17 D.C. 526 (D.C.D.C. 1888), 28,408, District of Columbia v. Rapley

Docket Nº:At Law. 28,408.
Citation:17 D.C. 526
Attorney:MR. H. E. DAVIS, for complainant: MESSRS. ENOCH TOTTEN and E. A. NEWMAN, for defendant:
Case Date:October 08, 1888
Court:Supreme Court of District of Columbia

Page 526

17 D.C. 526 (D.C.D.C. 1888)




At Law. No. 28,408.

Supreme Court, District of Columbia.

October 8, 1888

1. The Supreme Court of the District of Columbia is but one Court, although distributed, for the convenient dispatch of business, into general and special terms.

2. The appellate jurisdiction of the General Term, and its jurisdiction to hear cases certified from the Special Term, are totally distinct.

3. A justice holding a Special Term may, in his discretion, certify to the General Term for hearing in the first instance any case coming before him, whether the General Term has appellate jurisdiction over the case or not.

4. Thus, where a trial of an appeal from a justice of the peace, in a landlord and tenant proceeding, has been had in the Special Term, and a motion is then made for a new trial on exceptions, such motion may be certified from the Special Term to the General Term for hearing in the first instance, although no appeal could have been taken from the decision of the justice holding the Special Term had he entertained the motion.

5. Any motion which is certified from the Special Term to the General Term for hearing in the first instance, although it belongs to that class of motions known as non-enumerated motions, becomes by force of the order of certification an enumerated motion.

6. A tenant entered in possession of real estate in 1863 under a twenty year lease, and after the expiration of the term held over with the consent of the landlord. In 1887 the tenant was served with a thirty days' notice to quit. It was contended that he was entitled to a six months' notice. Held , That a notice of thirty days was sufficient.

MOTION for a new trial in a landlord and tenant case. Certified to the General Term for hearing in the first instance.


This was a landlord and tenant proceeding, before a justice of the peace, by the owner of the premises (the District of Columbia) to recover possession thereof. Judgment being rendered for complainant, an appeal was taken to the Special Term of this Court, where the case was tried before a jury. On the trial the plaintiff gave in evidence a certain lease in writing, from the corporation of Washington to the defendant, bearing date of April 13, 1863, and duly recorded, by which the premises in controversy were leased to the defendant from that date for the term of twenty years. It was conceded by counsel for the respective parties that the defendant had entered into possession of the premises under the lease, and had since the expiration thereof continued in possession without any other or further lease or express contract, but only by virtue of the payment by him, and receipt by the plaintiff, of rent. The plaintiff thereupon offered in evidence a certain notice in writing of thirty days to the defendant to quit, bearing date August 4, 1887. The bill of exceptions then proceeds to state that " the defendant, by his counsel, objected to the introduction in evidence of such notice to quit, upon the ground that the same was insufficient in law, and that the defendant was entitled to a notice of six months, notwithstanding the provisions of sections 680 and 681 of the Revised Statutes of the United States relating to the District of Columbia; which objection the justice presiding sustained, and refused to admit the said notice of thirty days in evidence, and the plaintiff excepted to such ruling; and thereupon, the counsel for plaintiff admitting that no other or further notice had been given the defendant to quit the premises in controversy, the justice presiding instructed the jury to return a verdict for the defendant; to which ruling, also, the plaintiff excepted; and the jury accordingly returned its verdict for the defendant. Whereupon, and within the time allowed by rules of the Court, the plaintiff moved for a new trial upon the exceptions aforesaid, and for error by the presiding justice in his rulings and...

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