Brooks v. State

Decision Date21 December 1912
Docket Number(No. 4,543.)
Citation76 S.E. 765,12 Ga.App. 104
CourtGeorgia Court of Appeals

(Syllabus by the Court.)

1. Grand Jury (§ 19*)—Criminal Law (§ 686*)—Master and Servant (§ 67*)— Frauds, Statute of (§ 44*)—Plea in Abatement — Violation of Labor Contract Law—Contracts Not to be Performed Within Year—"Contract."

There was no error in the rulings of the court upon the demurrer and upon the pleas in abatement, nor in reopening the case for the admission of further evidence as to the venue; but in view of the fact that the evidence upon the trial failed to show any definite date, either for the commencement or termination of the contract of labor entered into by the accused, and further failed to establish that the defendant was actuated by a fraudulent intent at the time he obtained the advances, the conviction was unauthorized. Furthermore, though the allegation as to the contract, in the indictment, was sufficient, because the term "contract, " for purposes of pleading, prima facie imports that the agreement was reduced to writing, still the evidence failed to show any valid contract, because it was uncontradicted that the contract was not to be performed within one year from the time it was made.

[Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Grand Jury, Cent. Dig. §§ 53-55; Dec. Dig. § 19;* Criminal Law, Cent. Dig. §§ 1619, 1620, 1625, 1626; Dec. Dig. § 686;* Master and Servant, Cent. Dig. § 75; Dec. Dig. § 67;* Frauds, Statute of, Cent. Dig. §§ 66, 92; Dec. Dig. § 44.*

For other definitions, see Words and Phrases, vol. 2, pp. 1513-1534; vol. 8, pp. 7615, 7616.]

(Additional Syllabus by Editorial Staff.)

2. Judgment (§ 282*)—Signature.

A judgment is valid, though unsigned by the court, where the minutes on which it is entered have been properly signed.

[Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Judgment, Cent. Dig. §§ 554-556; Dec. Dig. § 282.*]

Error from Superior Court, Greene County; B. F. Walker, Judge.

John Brooks was convicted of violating the Labor Contract Law of 1903, and brings error. Reversed.

Noel P. Park, of Greensboro, for plaintiff in error.

Jos. E. Pottle, Sol. Gen., of Milledgeville, and Jas. Davison, Sol., of Greensboro, for the State.

RUSSELL, J. The plaintiff in error was tried before the judge of the county court of Greene county and adjudged guilty upon an indictment for violation of the "Labor Contract Law" of 1903 (Penal Code, § 715). His certiorari was thereafter overruled by the judge of the superior court, and he excepts to the judgment.

Before arraignment the accused demurred in the county court and filed two pleas in abatement. The demurrer was upon the grounds, among others, that the indictment did not allege the date, day, month, or year during 1909 when his service was to commence, nor for what time in 1909 it was to continue, and also upon the ground that the contract was alleged to have been made on or about the 15th day of October, 1908, and was to continue for the year 1909, and consequently was not to be performed within one year, and, there being no allegation that the contract was in writing, it appeared to be contrary to the statute of frauds and void. It is well settled, of course, that a contract to perform services for another must specify a definite period, and it must appear with sufficient clearness when the services are to begin and when they are to terminate; and for this reason the indictment would perhaps have been demurrable, if it had not appeared that it was entered into in October, 1908; and, from the omission of any allegation that the contract was in parol, it was to be inferred that the contract was in writing. It was to be presumed that the contract, when introduced, would more definitely specify the date designated for the commencement and termination of the services. The other grounds of the demurrer are so palpably without merit that we do not deem it necessary to discuss them.

The court properly found against the pleas in abatement, by which it was contended that certain of the grand jurors who found the indictment were not competent to serve as such. The defendant, having been arrested upon a warrant, had an opportunity to interpose timely objections to any grand jurors who might be disqualified. Se...

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2 cases
  • State v. Brown
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • November 4, 1922
    ...and the court did not abuse its discretion in permitting it. (Froman v. Commonwealth, 19 Ky. L. Rep. 948, 42 S.W. 728; Brooks v. State, 12 Ga.App. 104, 76 S.E. 765; State v. Martin, 102 Miss. 165, 59 So. 7; v. Murphy, 9 Nev. 394; 16 C. J., sec. 2190, p. 870.) It does not appear from the rec......
  • Evans v. State
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • September 18, 1915
    ...S. E. 945, 35 Am. St Rep. 216; Parris v. State, 125 Ga. 777(4), 54 S. E. 751; Tucker v. State, 135 Ga. 79, 68 S. E. 786; Brooks v. State, 12 Ga. App. 105, 76 S. E. 765. When, however, the grand jurors in this case, on being informed that more than the legal number of grand jurors had acted ......

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