Evans v. Wilhite

Decision Date02 June 1910
Citation52 So. 845,167 Ala. 587
CourtAlabama Supreme Court

Appeal from Chancery Court, Cullman County; W. H. Simpson Chancellor.

Action by Charles M. Evans against J. D. Wilhite and others. A demurrer to the bill was sustained, and a motion granted to dissolve an injunction, and the bill was finally dismissed for want of equity and plaintiff appeals. Reversed and remanded.

Brown &amp Kyle, for appellant.

F. E St. John, for appellees.


Appellant filed his bill to set aside a judgment against him in a court of law, and to enjoin its enforcement pending the suit.

The theory and allegations of the bill, in short, were that the judgment was obtained by fraud on the part of appellee; that the cause was continued for the term by agreement of parties, and that after appellant and his attorney had left court, appellee, by fraudulent representations, had the court to set aside the order of continuance and to proceed to trial, and thus by fraud procured the judgment. Appellee demurred to the bill and moved to dissolve the injunction. His demurrer was sustained, and motion granted as to the original bill and the amended bill; and the bill as amended was finally dismissed for want of equity. This was error. If the averments of the bill were true--and on demurrer and motion they must be so treated--the complainant was entitled to the relief prayed; hence, the bill should not have been dismissed, nor the injunction dissolved. Equity has original and independent jurisdiction for the purposes for which this bill was filed.

The probable theory upon which the chancellor proceeded was that the bill failed to aver that complainant was ignorant of the judgment being taken against him, until after the expiration of four months, within which time he could have obtained the relief desired by application to the circuit court which rendered the judgment; in other words, that the bill in this respect failed to show due diligence, and therein failed to show that complainant did not have a complete and adequate remedy at law. If this be the theory upon which the chancellor dismissed the bill, it is untenable. While the four months (section 5372 of the Code of 1907) may have afforded the necessary relief in a court of law, from any judgment such as the one here sought to be vacated, yet it is not the exclusive mode of relief, but is concurrent and cumulative with that of equity. Nixon v. Clear Creek Co., 150 Ala. 604, 43 So. 805, 9 L. R. A. (N. S.) 1255; 23 Cyc. 978. The original jurisdiction of a court of equity is not affected by a statute conferring like or similar jurisdiction upon courts of law, unless the statute so provides, but it is held to confer a concurrent and cumulative remedy. Stewart v. Stewart, 31 Ala. 213; Rose v. Gunn, 79 Ala. 415.

This case is clearly distinguishable from the case of Roebling & Sons v. Stevens, 93 Ala. 39, 9 So. 369. In that case the judgment of the lower court was affirmed on certificate by this court, in violation of an agreement. In that case the complainant had an adequate remedy at law, by motion in this court to set aside the affirmance. And that motion would be a continuation of the original suit by appeal. In the case at bar, the motion, under the four-month statute, is not a continuation of the original or main suit, but is the institution of another suit in a court of law, which would otherwise require the aid of a court of equity. It is a separate and independent suit; but is cumulative and concurrent with that of equity, and is in no sense exclusive of chancery jurisdiction for relief against judgments at law which are obtained by...

To continue reading

Request your trial
67 cases
  • Gill v. More
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • June 14, 1917
    ... ... 348, 3 So. 670; Raisin Fert. Co. v. McKenna, 114 ... Ala. 274, 21 So. 816; McDonald v. Cawhorn, 152 Ala ... 357, 44 So. 395; Evans v. Wilhite, 167 Ala. 587, 52 ... So. 845; Todd v. Leslie, 171 Ala. 624, 55 So. 174; ... Hauser v. Foley & Co., 190 Ala. 437, 67 So. 252 ... ...
  • Western Grain Co. Cases, 6 Div. 374
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • February 3, 1955
    ... ... Evans v. Wilhite et al., 167 Ala. 587, 52 So. 845; Wright v. Wright, supra.' ...         In Sullivan v. Pierce, 5 Cir., 125 F. 104, it was held ... ...
  • Edmondson v. Jones
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • February 14, 1920
    ...and the solemn judgments of courts are no exception to the salutary rule." Cromelin v. McCauley et al., 67 Ala. 542; Evans v. Wilhite, 167 Ala. 587, 52 So. 845; Evans v. Wilhite, 176 Ala. 287, 58 So. Curry v. Peebles, 83 Ala. 225, 3 So. 622; Mitchell v. Rice, 132 Ala. 126, 31 So. 498; Kerr ......
  • Batson v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • May 26, 1927
    ... ... cumulative and concurrent, and not exclusive of equity ... jurisdictions. Ingram v. Ala. Power Co., 201 Ala ... 13, 75 So. 304; Evans v. Wilhite, 167 Ala. 587, 52 ... So. 845; Harris v. Harris, 208 Ala. 20, 93 So. 841 ... And the statute, section 9518 of the Code, as observed by ... ...
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT