Searle v. Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield

CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Writing for the CourtKNOWLTON
Citation89 N.E. 809,203 Mass. 493
PartiesSEARLE v. ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF SPRINGFIELD. ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF SPRINGFIELD v. SEARLE.
Decision Date11 November 1909

203 Mass. 493
89 N.E. 809

SEARLE
v.
ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF SPRINGFIELD.

ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF SPRINGFIELD
v.
SEARLE.

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Hampshire.

Nov. 11, 1909.


Exceptions from Superior Court, Hampshire County; Wm. A. Dana, Judge.

Consolidated actions by George E. Searle against the Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield and by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield against George E. Searle. Verdict for plaintiff in the first case and for defendant in the second case, and defendant in the first case and plaintiff in the second case excepts. Exceptions sustained.

The exhibit referred to is as follows:

‘Easthampton, June, 1901.

‘This agreement witnesseth that George E. Searle has erected a small building, or shed, upon land westerly side of Union street in Easthampton, which land belonged to Delia A. Strong, now deceased. The same was erected with the consent of all persons having an interest in said land and with the agreement that said building is and continues to be the personal property of said Searle, with right to remove the same whenever said Searle, his heirs, or his assigns, may choose before the expiration of a lease now held by F. C. Haynes.

‘In witness whereof, we, J. E. Clark, trustee under the will of said Strong, and C. E. Strong, a beneficiary under said will, and F. C. Haynes, lessee of said land, hereunto set our hands and seals.

‘J. E. Clark.

‘C. E. Strong.

‘F. C. Haynes.’


[203 Mass. 495]

[89 N.E. 810]

J. C. & T. J. Hammond, for Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield.

W. G. Bassett and E. L. Shaw, for Searle.


KNOWLTON, C. J.

The question at the trial was whether a building erected on land of the defendant in the first action, who will hereinafter be called the defendant, was personal property belonging to Searle, who will hereinafter be called the plaintiff, or was real estate owned by the defendant.

The jury might well find that there was either an express or implied agreement between Mrs. Strong, the owner of the land at the time of the erection of the building, and Smith, representing both himself and the plaintiff, that the building should be personal property belonging to Smith until it was fully paid for by the plaintiff, and should be held by Smith as collateral security for the price to be paid for the construction of it, and should belong to the plaintiff as soon as this price should be fully paid. Parol evidence of the conversation and circumstances tending to show this was not incompetent as verying the terms of the lease. The evidence tended to show that Smith held the lease for the protection of his rights in this particular, and that, as soon as the building was paid for, he delivered the lease to the plaintiff, who was in occupation of the building, and that the plaintiff continued to hold under the same tenancy after the death of Mrs. Strong, while the land belonged to her son, Clinton E. Strong, the devisee under her will. The recognition of this lease was a recognition of the continuance of the same tenancy by the plaintiff under the terms of the original writing, which was given in the name of Smith, but in part for the plaintiff's benefit. The original ownership of the building by Smith and [203 Mass. 496]his right of removal being established, there was ample evidence of the succession of the plaintiff to these rights, and they were recognized by the landowner and continued by the implied agreement of the parties, if not by their express agreement, up to the time of the sale by Clinton E. Strong to Edwards and Hitchcock. Hartwell v. Kelly, 117 Mass. 235;Howard v. Fessenden, 14 Allen, 124;Hunt v. Bay State Iron Company, 97 Mass. 279;Dolliver v. Ela, 128 Mass. 557-560;Ryder v. Faxon, 171 Mass. 206, 50 N. E. 631, 68 Am. St. Rep. 417. Testimony of the subsequent admissions and dealings of the parties was competent on this part of the case. Korbe v. Barbour, 130 Mass. 255-258;Barnes v. Hosmer, 196 Mass. 323-325, 82 N. E. 27;Morris v. French, 106 Mass. 326-327;Handforth v. Jackson, 150 Mass. 149-154, 22 N. E. 634.

There was some contradiction in the testimony relative to the conversation between the plaintiff and Edwards and Hitchcock after their purchase of the land, but the weight of the evidence is in favor of the plaintiff's contention that they continued his tenancy on the same terms as had existed before, and that they intended to preserve to him such rights in the property as he had, if any, when they took their title. The jury properly might find that, if he owned the building with a right to remove it when they bought the land, they continued his tenancy and left him without interruption of such rights as he had by virtue of [203 Mass. 497]his dealings with former owners. They gave him no intimation at any time that his right of removal of the building must be exercised promptly, or that in continuing his tenancy he was not occupying on the same terms as when they took their title. The presumptions of fact as to the terms of his holding are in his favor on this point. Dimock v. Van Bergen, 12 Allen, 551;Weston v. Weston, 102 Mass. 514-518;Finney v. St. Louis, 39 Mo. 177-181;Quinette v. Carpenter, 35 Mo. 502.

The difference in testimony between these owners and the plaintiff at the trial was not as to whether they undertook to terminate any rights which he had when they took their title, but whether he had any title to the building at that time, and if he had, whether they expressly recognized it. The evidence warranted a finding that the parties expressly or impliedly agreed that he might continue his tenancy on the terms previously existing, with the same right in the building that he had under their grantor, whatever that might be.

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35 practice notes
  • Com. v. Soares
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • March 8, 1979
    ...qualified to sit. Commonwealth v. Stone, 366 Mass. 506, 509, 320 N.E.2d 888 (1974). Searle v. Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield, 203 Mass. 493, 89 N.E. 809 (1909). Hayes v. Missouri, A description of the latitude allowed in the use of peremptory challenges is set forth in Swain v. Alabam......
  • United States v. Peterson, No. 24299.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • June 29, 1973
    ...154, 54 A.L.R.2d 1199 (1956); Marvins Credit, Inc. v. Steward, 133 A. 2d 473, 476 (D.C.Mun.App.1957); Searle v. Roman Catholic Bishop, 203 Mass. 493, 89 N.E. 809, 811-812 (1909); State v. Royster, 181 S.C. 269, 186 S.E. 921, 924, 105 A.L.R. 1522 23 Marvins Credit, Inc. v. Steward, supra not......
  • Commonwealth v. Mattier, SJC–11924
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • May 13, 2016
    ...the defendants is too attenuated to cause their disqualification as a matter of law. See Searle v. Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield, 203 Mass. 493, 498, 89 N.E. 809 (1909) (rejecting contention that all jurors of Roman Catholic faith should be disqualified from jury in property dispute ......
  • Com. v. Harrington
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • February 14, 1975
    ...and the defendant's peremptory challenges relatively less valuable, to his injury. Searle v. Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield, 203 Mass. 493, 499, 89 N.E. 809 (1909) (error to exclude Roman Catholic [367 Mass. 23] The judge took the view that there was 'a possibility that conviction of ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
35 cases
  • Com. v. Soares
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • March 8, 1979
    ...qualified to sit. Commonwealth v. Stone, 366 Mass. 506, 509, 320 N.E.2d 888 (1974). Searle v. Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield, 203 Mass. 493, 89 N.E. 809 (1909). Hayes v. Missouri, A description of the latitude allowed in the use of peremptory challenges is set forth in Swain v. Alabam......
  • United States v. Peterson, No. 24299.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • June 29, 1973
    ...154, 54 A.L.R.2d 1199 (1956); Marvins Credit, Inc. v. Steward, 133 A. 2d 473, 476 (D.C.Mun.App.1957); Searle v. Roman Catholic Bishop, 203 Mass. 493, 89 N.E. 809, 811-812 (1909); State v. Royster, 181 S.C. 269, 186 S.E. 921, 924, 105 A.L.R. 1522 23 Marvins Credit, Inc. v. Steward, supra not......
  • Commonwealth v. Mattier, SJC–11924
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • May 13, 2016
    ...the defendants is too attenuated to cause their disqualification as a matter of law. See Searle v. Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield, 203 Mass. 493, 498, 89 N.E. 809 (1909) (rejecting contention that all jurors of Roman Catholic faith should be disqualified from jury in property dispute ......
  • Com. v. Harrington
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • February 14, 1975
    ...and the defendant's peremptory challenges relatively less valuable, to his injury. Searle v. Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield, 203 Mass. 493, 499, 89 N.E. 809 (1909) (error to exclude Roman Catholic [367 Mass. 23] The judge took the view that there was 'a possibility that conviction of ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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