Garner v. Qualls

Decision Date31 December 1856
Citation4 Jones 223,49 N.C. 223
CourtNorth Carolina Supreme Court

Where the obligee represented to the obligor in a bond, that a relation of the latter had committed an indictable offence, and procured the bond in question to be executed, by agreeing not to prosecute for such offence, it is void--whether any such offence had been committed or not.

ACTION of DEBT, tried before BAILEY, J., at a Special Term (November, 1856,) of Granville Superior Court.

The action was brought upon a bond to which, among other pleas, was pleaded, “that the bond was given upon an illegal consideration, to prevent a prosecution for forgery.”

It was proved that the plaintiff represented to Mrs. Qualls, the principal in the bond, that her son-in-law, one Fowler, had committed three several forgeries, and told her he would prosecute him for these offences unless she gave him her bond for the amount Fowler owed him, and that if she would give him her bond he would not prosecute. She thereupon procured the other defendants to join in the obligation, and delivered it to the plaintiff. There was no other evidence that Fowler had committed the offences imputed to him than the above declaration of the plaintiff.

His Honor instructed the jury, that if, from the evidence submitted to them, they were of opinion that Mrs. Qualls believed that her son-in-law, Fowler, had committed forgery, as represented by the plaintiff, and gave the bond declared on to prevent a prosecution for the same, the bond was null and void, and the plaintiff could not recover, although they might not be satisfied that any forgery had been committed by Fowler. Plaintiff excepted.

Verdict for defendants. Judgment and appeal.

Bailey and Winston, Sen'r., for plaintiff .

R. B. Gilliam, for defendants .


It is now well established, as a broad conservative principle, that no executory contract, the consideration of which is contra bonos mores, or against the public policy, or the laws of the State, can be enforced in a Court of justice. Blythe v. Lovingood, 2 Ire. Rep. 20; Ingram v. Ingram, 49 N.C. 188, decided at this term. It is manifest that contracts founded upon agreements to compound felonies or to stifle public prosecutions of any kind, come within the range of this salutary principle. The counsel for the plaintiff admit this, but they contend that it does not apply to the present case, for they insist that no offence was proved to have been committed, and no prosecution commenced, and that, therefore, there was nothing to be compounded or stifled as the consideration for the defendant's contract. They contend further, that such being the case, the defendants cannot avoid their bond at law, even supposing the testimony of their witnesses to be true; because the alleged fraud was in the consideration and not in the factum of the instrument. See Gwynn v. Hodge, 49 N.C. 168.

The counsel for the defendants, in reply, say there was evidence that a forgery had been committed, derived from the plaintiff's own declaration, sufficient to satisfy the mind of the defendant Qualls that such was the fact, and to induce her to procure the other defendant to join her in the execution of the bond in question. Of this...

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6 cases
  • Johnson v. Pittman
    • United States
    • North Carolina Supreme Court
    • September 28, 1927
    ... ... the payment of a sum of money. Commissioners v ... March, 89 N.C. 268 ...          (3) Not ... to prosecute for crime. Garner v. Qualls, 49 N.C ...          (4) Not ... to appear as a witness against the accused. Thompson v ... Whitman, 49 N.C. 48; Vanover v ... ...
  • Aycock v. Gill
    • United States
    • North Carolina Supreme Court
    • April 5, 1922
    ...cases in this court have settled the general principle involved in this case. Blythe v. Lovinggood, 24 N.C. 20, 37 Am. Dec. 402; Garner v. Qualls, 49 N.C. 223; Vanover v. Thompson, 49 N.C. 485; Lindsay Smith, 78 N.C. 328, 24 Am. Rep. 463; Corbett v. Clute, 137 N.C. 546, 50 S.E. 216. In Thom......
  • George v. Leonard
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of South Carolina
    • May 7, 1947
    ...Beal v. Doyle Dry Goods Co. v. Barton, 1906, 80 Ark. 326, 97 S.W. 58; Schultz v. Culbertson, 1879, 46 Wis. 313, 1 N.W. 19; Garner v. Qualls, 1856, 49 N.C. 223, 4 Jones, Law 223; Corbett v. Clute, 1905, 137 N.C. 546, 50 S.E. 216; Chandler v. Johnson, 1869, 39 Ga. 85; Crowder v. Reed, 1881, 8......
  • Frye v. Sovine, 8121SC1084
    • United States
    • North Carolina Court of Appeals
    • September 7, 1982
    ...public policy. Johnson v. Pittman, 194 N.C. 298, 139 S.E. 440 (1927); Corbett v. Clute, 137 N.C. 546, 50 S.E. 216 (1905); Garner v. Qualls, 49 N.C. 223 (4 Jones 1856); 17 Am.Jur.2d Contracts §§ 200-204 (1964). Barrett denied that he had threatened respondent or promised her anything to get ......
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