Goff v. Sellers

Decision Date20 January 1927
Docket Number4 Div. 297
Citation111 So. 210,215 Ala. 489
PartiesGOFF et al. v. SELLERS.
CourtAlabama Supreme Court

Appeal from Circuit Court, Coffee County; W.L. Parks, Judge.

Action by W.W. Sellers against J.W. Goff, J.J. Faulk, and W.T Speigner. Judgment for plaintiff, and defendants appeal. Affirmed.

W.O Mulkey, of Geneva, and J.M. Loflin, of Enterprise, for appellants.

J.C Yarborough and J.W. Hicks, both of Enterprise, for appellee.


Section 9507, Code 1923 (section 2274, Code 1852), declares that the court "shall not charge upon the effect of the testimony, unless required to do so by one of the parties." It has been held that this section "was not intended to abridge the original, inherent power of the court to direct the attention of the jury to undisputed, admitted facts." Dennis v. State, 112 Ala. 64, 20 So. 925; Tidwell v. State, 70 Ala. 33. And, "when the record shows affirmatively that certain facts are clearly shown and not disputed--not made any part of the contention--then it is not error if they be assumed in the charge to be facts, and stated as such without hypothesis. *** [ But] If there is any conflict in the testimony, or if testimony is of such indeterminate character as that inferences must be drawn to make up its completeness, then such fact, or assumed fact, cannot be given in charge without hypothesis." Carter v. Chambers, 79 Ala. 223.

In this case, the fact of defendants' assault upon the plaintiff, as charged, being undisputed and expressly admitted by defendants, could be properly stated to the jury as a fact, without hypothesis. So, also, the admitted circumstances all showed, to a certain legal conclusion, that there was no justification or excuse for the assault; that is, none that could be recognized in a court of law, however strong the moral justification may have been.

In the case of Schloss v. Inman, 129 Ala. 424, 430, 30 So. 667, 669, it appeared that the trial judge, in response to a statement by the jury that they did not understand the general affirmative charge given for the plaintiffs, said:

"I charge you whether you believe the evidence for the plaintiffs or the claimant you must find for the plaintiffs."

This court said:

"This was a charge upon the effect of evidence, and being given ex mero motu, was improperly given in view of section 3326 of the Code [1896; section 9507, Code 1923] which provides *** But the facts entitling the plaintiffs were respectively established either by record evidence or were admitted so as not to depend on the credibility of oral testimony, and were such as made a verdict for the plaintiffs the only one which properly could have been found. Such being the case it is legally impossible that the jury in finding for the plaintiffs were improperly influenced by the oral charge and, therefore, it furnishes no ground for reversal."

Thus prior even to the adoption of rule 45, this court recognized the validity of the doctrine of error without injury in this class of cases with respect to violations of this statute by...

To continue reading

Request your trial
11 cases
  • Batson v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • May 26, 1927
    ... ... former pleading, or to instruct the jury on the effect or ... sufficiency of the evidence. Section 9507, Code; Goff v ... Sellers (Ala.Sup.) 111 So. 210; S.A.L.R. Co. v ... Savage (Ala.Sup.) 109 So. 748. There was no motion to ... exclude the evidence nor ... ...
  • Rowe v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • January 21, 1943
    ... ... the late, learned, and lamented Mr. Justice Somerville, for ... our Supreme Court, in the opinion in the case of Goff et ... al. v. Sellers, 215 Ala. 489, 111 So. 210, 211: ... 'Section 9507, Code 1923 (section 2274, Code of 1852) ... [Code 1940, Tit. 7, § 270], ... ...
  • Blair v. Greene
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • April 12, 1945
    ... ... facts. This Court has held that under such circumstances the ... cause will not be reversed. Goff et al. v. Sellers, ... 215 Ala. 489, 111 So. 210; Schloss v. Inman, Smith & Co., ... 129 Ala. 424, 430, 30 So. 667, 669. Here there is no dispute ... ...
  • Fields v. State, 1 Div. 857
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • June 10, 1986
    ...rev'd on other grounds, 437 So.2d 1330 (Ala.1983). See also Townsell v. State, 255 Ala. 495, 52 So.2d 186 (1951); Goff v. Sellers, 215 Ala. 489, 111 So. 210 (1927); 75 Am.Jur.2d Trial § 670 The trial court's comment in answer to the juror's question, "Insofar as this case is concerned, Mr. ......
  • 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