Cowley v. Patch

Decision Date03 March 1876
Citation120 Mass. 137
PartiesCharles Cowley v. Ephraim B. Patch, executor
CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court

Middlesex. Contract against the executor of John W. Graves. The declaration contained two counts, the first of which was for money had and received to the plaintiff's use by the said Graves. The second count was for professional services and disbursements. The answer alleged, among other things that if the testate was ever indebted to the plaintiff, as alleged, he was jointly indebted with one Henry H. Fuller now living, and that the plaintiff had elected to prosecute his suits, for the indebtedness and identical subject-matter in each count contained, against Fuller to final judgments which judgments had been against the plaintiff, and in favor of Fuller. The case was submitted to the Superior Court upon an agreed statement of facts in substance as follows:

Each count declares on a distinct and separate demand. The indebtedness in the second count, if any, (which the defendant does not admit,) was originally the joint indebtedness of the defendant's testate, John W. Graves, and Henry H. Fuller. A suit was formerly brought by the plaintiff, for this identical demand against Graves and Fuller, in the lifetime of Graves. Upon the death of Graves during the pendency of the suit in court, the plaintiff discontinued against Graves, and prosecuted his suit to final judgment against Fuller alone as the survivor of the joint debtors. On trial by jury, verdict and judgment were in favor of Fuller, the defendant, who obtained judgment for costs, which have been paid on execution.

A suit for the identical demand sought to be recovered in the first count was formerly brought by the plaintiff against John W. Graves in his lifetime. After suit brought and after the death of Graves, the plaintiff by order of court, on motion, summoned Henry H. Fuller into court as a joint debtor, contractor and defendant, with Graves, alleging that he was such in his motion to summon him in. Fuller was thus joined as a joint debtor and defendant with Graves. Graves dying pending the suit in court, the plaintiff discontinued as to Graves and prosecuted his suit to trial, verdict and judgment against Fuller alone as the surviving joint debtor. The ground of procedure against Fuller, through trial and up to final judgment was, that he was a joint contractor and debtor with Graves, and the trial was conducted on that ground. Verdict and judgment were in favor of the defendant, Fuller, who obtained a judgment for costs against the plaintiff, which has been paid on execution.

Upon these facts Putnam, J., ruled that the action could not be maintained, and ordered judgment for the defendant. The plaintiff appealed.

Judgment for the defendant.

C. Cowley, pro se.

G. Stevens, for the defendant.

Gray, C. J. Colt & Endicott, JJ., absent.

OPINION

Gray, C. J.

In order to maintain an action on a joint contract, whether the action is...

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17 cases
  • Hanson v. Davison
    • United States
    • Minnesota Supreme Court
    • 26 July 1898
    ... ... Davison v. Harmon, ... 65 Minn. 402; Johnson v. Lough, 22 Minn. 203; ... Kingsley v. Davis, 104 Mass. 178; Crowley v ... Patch, 120 Mass. 137; People v. Harrison, 82 ... Ill. 84; Lauer v. Bandow, 48 Wis. 638; Allen v ... Sewall, 2 Wend. 327, 339 ...           ... ...
  • Giedrewicz v. Donovan
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • 12 January 1932
    ...Jervis, 96 N. Y. 550, 556. The rule for which the defendant contends seems to have had some recognition in this commonwealth. Cowley v. Patch, 120 Mass. 137, was an action on an alleged liability of the defendant's testate and a third person jointly. The defendant was allowed the benefit of......
  • Home Owners Federal Sav. & Loan Ass'n v. Northwestern Fire & Marine Ins. Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • 7 June 1968
    ...party to be bound and by the court, specifically found the reverse? The view which we take of this case was early foreshadowed in Cowley v. Patch, 120 Mass. 137, which 'was an action on an alleged liability of the defendant's testate and a third person jointly. The defendant was allowed the......
  • Portland Gold Min. Co. v. Stratton's Independence, Ltd.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eighth Circuit
    • 6 December 1907
    ... ... joint and several promissory note, was declared a bar to a ... recovery against the others; Cowley v. Patch, 120 ... Mass. 137, where, in an action on an alleged joint liability ... of the defendant and a third person, it was held that the ... ...
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