1 Haw. 82 (Haw.Super. 1852), Whittit v. Miller

Citation:1 Haw. 82
Opinion Judge:LEE, CHIEF JUSTICE
Party Name:B. W. C. J. WHITTIT v. HENRY MILLER.
Case Date:July 01, 1852
Court:Superior Court of Hawai'i
 
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Page 82

1 Haw. 82 (Haw.Super. 1852)

B. W. C. J. WHITTIT

v.

HENRY MILLER.

Superior Court of Hawai'i.

July 1, 1852

         Syllabus by the Court

          A minister's certificate of a marriage, unless it purports to be a copy of the record which the law requires him to keep of all marriages solemnized by him, is not admissible evidence, in cases of crim. con. to prove the marriage.

         A new trial will not be granted on the ground that improper evidence was admitted on the trial, if there be sufficient evidence without it to warrant the finding of the jury, and it does not appear that injustice has been done by the admission of the improper evidence.

         A new trial will not be granted on the ground of excessive damages, in an action for crim. con., unless it appears to the Court that the jury acted under the influence of undue motives, or gross error, or misconception of the subject.

         Verdict will not be set aside because of the admission of evidence which should not have been received if there is sufficient evidence without it to authorize the jury's finding.

         DECISION

         LEE, CHIEF JUSTICE

         This is a motion for a new trial, on the ground that the Court was in error in charging the jury that the certificate of marriage introduced by the plaintiff on the trial, in connection with the proof of the identity of the persons therein named, might be sufficient to make out the marriage, and that it was a question for the jury, under all the circumstances, to say whether the marriage had been proved, inasmuch as the certificate is simply a statement of fact, and not a certified copy of a record, and therefore extra-judicial, and not admissible evidence to the jury.

         On mature reflection, I am of the opinion that the minister's certificate of marriage, unless it purports to be a copy of the record which the law requires him to keep of all marriages solemnized by him, is not admissible evidence, in cases of criminal conversation, to prove the marriage. The law requires no such certificate to be given by officiating clergymen, and when given, as in this case, without any reference to his marriage record, it is a mere statement, inferior to his oath, and in the absence of any statute making it admissible evidence should not be received. Marriage in criminal cases, and in cases like this, which are criminal in their nature, should either be proved by the person solemnizing such...

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