Bloomfield Railroad Co. v. Slike

Decision Date22 September 1886
Docket Number12,686
Citation8 N.E. 269,107 Ind. 480
PartiesThe Bloomfield Railroad Company v. Van Slike
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

From the Greene Circuit Court.

Judgment affirmed.

J. T Hays, H. J. Hays and P. H. Blue, for appellant.

A. G Cavins, E. H. C. Cavins and W. L. Cavins, for appellee.


Elliott, J.

The appellee's complaint is in three paragraphs; the first and second seek to recover for injuries to real estate by the construction of a railroad, and the third seeks to recover possession of the real estate.

The first and second paragraphs are undoubtedly good, for they show a wrongful entry upon the plaintiff's land. Such an entry is a trespass, and every trespass is actionable. If a complaint shows a cause of action, it will repel a demurrer, although it may not entitle the plaintiff to all the relief prayed.

We think the third paragraph is sufficient, but if we were wrong in this, we could not reverse the judgment: 1st. Because the agreement in the record shows that the single question the court was required to pass upon was the sufficiency of the answer. 2d. Because the record affirmatively shows that the judgment rests on the first and second paragraphs of the complaint.

Where parties, by an agreement entered of record, definitely submit a single question to the trial court, they can not, on appeal, present any other. So, too, where the record affirmatively shows that the judgment rests on two paragraphs of the complaint, it is not important whether the third was or was not sufficient.

The answers allege that the entry on the plaintiff's land was made by a receiver appointed to take charge of the affairs of the appellant as an insolvent corporation.

The appellant's counsel ingeniously argue that the case is within the rule that a corporation is not liable for the acts of an independent contractor, and that the receiver is to be regarded as such a contractor. In support of this position we are referred to the cases of Ryan v Curran, 64 Ind. 345 (31 Am. R. 123); Sessengut v. Posey, 67 Ind. 408 (33 Am. R. 98). We can not adopt the views of counsel, for, in our opinion, the rule referred to has no application whatever to such a case as the present. There is here no question of principal and agent, but the question is, had the appellant a right to enter on the land of the appellee, or to retain possession of it? If the appellee owned the land, then the appellant was guilty of an actionable wrong in interfering with his possession, unless its entry was under some person having a right to take possession. If the receiver had no such right, he could not transfer any right of possession, so that even if we were to regard the appellant as a grantee of its receiver, it could have no right to appellee's land unless the receiver had such a right as he could transfer. We do not, however, think that a receiver can be regarded as the grantor of the corporation, for he is merely an officer of the court placed in charge of the...

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