Preble v. Johnson, No. 6184-6190.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtMURRAH, , BREITENSTEIN, Circuit , and CHRISTENSON
Citation275 F.2d 275
PartiesGeorge PREBLE, Appellant, v. J. B. JOHNSON, Appellee. George PREBLE, Appellant, v. Tom J. GOINS, Appellee. George PREBLE, Appellant, v. Claude A. PUCKETT, Appellee. George PREBLE, Appellant, v. Ray TAYLOR, Appellee. George PREBLE, Appellant, v. William H. JUERGENS, Appellee. George PREBLE, Appellant, v. L. W. PARRISH, Appellee. George PREBLE, Appellant, v. G. E. HORNE, Appellee.
Decision Date15 January 1960
Docket NumberNo. 6184-6190.

275 F.2d 275 (1960)

George PREBLE, Appellant,
v.
J. B. JOHNSON, Appellee.

George PREBLE, Appellant,
v.
Tom J. GOINS, Appellee.

George PREBLE, Appellant,
v.
Claude A. PUCKETT, Appellee.

George PREBLE, Appellant,
v.
Ray TAYLOR, Appellee.

George PREBLE, Appellant,
v.
William H. JUERGENS, Appellee.

George PREBLE, Appellant,
v.
L. W. PARRISH, Appellee.

George PREBLE, Appellant,
v.
G. E. HORNE, Appellee.

Nos. 6184-6190.

United States Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit.

January 15, 1960.


275 F.2d 276
COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED
275 F.2d 277
Thomas E. Bennett, Oklahoma City, Okl., for appellants

Leonard L. Ralston, Oklahoma City, Okl. (Paul W. Cress, Oklahoma City, Okl., was with him on brief), for appellees.

Before MURRAH, Chief Judge, BREITENSTEIN, Circuit Judge, and CHRISTENSON, District Judge.

MURRAH, Chief Judge.

This is a consolidated appeal from summary judgments in seven libel cases, each denying appellant Preble recovery against a federal officer or employee on the ground of absolute privilege. The cases were properly removed to the federal district court under 28 U. S.C. § 1442(a) (1).

Prior to filing briefs on the merits, appellant moved in this court to amend his notices of appeal to effect his appeal from the judgments entered February 6, 1959, rather than from orders entered March 30, 1959, denying timely motions for new trial. Appellees filed countervailing motions to dismiss on the ground that the orders denying new trial were not appealable, and alternatively to affirm on the ground that in any event, the only question raised was whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying the motions for new trial. We have withheld disposition of these motions made in our court until the case was heard on the merits.

We do not dispose of cases on technicalities save where compelled by our jurisdictional limits, or by the requirements of orderly judicial administration. A denial of new trial is technically appealable, see Roberts v. Sawyer, 10 Cir., 252 F.2d 286; Creedon v. Loring, 1 Cir., 249 F.2d 714, and appellant's notices of appeal were timely to effect an appeal from the judgments. See Suggs v. Mutual Ben. Health & Accident Ass'n, 10 Cir., 115 F.2d 80. Since appellant's formal error is thus clearly harmless, and since his manifest intent is to effect a full appeal as from the judgments, his motion is granted and appellees' denied. See Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. v. Mims, 5 Cir., 199 F.2d 582, 583; Sobel v. Diatz, 88 U.S.App.D.C. 329, 189 F.2d 26, 27; United States v. Ellicott, 223 U.S. 524, 539, 32 S.Ct. 334, 56 L.Ed. 535; 6 Moore, Federal Practice 3892-93 (2d Ed.).

Coming now to the merits, the cases are presented on these facts. In February 1956, Preble was appointed director of a new maintenance control program instituted at that time, in accordance with Navy policy, at the Naval Air Technical Training Center, Norman, Oklahoma. The program was such that severe morale problems and personnel friction accompanied its effectuation wherever attempted, and NATTC was no exception. By December 1956, Preble was convinced that his efforts were not receiving proper support from his superiors, and commenced an authorized grievance proceeding in the hope of improving the situation. That same month, Preble was removed from his directorship and given a draftsman job, with an accompanying change in civil service rating from GS-10 to GS-5. As a result of the findings of a grievance committee, appointed by the base commanding officer to investigate Preble's grievance, Preble was discharged in April 1957. These acts affecting his civil service status have been appealed through the United States Civil Service Commission to the Court of Claims, and are not before us except as evidence of damages resulting from the alleged libels.

Each of the accused statements, made in the course of the grievance proceeding and related investigations, described in detail various incidents arising from on-the-job contacts and dealings with Preble, and reflected upon his fitness and efficiency in the discharge of his official duties. The Johnson, Goins, Taylor and Puckett cases involve statements made by each of them as civil service employees at the base, at the request of and directed to the chairman of the grievance committee. Each statement was delivered to other base personnel in sealed envelopes for delivery to the committee. The

275 F.2d 278
Goins, Taylor and Puckett cases additionally...

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54 practice notes
  • Hoesl v. United States, No. C-77-0948-CBR.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • April 26, 1978
    ...superiors. Gordon v. Adcock, 441 F.2d 261, 262 (9 Cir. 1971) ("manifestly proper" request by Civil Service Commission); Preble v. Johnson, 275 F.2d 275, 278 & n. 1 (10 Cir. 1960); Restatement of Torts, supra, § 595(1)(b) and (2)(a), at 268. An employee who prepares a report for internal use......
  • Green v. Cauthen, Civ. A. No. 72-1410.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • May 20, 1974
    ...1764, 14 L.Ed.2d 699; Denman v. White, 316 F. 2d 524 (1st Cir. 1963); Bershad v. Wood, 290 F.2d 714 (9th Cir. 1961); Preble v. Johnson, 275 F.2d 275 (10th Cir. 1960); Taylor v. Glotfelty, 201 F.2d 51 (6th Cir. 1952); Laughlin v. Rosenman, 82 U.S.App.D.C. 164, 163 F.2d 838 (D.C.Cir. This doc......
  • Bethea v. Crouse, No. 2-68
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • December 3, 1969
    ...effect that the act complained of was one of discretion expressly provided for and authorized by state law. See also Preble v. Johnson, 275 F.2d 275 (10th Cir. 2 In reaching this conclusion, the trial judge was "inclined to sustain defendant's contention for it is established from the recor......
  • Chafin v. Pratt, No. 22343.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • April 13, 1966
    ...Tel. Co., supra. It is also interesting to note, without making it a basis for our decision, the case of Preble v. Johnson, 10 Cir., 1960, 275 F.2d 275. The facts of that case are similar to the facts here, and there also the appellant contended that "the facts of record dealing with the re......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
54 cases
  • Hoesl v. United States, No. C-77-0948-CBR.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • April 26, 1978
    ...superiors. Gordon v. Adcock, 441 F.2d 261, 262 (9 Cir. 1971) ("manifestly proper" request by Civil Service Commission); Preble v. Johnson, 275 F.2d 275, 278 & n. 1 (10 Cir. 1960); Restatement of Torts, supra, § 595(1)(b) and (2)(a), at 268. An employee who prepares a report for internal use......
  • Green v. Cauthen, Civ. A. No. 72-1410.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • May 20, 1974
    ...1764, 14 L.Ed.2d 699; Denman v. White, 316 F. 2d 524 (1st Cir. 1963); Bershad v. Wood, 290 F.2d 714 (9th Cir. 1961); Preble v. Johnson, 275 F.2d 275 (10th Cir. 1960); Taylor v. Glotfelty, 201 F.2d 51 (6th Cir. 1952); Laughlin v. Rosenman, 82 U.S.App.D.C. 164, 163 F.2d 838 (D.C.Cir. This doc......
  • Bethea v. Crouse, No. 2-68
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • December 3, 1969
    ...effect that the act complained of was one of discretion expressly provided for and authorized by state law. See also Preble v. Johnson, 275 F.2d 275 (10th Cir. 2 In reaching this conclusion, the trial judge was "inclined to sustain defendant's contention for it is established from the recor......
  • Chafin v. Pratt, No. 22343.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • April 13, 1966
    ...Tel. Co., supra. It is also interesting to note, without making it a basis for our decision, the case of Preble v. Johnson, 10 Cir., 1960, 275 F.2d 275. The facts of that case are similar to the facts here, and there also the appellant contended that "the facts of record dealing with the re......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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