United States v. Tillotson - 25 U.S. 180 (1827)
U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. Tillotson, 25 U.S. 12 Wheat. 180 180 (1827)
United States v. Tillotson
25 U.S. (12 Wheat.) 180
ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF
THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Where the burden of proof of certain specific defenses set up by the defendant is on him, and the evidence presents contested facts, an absolute direction from the court that the matters produced and read in evidence on the part of the defendant were sufficient in law to maintain the issue on his part and that the jury ought to render their verdict in favor of the defendant is erroneous, and a judgment rendered upon a verdict purporting to have been given under such a charge will be reversed although the record was made up as upon a bill of exceptions taken at a trial before the jury upon the matters in issue, no such trial ever having taken place, and the case having assumed that shape by the agreement of the parties in order to take the opinion of the court upon certain questions of law.
MR. JUSTICE STORY delivered the opinion of the Court.
This cause comes before us from the Circuit Court for the Southern District of New York as upon a bill of exceptions
taken to the opinion of the court upon a trial before a jury upon the matters in issue. In reality no such trial was had, but the case assumed this shape by the agreement of the parties in order to have the opinion of the court upon certain questions of law. We must, however, consider the case exclusively upon principles applicable to it as a bill of exceptions taken at a real trial.