Douma v. Powers, 48-65.

CourtNew Jersey Court of Chancery
Citation111 A. 401
Docket NumberNo. 48-65.,48-65.
Decision Date10 September 1920
111 A. 401


No. 48-65.

Court of Chancery of New Jersey.

Sept. 10, 1920.

111 A. 402

Suit by Rudolph Douma against Harriet Powers. On motion to dismiss bill. Motion denied.

Isadore Klenert, of Paterson, for the motion.

Clyde A. Bogert and A. Demorest Del Mar, both of Hackensack, opposed.

STEVENSON, V. C. The only objection to the bill which calls for consideration is that while it alleges that the parties contracted for the purchase and sale of the land in question it does not allege that the contract was in writing as required by the statute of frauds.

The rule is well settled that declarations in actions at law and bills in suits in equity are not demurrable because they fail to allege affirmatively that the contracts sued on, which are within the operation of the statute of frauds, are in writing. The rule of pleading is precisely the same in courts of law and courts of equity. In Whitehead v. Burgess, 61 N. J. Law, 75, 76, 38 Atl. 802 (1897) Mr. Justice Van Syckel, speaking for the Supreme Court, states the principle as follows:

"Where an action is founded upon a contract which at common law is valid without writing, but which the statute required to be in writing, the declaration need not count upon or take notice of the writing. If an action is brought upon a promise to pay the debt of another, the declaration need not aver that the promise is in writing, even if such be the fact. The reason is that the statute of frauds merely introduces a new rule of evidence, but does not alter or affect the rule of pleading." See cases cited.

In Hinchman v. Rutan, 31 N. J. Law, 496, Chief Justice Beasley, in delivering the opinion of the Court of Errors and Appeals, says (31 N. J. Law, 498):

"It has uniformly been held since the time of Charles II, when the statute of frauds was first enacted, that in declaring on a contract within its operation it need not be alleged or specifically shown that the contract was in writing."

The rule is equally well settled that when the declaration or bill shows on its face that the contract sued on was oral—was not in writing—the statute of frauds is available as a defense on demurrer. Wirtz v. Guthrie, 81 N. J. Eq. 271, 276, 87 Atl. 134 Emery, V. C. 1913).

The following are some of the authorities which sustain the foregoing propositions: Cozine v. Graham, 2 Paige (N. Y.) 177; Wentworth Lumber Co. v. McLean, 22 Ga. App. 737, 97 S. C. 194; Boney v. Cheshiree, 147 Ga. 30, 92 S. E. 636;...

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8 cases
  • Edwards v. Wyckoff Elec. Supply Co., A--541
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • October 25, 1956
    ...370, 56 A.2d 482 (Sup.Ct.1948); former Sup.Ct. Rule 58; Lozier v. Hill, 68 N.J.Eq. 300, 305, 59 A. 234 (Ch.1904); Douma v. Powers, 92 N.J.Eq. 25, 27, 111 A. 401 (Ch.1920); in contrast, where the agreement is acknowledged to be oral, vide Ziegener v. Daeche, 91 N.J.L. 634, 636, 103 A. 82 (E.......
  • Barnes v. P. & D. Mfg. Co., Inc., 112.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • October 2, 1936
    ...300, at pages 305, 306, 59 A. 234. A clear and comprehensive resume of the law on the subject is found in Douma v. Powers, 92 N.J.Eq. 25, at pages 26, 27, 111 A. 401, 402, wherein Vice Chancellor Stevenson held that: "The rule is well settled [in New Jersey and generally in the other states......
  • Miller v. Domanski, A--84
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • June 18, 1953
    ...... And likewise the statute of frauds. Douma v. Powers, 92 N.J.Eq. 25, 111 A. 401 . Page 328. (Ch.1920). And the statutory command, where a bond and mortgage are given for the same debt, that ......
  • De Marco v. Estlow, C--1945
    • United States
    • Superior Court of New Jersey
    • January 29, 1952
    ...was oral, the statute was available as a defense on demurrer. Wirtz v. Guthrie, 81 N.J.Eq. 271, 87 A. 134 (Ch.1913); Douma v. Powers, 92 N.J.Eq. 25, 111 A. 401 (Ch.1921). Motions for dismissal of the complaint under the present practice, on the ground that the complaint sets forth no claim ......
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