McCormick v. St. Francis de Sales Church, 178

CourtCourt of Appeals of Maryland
Citation149 A.2d 768,219 Md. 422
Docket NumberNo. 178,178
PartiesMary Jean Graham McCORMICK, etc. v. ST. FRANCIS DE SALES CHURCH, etc., et al.
Decision Date20 March 1959

Page 422

219 Md. 422
149 A.2d 768
Mary Jean Graham McCORMICK, etc.
No. 178.
Court of Appeals of Maryland.
March 20, 1959.

Page 425

[149 A.2d 770] John W. T. Webb, Salisbury (Webb & Travers, Salisbury, on the brief), for appellant.

Richard E. Cullen and Merton F. Filkins, Salisbury (W. Edgar Porter, and Porter & Cullen, Salisbury, on the brief), for appellees.



This appeal is from an order granting motions ne recipiatur

Page 426

and to strike from the record a declaration filed by the appellant. Suit had been filed against St. Francis de Sales Church, a Maryland religious corporation, Monsignor Stout, pastor of the congregation of the Roman Catholic Church at Salisbury known as St. Francis de Sales Church, and two named sisters of the Roman Catholic order of Sisters of Mercy, in tort, for the loss of an eye suffered by the equitable plaintiff while attending the parochial school of the Church, allegedly by reason of the negligence of the sisters who were instructors at the school. In a second count of the declaration, the [149 A.2d 771] appellant sued Zurich Insurance Company, which allegedly had a contract of liability insurance covering the Church, but which had denied coverage of anyone, except Monsignor Stout personally, under the terms of the contract.

The various defendants filed motions to this declaration. The Church, Monsignor Stout, and Zurich filed a joint motion, seeking to quash service as to Zurich (1) because the suit was premature as to it, and (2) because Zurich did not supply coverage, and further jointly praying that the declaration be not received and stricken, as to the Church and Monsignor Stout, (1) because both were subject to a superior ecclesiastical authority, the Bishop of Wilmington, Delaware (and therefore not responsible), and (2) because they were both charitable institutions without liability insurance and hence immune from liability. The sisters, appearing specially, filed a separate motion to quash service or amend the sheriff's return, and that the declaration be not received and be stricken as to them (1) because of improper service, (2) because only their Order was legally responsible for their conduct, and (3) because they had charitable immunity by reason of their vows of poverty. Testimony was taken at a hearing on these motions. The trial court found that the sisters had been improperly summoned and granted their motion on this ground. He then granted the other motions and ordered the declaration stricken in its entirety.

The appellees filed a motion to dismiss the appeal on the ground that the order granting the motion ne recipiatur is not a final order. We reserved ruling on that motion, but now hold that the contention is without merit. The effect of

Page 427

the court's ruling was to put the plaintiff out of court and deny her the means of further prosecuting her case against the moving parties. This is the accepted test in determining finality. While we have found no cases directly in point, we find support for this view in Hunt v. Tague, 205 Md. 369, 373, 109 A.2d 80; Northwestern Nat. Ins. Co. v. Samuel R. Rosoff, Ltd., 195 Md. 421, 427, 73 A.2d 461; Crawford v. Richards, 193 Md. 236, 243, 66 A.2d 483; and Allen v. Glenn L. Martin Co., 188 Md. 290, 295, 52 A.2d 605.

We think the procedure followed in the instant case was erroneous. The appellees rely in part upon Maryland Rule 323, but the preliminary objections therein set out, that may be made by motion, do not cover all of the matters sought to be raised by the motions filed. Considering first the motions filed by Zurich, the Church, and Monsignor Stout, there was no basis for a motion to quash service of the insurer. The question whether the second count of the declaration as to Zurich was premature is not one of the defenses which may be raised by preliminary objection under Rule 323, nor was misjoinder the proper subject of a dilatory plea or motion to quash, upon which the defenses in the Rule seem largely based. Cf. 1 Poe Pleading and Practice (Tiffany's Ed.) § 592 et seq.; Bricklayers', Masons' & Plasterers' International Union of America v. Seymour Ruff & Sons, 160 Md. 483, 491, 154 A. 52, 83 A.L.R. 448. Likewise, the question as to whether the alleged liability coverage existed in fact was not a matter which could be raised by way of preliminary objection under the Rule or under prior procedure. In short, so much of the motion as related to Zurich sought to attack the sufficiency of the declaration, which should have been done by demurrer, or to allege facts in denial of the declaration, which should be by special plea in bar.

Similarly, the objections raised by Monsignor Stout and the Church sought to introduce new facts or to traverse allegations of the declaration. The appellees contend that this procedure is within the purview of Rule 322, which deals with motions ne recipiatur and to strike. Certainly under the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
60 cases
  • Fludd v. Kirkwood
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • December 16, 2021
    ...motion, qualifying it not only as a responsive pleading but also as a general appearance. See McCormick v. St. Francis de Sales Church , 219 Md. 422, 429, 149 A.2d 768 (1959) ("[T]he filing of the motion operated as a general appearance[.]"); Pilkington v. Pilkington , 230 Md. App. 561, 581......
  • Sindorf v. Jacron Sales Co., Inc., 257
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • June 25, 1975
    ...Rule 124 b and Rule 323. See McGinnis v. Rogers, 262 Md. 710, 279 A.2d 459; Easthan v. Young, 250 Md. 516, 243 A.2d 559; McCormick v. Church, 219 Md. 422, 149 A.2d 768. Any variance between pleading and proof did not mislead or injure the defendant and, therefore, was not fatal. Phillips v.......
  • Houghton v. County Com'rs of Kent County, 76
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1985
    ...further prosecuting her case....' " Mooring v. Kaufman, 297 Md. 342, 347, 466 A.2d 872 (1983) (quoting McCormick v. St. Francis De Sales Church, 219 Md. 422, 426-427, 149 A.2d 768 (1959)). See, e.g., Litton Bionetics v. Glen Constr., 292 Md. 34, 42, 437 A.2d 208 (1981); Smith v. Taylor, 285......
  • Conwell Law LLC v. Tung
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • February 25, 2015
    ...(citing Md. Rule 2–322(a) )). As to LVI (and a prior case on which the LVI Court relied, McCormick v. St. Francis de Sales Church, 219 Md. 422, 428, 149 A.2d 768 (1959) ), these cases suggest simply that under some circumstances, a party may be estopped from asserting lack of personal juris......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT