Teal v. Bilby - 123 U.S. 572 (1887)
U.S. Supreme Court
Teal v. Bilby, 123 U.S. 572 (1887)
Teal v. Bilby
Argued November 4, 7, 1887
Decided December 5, 1887
123 U.S. 572
The court below acted properly in ordering the consolidation and trial together of an action of replevin and an action in contract, the parties being the same in both, their rights depending upon the same contract, and the testimony in each being pertinent in the other.
It is competent for parties who have contracted in writing with reference to personal property to make a subsequent verbal agreement as a substitute for a part of the written contract.
When testimony is permitted to go to the jury without any objection, tending to show that changes had been made orally in a written contract between the parties, which were substituted by them in the place of the written contract, it is too late to contend that the jury cannot find, in case it is so proved, that the rights of the parties, as defined in the written contract, have been varied by the verbal agreement.
The burden of proof to establish it is on the party who sets up an oral change in a written agreement, and in determining it the reasons and motives for the alleged change may be shown.
In an agreement to keep, feed, and care for a quantity of cattle, it was agreed that the cattle should be of a certain average, of which fact A was to be the judge. Held that A's action in this respect was not conclusive on the defendant if it was shown that he had been deceived by the plaintiff, in not putting him in full possession of knowledge possessed by him, and necessary for the proper discharge of A's duty.
In several other respects, referred to by the Court in detail, it is found that there was no error in the charge of the court below.
The plaintiff below sued out these writs of error. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.