Shakro v. Haddad

Decision Date28 December 1961
Citation149 Conn. 160,177 A.2d 221
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court
PartiesPhilip J. SHAKRO et al. v. George HADDAD et al. Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut

Richard Hanna, Danbury, with whom, on the brief, was Bobby S. Payne, Danbury, for appellants (defendants Mabel Haddad and Conrad Haddad).

George Papazoglou, Danbury, with whom was William R. Ratchford, Danbury, for appellees (plaintiffs).

Before BALDWIN, C. J., and KING, MURPHY, SHEA and ALCORN, JJ.

ALCORN, Judge.

This is an action for damages, in two counts, against the named defendant, hereinafter referred to as the defendant, the defendant's wife, hereinafter referred to as Mabel, and the defendant's son, hereinafter referred to as Conrad. The first count is for money owed by the defendant. The second count is based on a note allegedly signed by all three defendants. All the defendants filed a general denial. Mabel and Conrad filed a special defense alleging that they received no consideration for executing the note. Judgment was rendered for the defendant on the first count and for the plaintiffs on the second count. Mabel and Conrad have appealed.

They have assigned error in the refusal of the court to find as facts certain paragraphs of the draft finding on the ground that the evidence in support thereof was 'uncontradicted.' This is an ineffective attack on the finding. Practice Book, § 397(a). We can add only facts which are admitted or undisputed. Saunders v. Saunders, 140 Conn. 140, 143, 98 A.2d 815. Facts are not admitted or undisputed merely because they are not contradicted. The question of credibility is for the trier. Practice Book, § 397(a); Brown v. Connecticut Light & Power Co., 145 Conn. 290, 293, 141 A.2d 634; State v. Annunziato, 145 Conn. 124, 129, 139 A.2d 612.

Mabel and Conrad also seek to eliminate eleven paragraphs of the finding on the ground that they were found without evidence. Only one of them requires discussion. This is the finding that Mabel and Conrad signed the note. The note bearing the claimed signatures of all the defendants, and a number of checks purporting to bear the signatures of Mabel and Conrad, were introduced in evidence without objection. Also without objection, Conrad signed his name in court on a piece of paper which was then introduced in evidence. Conrad testified that his signature on the checks in evidence was genuine. The defendant testified that Mabel's signature on the checks in evidence was genuine. The court made a comparison of the signatures on the note with the signatures on the checks and the paper in evidence. The named plaintiff, hereinafter referred to as the plaintiff, gave his lay opinion that the note bore the signatures of Mabel, Conrad and the defendant and testified that he knew the signatures of Mabel and Conrad because he had seen checks with their endorsements thereon. The defendants did not object to this testimony and made no claim of law in the trial court that the plaintiff was not qualified or competent to so testify. The claim that the court erred in finding without expert opinion as to the authenticity of the signatures, that Mabel and Conrad signed the note is suggested for the first time in the brief on this appeal. We do not consider claims of error which are not specifically included in the assignments of error, which are not raised at the trial, and which are not ruled upon and decided by the court adversely to the defendant. Joschor v. Town of Guilford, 143 Conn. 152, 156, 120 A.2d 419; see Practice Book §§ 154, 409. Even if the question had been properly raised, it is apparent upon the record that the finding was proper. The court was entitled to determine the authenticity of the signatures on the note by comparison with other signatures which were shown to be genuine. Tyler v. Todd, 36 Conn. 218, 222; Lyon v. Lyman, 9 Conn. 55, 62. The lay opinion of the plaintiff was open to question only as to the weight to be accorded it, and not as to its admissibility. Lyon v. Lyman, supra, 59. The court was the judge of the weight to be given to the opinion. Vangor v. Palmieri, 143 Conn. 319, 321, 122 A.2d 312; State v. Annunziato, 145 Conn. 124, 135, 139 A.2d 612.

The changes which we make in the finding are reflected in the following statement of the pertinent facts. The plaintiff and the defendant had had a series of financial transactions prior to September 27, 1956, as a result of which the defendant owed the plaintiff $18,829.33, against which the defendant was entitled to credits totaling $10,500. Dealings had always been friendly, and neither party ever sought any evidence of the other's indebtedness or requested any security therefor. On September 27, 1956, the plaintiff demanded of the defendant payment of the $18,829.33 and threatened to bring suit if it was not paid. To meet this demand the defendant offered the plaintiff a demand note for $20,000 with interest at 5 percent per annum. The plaintiff agreed to accept the note if Mabel and Conrad would sign as comakers. All three defendants signed the note, and the plaintiff did not bring the threatened suit. The note was negotiable. At no time did the defendants owe the plaintiff $20,000. On the date of the note, neither Conrad nor Mabel was indebted to the plaintiff, but both signed the note. The plaintiff subsequently demanded of both Mabel and Conrad that they pay the note.

The trial court concluded that Mabel and Conrad were liable on the note as...

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37 cases
  • State v. Watson
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • December 19, 1973
    ...not admitted or undisputed merely because they are not contradicted. The question of credibility is for the trier.' Shakro v. Haddad, 149 Conn. 160, 162, 177 A.2d 221, 222. Further, a finding will not be corrected by the addition of facts that will not affect the result. Lewis v. Lewis, 162......
  • State v. Spigarolo, 13220
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • March 14, 1989
    ...al., Appeal from Probate, 68 Conn. 551, 558, 37 A. 384 (1897); authenticity of a signature on a promissory note; Shakro v. Haddad, 149 Conn. 160, 162-63, 177 A.2d 221 (1961); intoxication; State v. Jones, 124 Conn. 664, 668, 2 A.2d 374 (1938); and conditions of safety. Petrizzo v. Commercia......
  • Nash v. Stevens
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • July 9, 2013
    ...of the disputed writing with another writing, an exemplar, the authenticity of which has been established. Shakro v. Haddad, 149 Conn. 160, 163, 177 A.2d 221 (1961); Tyler v. Todd, 36 Conn. 218, 222 (1869).... In general, a writing may be authenticated by a number of methods, including dire......
  • Churchill v. Allessio, (AC 16646)
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • November 10, 1998
    ...of the disputed writing with another writing, an exemplar, the authenticity of which has been established. Shakro v. Haddad, 149 Conn. 160, 163, 177 A.2d 221 (1961); Tyler v. Todd, 36 Conn. 218, 222 (1869). The authenticity of the exemplar may be proved by circumstantial evidence. McCormick......
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