, (section 54, p. 166, McClel. Dig.) Whether ejectment would lie in case of such occupation of rural lands if all the heirs were

adults, and capable of acting for themselves, quære. (Syllabus by the Court.)

Appeal from circuit court, Leon county; DAVID S. WALKER, Judge. s. Pasco, for appellants. D. 8. Walker, Jr., for appellees.

MAXWELL, C. J. The plaintiffs below, children of Alfred T. Barco, brought an action of ejectment against his widow and A. M. Fennell, whom she married after the decease of her former husband, to recover certain lands of which he was seized at the time of his death. A plea of not guilty was filed, but subsequently abandoned, to give place to another plea, under an order of court made on motion of plaintiffs, requiring an election between the two. It is alleged for error that the court should not have allowed the second plea to be filed. This plea is that the plaintiffs claim title to the land described in the declaration as the heirs of Alfred T, Barco; that letters of administration were issued to Mary A. E. Fennell, when she was still unmarried and the widow of said Barco, on the estate of said Barco, before the commencement of this action; and that at the time of the commencement of the action she was and is now the administratrix of said estate; and that the said estate remains unsettled. It does not appear that any resistance was made to the filing of this plea, but that on the same day the plaintiffs made their motion to put the defendant to an election between this and their plea of not guilty. The plea was intended as a defense to the whole action, and was an improper plea, inasmuch as, in an action of ejectment, the matters set up, if good as a defense, could have been introduced in evidence under the plea of not guilty; and the court has power in such case to strike out the additional plea, ( Wade v. Doyle, 17 Fla. 522;) and we think it was its duty to do so, that the issue might be reduced to "one simple plea, adapted to the trial of the merits with more facility and certainty.” It is probable the leave to file the plea was given without attention being drawn to its character in the particular action; the liberal practice under our rules ordinarily allowing additional pleas, without question, if good in substance, and not mere repetition in different words of the substance of those already in. But the plaintiffs, instead of moving to strike out the plea, moved that defendants be required to make election between the two; and, this motion having been granted, the plea of not guilty was abandoned, and the additional plea chosen for the defense. The next step was a demurrer of plaintiffs to this plea. The court overruled the demurrer, and this is assigned for the second error. We then have the question presented involving the sufficiency of the plea as a defense to the action. It is apparent that the pleader had in his mind the idea that ejectment would not lie at the suit of heirs against the representative of the deceased ancestor to recover lands left as a part of his estate while the lands were still held for purposes of administration. Lands under our law being assets in the control of the representative of the deceased for the payment of debts, this idea is a correct one; and, so long as the estate remains unsettled, the representative cannot be disturbed in the possession, except by some proceeding connected with the administration itself, by which it may be shown that the lands are not needed for the purpose for which the law committed them to his or her possession. But does the plea meet the requirements of the case? In view of other law applicable to estates, we think it does not. Under the constitution of 1868, when a person died leaving lands on which he had a homestead, that part of the estate was not subject to administration. Baker v. Slate, 17 Fla. 406. Not being assets for the executor or administrator, the heirs were entitled to it, subject to dower, immediately upon his death. It is therefore necessary that an executor or administrator, claiming to hold lands of the deceased in a representative capacity, should show that they are lands he can bold as assets; and a pleading based on such claim, which does not allege this, is defective. In the case before us this is not done. The plea simply sets up that the lands sued for are claimed by the plaintiffs as heirs of A. T. Barco; that defendant Mrs. Fennell is administratrix of said Barco; and that the administration is unsettled; without any allegation that the lands are subject to administration. If they are not, the plea is bad; for it should assert everything to show that they are held in rightful possession. If, instead of a trial on this special plea, the case were tried under the general issue, and the matter of the plea introduced in evidence, as it might be, it would not avail unless supported by evidence that the lands were such as the administratrix was entitled to hold as subject to administration. She can be in no better position because she has chosen to rest the defense on the special plea; and in doing that she should make her allegations as broad as the proois required to render the defense complete. As this is not done, we think the demurrer to the plea should have been sustained. For error in overruling the demurrer the judgment must be reversed. And here we might close our opinion; but, as the case will be for trial again, it may be well to express our views of other questions that followed the overruling of the demurrer.

The plaintiffs filed two replications: The first alleges that the lands mentioned in the declaration were not in the possession of the defendants by virtue of letters of administration to Mary A. E. Fennell on the estate of A. T. Barco, but the defendants held and claimed the same as the absolute property of the said Mary. The second alleges that a portion of said lands comprises the homestead of A. T. Barco, and the plaintiffs are his heirs. The defendants demur to both replications; to the first on the ground that such allegation would not entitle the plaintiffs to recover. If the defendants got possession of the lands by virtue of the administration on the estate of A. T. Barco, and that estate is still unsettled, it makes no difference what other claim they may make to title, so far as any rights of the plaintiffs are concerned, if there has been no change in the status of the title by reason of any legal proceeding in the course of administration to effect it. They would still be held to such disposition of the land as upon settlement of the estate, or intervening order in accordance with law, the proper court might direct. Ejectment, therefore, would not be an appropriate action to ascertain and determine the rights of the parties; and for this reason we think the demurrer to the first replication was properly sustained. To the second replication the demurrer objects-First, because a portion of the land described therein (160 acres) includes 1224 acres described in the deciaration as having been set aside as the dower of Mrs. Fennell, (formerly Barco.) This is an allegation of fact not clearly appearing from the declaration and replication, and is not proper matter for deinurrer. But the second cause of demurrer to this replication is more to the point, viz., that it is not alleged that the 160 acres mentioned in the replication has been set aside as required by law, or that the plaintiffs are entitled to the same as the heirs of A. T. Barco, or otherwise. The replication is defective in the latter particular, though it is to be inferred that it was the intention of the pleader to rely on the fact of title through such heirship. But, passing that by, we find the replication insufficient, on the ground that it should appear that the homestead has been set aside; that is, the lands constituting it should be definitely ascertained before an action of ejectment will lie on the part of the heirs. It is true that, under the homestead law applicable to the case, it has been held that the homestead is not subject to debts, and that it goes to the heirs whether during the life-time of the ancestor it was claimed and designated by metes and bounds or not. But the widow may have her dower therein, and, in case she takes it, the right of the heirs as to the portion taken remains in abeyance till her death. Baker v. State, 17 Fla. 406; Wilson's Ex'r v. Fridenburg, 19 Fla. 461, 21 Fla. 386. If the homestead had been marked out and recorded in the life-time of the ancestor, and there had been no dower taken in those lands, it can be seen that the heirs would have a definite basis for the action of ejectment; but, in the absence of such ascertainment of the homestead, there is none but an uncertain basis, on which it would be impracticable to found a verdict. This is well illustrated by the case before us. The declaration claims 312} acres of land, less 1224 acres that have been set aside for dower, and claims the reversion in that. The plea resists the claim because the lands belonged to A. T. Barco, and the defendant Mrs. Fennell is administratrix on his estate. To that the plaintiffs reply that 160 acres of the land were the homestead of said Barco, and they are his heirs. The lands in each instance are described; but, the homestead never having been set aside, how can the plaintiffs say that those they describe are the lands 4. T. Barco intended or held as his homestead. If there had been but 160 acres,—the quantity allowed for a homestead outside of a city or town,--or there had been less, ejectment might lie, where no other complication existed, as was the case of McDougall v. Meginniss, 21 Fla. 362. But when the actual home premises exceed the 160 acres, we see no way, where that quantity has not been carved out for a homestead by the ancestor, by which his heirs can claim this or that portion in preference to others, and fix it as the portion they are entitled to, until it has been set apart under the statute, or through some other appropriate proceeding. The confusion is made worse in this case by the fact of the widow's taking dower in the lands. Who can say what part of the homestead the dower lands cover, so long as there has been no step nor any record to ascertain and fix the boundaries of the homestead? The court was right in its ruling on the demurrer to the second replication. But for previous error the judgment is reversed, and the case will be remanded for proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.

RANEY, J., (concurring.) 1. It appears from the declaration that part of the land described in it has been assigned to Mrs. Fennell, formerly Mrs. Barco, as her dower in the estate of the intestate, A. T. Barco, her former husband. The declaration seeks to recover, inter alia, “the reversion and remainder in and to said dower lands after the termination of the life-estate of said doweress therein." Ejectment is a possessory action, and one of the essentials of its applicability to any case is that there shall be in the plaintiff a right to present possession of the land sued for. This right of possession must have existed at the institution of the action, and without it the plaintiff cannot recover, notwithstanding he may show a title or right of property. Tyl. Ej. pp. 76, 78, 87; Jones v. Lufton, 16 Fla. 189; Asia v. Hiser, 22 Fla. 378, The effect of the declaration is to admit the right of Mrs. Fennell to possession of the dower land during her life. Until the plaintiffs shall be entitled to possession of it, ejectment will not lie, ilthough the remainder in fee may be in them.

2. The plea of not guilty was sufficient to recover the issue attempted to be set up by the special plea, and it was error to permit the latter to be filed. The circuit judge would have done right had he sua sponte struck out the special plea, at the defendants' cost, even on the plaintiffs' motion to require an election, or on the demurrer to such plea. Wade v. Doyle, 17 Fla. 522.

Assuming, for a moment, that the special plea was admissible, it still would not have been good, because an administrator is not entitled to the possession of lands which are not assets of his intestate's estate. All lands of an intestate are not assets. The homestead is not assets, but the heirs, as against the administrator, are entitled to the possession of it, (article 9, Const. 1868, and section 16, p. 533, McClel. Dig. :) and consequently a special plea, were it permissible, should, to be good, be broad enough to raise upon the declaration the issue that the land sued for is assets,-or, in other words, deny that it was the intestate's homestead; and consequently it should have alleged that the lands were assets, The declaration was sufficient to admit of proof that the lands were homestead, and consequently not assets. Assuming it can be proved that the land sued for, or any part of it, was the actual and legal homestead of the intestate, it is clear that the fact that the defendants are his administratrix and administrator would, as against his heirs, be no defense to the action.

3. If the special plea had been struck out, as it should have been, the special replications would not have been put in, but the case would have gone to trial on the issue joined on the plea of not guilty.

Upon the remanding of this cause the pleadings may be reformed in accordance with the views of this court, if plaintiffs deem it advisable to proceed with the case.

In view of the fact that further proceedings may be had, it is proper to make some observations suggested by matter contained in the second replication to the special plea, though it is not a proper pleading.

This replication is as follows: That a portion of said lands comprise the homestead of the late A, T. Barco, who at the time of his death, in 1869, was a resident of the state of Florida, and the head of a family, and the plaintiffs are his heirs at law; which said portion is described as follows, viz.. Beginning at a point on the Watson line, where the eastern boundary of lot No. 104 reaches said line; then running in a westerly direction 36.49; then in a northerly direction 54.30 chains; then in an easterly direction 12.75 chains; then in a southerly direction 15.65; then in an easterly direction 22.75 chains, to the eastern boundary of said lot 104 or its extension; thence along said line, in a southerly direction, 38.60, to the starting point,-comprising 160 acres, more or less.

In so far as the widow is legally entitled to dower in the lands described in this replication, even assuming they were, as distinguished from other lands, the actual and legal homestead of the intestate at his death, or that the same has been set aside, since he died, as the homestead, in plaintiffs' behalf, she cannot be disturbed in her possession of the land duly assigned her as duwer. She is entitled to possession for her life, as against the heirs, to the extent that she is endowable in the homestead under the constitution of 1868. Wilson v. Fridenburg, 19 Fla. 461, 21 Fla. 386.

If the land described in the replication contains no more than 160 acres, and is, as is our understanding, not in an incorporated city or town, the heirs are entitled to recover in this action so much of it as she bas not been lawfully assigned as dower, if it was, as distinguished from his other lands, the actual and distinct homestead of the intestate at his death, and he was the

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