4 Stone v. Phillipps, 4 Bing. N. C. 39, 40; Houston v. Pollard, 9 Met. 164; Com. Dig. Arbitrament, E. 4, E. 5; Boston Water Power Co. v. Gray, 6 Met. 158; Howard v. Cooper, 1 Hill, 44.
5 Gray v. Gwennap, 1 B. & Ald. 106; Houston v. Pollard, 9 Met. 169; Parsons v. Aldrich, 6 N. H. 264; Emery v. Hitchcock, 12 Wend. 157.
6 Bacon, Abr. Arbitrament, E. 10; Warfield v. Holbrook, 20 Pick. 531; post, § 1377.
§ 1364. In the next place, an award must be certain.2 But this certainty is only to a common intent, and all that is required is that the award should be so certain as to leave no fair and reasonable doubt as to its meaning.3 Therefore an award that the surety of a debt for which A. was bound pay, without stating the sum, is void for uncertainty.4 So, also, where an action for polluting the water of a watercourse was referred to an arbitrator, with power to regulate the enjoyment of the water, and the award directed a verdict to be entered for the plaintiff, and ordered that the defendant should take "all proper and reasonable precautions" for preventing the water from being rendered unfit for the plaintiff's use, and should purify and cleanse "as far as the same can be purified and cleansed by the ordinary and most approved process of filtering," it was held to be void for uncertainty.5 Technical precision and certainty are not, however, required in an award; and it will be sufficient, if it be expressed in such language that plain men acquainted with the subject-matter can understand it, however short and elliptical it be.6 But it must appear on the award with reasonable certainty
1 Per Mr. Justice Trimble in Karthaus v. Ferrer, 1 Pet. 227; Ingram v. Milnes, 8 East, 445; McNear v. Bailey, 18 Me. 251; Sutton v. Dickinson, 9 Leigh, 142.
2 See Colcord v. Fletcher, 50 Me. 398; Wyman v. Hammond, 55 Me. 534.
3 Purdy v. Delavan, 1 Caines, 304, 315; Wood v. Earl, 5 Rawle, 44; Case v. Ferris, 2 Hill, 75; Doolittle v. Malcom, 8 Leigh, 608; Waite v. Barry, 12 Wend. 377; Kingston v. Kincaid, 1 Wash. C C. 448.
4 Bacon, Abr. Arbitrament, E. 2; Crosbie v. Holmes, 3 Dowl. & Lown. 5G6. See, also, In re Morphett, 10 Jurist, 546; Schuyler v. Van Der Veer, 2 Caines, 235; Stanley v. Chappell, 8 Cowen, 235.
5 Stonehewer v. Farrar, 6 Q. B. 730. But this case has been doubted. See Johnson v. Latham, 20 Law J. Q. B. 236; 4 Eng. Law & Eq. 206; 2 L., M. &P. 205.
6 Butler v. The Mayor, etc, of N. Y., 1 Hill, 493; Matsonr. Trower, By. & Mood. 17; Hays v. Hays, 23 Wend. 363; Wood v. Earl, 5 Rawle, what the respective rights of the parties are.1 The mere fact that the sum adjudged to be paid is not ascertained will not render the award void for uncertainty, if it can be made certain, according to the maxim, "Id certum est quod certum reddi potest." Therefore an award that a person pay the "taxable costs" of a suit,2 or that the plaintiff shall pay the executors of A., is sufficiently certain, because it can be made so.3 If the subject-matter of a suit at law is submitted to arbitration, an award that the plaintiff shall pay all the costs of the suit is, by necessary implication, a finding that he shall recover no damages,4 and is therefore sufficiently certain. So, also, an award in general terms, as by ordering a verdict for one of the parties,5 or in the alternative,6 is sufficiently certain. But awards to give "good security" 7 for a certain sum without saying what security, or that a party should pay "£5 and other small things," or should give up "several books,"8 or should pay as "much as was due in conscience," 9 have been held to be void for uncertainty.
§ 1365. In the next place, an award must be final.10 An award, therefore, to abide by the arbitrament of another person is void.1 An award that A. should pay B. a certain sum, and give a warrant of attorney to enter judgment for the amount, but that the warrant should be lodged with arbitrators, and no judgment should be entered upon it without their consent, is so uncertain and inconclusive, because of the future power reserved to the arbitrators, that the whole is void.2 So, also, where arbitrators determined that the plaintiffs should be entitled to a credit of a certain sum on account of sales of land to the defendant, provided "they shall grant or cause to be granted to (the defendant) a clear, unincumbered, and satisfactory title," without limiting any time within which it should be made, it was held that as this left the question whether the credit should or should not be allowed open, the award was not final, and therefore bad.3 An award is regarded as final when it is an absolute, conclusive adjudication of the matter in dispute.4 And when there are claims on both sides for debts or pecuniary claims, or damages capable of being liquidated and reduced to a sum certain, if the arbitrators, professing to decide on the whole subject, find a balance due from one to the other, such an award is final and conclusive, although the particulars from which that balance resulted be not stated.5 Under a submission of certain specified claims for damages, and all questions growing out of a suit by one of the parties against a third person, an award sufficiently shows that all the matters included in the submission were considered and determined which recites that the arbitrators "duly considered the subject-matter of the submission," and "heard the parties and considered the whole case," and that they decide that one party shall pay to the other a certain sum, and that nothing is due from the latter to the former, and that the sum so awarded" is in full of all matters by said submission referred." 1 The mere fact that the award is conditional does not make it bad if the condition be clear and certain, and no question be left as to the rights of the parties.2 Thus an award that one party should pay the other a certain sum at a stated time, unless before that time it should be collected from some other source, is good.3 So, also, an award conditioned upon the decision of an expert as to some particular technical detail or point would be good.4 But the arbitrators must themselves not only decide the case, but decide it finally, and any delegation or reservation of authority by them would render the award inoperative.5 The rule, however, requiring it to be final does not mean that nothing shall remain to be done to complete the execution of the award, but that the things to be done shall be defined and determined to a reasonable certainty.6