Gullett v. Blanton

Decision Date17 February 1914
PartiesGULLETT v. BLANTON et al.
CourtKentucky Court of Appeals

Appeal from Circuit Court, Johnson County.

Action by J. B. Gullett against Henry Blanton and others. From a judgment sustaining a demurrer to the petition, plaintiff appeals. Reversed, with directions.

Vaughan & Howes, of Paintsville, for appellant.

Fogg &amp Kirk, of Paintsville, for appellees.

CARROLL J.

The only question in this case is this: Has a justice of the peace jurisdiction to give judgment for the plaintiff on a claim within his jurisdiction after the defendant has filed a counterclaim or set-off exceeding the jurisdiction of justices of the peace and moved to transfer the case to a court having jurisdiction of the set-off or counterclaim?

Section 720 of the Civil Code, which is a part of the chapter relating to the practice in and jurisdiction of inferior courts, including justices' courts, provides that "A set-off or counterclaim, though exceeding, in amount the jurisdiction of the court, may be used to bar and extinguish the demand of the plaintiff; but no judgment shall be rendered in favor of the defendant for the excess, unless such excess be within the limits of the court's jurisdiction as to amount. The judgment shall ascertain the amount due to the plaintiff and give him a credit therefor on the claim used as a set-off or counterclaim: Provided that when the amount of the counterclaim or set-off exceeds the jurisdiction of the court trying the cause, the court shall, on motion of either party to the action, or by their attorneys, transfer the cause to the court having jurisdiction."

In the case we have the appellee, Blanton, sued the appellant, Gullett, in a court of a justice of the peace on a claim amounting to $100. Gullett, as defendant to this suit, filed an answer in which he set up a counterclaim amounting to $125, and moved the justice to transfer the case to a court having jurisdiction of the same. Blanton objected to the transfer, and the motion was overruled by the justice, who proceeded to hear and determine the controversy and give judgment against Gullett for the amount of Blanton's claim. After this an execution issued on the judgment and Gullett, proceeding upon the theory that the judgment was void, brought this suit in the circuit court to enjoin the collection of the execution. The circuit court sustained a demurrer to the petition, and thereupon it was dismissed and this appeal prosecuted.

It is conceded by counsel for appellee that the ruling of the justice in refusing to transfer the case and in giving judgment was erroneous, but it is insisted that it was not void. If the judgment was merely erroneous and not void, this suit to enjoin the collection of the execution could not be maintained, and so the question is: Did the justice have jurisdiction to render a judgment in the case after a motion to transfer had been made? If he did not have jurisdiction, his judgment was void for want of jurisdiction. Black on Judgments, vol. 1, § 240. If he did have jurisdiction, it was merely erroneous.

A void judgment may be attacked and proceedings under it enjoined in any court having jurisdiction of the subject-matter of the action, and, if the judgment...

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8 cases
  • International Harvester Co. of America v. Commonwealth
    • United States
    • Kentucky Court of Appeals
    • May 5, 1916
    ... ... that a void judgment is subject to collateral attack from any ... person affected by it. Gullett v. Blanton, etc., 157 ... Ky. 457, 163 S.W. 465; Puckett et al. v. Jameson, ... Sheriff, 157 Ky. 172, 162 S.W. 801; Robinson v ... Carlton, etc., ... ...
  • Adams Express Co. v. Bradley
    • United States
    • Kentucky Court of Appeals
    • February 8, 1918
    ... ... 240; Combs v ... Sewell, 59 S.W. 526, 22 Ky. Law Rep. 1026; Robinson ... v. Carlton, 123 Ky. 419, 96 S.W. 549, 29 Ky. Law Rep ... 876; Gullett v. Blanton, etc., 157 Ky. 457, 163 S.W ... 465. This rule applies in criminal as well as civil cases ... Board of Prison Commissioners v. De ... ...
  • Ewing v. Union Central Bank
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court — District of Kentucky
    • May 29, 1934
    ...Ky. 773, 182 S.W. 941; Stevens v. Deering, 9 S.W. 292, 10 Ky. Law Rep. 393; Hays v. Baker, 237 Ky. 265, 35 S.W. (2d) 296; Gullett v. Blanton, 157 Ky. 457, 163 S.W. 465; E.H. Taylor & Sons v. Thornton, 178 Ky. 463, 199 S.W. Since the bond under which the execution issued is void and of no ef......
  • International Harvester Co. v. Commonwealth
    • United States
    • Kentucky Court of Appeals
    • May 5, 1916
    ...beginning with the earliest decisions, that a void judgment is subject to collateral attack from any person affected by it. Gullett v. Blanton, etc., 157 Ky. 457; Puckett, et al. v. Jameson, Sheriff, 157 Ky. 172; Robinson v. Charleston, etc., 123 Ky. 419; Bean v. Everett, 21 Rep. 1790; Carp......
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