Levy v. Arrendondo
37 U.S. 218 (1838)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Levy v. Arrendondo, 37 U.S. 12 Pet. 218 218 (1838)

Levy v. Arrendondo

37 U.S. (12 Pet.) 218

APPEAL FROM THE COURT

OF APPEALS OF FLORIDA

Syllabus

In the Superior Court of East Florida, the complainant filed a bill claiming compensation for the nonperformance of certain contracts for the sale of lands in East Florida, referring to the contracts, the contents of which are stated to be set out in the bill of the complainant, which was replied to by the defendants. The contracts were not proved in the cause by testimony, nor was the nonproduction of them duly accounted for, on secondary evidence of the contents thereof as far as practicable, given before the superior court. The Supreme Court, for this defect and imperfection in the proceedings, had not sufficient evidence before them to found any final and satisfactory decree. The decree of the Court of Appeals of East Florida, and the decree of the Superior Court of East Florida, was therefore reversed, and the cause remanded to the Court of Appeals, to allow the pleadings to be amended, and the documents referred to, or the contents of the same, to be duly authenticated and proved, &c.

The Court has had this case under frequent consultation since the argument of it, and, as there is much diversity of opinion among the judges, in regard to the effect which the contract of 22 January, 1822, between the complainant and Fernando M. Arredondo, Jr., and also in regard to the effect which the contract of 13 July, 1824, between the complainant and Joseph M. Arredondo, would have upon the rights and equities of the parties, and it being considered, from the manner the complainant has set out those contracts in his bill, and from the manner they are replied to by the defendant, Arredondo, that they are substantially exhibits in the

Page 37 U. S. 219

cause, which should have been annexed by the complainant to his bill, and which the Superior Court of the Eastern District of Florida might have called for before it proceeded to make any decree in the cause; it is determined by this Court, without giving any opinion upon the decision of the Court of Appeals of Florida in the cause, to reverse that decree, and also to reverse the decree of the Superior Court of East Florida, in the cause upon which it was carried up by appeal to the Court of Appeals, and both of the same are hereby reversed, and the court remands the cause for further proceedings, making it obligatory upon the complainant to produce, on the trial, the contracts of 22 January, 1822, and that of 13 July, 1824, or satisfactorily to account for the same: with liberty to the parties in the cause to use, on such trial, the evidence already taken, and to adduce such other evidence as either may offer in proof of their respective equities; and to amend their bills and answers, including any answer which the defendant, Entralgo, may offer to make to the complainant's bill upon such terms as the court below may impose, upon any application made by Entralgo or his counsel to set aside the order, pro confesso, against him.

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