199 A. 1 (N.J.L. 1938), 42, Sullivan v. Stout

Docket Nº:42
Citation:199 A. 1, 120 N.J.L. 304
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM.
Party Name:JAMES A. SULLIVAN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT, v. EDWARD P. STOUT, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT
Attorney:For the appellant, James A. Sullivan, pro se. For the respondent, Edward P. Stout, pro se.
Judge Panel:For affirmance -- THE CHANCELLOR, CHIEF JUSTICE, TRENCHARD, PARKER, CASE, BODINE, DONGES, HEHER, PERSKIE, PORTER, HETFIELD, DEAR, WELLS, WOLFSKEIL, RAFFERTY, WALKER, JJ. 16. For reversal -- None.
Case Date:April 29, 1938
Court:Supreme Court of New Jersey
 
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Page 1

199 A. 1 (N.J.L. 1938)

120 N.J.L. 304

JAMES A. SULLIVAN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

EDWARD P. STOUT, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT

No. 42

Court of Errors and Appeals of New Jersey

April 29, 1938

Submitted February 11, 1938.

Page 2

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 3

On appeal from a judgment of the Supreme Court, tried before Judge Ackerson, who filed the following opinion:

"This cause has been submitted to the court for trial without a jury upon stipulated facts and upon depositions taken by consent of the parties.

"The complaint is in two counts. In the first the plaintiff alleges that in March, 1910, he employed the defendant, an attorney-at-law, to 'examine and certify the title to certain real estate' and that the defendant was negligent in the performance of the duty thus assumed in that he certified that title to said premises in fee-simple was vested in William P. Kastenhuber and Dora, his wife, who in fact had only a life estate therein, by reason of which negligence plaintiff was damaged. In the second count the plaintiff alleges, in substance, that the defendant 'certified, represented and warranted that he examined the title to said lands and that title in fee-simple was vested' in said Kastenhubers, which was not the fact as hereinbefore stated, whereby plaintiff was damaged.

"The defendant's answer, aside from denying liability generally, sets up three separate defenses to both counts of the complaint. In the first separate defense the defendant denies that he was employed to examine and certify the title to said premises, but asserts that he was employed merely as an abstractor to examine the records in the Hudson county register's and clerk's offices and make report of the title as it appeared from the records of said offices which he did in a proper manner. The second defense denies that plaintiff sustained any damage and the third sets up the statute of limitations.

"It appears from the stipulated facts that on or about March 15th, 1910, defendant was employed by plaintiff to search the title to the premises in question. The nature and extent of the employment, however, is in dispute. It further appears that pursuant to his employment the defendant searched the records in the Hudson county register's, clerk's and surrogate's offices and on or about April 13th, 1910, delivered to plaintiff an abstract of the wills, deeds and mortgages in the chain of title, as they appeared of record in those offices, which indicated that the fee-simple to the aforesaid premises was vested in William P. Kastenhuber and his wife. On April 13th, 1910, said Kastenhubers conveyed said premises to James Billington, who in turn conveyed same to plaintiff's wife, Ella J. Sullivan...

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