Mason v. Smith

Decision Date07 November 1911
Docket Number2,062.
Citation191 F. 502
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Sixth Circuit
PartiesMASON v. SMITH.

W. C Boyle (Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, on the brief), for plaintiff in error.

S. H Tolles and N. B. Billingsley (Kline, Tolles & Morley, on the brief), for defendant in error.

Before WARRINGTON, KNAPPEN, and DENISON, Circuit Judges.


This case was tried by the court below without a jury, under express written waiver thereof, under Rev. Stat. Sec. 649 (U.S. Comp. St. 1901, p. 525). No formal findings of fact were made or asked for. The court, however, filed an opinion in which the conclusion (among others) was announced that plaintiff's evidence did not make out the contract alleged in his petition. Judgment for defendant was accordingly entered. Plaintiff's motion for new trial was granted only so far as to permit the filing of an amended petition and the resubmission of the case thereunder upon the evidence theretofore submitted, whereupon judgment was again entered for defendant. We think, in view of the state of the record, which it is unnecessary to set out in detail, there was an effective waiver of jury upon the resubmission notwithstanding no new written stipulation therefor was made. Plaintiff later applied for a nunc pro tunc order, amending the judgment entry so as to show, in substance, that the court considered only plaintiff's evidence and determined no disputed facts, but merely held, as matter of law, that the testimony considered had no tendency to show the contract set up by plaintiff, and that exception was taken to such ruling. The requested order was denied.

We are asked to review the final judgment, on the ground that 'the finding and the judgment is contrary to law and the evidence,' and 'contrary to the weight of the evidence,' and also because 'the conceded and controlling facts entitle the plaintiff to a judgment. ' We are asked, also, to review the denial of the motion for new trial, as well as the denial of the motion for the nunc pro tunc order.

Section 649 of the Revised Statutes provides that, on a trial without a jury, 'the finding of the court upon the facts, which may be either general or special, shall have the same effect as the verdict of a jury. ' Under section 700 (page 570) when findings of facts are not made, the review can extend only to rulings of the court in the progress of the trial of the cause, and then only when 'excepted to at the time and duly presented by bill of exceptions. ' But, where a special finding of facts is made, 'the review may extend to the determination of the sufficiency of the facts found to support the judgment,' for which latter purpose no exception is necessary. Chicago, R.I. & P. Ry. Co. v. Barrett, 190 F. 118, decided by this court July 12, 1911. In case of such special finding, the question whether there is testimony tending to support it may be reviewed, if seasonable exception is taken. Except as above stated, however, there is no right of review in a case tried without a jury. Norris v. Jackson, 9 Wall. 125, 128, 19 L.Ed. 608; Lehnen v. Dickson, 148 U.S. 71, 73, 13 Sup.Ct. 481, 37 L.Ed. 373; Grayson v. Lynch, 163 U.S. 468, 472, 16 Sup.Ct. 1064, 41 L.Ed. 230; St. Louis v. Western Union Tel. Co., 166 U.S. 388, 390, 17 Sup.Ct. 608, 41 L.Ed....

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8 cases
  • Lahman v. Burnes Nat. Bank
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eighth Circuit
    • 20 juillet 1927
    ...Co. v. Henry Oil Co. (C. C. A.) 269 F. 742; Stoffregen v. Moore (C. C. A.) 271 F. 680; Mason v. U. S. (C. C. A.) 219 F. 547; Mason v. Smith (C. C. A.) 191 F. 502; Nat. Bank of Com. v. First Nat. Bank (C. C. A.) 61 F. 809; Townsend v. Beatrice Cemetery Assn. (C. C. A.) 138 F. 381; Central Tr......
  • Philadelphia Cas. Co. v. Fechheimer
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Sixth Circuit
    • 2 février 1915
    ... ... Dexter, Horton & Co., 72 F. 758, at page 769, 19 C.C.A ... 176, at page 186; Churchill v. Buck, 102 F. 38, 42 ... C.C.A. 148; Mason v. Smith, 191 F. 502, 112 C.C.A ... 146 (Sixth Circuit) ... It is ... clear that the general exception mentioned is too indefinite ... ...
  • Thatcher v. United States
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Sixth Circuit
    • 17 avril 1914
    ... ... obtaining in ordinary trials before a United States District ... Judge without a jury. Mason v. Smith (C.C.A. 6) 191 ... F. 502, 112 C.C.A. 146. We have thought best in this case to ... consider the complaints more at large, but it need ... ...
  • Turner v. Schaeffer
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Sixth Circuit
    • 11 février 1918
    ... ... 512, 527, 35 Sup.Ct. 298, 59 L.Ed. 696; ... Chicago, R.I. & P.R.R. Co. v. Barrett, 190 F. 118, ... 123, 124, 111 C.C.A. 158 (C.C.A. 6); Mason v. Smith, ... 191 F. 502, 503, 112 C.C.A. 146 (C.C.A. 6); Nashville ... Interurban Ry. Co. v. Barnum, 212 F. 634, 638, 639, 129 ... C.C.A. 170 ... ...
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