Dietrich v. Pulitzer Pub. Co., No. 52531

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation422 S.W.2d 330
PartiesYvonne Sue DIETRICH, Appellant, v. The PULITZER PUBLISHING COMPANY, a corporation, Respondent
Docket NumberNo. 52531,No. 2
Decision Date08 January 1968

Page 330

422 S.W.2d 330
Yvonne Sue DIETRICH, Appellant,
v.
The PULITZER PUBLISHING COMPANY, a corporation, Respondent.
No. 52531.
Supreme Court of Missouri, Division No. 2.
Jan. 8, 1968.

Bernard Steinger, Clayton, for plaintiff-appellant.

Page 331

Evans & Hoemeke, Robert D. Evans, Robert B. Hoemeke, St. Louis, for respondent.

STOCKARD, Commissioner.

Plaintiff has appealed from a judgment in favor of defendant in her action for libel in which she sought actual and punitive damages in an amount far in excess of our minimum jurisdictional amount.

Plaintiff alleged she was libeled by two articles on March 23 and March 25, 1966, in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a newspaper of general circulation, said articles in their entirety being as follows:

'$12,000 IN COINS SEIZED IN RAID, MAN ARRESTED

'Coin collections valued at $12,000 were seized yesterday by police in a raid on the residence of Fred J. Dietrich, a former convict of the 4400 block of Ravenwood avenue, Pine Lawn.

'Dietrich was arrested when he fled through the back door of his home after officers knocked on the front door and informed him they had an arrest order for him. Nine police officers from Pine Lawn, Clayton and St. Louis had surrounded the four-room, one-story frame residence.

'Dietrich, released from the state penitentiary about a year ago after serving a two-year term for burglary, was booked suspected of burglary and stealing and released on $2500 appearance bond returnable next Wednesady in the court of Magistrate Harry Stussie of Clayton.

'Detective James Smith of the Clayton police reported that officers found more than 1500 coins in drawers and in heating ducts in the house. Many of the coins were old and others were foreign, he said. The seized coins included 100 silver dollars.

'Coin collectors who have been victims of burglaries will be asked to inspect the money, Smith said. The coins were taken to the Pine Lawn police station for sorting. Two coin collectors inspected them at the request of Police and placed the $12,000 valuation on them. They said the face value of the coins was $2,000.

'Police went to Dietrich's home after Clayton police had indications that he might have some stolen coins and city police received what they described as an anonymous tip to the same effect.

'Dietrich is well-known to police and has a long arrest record in addition to his 1963 burglary conviction.

'Five officers, led by Capt. William Karabas of the Pine Lawn polic, Went to the front door. The other four posted themselves around the house. When Dietrich emerged, Karabas informed him that he had an arrest order for him and his wife, Yvonne Sue.

'Dietrich said he had to get dressed and slammed the door. He ran out the back door where Detectives Jerry Weisbrod and Peter 'O'Connell were waiting.

'After some discussion with Mrs. Dietrich, officers persuaded her to sign a consent-to-search form. She was not arrested. The Dietrichs' 4-year-old daughter was there at the time.'

'RECOVERED COINS ARE STOLEN FROM TOWN'S CITY HALL

'Part of a stolen coin collection that had been recovered Tuesday from the home of a former convict was stolen last night from the office of the Pine Lawn city clerk, police discovered today.

'Burglars forced entrance to City Hall, 6250 Forest avenue, borke (sic) into the clerk's office and punched open a safe. The coins, of undertermined unmber and value, were taken. Pine Lawn police headquarters is in the basement of the building, but no officers are on duty after 11 p.m., it was reported.

Page 332

'Police recovered coin collections valued at $12,000 in a raid on the home of Fred Dietrich, convicted burglar, in the 4400 block of Ravenwood avenue, Pine Lawn. Dietrich was arrested and released on $2500 bond, returnable in magistrate court next week. More than 1500 coins, including 100 silver dollars, were found in drawers and heating ducts in the house.

'Capt. William Karabas told a reporter today that some coins were placed in a bank yesterday. An inventory is being made to identify those removed from the same, Karabas said.'

Plaintiff alleged that she operated an ice cream and food business known as Tastee-Freeze in St. Louis County, and that defendant's newspaper was circulated throughout the county and the City of St. Louis. She then alleged as follows:

'5. That said articles were circulated among and read by the residents of the City and County of St. Louis and that said articles referred to plaintiff and were intended to refer to plaintiff, and were so interpreted by the residents of the City and County aforesaid, as it was well known by said residents that plaintiff had a coin collection and at said time was selling, trading, exchanging, purchasing and collecting coins and paper money, and further, was doing business in the said area.

'6. That the publications aforesaid by the defendant were false, wanton, wilful, malicious, illegal, and recklessly made with the intent to defame the reputation and business of this plaintiff and to injure this plaintiff's reputation, business and business reputation in that...

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37 practice notes
  • American Civil Liberties Union/Eastern Missouri Fund v. Miller, No. 72837
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • February 7, 1991
    ...v. Sodowsky, 499 S.W.2d 421, 427 (Mo.1973); Jensen v. Estate of McCall, 426 S.W.2d 52, 56 (Mo.1968); Dietrich v. The Pulitzer Pub. Co., 422 S.W.2d 330, 334 (Mo.1968); Boyd v. Kansass City Area Transp. Authority, 610 S.W.2d 414, 416-17 (Mo.App.1980); Koller v. Ranger Ins. Co., 569 S.W.2d 372......
  • ITT Commercial Finance Corp. v. Mid-America Marine Supply Corp., MID-AMERICA
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 20, 1993
    ...the summary judgment motion. Cherry v. City of Hayti Heights, 563 S.W.2d 72, 75 (Mo. banc 1978); Dietrich v. Pulitzer Publishing Company, 422 S.W.2d 330, 333 (Mo.1986). We accord the non-movant the benefit of all reasonable inferences from the record. Martin v. City of Washington, 848 S.W.2......
  • Counts v. Morrison-Knudsen, Inc., MORRISON-KNUDSE
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • December 16, 1983
    ...so totally lacking in conformity to the rule that the harsh action of dismissal should result." Dietrich v. Pulitzer Publishing Company, 422 S.W.2d 330 The judgment is reversed and the cause remanded. GREENE, C.J., and MAUS and PREWITT, JJ., concur. CROW, J., recused. --------------- 1 All ......
  • Henson v. City of Springfield, No. SD 34731.
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • May 10, 2017
    ...summary judgment motion. Cherry v. City of Hayti Heights , 563 S.W.2d 72, 75 (Mo. banc 1978) ; Dietrich v. Pulitzer Publishing Company , 422 S.W.2d 330, 333 (Mo.1968). We accord the non-movant the benefit of all reasonable inferences from the record. Martin v. City of Washington , 848 S.W.2......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
37 cases
  • American Civil Liberties Union/Eastern Missouri Fund v. Miller, No. 72837
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • February 7, 1991
    ...v. Sodowsky, 499 S.W.2d 421, 427 (Mo.1973); Jensen v. Estate of McCall, 426 S.W.2d 52, 56 (Mo.1968); Dietrich v. The Pulitzer Pub. Co., 422 S.W.2d 330, 334 (Mo.1968); Boyd v. Kansass City Area Transp. Authority, 610 S.W.2d 414, 416-17 (Mo.App.1980); Koller v. Ranger Ins. Co., 569 S.W.2d 372......
  • ITT Commercial Finance Corp. v. Mid-America Marine Supply Corp., MID-AMERICA
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 20, 1993
    ...the summary judgment motion. Cherry v. City of Hayti Heights, 563 S.W.2d 72, 75 (Mo. banc 1978); Dietrich v. Pulitzer Publishing Company, 422 S.W.2d 330, 333 (Mo.1986). We accord the non-movant the benefit of all reasonable inferences from the record. Martin v. City of Washington, 848 S.W.2......
  • Counts v. Morrison-Knudsen, Inc., MORRISON-KNUDSE
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • December 16, 1983
    ...so totally lacking in conformity to the rule that the harsh action of dismissal should result." Dietrich v. Pulitzer Publishing Company, 422 S.W.2d 330 The judgment is reversed and the cause remanded. GREENE, C.J., and MAUS and PREWITT, JJ., concur. CROW, J., recused. --------------- 1 All ......
  • Henson v. City of Springfield, No. SD 34731.
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • May 10, 2017
    ...summary judgment motion. Cherry v. City of Hayti Heights , 563 S.W.2d 72, 75 (Mo. banc 1978) ; Dietrich v. Pulitzer Publishing Company , 422 S.W.2d 330, 333 (Mo.1968). We accord the non-movant the benefit of all reasonable inferences from the record. Martin v. City of Washington , 848 S.W.2......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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