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Marrone v. Washington Jockey Club

    Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff, who was prevented from entering a track after buying a ticket, sued the Defendant track for trespass.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. A ticket for admission upon the property of another does not create a property right in the ticket holder, and the only right of the holder is in contract.

    Facts. Plaintiff was prevented from entering on the grounds of Bennings Race Track two days in a row after buying a ticket. The Plaintiff sued in trespass and also charged that the track had refused his entry because he accused the Defendants of a conspiracy to drug a horse he entered in a race. The court found that no evidence of such a conspiracy was introduced. The court found that the argument by Plaintiff was an attempt to overturn the common law rule that the purchase of a ticket does not create a property right.

    Issue. Can a ticket-holder sue for trespass for being denied entry by the ticket issuer?

    Held. No. Judgment affirmed.
    The common law rule is that purchasing a ticket does not confer a property right.
    The contract may bind the maker of the ticket, but it does not act as a conveyance, because it is not under seal and does not have that effect by common understanding.
    The only right the Plaintiff might have, insofar as he was not subject to any more force than necessary on the part of Defendant, is to sue in contract for an alleged breach created by the purchase of the ticket.

    Discussion. Plaintiff, as the court pointed out, should have sought a remedy through a breach of contract action and not in trespass.


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