INNKEEPER. He is defined to be the keeper of a common inn for the lodging
and entertainment of travellers and passengers, their horses and attendants,
for a reasonable compensation. Bac. Ab. Inns, &c.; Story, Bailm. Sec. 475.
But one who entertains strangers occasionally, although he may receive
compensation for it, is not an innkeeper. 2 Dev. & Bat. 424.
2. His duties will be first considered and, secondly, his rights.
3.-1. He is bound to take in and receive all travellers and wayfaring
persons, and to entertain them, if he can accommodate them, for a reasonable
compensation; and he must guard their goods with proper diligence. He is
liable only for the goods which are brought within the inn. 8 Co. 32; Jones'
Bailm. 91. A delivery of the goods into the custody of the innkeeper is not,
however, necessary, in order to make him responsible; for although he may
not know anything of such goods, he is bound to pay for them if they are
stolen or carried away, even by an unknown person; 8 Co. 32; Hayw. N. C. R.
41; 14 John. R. 175; 1 Bell's Com. 469; and if he receive the guest, the
custody of the goods may be considered as an* accessory to the principal
contract; and the money paid for the apartments as extending to the care of
the box and portmanteau. Jones' Bailm. 94; Story, Bailm. Sec. 470; 1 Bl.
Com. 430; 2 Kent, Com. 458 to 463. The degree of care which the innkeeper is
bound to take is uncommon care, and he will be liable for a slight
negligence. He is responsible for the acts of his domestics and servants, as
well as for the acts of his other guests, if the goods are stolen or lost;
but he is not responsible for any tort or injury done by his servants or
others, to the, person of his guest, without his own cooperation or consent.
8 Co. 32. The innkeeper will be excused whenever the loss has occurred
through the fault of the guest. Story, Bailm. Sec. 483: 4 M. & S. 306; S. C.
1 Stark. R. 251, note 2 Kent, Com. 461; 1 Yeates' R. 34.
4.-2. The innkeeper is entitled to a just compensation for his care
and trouble in taking care of his guest and his property; and to enable him
to obtain this, the law invests him with some peculiar privileges, giving
him alien upon the goods, of the guest, brought into the inn, and, it is
said, upon the person of his guest, for his compensation. 3 B. & Ald. 287; 8
Mod. 172; 1 Shower, Rep. 270; Bac. Ab. Inns, &c., D. But the horse of the
guest can be detained only for his own keeping, and not for the boarding and
personal expenses of the guest. Bac. Ab. h. t. The landlord may also bring
an action for the recovery of his compensation.
Vide, generally, 1 Vin. Ab. 224; 14 Vin. Ab. 436; Bac. Ab. h. t.; Yelv.
67, a, 162, a; 2 Kent, Com. 458; Ayl. Pand. 266; 9 Pick. 280; 21 Wend. 285;
1 Yeates, 35: Oliph. on the Law of Horses, 125; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.