the bank, and was compelled to deliver possession to the purchaser. And as he was not permitted to remove the grain he had received into the warehouse, except under circumstances not claimed to have existed, without committing a felony, he had no choice, but was compelled to surrender the possession of the grain with the elevator. Nor did Stokes, the bank or any other person acquire any title, claim or lien on the grain then in the warehouse, the possession of which was delivered with it. But they, by receiving it, became as mere substituted bailees in the place of Runyan, and became charged with the same duties to the owners, and were bound to deliver it precisely as would Runyan had he been in possession."
Defendant has cited no case which supports its contentions, but it relies upon Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Warehousemen's Receipts Act of March 11, 1909, P.L. 19, 6 P.S.Pa. § 23, which reads as follows: "Subject to the provisions of section thirty, a warehousman shall have a lien on goods deposited, or on the proceeds thereof in his hands, for all lawful charges for storage and preservation of the goods; also for all lawful claims for money advanced, interest, insurance, transportation, labor, weighing, coopering, and other charges and expenses in relation to such goods; also for all reasonable charges and expenses for notice and advertisements of sale, and for sale of the goods where default has been made in satisfying the warehouseman's lien."
In my view of this case, defendant has no "lawful charges" or "lawful claims" against plaintiff which would entitle it to a lien under this section. Plaintiff has paid all the charges required of it by the contract of storage under which the whiskey was deposited, and it promptly refused to continue its storage of the whiskey in defendant's warehouse when the defendant advised it of the charges it would impose therefor.
Moreover, it is my opinion that the provisions of Section 30 of the Pennsylvania Warehousemen's Receipts Act, 6 P.S.Pa. § 26, to which the provisions of § 27 of the Act are expressly subject, are applicable in the present case, and prevent the defendant from asserting a lien for charges other than those enumerated in the outstanding warehouse receipts. Section 30 provides: "If a negotiable receipt is issued for goods, the warehouseman shall have no lien thereon, except for storage of those goods subsequent to the date of the receipt, unless the receipt expressly enumerates other charges for which a lien is claimed. In such case there shall be a lien for the charges enumerated, so far as they are within the terms of section twenty-seven, although the amount of the charges so enumerated is not stated in the receipt."
It will be noted that the applicability of Section 30 is not restricted to the case of a warehouseman who has himself issued warehouse receipts, and the policy of facilitating commercial transactions by protecting the holders of negotiable instruments certainly supports a construction of the Warehousemen's Receipts Act by which charges for the delivery of the goods would be fixed by an outstanding negotiable warehouse receipt, no matter who originally issued it. Accordingly, since the warehouse receipts in the case at bar fixed the charges which had to be paid in order to entitle the holder to the delivery of the whiskey, the lien of the defendant is limited by Section 30 of the act to those charges, and is not entitled to hold the goods for the additional charges it seeks to impose upon the plaintiff. Nor is this conclusion altered by the allegation in defendant's answer that "a charge of this character [for handling] is made customarily and generally, and has been for many years, in the warehousing industry throughout the country * * * for such and similar services." Even apart from the indefiniteness and uncertainty of this allegation as an averment of a custom which would be enforceable in law, it is recognized that a custom may not overturn the express provisions of a statute. Franklin Sugar Refining Co. v. Kane Milling & Grocery Co., 278 Pa. 105, 122 A. 231, 29 A.L.R. 1213.
A decree may be submitted in conformity with this opinion.
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