Thompson v. Jackson

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtROTHROCK
Citation61 N.W. 1004,93 Iowa 376
PartiesTHOMPSON v. JACKSON ET AL.
Decision Date22 January 1895

93 Iowa 376
61 N.W. 1004

THOMPSON
v.
JACKSON ET AL.

Supreme Court of Iowa.

Jan. 22, 1895.


Appeal from district court, Palo Alto county; George H. Carr, Judge.

This is an action at law to recover damages for certain alleged wrongful acts of the defendants. There was a trial by jury. Verdict and judgment for the plaintiff. Defendants appeal. Reversed.

[61 N.W. 1004]

C. E. Cohoon and B. E. Kelly, for appellants.

Soper, Allen & Morling, for appellee.


ROTHROCK, J.

1. The defendant T. H. Jackson was a justice of the peace, and C. B. Jackson was a special constable. A judgment for $2.75 and costs was entered on the docket of said justice against E. B. Thompson, plaintiff herein, and in favor of one Nolan. Execution was issued on the judgment, and it was served by C. B. Jackson, as special constable, by levying upon and selling certain hay in stack, the property of the defendant in execution. This action was brought to recover damages of the defendants, on the ground that the judgment was void for want of jurisdiction to render the same. It is averred in the petition that the hay levied upon was of the value of $44, and that the “levy and sale were excessive.” It is also charged in the petition “that said defendants acted in the premises in willful excess and abuse of their authority and of the process of the law, and fraudulently and maliciously and with oppression, and they conspired together in the premises to oppress this plaintiff, and defraud him, and to do damage aforesaid; that the defendants have in their possession the documents, papers, and judgment entry hereinbefore referred to, and the plaintiff is unable to set out copies thereof; wherefore the plaintiff demands judgment against the defendants for $44, actual damages, and $50, exemplary damages, and costs.” The judgment on the verdict against T. H. Jackson was for $46.52, and against C. B. Jackson for $10.

The first question presented goes to the jurisdiction of this court to entertain the appeal. It is claimed by appellee that the amount in controversy, as shown by the pleadings, does not exceed $100, and that, as the trial judge did not certify questions for the determination of this court, the appeal should be dismissed. We have set forth part of the petition to show that the plaintiff claimed exemplary damages under proper averments, and demanded $44 actual damages, and $50 exemplary damages. And the petition was afterwards amended by striking from the demand for judgment the sums of $44 and $50, and inserting in lieu thereof the sum of $49 and $150, respectively. So that, when the case was tried, the plaintiff demanded judgment for $199. The petition was not at any time before or after verdict amended by reducing the amount claimed. The thought of counsel for appellee is that the amount in controversy did not exceed $100 because the recovery of exemplary damages is not a matter of right, but that the amount thereof is left to the discretion of the jury. The defendants denied the averments of the petition charging them with malice

[61 N.W. 1005]

and oppression, and the cause was submitted upon pleadings which authorized a judgment for plaintiff for more than $100. It is true it is not the amount named in the prayer of a petition that determines the amount in controversy; that question is settled by the body or charging part of the pleading. Cooper v. Dillon, 56 Iowa, 368, 9 N. W. 302. If by the pleadings, and consistently therewith, a judgment might have been recovered for more than $100, the case is appealable, with the certificate required by section 3173 of the Code. Ormsby v. Nolan, 69 Iowa, 130, 28 N. W. 569;Madison v. Spitsnogle, 58 Iowa, 369, 12 N. W. 317. There is no doubt that the defendants had the right to appeal the case.

2. It appears from the record that the defendant T. H. Jackson was a country justice of the peace in Lost Island township, Palo Alto county. S. J. Nolan formerly lived in that vicinity, and removed to the state of Montana. He left some verified accounts with said justice of the peace for collection, among which was an account against E. B. Thompson, who resided in said township. He removed across the line of said township into Highland township, in the same county, in November, 1892. Shortly after his removal, Jackson issued an original notice on said account, and delivered it to a constable, and it was served on Thompson in Highland township. The justice made up his docket in proper form, and it shows affirmatively that the original notice was served in Highland township. Thompson made no appearance on the return day, and, as appears by the docket entry, the justice found that he was served with the notice “in the manner required by law in Highland township,” and entered a judgment against him on the 10th day of December, 1892. Thompson gave no attention to the matter; and, on the 24th day of the same month, execution was issued, a levy was made, and the property was afterwards sold.

The principal question arises upon the claim that Jackson had no jurisdiction to enter the judgment, and, because of the want of jurisdiction, he and the special constable are liable in damages for executing the judgment. Counsel for appellants contend that the justice had jurisdiction, or, rather, that the question of jurisdiction cannot be raised in a collateral proceeding. We think this position is not well taken. The statute defining the territorial jurisdiction of justices of the peace is not as explicit as it might be made. Section 3507 of the Code provides, in a general way, that the jurisdiction is coextensive with the county unless specially restricted. Section 3509 is as follows: “Suits may in all cases be brought in the...

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19 practice notes
  • Huendling v. Jensen, No. 53368
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 10 Junio 1969
    ...other jurisdictions extends judicial immunity to courts of limited jurisdiction, including justices of the peace. Thompson v. Jackson, 93 Iowa 376, 382--385, 61 N.W. 1004, 1006--1007, 27 L.R.A. 92; Londegan v. Hammer, 30 Iowa 508, 512; 51 C.J.S. Justices of the Peace, § 19a, p. 45; 31 Am.Ju......
  • Linder v. Foster, No. 32375.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • 13 Diciembre 1940
    ...13 Wall. 335, 20 L.Ed. 646; Harrison v. Redden, 53 Kan. 265, 36 P. 325; Murray v. Mills, 56 Minn. 75, 57 N.W. 324; Thompson v. Jackson, 93 Iowa 376, 61 N.W. 1004, 27 L.R.A. 92; Chambers v. Oehler, 107 Iowa, 155, 77 N.W. 853. It also extends to quasi judicial officers. 3 Dunnell, Minn.Dig., ......
  • Linder v. Foster, No. 32375.
    • United States
    • Minnesota Supreme Court
    • 13 Diciembre 1940
    ...13 Wall. 335, 20 L.Ed. 646;Harrison v. Redden, 53 Kan. 265, 36 P. 325;Murray v. Mills, 56 Minn. 75, 57 N.W. 324;Thompson v. Jackson, 93 Iowa 376, 61 N.W. 1004,27 L.R.A. 92;Chambers v. Oehler, 107 Iowa, 155, 77 N.W. 853. It also extends to quasi judicial officers. 3 Dunnell, Minn.Dig., 2d Ed......
  • Broom v. Douglass
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • 15 Febrero 1912
    ...v. Couch, 137 Mich. 358, 100 N.W. 673, 109 Am. St. Rep. 684; Smith v. Jones, 16 S.D. 337, 92 N.W. 1084; Thompson v. Jackson, 93 Iowa, 376, 61 N.W. 1004, 27 L. R. A. 92; Robertson v. Parker, 99 Wis. 652, 75 N.W. 423, 67 Am. St. Rep. 889; Calhoun v. Little, 106 Ga. 336, 32 S.E. 86, 43 L. R. A......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
19 cases
  • Huendling v. Jensen, No. 53368
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 10 Junio 1969
    ...other jurisdictions extends judicial immunity to courts of limited jurisdiction, including justices of the peace. Thompson v. Jackson, 93 Iowa 376, 382--385, 61 N.W. 1004, 1006--1007, 27 L.R.A. 92; Londegan v. Hammer, 30 Iowa 508, 512; 51 C.J.S. Justices of the Peace, § 19a, p. 45; 31 Am.Ju......
  • Linder v. Foster, No. 32375.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • 13 Diciembre 1940
    ...13 Wall. 335, 20 L.Ed. 646; Harrison v. Redden, 53 Kan. 265, 36 P. 325; Murray v. Mills, 56 Minn. 75, 57 N.W. 324; Thompson v. Jackson, 93 Iowa 376, 61 N.W. 1004, 27 L.R.A. 92; Chambers v. Oehler, 107 Iowa, 155, 77 N.W. 853. It also extends to quasi judicial officers. 3 Dunnell, Minn.Dig., ......
  • Linder v. Foster, No. 32375.
    • United States
    • Minnesota Supreme Court
    • 13 Diciembre 1940
    ...13 Wall. 335, 20 L.Ed. 646;Harrison v. Redden, 53 Kan. 265, 36 P. 325;Murray v. Mills, 56 Minn. 75, 57 N.W. 324;Thompson v. Jackson, 93 Iowa 376, 61 N.W. 1004,27 L.R.A. 92;Chambers v. Oehler, 107 Iowa, 155, 77 N.W. 853. It also extends to quasi judicial officers. 3 Dunnell, Minn.Dig., 2d Ed......
  • Broom v. Douglass
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • 15 Febrero 1912
    ...v. Couch, 137 Mich. 358, 100 N.W. 673, 109 Am. St. Rep. 684; Smith v. Jones, 16 S.D. 337, 92 N.W. 1084; Thompson v. Jackson, 93 Iowa, 376, 61 N.W. 1004, 27 L. R. A. 92; Robertson v. Parker, 99 Wis. 652, 75 N.W. 423, 67 Am. St. Rep. 889; Calhoun v. Little, 106 Ga. 336, 32 S.E. 86, 43 L. R. A......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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