Kansas City Power & Light Co. v. Kansas City

Decision Date08 April 1968
Docket NumberNo. 1,No. 53145,53145,1
Citation426 S.W.2d 105
PartiesKANSAS CITY POWER & LIGHT COMPANY, a Corporation, Respondent, v. KANSAS CITY, Missouri, a Municipal Corporation, Appellant
CourtMissouri Supreme Court

Thomas M. Sullivan, Downey, Sullivan, McCormick & Fitzgerald, Kansas City, for respondent.

Herbert C. Hoffman, City Counselor, Ned B. Bahr, Associate City Counselor, Richard W. Mason, Jr., Associate City Counselor, Kansas City, for appellant.

HOUSER, Commissioner.

Kansas City Power & Light Company filed a petition in two counts against Kansas City, Missouri. The first count is to quiet title to Lot 8 of Hawthorn Plantside Addition, a subdivision in that city, and for a decree adjudging that plaintiff is the fee simple owner of the land, subject only to an easement for levee purposes. The second count is for an accounting of all monies, rentals and crops received by defendant in its use of the land, under certain lease and rental arrangements alleged to have been made.

The case was tried to the court on both counts. The judgment entered, responsive to the issues drawn on Count I, did not dispose of or refer to the issues framed on Count II. The court did not specifically designate the judgment as a final judgment for the purposes of appeal. Defendant, appealing from the judgment, complains only of the action of the court in quieting title in fee simple in plaintiff.

As indicated, the record shows that the case was tried to the court on both counts. In opening statement counsel for plaintiff, after referring to the fact that a dispute arose as to the ownership of this tract of ground, stated 'There were people who had used part of it to raise some crops, and they had paid some money to Kansas City, Missouri, and they had paid formerly to the Power and Light Company, the Plaintiff. So when this dispute arose, it was reduced to and resulted in a lawsuit.' Plaintiff's counsel during the presentation of evidence at first suggested that Count II be 'left in abeyance,' but then indicated that plaintiff did not want to waive its claim under Count II and proceeded to introduce evidence showing the amount of the rents collected. The full transcript on this phase of the case follows:

'MR. SULLIVAN: There is one other thing we ought to clear up. We joined a count for collecting the rents and not accounting. I think Mr. Bahr and I have always believed that it would depend solely upon the determination of Count I so that can just be left in abeyance by the Court altogether.

'MR. BAHR: I believe so, Your Honor.

'MR. SULLIVAN: I don't want to waive the right--

'MR. BAHR: No. We don't want you to waive that either.

MR. SULLIVAN: But there is no sense in going into it in detail at this time until we get Count I straightened out.

'THE COURT: Depending on the ruling on Count I, wouldn't that--

'MR. SULLIVAN: More or less the amount is pretty well determined by this time.

'MR. BAHR: I believe the amount is less than a thousand dollars, Your Honor.

'MR. SULLIVAN: Nine hundred twenty-seven, whatever the interest--

'MR. BAHR: I don't think either side is going to pursue that. They may.

'MR. SULLIVAN: Your Honor, while we are waiting, I just might read that into evidence from the interrogatories to the defendant.

'I will offer in evidence Interrogatories 1(a), 1(b), 1(c), and 1(d), without reading them in detail, from the Plaintiff to the Defendant, which asked if there had been any rentals collected, and the answers were made that there had been a lease with Mr. Carl Parretta and Mr. Dominick Parretta, and that the total sums collected under that lease by the Defendant City was $827.38, as shown on the interrogatories, and I will just with that statement of the evidence of that, let it ride

'MR. BAHR: No objection on that, Your Honor.'

In the judgment entry the court recited that plaintiff 'adduced evidence in support of its Petition and that the Defendant has adduced evidence in support of its Answer (which admitted leases and rental arrangements; admitted that defendant had not accounted to plaintiff for crops and rentals; denied plaintiff's right to an accounting thereof and denied any indebtedness to plaintiff for crops or rentals), and the Court having examined the pleadings and having heard the evidence and the statements of counsel, and being fully advised herein, DOES ENTER ITS JUDGMENT * * *' (finding the issues for plaintiff and against defendant and that plaintiff is the owner in fee simple of the land (described); that defendant has an easement for levee purposes; that defendant has no other right, title or interest in the real estate and is barred, precluded and estopped from claiming and asserting any other right, title and interest therein, and assessing the costs against defendant).

A court, ever mindful of its jurisdiction, must determine whether or not a final judgment has been appealed from, regardless of whether the issue has been raised by the parties. Deeds v. Foster, Mo.Sup., 235 S.W.2d 262, 265(4); Hance v. St. Louis-San Francisco R. Co., Mo.App., 283 S.W.2d 879, 880. The right of appeal is purely statutory and when the statutes do not give such right, no right exists. Dudeck v. Ellis, Mo.Sup., 376 S.W.2d 197, 204(2); Civil Rule 82.01, V.A.M.R.; § 512.020, RSMo 1959, V.A.M.S. Section 512.020, RSMo 1959, V.A.M.S., provides for an appeal 'from any final judgment in the case' and from certain other orders and judgments not here pertinent. Section 511.020, RSMo 1959, V.A.M.S., defines a judgment as '* * * the final determination of the right of the parties in the action.' In Dudeck v. Ellis, supra, 376 S.W.2d, l.c. 204, this Court said: 'For the purposes of an appeal a judgment must be a final judgment and it must ordinarily dispose of all parties and all issues in the case, unless the trial court has ordered a separate trial of any claim or issue, or has specifically designated the particular judgment as a final judgment for the purposes of appeal. Stith v. St. Louis Public Service Co., 363 Mo. 442, 251 S.W.2d 693, 695(2), 34 A.L.R.2d 972; Magee v. Mercantile-Commerce Bank & Trust Co., 339 Mo. 559, 98 S.W.2d 614, 616; Supreme Court Rules 74.01 and 82.06; § 511.020 RSMo 1959, V.A.M.S. If no such final appealable judgment has been entered by the trial court the appeal is premature and must be dismissed. Deeds v. Foster (Mo.Sup., 235 S.W.2d 262). Our statu...

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  • Barney v. Suggs
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • April 2, 1985
    ...is purely statutory and, therefore, when our statutes do not confer such a right, it does not exist. Kansas City Power & Light Co. v. Kansas City, 426 S.W.2d 105, 107 (Mo.1968); Walker v. Thompson, 338 S.W.2d 114, 115, 116 (Mo.1960), Snoddy v. County of Pettis, 45 Mo. 361, 362 (1870). Simpl......
  • Speck v. Union Elec. Co., 68781
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • May 19, 1987
    ...2 "The right of appeal is purely statutory and when the statutes do not give such right, no right exists." Kansas City Power & Light Co. v. Kansas City, 426 S.W.2d 105, 107 (Mo.1968); accord Dudeck v. Ellis, 376 S.W.2d 197, 204 (Mo.1964); see also Rule 81.01. Section 512.020, RSMo 1986, per......
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    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • January 15, 1980
    ...be indicated by order of this Court or otherwise. Rules 81.01 and 120.01; §§ 211.261 and 512.020, RSMo; Kansas City Power & Light Company v. Kansas City, 426 S.W.2d 105 (Mo.1968). 1 In a related case, In re Trapp, 528 S.W.2d 489 (Mo.App.1975), appellant and her husband did appeal a judgment......
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    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • May 21, 1970
    ...1049, 256 S.W.2d 825, 827(1).' 3 The mother's appeal is dismissed. TITUS, P.J., and HOGAN, J., concur. 1 Kansas City Power & Light Co. v. Kansas City, Mo., 426 S.W.2d 105, 107(2); Dudeck v. Ellis, Mo., 376 S.W.2d 197, 204(2); United Security Ins. Co. v. Volkswagen of America, Inc., Mo.App.,......
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