Ex Parte French - 100 U.S. 1 (1879)


U.S. Supreme Court

Ex Parte French, 100 U.S. 1 (1879)

Ex Parte French

100 U.S. 1

Syllabus

In ejectment, where A., B., and the other defendants were respectively in the separate possession of specific parcels of the land, judgment was rendered against them for the recovery thereof and costs of suit, and also against each for damages for withholding the parcel whereof he was in possession, which exceed in the aggregate $6,000. A writ of error was sued out by all the defendants. A. and B., to render it a supersedeas of the judgment against them, severally gave a bond, which was duly approved and accepted. The court below thereupon ordered that the proceedings on the judgment as to A. and B. be stayed, and that a writ of restitution and execution be issued against the remaining defendants. Held that a mandamus directing that the judgment be carried into execution against all the defendants would not lie.

Upon the showing made by French in his petition, it appears that he brought a suit in ejectment in the court below against Lincoln, O'Ness, Onesti, DeSilva, and others, to recover the possession of a large tract of land. On the trial, the court found, among other things, that Lincoln was in the separate possession of a specific portion of the tract, and that O'Ness, Onesti, and DeSilva were in the possession of another portion. Judgment was rendered, Oct. 7, 1878, in favor of French against all the defendants jointly for the recovery of the entire tract and the costs of suit, amounting to $959.25, and against Lincoln

Page 100 U. S. 2

separately for $330, damages for withholding possession; and against O'Ness, Onesti, and DeSilva for $225, for like cause. Other separate judgments for damages were rendered against the other defendants, the aggregate of all the money judgments being $6,091.

On the 28th of October a writ of error from this Court was sued out in the name of all the defendants, and the circuit court on the same day made the following order:

"And now, on motion of the defendants' attorneys, it is ordered that the amount of the bond to stay the execution of the judgment in this case, as to the possession of the land found by the findings filed herein to be in the separate possession of the defendant Lincoln, and also as to the judgment against him for damages and costs, be and the same is hereby fixed at $3,000. And it is further ordered that the amount of the bond to stay the execution of the judgment as to the land found by the findings filed herein to be in the separate possession of the defendants O'Ness, Onesti, and DeSilva, and also to stay the execution of the judgment against them for costs and damages, be and the same is hereby fixed at $3,000."

On the following day separate bonds were filed by the defendants named in this order for the designated amounts, and conditioned as required by law for the stay of execution, which were approved and accepted in due form by the circuit judge, and on the 31st of October the following order was made by the circuit court:

"A writ of error having been sued out and perfected by the defendants in said action, and defendant L. M. Lincoln having given the proper bond to operate as a supersedeas as to the judgment against him, and the defendants Onesti, O'Ness, and DeSilva having given a similar bond as to the judgment against them, ordered, that proceedings be stayed as to the moneys recovered against said Lincoln, and as to the sixty acres of land found by the court to be in his possession, as described in the findings in said cause; and also that the proceedings be stayed as to the judgment for damages and costs against said O'Ness, Onesti, and DeSilva, and as to the land found to be in their possession, as described in the findings of the court in this cause; and that a writ of restitution and

Page 100 U. S. 3

execution issue as to the remaining defendants, and the remainder of the land recovered in the action."

Afterwards, French applied to the clerk of the circuit court to issue execution against all the defendants, as well those who had filed supersedeas bonds as the others, and this being refused, he moved the court to vacate its order of October 31, and direct the complete execution of the judgment. This also being refused, he now prays

"that a writ of mandamus issue from this Court to the circuit court, . . . directing said circuit court to proceed and completely execute its said judgment, notwithstanding said writ of error and said orders of said circuit court. "

Page 100 U. S. 4



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