Hill v. Jones

Decision Date03 January 1934
Citation170 A. 154,118 Conn. 12
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court
PartiesHILL v. JONES. HOTCHKISS v. SAME.

Appeal from Superior Court, Fairfield County; Frank P. McEvoy Judge.

Actions by John R. Hill, after whose death his executrix, Minnie R Hill, was made plaintiff, and by Frank A. Hotchkiss, against Andrew R. Jones for accounting and recovery of rentals. From judgments for defendant in the first case and for plaintiff in the second case on facts found by a committee, to which the actions were referred, both plaintiffs appeal.

No error.

Raymond E. Baldwin, of Bridgeport, and William H. Cable, of Danbury, for appellants.

J Moss Ives, of Danbury, for appellee.

Argued before MALTBIE, C.J., and HAINES, HINMAN, BANKS, and AVERY, JJ.

HAINES, Judge.

These actions were begun in 1920. The original plaintiff in the first action was John R. Hill, who died in 1930 and whose executrix was thereafter made plaintiff. On November 5, 1905, Hill and the defendant Jones bought certain real estate in the city of Danbury with a building thereon. The property was subject to two mortgages of $20,000 and $6,850, respectively. Their common ownership continued to August 15, 1914, when Hill sold his interest to Hotchkiss, the plaintiff of record in the second of these actions. Thereafter Hotchkiss held the property in common with Jones until December 16, 1919, when Hill repurchased from Hotchkiss and again became an owner in common with Jones, and so continued until May 25, 1922, when he sold his interest to Jones, who thus became the sole owner of the property.

In November, 1905, when Hill and Jones bought the property, one of the tenants of the building was the Danbury Hardware company, under a five-year lease at $2,000 per year rental. This lease was assigned to Hill and Jones, and expired in 1907 and was not renewed, but the company continued as a tenant, paying at the same rate as before, until July 1, 1918, and thereafter paid at the rate of $2,400 per year. The stock of this company was owned by Hill and Jones from about 1896 until June 1, 1911, and both were officers of the company. On the latter date, Hill sold his stock in the company to Jones, and the latter thereafter remained the sole owner of all the stock save two shares. Hill's claim for rental in the present action dates from this time, and the two periods during which Jones owned the company, while both owned the real estate, aggregate five years seven and five-sixths months, while the claim of Hotchkiss covers five years and four months.

Hill also sought a partition of the real estate when he began his action in 1920, and judgment for partition by sale was ordered October 29, 1920, and a committee was appointed to make the sale and take an accounting of rents. The judgment of partition was never carried out, for Hill sold his interest to Jones in 1922. The complaints as amended in 1930 demanded an accounting at $300 per month rental for the company, alleging that this was the amount which Jones had agreed the company would pay and that it was in fact paid by the company. The report of the committee upon the accounting is of record as of September 2 and 15, 1932. It finds that the company did not so agree, but whether Jones had himself so promised as alleged in the complaints is not found. Of record therefore this allegation of the complaints was not sustained.

The committee found that the actual amount of rentals paid by all the tenants to Jones for the five years seven and five-sixths months of Hill's ownership amounted, including a small balance on hand of $34.10, to $15,020.10, and the disbursements during the same period were $17,855.92, showing a deficit of $2,826.82. Upon this report of the facts the court gave judgment in the Hill case for the defendant. In the Hotchkiss case, the committee found the amount of the receipts to be $12,340.75 and the expenditures $9,004.76 showing a surplus of $3,335.99. To one-half of this the court added an interest charge of $1,379.71 and gave judgment for Hotchkiss for $3,047.70.

No objections to the acceptance of this report appear of record, and for the purposes of this appeal the facts therein stated are to be treated as established. Upon the plaintiff's claim that the rental paid by the company should have been calculated at $300 per month, however, the committee filed certain alternative figures based upon that contention which showed that the receipts in the Hill case would have been $23,149.41 and the expenditures $17.855.92, creating a surplus in that case of $5,293.49 and increasing the surplus in the Hotchkiss case to $12,891.20. The court gave judgments on the original report, and practically the sole question to which the five assignments on the present appeal are directed, is conceded to be whether the court erred in refusing to give judgments based upon the alternative figures.

Since no agreement is established that the company would pay $300 per month rental, Jones is not liable in these actions on that basis unless the relations of the parties were such as to impose that obligation upon him as matter of law. Basing the conclusion upon the testimony of real estate men, the committee found that $300 per month would have been a " reasonable" rental for the hardware company, and the question thus...

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6 cases
  • O'Connor v. Larocque
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • November 1, 2011
    ...will have notice of the adverse claim.” (Emphasis added.) Ruick v. Twarkins, supra, at 158, 367 A.2d 1380; see also Hill v. Jones, 118 Conn. 12, 16, 170 A. 154 (1934) (“[o]uster will not be presumed from mere exclusive possession of the common property by one cotenant”). In discussing the t......
  • Zaist v. Olson
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • March 7, 1967
    ...Humphrey v. Argraves, 145 Conn. 350, 354, 143 A.2d 432; Swiss Cleaners, Inc. v. Danaher, 129 Conn. 338, 345, 27 A.2d 806; Hill v. Jones, 118 Conn. 12, 17, 170 A. 154. 'Under such circumstances, the general rule which recognizes the individuality of corporate entities and the independent cha......
  • New Haven Metal & Heating Supply Co. v. Danaher
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • July 15, 1941
    ...function to uphold the ends of public policy. Berkey v. Third Avenue Ry. Co., 244 N.Y. 84, 95, 155 N.E. 58, 50 A.L.R. 599; Hill v. Jones, 118 Conn. 12, 18, 170 A. 154. But the legislature determines the public policy of the state, and there is no such restriction upon the legislative functi......
  • DeMartino v. Monroe Little League, Inc.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • February 21, 1984
    ...be disregarded." Mull v. Colt Co., 31 F.R.D. 154, 166 (S.D.N.Y.1962). 6 This general principle is grounded in equity. Hill v. Jones, 118 Conn. 12, 17-18, 170 A. 154 (1934); see generally, Angelo Tomasso, Inc. v. Armor Construction & Paving, Inc., 187 Conn. 544, 447 A.2d 406 (1982). Fraud ne......
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