Spruill v. O'TOOLE

Decision Date03 December 1934
Docket NumberNo. 6232.,6232.
Citation74 F.2d 559,64 App. DC 85
PartiesSPRUILL v. O'TOOLE et al.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit

Georgia M. Spruill, in pro. per.

E. Barrett Prettyman, Corporation Counsel, and Thos. Gillespie Walsh, Asst. Corporation Counsel, both of Washington, D. C., for appellees.

Before MARTIN, Chief Justice, and ROBB, VAN ORSDEL, HITZ, and GRONER, Associate Justices.


An appeal from an order and judgment of the lower court sustaining demurrers to the declaration and amended declaration of appellant, as plaintiff, and dismissing the case.

The appellant, who is not a lawyer, conducted her case in the lower court as well as in this court in her own proper person without counsel. Therefore, we have overlooked a lack of technical regularity in the record in order that we may directly reach a decision upon the substantial issue involved in the case.

It appears that appellee Mary O'Toole was a judge of the Municipal Court of the District of Columbia, and that Edgar C. Snyder was United States marshal in and for the District. The present appeal arises upon an action brought against them in the lower court by the appellant as plaintiff upon a claim for damages because of alleged official misconduct of these officers.

The declaration filed by appellant as plaintiff in the lower court contains the following premise: "Comes now the plaintiff in her own proper person and moves the court to inquire of the codefendants in the abovenamed cause — cause them to appear before this court a day the court may fix and show cause if they have a reason why they should not make a settlement for damages to the amount of twenty-five thousand ($25,000.00) dollars each, because of their act in unlawfully evicting plaintiff in the above-entitled cause from her home November 24, 1930." In the succeeding clauses of her declaration and amended declaration the plaintiff claimed that Judge O'Toole "stepped beyond her official duty in a way to bring about irreparable damage to plaintiff, and Edgar C. Snyder in his official capacity as United States marshal likewise went beyond his official duty in a way to effect irreparable damage to plaintiff." The act complained of was the forcible eviction of plaintiff on November 24, 1930, from certain real estate located in the District of Columbia on a writ of restitution entered in a landlord and tenant proceeding before the Municipal Court wherein Judge O'Toole presided. Plaintiff claims that the action of the Municipal Court was without jurisdiction in that more than $1,000 was involved; that plaintiff was not a tenant in possession of the property but was the owner thereof and that consequently the case was not a landlord and tenant case; and for other alleged irregularities in the action of the judge and marshal constituting a violation of amendments 1-7 of the Constitution of the United States.

The defendants, O'Toole and Snyder, severally demurred to the...

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5 cases
  • Ryan v. Scoggin
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Tenth Circuit
    • May 6, 1957
    ...19 L.Ed. 285; Bradley v. Fisher, 13 Wall. 335, 20 L.Ed. 646; Alzua v. Johnson, 231 U.S. 106, 34 S.Ct. 27, 58 L.Ed. 142; Spruill v. O'Toole, 64 App.D.C. 85, 74 F. 2d 559, certiorari denied 294 U.S. 707, 55 S.Ct. 406, 79 L.Ed. 1242; Brictson v. Woodrough, 8 Cir., 164 F.2d 107; Francis v. Craf......
  • Spruill v. Brooks.
    • United States
    • D.C. Court of Appeals
    • July 18, 1949
    ...cert. denied 293 U.S. 625, 55 S.Ct. 349, 350, 79 L.Ed. 712, rehearing denied 294 U.S. 732, 55 S.Ct. 507, 79 L.Ed. 1261; Spruill v. O'Toole, 64 App.D.C. 85, 74 F.2d 559, cert. denied 294 U.S. 707, 55 S.Ct. 401, 79 L.Ed. 1242, rehearing denied 294 U.S. 732, 55 S.Ct. 510, 79 L.Ed. 1261; Spruil......
  • Clark v. Taylor, 79-2231
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit
    • February 27, 1980
    ...22, 506 F.2d 83 (D.C. Cir. 1974); Owen v. Kronheim, 113 U.S.App.D.C. 81, 304 F.2d 957 (D.C. Cir. 1962); Spruill v. O'Toole, 64 U.S.App.D.C. 85, 74 F.2d 559 (D.C. Cir. 1934). Judge Leventhal's recent opinion in Apton v. Wilson, supra, states the law substantially to the same The judge is not......
  • Turner v. Raynes
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit
    • January 31, 1980
    ...Court to say whether the rule there announced applied equally to judges of courts of limited jurisdiction. But in Spruill v. O'Toole, 64 App.D.C. 85, 74 F.2d 559 (1934), we had before us a case in which a judge of the Municipal Court for the District of Columbia had been sued. In effect we ......
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