Reed Schmidt & Associates, Inc. v. Carafiol Furniture Co.

Decision Date25 May 1971
Docket NumberNo. 33819,33819
Citation469 S.W.2d 876
PartiesREED SCHMIDT AND ASSOCIATES, Inc., a Corporation, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. CARAFIOL FURNITURE COMPANY, a Corporation, Defendant-Appellant.
CourtMissouri Court of Appeals

Dubail, Judge, Kilker & Maier, William C. Maier, J. Dennis O'Leary, Sam A. Kessler. St. Louis, for defendant-appellant.

Padberg, Raack, McSweeney & Slater, St Louis, for plaintiff-respondent.

DOERNER, Commissioner.

In this action to recover a reasonable real estate commission the jury returned a verdict for plaintiff for $5100.00. Defendant filed its alternative motion for judgment or a new trial under Civil Rule 72.02, V.A.M.R. In its motion for judgment the defendant contended, among other grounds, that the plaintiff had failed to plead and prove that it was a licensed real estate broker, as required by the laws of the State of Missouri. See Section 339.160, RSMo 1969, V.A.M.S. Thereupon plaintiff filed the affidavit of Reed A. Schmidt, its president and principal officer, in which he swore that at all times mentioned in the evidence both the plaintiff as a corporation, and he as an individual, were real estate brokers duly licensed by the State of Missouri. Attached to the affidavit were copies of the licenses issued by the Missouri Real Estate Commission to the plaintiff, and to Schmidt, for the years expiring on June 30, 1966 and June 30, 1967.

On March 9, 1970, the court entered an order which in effect overruled defendant's motion for judgment but sustained its motion for a new trial. In many respects the order was a combination of an order and memorandum, for under the title 'Reason' the trial court stated that the plaintiff had failed to allege and prove that the plaintiff was a licensed real estate broker at the time when the alleged cause of action arose, as required by the statute mentioned; that 'This question was first brought up at the time Instructions were being considered at the close of the case. No formal record was made of the conversations of counsel, and none was requested'; and that the plaintiff's after-trial affidavit as to the license '* * * cannot be considered on the motion for new trial as part of the record of the case. * * *' Thereafter, on March 11, 1970, the trial court of its own motion set aside its previous order granting defendant a new trial and entered a new order granting defendant a new trial '* * * only as to the issue of whether plaintiff was a licensed real estate broker or salesman at the time when the cause of action arose and the judgment heretofore entered is sustained and to remain in effect.' Defendant's appeal followed.

Although not the first point in defendant's brief, we consider initially defendant's contention that the court erred in overruling its motion for judgment. Since plaintiff's claim was one for a real estate commission there can be no doubt that it was incumbent upon the plaintiff to allege and prove that it was a licensed real estate broker at the time when its alleged cause of action arose. Section 339.160; Dolan v. Ramacciotti, Mo., 462 S.W.2d 812; Miller Nationwide Real Estate Corp. v. Sikeston Motel Corp., Mo., 418 S.W.2d 173; Waltermire v. Stuart, Mo.App., 222 S.W.2d 945. However, in view of the action of the trial court in overruling defendant's motion for judgment but granting it a new trial, at least on one issue, it would appear that no appeal lies from the order overruling its motion for judgment. Bailey v. Interstate Airmotive, 358 Mo. 1121, 219 S.W.2d 333; Stith v. St. Louis Public Service Co., 363 Mo. 442, 251 S.W.2d 693; Gier v. Clark, Mo., 300 S.W.2d 519. The question as to the appealability of the overruling of defendant's motion for judgment is somewhat academic, however, for the same point was also raised in defendant's motion for a new trial, and hence is properly before us. Stith v. St. Louis Public Service Co., supra. We are of the opinion that the trial court's action in overruling defendant's motion for judgment, and in sustaining its motion for a new trial (whether as limited will be subsequently discussed), which will afford plaintiff the opportunity to present, if it can, the evidence as to its license, was proper and correct. We disregard, as did the trial court, Schmidt's post-trial affidavit. But there is other evidence properly in the record, some of it developed by defendant on cross-examination of Schmidt, from which an inference may reasonably be drawn that plaintiff may be able to present the essential evidence. In Rockett v. Pepsi Cola Bottling Co., Mo.App., 460 S.W.2d 737, 739, where the trial court had sustained the defendant's motion for judgment, this court recently said:

'However, although the trial court properly sustained defendant's motion for judgment in accordance with its motion for a directed verdict, we must reverse because we have determined that plaintiff is entitled to a new trial. This for the reason that a case should not be reversed for failure of proof without remanding unless the record indicates that the available essential evidence has been fully presented and that no recovery could be had in any event. Lance v. Van Winkle, 358 Mo. 143, 213 S.W.2d 401(10) and Crews v. Illinois Terminal R. Co., Mo.App., 260 S.W.2d 765(6). * * *'

That opinion has been cited with approval by the Supreme Court in the more recent decision in Morris v. Shell Oil Co., Mo., 467 S.W.2d 39, handed down in 1971.

Since the trial court limited the new trial to the trial of only one issue, rather than to plaintiff's entire claim, as defendant had requested, defendant did not obtain all the relief it had asked and was, therefore, aggrieved and entitled to appeal from the trial court's order. Fulton v. Bailey, Mo., 413 S.W.2d 514; Page v. Hamilton, Mo., 329 S.W.2d 758; Snyder v. St. Louis Public Service Co., Mo., 329 S.W.2d 721.

Defendant asserts that Instruction No. 4, plaintiff's verdict directing instruction deviated from its stated source (MAI 29.05), that Instruction No. 6 deviated from its source (MAI 4.06), and that such deviations create a presumption of prejudicial error. As to Instruction No. 4, it is readily apparent that neither the models used as a guide, MAI 29.05, nor any of the other approved instructions relating to the recovery of a broker's commission, were applicable. This for the reason that all of them, MAI 29.01 to 29.05, inclusive, hypothesize an action by a broker against the seller of property, under varying circumstances. In the instant case the action is one by a broker against the purchaser of property, so that in any event it was necessary for the plaintiff to either modify an approved instruction to fit the facts of plaintiff's case, or to draft a new instruction. Thus the presumption of error rule as to the deviation from an approved instruction, upon which defenda...

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6 cases
  • Butler v. Circulus, Inc.
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • October 11, 1977
    ...all the relief they had requested. See, Page v. Hamilton, 329 S.W.2d 758, 762(2-4) (Mo.1959); Reed Schmidt and Associates, Inc. v. Carafiol Furniture Company, 469 S.W.2d 876, 879(5) (Mo.App.1971); Eissler v. Eissler, 468 S.W.2d 217, 218(1, 2) (Mo.App.1971).State ex rel. Broglin v. Nangle, 5......
  • Means v. Sears, Roebuck & Co.
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • May 12, 1977
    ...is applicable so that modification of the approved instruction is required, there is no error. Reed Schmidt and Assoc. v. Carafiol Furniture Co., 469 S.W.2d 876, 879 (Mo.App. 1971). In Keener v. Dayton Electric Manufacturing Company, 445 S.W.2d 362 (Mo. 1969), the Supreme Court adopted the ......
  • Yoos v. Jewish Hosp. of St. Louis
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • December 21, 1982
    ...were forced to formulate their own verdict directing instructions patterned after M.A.I. 21.01. See Reed Schmidt and Assoc. v. Carafiol Furniture Co., 469 S.W.2d 876 (Mo.App.1971). Secondly, plaintiffs theory and its supporting facts required modification. Plaintiffs' theory was that the ad......
  • General Aggregate Corp. v. LaBrayere
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • February 7, 1984
    ...prima facie evidence of reasonable value. Humfeld v. Langkop, 591 S.W.2d 251, 255 (Mo.App.1979); Reed Schmidt and Associates, Inc. v. Carafiol Furniture Co., 469 S.W.2d 876, 880 (Mo.App.1971); Curators of the University of Missouri ex rel. Shell-Con, Inc. v. Nebraska Prestressed Concrete Co......
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