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The Carriers Lien for Freight or Advances


THE CARRIER'S LIEN FOR FREIGHT OR ADVANCES. A common carrier has a right to his reasonable charges for the transporta tion, and may retain the goods until such charges, or any advances made by him, are paid. The advances by the carrier are usually made in the payment of freight to connecting carriers. The right of the carrier to a lien is generally recognized, but he may waive the right by special contract. (Bowman v. Hilton, ii Ohio, 303.) The lien is simply a remedy to enable him to enforce payment of freight, in addition to the other remedies given for the collection of a debt, and is some recom pense for the burdens imposed upon him by law.

In its nature the carrier's lien is special, that is, it at taches only to the particular goods in regard to which the charges or advances were made. And goods may not be held to enforce payment of a general balance due the carrier. Though he may retain a portion of a shipment of goods as security for all the freight due upon the shipment. The lien may be waived or lost by relinquishing the possession voluntarily. (Norfolk, Etc., R. Co. v. Barnes, 104 N. C. 25; Browne, Bail.,: The carrier's lien prevails as against general creditors of the owners of the goods (Newhall v. Vargas, 15 Me. 314), and as against the right of stoppage in transitu. (Potts v. N. Y., Etc., R. Co., 131 Mass. 155.) The lien is assignable, but does not pass with a wrongful sale or pledge of the goods. (Everett v. Coffin, 6 Wend. 603; Everett v. Saltus, 15 Wend. 474.) A carrier has no lien as against the owner for freight on goods shipped by one having no title or interest in them. (Pingree v. Detroit, R. Co., 66 Mich. 143; 8 Gray, 261.) The carrier's common law lien is merely a right to retain; unlike a pledgee, lie has no power to sell for his charges, and if he does so it is considered a conversion. (Briggs v. Boston, R. Co., 6 Allen, 246.) He must foreclose in equity. But by statute in many States he is given the power to sell at public auction after public notice. (Nathan v. Shivers, 71 Ala. 117.)

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