It has been held that where there is an entire contract to do certain work, the most of which is to be done on Sunday, the contract is void.14
But it has also been held that where an exchange was brought about by a broker, and the exchange contract was executed on a Sunday, that fact would not deprive the broker of his commissions, particularly so if all the arrangements had been agreed upon the day before.15
In the case referred to. the court said: "This agreement took place on Saturday evening, April twenty-second. The fact that the contract which the parties had entered into was not formally signed and delivered until the day following was a circumstance wholly immaterial, and, in no way, affected the right of the plaintiff to recover under his pleading. At common law, the making of a contract on Sunday is not void.16 Section 2143 of the Penal Law. which prohibits the performance of 'labor' on Sunday, and section 2146 of that law, which prohibits trades, manufactures, agricultural or mechanical employments on Sunday, do not condemn or render void a contract signed on that day. The Sunday laws are to be liberally construed, and acts done on that day, which do not disturb or interfere with others, and are not contrary to the design sought to be accomplished by such laws, are not illegal.17 Thus, a deed delivered on that day is sufficient to pass title.18 And our Court of Appeals has held that a contract for the sale of property made on Sunday is not, for that reason, void.19 Other cases asserting the same principle are collated in a note to Batsford v. Every (supra).
13People v Havnor, 149 X. V. 195; 43 N. E. 541; 52 Am. St. Rep. 707; 51 1*1 689 (1896); writ of error dismissed, 170 U. S. 408; 42 L. Ed. 1087 (1898). Cf. Sec. 235d
14 Telfer v. Lambert. 79 N. J. Law, 299; 75 Atl 779 (1910); citing Stewart v. Thayer. 170 Mass. 560; 49 X. E. 1020: Handy v. St. Paul Pub. Co., 4 Minn. 188; 42 N. W 872; 4 L. R. A. 466; 16 Am. St. Rep. 695; Williams v. Hastings, 59 N. H. 373; Fountain Sq. Theatre Co. v. Evans. 4 Ohio Dec. 151.
15 McConmck v. Hazard. 77 Misc. 190; 135 N. Y. Suppl. 91 (1912)
16"Citing Batsford v. Every, 44 Barb. (N. V ) 618; Miller v. Roessl-r. 4 E. D. Smith (. V.) 235.
"We think that the evidence shows that the plaintiff completed his services on Saturday, and that his right to his commissions accrued at that time. Even if it could be held that, in view of the allegation of his pleading, the right to his commissions did not accrue until the contract was signed, the fact that the parties to the exchange executed that contract on Sunday did not operate to deprive the plaintiff of the fruits of his labor."20
The New York Court of Appeals in People v. Dun ford-1 held that nothing in the reading of section of the New York Penal
Paw would suggest to the ordinary mind that the "public traffic" to be prohibited related to an effort to sell real estate such as the defendant in that case was proved to have made. In that case the complainant, a detective sergeant, met the defendant upon a railroad train on Sunday, and the defendant accosted him and showed him a map of lots and the complainant asked the price of a lot and. upon being informed, stated that he did not think he would buy: that he would think the matter over and call during the week. The train carried a number of persons to a point where land had been mapped out into lots for selling purposes but the only act which was shown on the defendant's part in the way of a business transaction was his offering of lots of land for sale to the complainant. The court held that this was not a violation of the section of the Sunday law referred to, but added: "We may assume that the defendant was interested in inviting public attention to a proposed sale of lands. If it had been shown that a concourse of persons had been attracted, with accompaniments of a noisy character, or, even, that there had been an offering of the lands at public auction, perhaps, a case of
17 Citing Northrup v. Foot, 14 Wend. (N. Y.) 248; Smith v. Wilcox. v. 24 X V Cf. Sec. 235c
18Citing Shuman v. Shuman, 27 Penn. St. 90. 19Citing Eberle v. Mehrbach, 55 N. Y. 682. 20McCormick v. Hazard, supra. 21207 N. Y. 17; 100 N. E. 433; 1 L. C, A. 141 (1912).
Sabbath breaking might have been made out under section 2145, which prohibits 'all noise disturbing the peace of the day.' No such charge, however, was made."