Bronson v. Chambers

Decision Date17 November 1924
Citation51 N.D. 737,200 N.W. 906
PartiesBRONSON v. CHAMBERS et al.
CourtNorth Dakota Supreme Court
OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE
Syllabus by the Court.

The right and interest of a judgment creditor, who garnishes, to and in money owed by the garnishee, and by him deposited with the clerk of court pursuant to the statute, is measured by the right and interest of the judgment debtor in such indebtedness at the time of the garnishment.

Where a contract is ambiguous, and it is impossible to ascertain the intention of the parties thereto from the writing alone, the subsequent acts of the parties, showing the construction they put upon the agreement themselves, may be looked to by the court.

Appeal from District Court, Mountrail County; Geo. H. Moellring, Judge.

Action by C. A. Bronson against William M. Chambers and another, with Loran Stout, garnishee, wherein Alfred N. Olson and another were by the court interpleaded as garnishee defendants. From a judgment for the garnishee defendants, plaintiff appeals. Affirmed.C. N. Cottingham, of Van Hook, for appellant.

F. W. Medberry, of Stanley, for respondents.

NUESSLE, J.

In the fall of 1920, Chambers owned a threshing machine. He hired an engine by the day, procured a crew, and set out to thresh in his community. He entered into contracts to thresh the crops of various farmers, and on September 8th, under a contract entered into with Stout, the garnishee herein, moved to Stout's farm with his outfit and began threshing. The respondents Olson and Wales were his separator man and engineer Chambers was in financial difficulties, and unable to pay his crew on account thereof. So on the evening of September 8th he and the respondents Wales and Olson went to a notary public, who wrote out an agreement for them, which they all signed. This agreement reads:

“Sanish, North Dakota, Sept. 8, 1920.

This agreement, made and entered into by and between Mac Chambers, hereafter called party of the first part, and Alfred Olson and Walter Wales, hereafter called parties of the second part, witness that said parties of the second part, for the consideration of $30.00, thirty and no/100, per day to be paid by said party of the first part, agree to well and faithfully operate the threshing machine belonging to the party of the first part during all of the threshing season of 1920. Parties of the second part to have full control of said machine, make all collections and pay all expenses, and all earnings of said machine over and above expenses shall be turned over to the party of the first part. Mac Chambers.

Walter Wales.

Alfred N. Olson.”

Immediately thereafter Chambers turned the machine over to Wales and Olson, and threshing was continued. Stout's job was finished September 10th. Chambers, however, was about the machine off and on, and solicited threshing jobs from various other parties. On the 15th of September, the separator was seized by one of Chambers' creditors, threshing was discontinued, and on September 18th Bronson, the plaintiff and appellant, began an action against Chambers and garnished Stout. Stout answerd, setting out that he was owing on account of the threshing done for him, but that the money for such threshing was claimed by the respondents Wales and Olson. Thereupon an order was made by the court interpleading Wales and Olson as garnishee defendants, and the amount of the indebtedness of Stout was paid by him into court, under the provisions of section 7582, C. L. 1913. Thereupon Wales and Olson answered, and claimed the money so deposited under and by virtue of the contract heretofore set out, and which they had entered into with Chambers. To this answer the appellant made reply, denying the claim. On the issues as thus made, the case was tried to the court, who made findings of fact and conclusions of law, and ordered judgment in favor of the respondents Wales and Olson. From the judgment entered on such order, appellant brings this appeal to this court.

[1] It will thus be seen that the only issue for determination is that touching the question as to whether the indebtedness of Stout for the threshing was owing to Chambers, the judgment debtor, or to the respondents Olson and Wales. Appellant can have no other or greater right to the money owed by Stout, and by him deposited with the clerk, than Chambers himself had on the 18th day of September, at the time that the garnishee summons was served. The right of the appellant to, and his interest in, such funds must be measured by the right and interest that his judgment debtor, Chambers, had therein at the time of the garnishment. See State Bank of New Salem v. Schultze (N. D.) 199 N. W. 138;Brocket Mercantile Co. v. Lemke, 39 N. D. 37, 166 N. W. 800;Hatcher v. Plumley, 38 N. D. 147, 164 N. W. 698, and cases cited; International Harvester Co. v. Hanson et al., 36 N. D. 78, 761 N. W. 608.

On the trial, various witnesses were called on both sides. Chambers himself was a witness. He testified fully as to the transactions between himself, Wales, Olson, Stout, and...

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8 cases
  • Baird v. Meyer, 5372.
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • October 22, 1927
    ...by itself is a complete contract. Testing the note by the rules of interpretation laid down by this court in Bronson v. Chambers et al., 51 N. D. 737, 741, 200 N. W. 906, we find the contract that was to be embodied in the note was reduced to writing, and the intention of the parties, so fa......
  • Goetz v. Hubbell
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • April 25, 1936
    ... ... subject, however to the other provisions of law (§§ ... 5895 to 5921 inclusive, Comp. Laws 1913). Bronson v ... Chambers, 51 N.D. 741, 200 N.W. 906; Janssen v. Muller, ... 38 S.D. 611, 162 N.W. 393 ...          The law ... does not require ... ...
  • Goetz v. Hubbell
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • April 25, 1936
    ...This is not subject to the objection that it varies the terms of the written memorandum. We believe the rule laid down in Bronson v. Chambers, 51 N.D. 737, 200 N.W. 906, to the effect that where “it is impossible to ascertain the intention of the parties thereto from the writing alone, the ......
  • Anderson v. Osborne-McMillan Elevator Co.
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • November 17, 1924
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