A promise by a public officer to perform a duty imposed upon him by law, or his performance of such legal duty, can not, in either case, amount to a consideration.1 An officer, whose legal duty it is to arrest a criminal, can not recover a reward which is offered for such arrest,2 even if he is not on duty at the time when he makes such arrest.3 A jailer can not recover a reward for information which he has secured by obtaining a confession from a criminal in his custody.4

The question of the sufficiency of consideration in cases of this sort turns on the question whether the officer was bound to perform the act for which he is seeking to recover. If the act which he performs is one which it was not his legal duty to do, such act may amount to a consideration for such promise.5 The fact that he was not on duty at the time,6 or that the arrest is made outside of his territorial jurisdiction,7 has been regarded by some courts as sufficient to make his act in arresting a criminal consideration for the recovery of a reward, on the ground that it was not his legal duty to arrest a criminal under such circumstamces. An officer who is not bound to arrest,8 such as the president of the village council,9 or a "special and non-pay" deputy sheriff,10 may recover a reward offered for such arrest. If it is the legal duty of certain public officials, such as the prosecuting attorney, to institute extradition proceedings for the rendition of a fugitive criminal, their act in instituting such proceedings is not a consideration for the promise of the prosecuting witness to pay the costs of such rendition in case such criminal prosecution is compromised in a manner authorized by statute.11 A promise to pay to a public officer compensation for his services greater than that fixed by law, is objectionable as having for its only consideration the performance of a legal duty by the officer. In addition thereto, the consideration is usually inadequate, as being a promise to pay money for services the value of which is fixed by law in money.12 It is also contrary to public policy.13 The difference between the results reached in different states upon the same facts probably turn upon the different duties imposed upon such officers by the statutes of the different states.

1 Smith v. Fenner, 102 Kan. 830, L. R. A. 1918E, 348, 172 Pac. 514; Somerset Bank v. Edmund, 76 0. S. 396, 11 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1170, 81 N. E. 641; Oklahoma Ry. Co. v. Morris (Okla.), 148 Pac. 1032; Beck v. Sulser (Okla.), 150 Pac. 107; Buek v. Nance, 112 Va. 28, 70 S. E. 515. See Sec. 896 et seq.

2Taft v. Hyatt (Kan.), 180 Pac. 213; Somerset Bank v. Edmund, 76 O. S. 396, 11 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1170, 81 N. E. 641; Beck v. Sulser (Okla.), 150 Pac. 107.

3Oklahoma Ry. Co. v. Morris (Okla.), 148 Pac. 1032.

4 Buek v. Nance, 112 Va. 28, 70 S. E. 515.

5Chambers v. Ogle, 117 Ark. 242, 174 S. W. 532; Marsh v. Wells, 88 Kan. 538, 43 L. R. A. (N.S.) 133, 129 Pac. 168; Smith v. Fenner, 102 Kan. 830, L. R. A. 1918E, 348, 172 Pac. 514; Hartley v. Inhabitants of Granville, 216 Mass. 38,

102 N. E. 942; Forsythe v. Murnane, 113 Minn. 181, 129 N. W. 134; Burkee v. Matson, 114 Minn. 233, 130 N. W. 1025; Bystrom v. Rohlen (Minn.), 158 N. W. 796.

6 Hartley v. Granville, 216 Mass. 38, 102 N. E. 942.

7 Marsh v. Wells, 88 Kan. 538, 43 L. R. A. (N.S.) 133, 129 Pac. 168; Bystrom v. Rohlen (Minn.), 158 N. W. 796.

8Elkins v. Wyandotte County, 91 Kan. 518, 51 L. R. A. (N.S.) 638, 138 Pac. 578; Smith v. Fenner, 102 Kan. 830, L. R. A. 1918E, 348, 172 Pac. 514; Burkee v. Matson, 114 Minn. 233, 130 N. W. 1025.

9 Burkee v. Matson, 114 Minn. 233, 130 N. W. 1025.

10 Elkins v. Wyandotte County, 91 Kan. 518, 51 L. R. A. (N.S.) 638, 138 Pac. 578; Smith v. Fenner, 102 Kan. 830, L. R. A. 1918E, 348, 172 Pac. 514.