Knowlton v. Seneca Engineering Co.

Decision Date03 September 1929
Citation36 F.2d 394
CourtU.S. District Court — Western District of New York

Mortimer L. Sullivan and Levi Ginsburg, both of Elmira, N. Y., for plaintiff.

Olin T. Nye, of Watkins, N. Y., and Charles E. Bostwick, of Rochester, N. Y., for defendant.

HAZEL, District Judge.

The application for a new trial on the ground of newly discovered evidence comes too late. In the absence of a statute, the court is without jurisdiction to grant relief after the expiration of the term at which the decision was rendered; the term not being extended by order. This rule applies to civil and criminal actions. Even where a term has been extended for filing and signing a bill of exceptions, a motion for a new trial on newly discovered evidence is not maintainable. Harley v. U. S. (C. C. A.) 269 F. 384. In United States v. Mayer, 235 U. S. 55, 35 S. Ct. 16, 59 L. Ed. 129, the Supreme Court definitely decided that state statutes relating to granting new trials are not applicable, and the consent of the adverse party could not confer jurisdiction where it was sought on facts discovered after the term at which the defendant was adjudged guilty had terminated. In Mann v. Dempster (C. C. A.) 181 F. 76, it was ruled in this circuit that the judgment could not be set aside for the purpose of granting a new trial when the term had long since expired. Nor can terms of court to afford relief for failure to file a bill of exceptions or consider newly discovered evidence be continued or extended by a nunc pro tunc order. Reader v. Haggin (C. C. A.) 160 F. 909; and see Exporters of Mfg. Products, Inc., v. Butterworth-Judson Co., 258 U. S. 365, 42 S. Ct. 331, 66 L. Ed. 663, and Sanford v. White (C. C.) 108 F. 928. The case of Fuller v. U. S., 182 U. S. 562, 21 S. Ct. 871, 45 L. Ed. 1230, cited by defendant, is of doubtful application, since in that case the right to grant a new trial, after termination of the term, was based on the statutes of Arkansas, which by congressional act was made a law of the Indian Territory, and the Supreme Court ruled that the proceeding for new trial after expiration of the term was in form a new and independent suit.

The particular relief sought herein is to vacate the judgment entered January 12, 1929, by order because of the discovery of new evidence tending to show that a material witness, who testified for plaintiff, was hostile, and might, if the facts had been elicited, have resulted in impeaching the witness. Such testimony was known to the secretary of defendant at the time of the trial, and was not communicated to counsel, and hence, in any event, does not constitute...

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2 cases
  • In re Fineberg
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of New York
    • November 25, 1929
  • United States v. Winter
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of Pennsylvania
    • May 7, 1941
    ...Failure on the part of the defendant to disclose it to his counsel is not material as respects this motion. Knowlton v. Seneca Engineering Co., D.C., 36 F.2d 394. Defendant was represented by able counsel who presented to the jury every fact and inference favorable to the defendant and whos......

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