Sims v. Hundley
47 U.S. 1

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U.S. Supreme Court

Sims v. Hundley, 47 U.S. 6 How. 1 1 (1848)

Sims v. Hundley

47 U.S. (6 How.) 1

Syllabus

The decisions of this Court in Groves v. Slaughter, 15 Pet. 449, and Rowan v. Runnels, 5 How. 134, again affirmed.

The continuance of a cause or the refusal to continue it rests in the sound discretion of the court in which the motion is made, and cannot be reviewed by writ of error. This, also, has been long settled.

Under the statutes of Mississippi, a protest of promissory notes, and statement of notices given to the parties, being certified under the notarial seal and verified by the affidavit of the notary, may be read in evidence. It is not necessary to introduce the notary personally to testify.

Under a plea of non assumpsit, testimony cannot be received relating to the residence of a party and bearing upon the jurisdiction of the court.

In 1835, the following notes were executed:

"$4,000 Port Gibson, 2 May, 1835"

"On the fifteenth day of February, eighteen hundred and thirty-seven, I promise to pay to the order of Passmore Hoopes four thousand dollars, value received, negotiable and payable at the office of the Planters' Bank at Port Gibson."

"H. N. SPENCER"

"Endorsed: Passmore Hoopes, Benj. G. Sims"

"$5,169 Port Gibson, May 2, 1835"

"Twelve months after the fifteenth February, 1836, I promise to pay, without defalcation, to the order of Passmore Hoopes, five thousand one hundred sixty-nine dollars, value received, negotiable and payable at the office of the Planters' Bank at Port Gibson."

"H. N. SPENCER"

"Endorsed: Passmore Hoopes, Benj. G. Sims "

Page 47 U. S. 2

"$4,000 Port Gibson, 2 May, 1835"

"On the fifteenth day of February, eighteen hundred and thirty-eight, I promise to pay, to the order of Passmore Hoopes, four thousand dollars, value received, negotiable and payable at the office of the Planters' Bank at Port Gibson."

"H. N. SPENCER"

"Endorsed: Passmore Hoopes, Benj. G. Sims"

"Port Gibson, May 2, 1835"

"Twelve months after 15 February, 1837, I promise to pay, without defalcation, to the order of Passmore Hoopes, five thousand one hundred sixty-nine dollars, value received, negotiable and payable at the office of the Planters' Bank at Port Gibson."

"H. N. SPENCER"

"Endorsed: Passmore Hoopes, Benj. G. Sims"

"$3,907.17 Clinton, December 14, 1835"

"On the first day of January, eighteen hundred and thirty-eight, I promise to pay Thomas Hundley three thousand nine hundred and seven dollars and seventeen cents, for value received."

"BENJ. G. SIMS"

All these notes came into the possession of Thomas Hundley.

In April, 1838, Hundley brought a suit in the circuit court upon all the notes against Sims, the plaintiff in error.

At May term, 1838, Sims, the defendant, filed two pleas, 1, nonassumpsit, and 2, that the notes were passed to Hundley for the purchase of slaves illegally introduced into the state in contravention of the second section of the seventh article of the Constitution.

The plaintiff joined issue upon the first plea and demurred to the second. The court sustained the demurrer, and the cause went to trial upon the general issue plea.

When the cause was called for trial, the defendant moved for a continuance, and filed an affidavit, which it is unnecessary to state, but the court refused the continuance, to which refusal the defendant excepted.

The bill of exceptions then proceeds as follows:

"The plaintiff then produced the following record of a protest of the said note for $5,169, which said record is in the words and figures following, to-wit:"

"State of Mississippi, Claiborne County, ss: "

" I, William M. Randolph notary public, branch Planters' Bank, Port Gibson, duly commissioned and qualified according

Page 47 U. S. 3

to law, and residing in said town, do hereby certify that on the eighteenth day of February, 1837, I went to the branch Planters' Bank at Port Gibson, and then and there presented for payment the original note, of which the following is a true copy: "

"$5,169 Port Gibson, May 2, 1842"

" Twelve months after 15 February, 1836, I promise to pay, without defalcation, to the order of Passmore Hoopes, five thousand one hundred and sixty-nine dollars, value received, negotiable and payable at the office of the Planters' Bank at Port Gibson."

"H. N. SPENCER"

" Endorsed --"

" PASSMORE HOOPES"

" BENJ. G. SIMS"

" THOS. HUNDLEY"

" And I then and there demanded payment of the said note, according to the tenor and effect, and was answered by the teller of the said bank that the said note would not be paid and that no funds were deposited in said bank for that purpose, and the said note was not paid by any person when payment thereof was demanded as aforesaid. Whereupon I protested said note for nonpayment and notified the parties thereto of said demand, nonpayment, and protest, and that the holder of said note looked to them for payment thereof, which notices were given at the time and in the manner following, to-wit: [Copies annexed]."

" For Passmore Hoopes, written notice of the above tenor was handed to him at his store in Port Gibson."

" For Benjamin G. Sims, a written notice of the same tenor was put in the post office at Port Gibson on the same day directed to him at Clinton, Mi. Which facts, then and there noted by me on my official record, constitute, as herein set forth, a full and true record of all that was done by me in the premises."

" In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my official seal, this 1 June, 1838."

"WM. M. RANDOLPH, Notary Public"

"State of Mississippi, Claiborne County: "

" Personally appeared before the undersigned, justice of the peace for said county, the above-named Wm. M. Randolph who made oath, that the foregoing record and certificate contain the truth, to the best of his knowledge and belief."

"WM. M. RANDOLPH"

" Sworn to before me this 1 June, 1838"

"LEWIS CRONLY, J.P. [SEAL]"

Page 47 U. S. 4

"NOTICES"

"Port Gibson, 18 February, 1837"

"BENJ. G. SIMS: "

" Please to take notice, that a note drawn by H. N. Spencer, in favor of Passmore Hoopes, for the sum of $5,169, and dated 2 May, 1835, was this day protested by me for nonpayment, and that the holder looks to you for payment as endorser thereof. Respectfully,"

"WM. M. RANDOLPH, Notary Public"

"Port Gibson, 18 February, 1837"

"P. HOOPES: "

"Please to take notice, that a note drawn by H. N. Spencer, in your favor, for the sum of $5,169, and dated the 2 May, 1835, was this day protested by me for nonpayment, and that the holder looks to you for payment as endorser thereof. Respectfully,"

"WM. M. RANDOLPH, Not. Pub."

"To the introduction of which the defendant, by his attorney, objected, which objection the court overruled, and adjudged the said record sufficient; to which opinion the defendant, by his attorney, excepts; and thereupon the other records of protest on said notes of Spencer, endorsed by defendant, were produced and read, and the same being identical in substance with the preceding, it is agreed said exception shall apply to them also; the plaintiff then read said records, proved that said notes were protested on the proper day, and the notices directed to the proper place, and rested his case."

"The defendant then offered to prove all the facts stated in his second plea, but the court refused to hear the proof; to which refusal the defendant excepts. The defendant then produced a witness, who proved that the plaintiff in this cause had been known to him about four years last past, during all which time he had resided in [this] Hinds County, Mississippi, and that he had considered, and did then consider, him a resident citizen of the State of Mississippi; and the defendant was proceeding to call another witness, Mr. Cook, deputy marshal, further to prove the same facts, when the testimony was objected to by the attorney of the plaintiff, upon the ground that it could not be heard under the issue now on trial, which objection the court sustained, and excluded all testimony as to proof of plaintiff's citizenship, to which decision of the court ruling out said proof that the plaintiff was a citizen of the State of Mississippi under said plea of nonassumpsit the defendant by attorney excepts, and thereupon the jury returned

Page 47 U. S. 5

a verdict for the plaintiff, and said exceptions, being found conformable to the facts and the agreement of the parties, are signed, sealed, and ordered to be made of record in the cause."

"GEORGE ADAMS"

"[L.S.] Judge of the U.S. for D. Miss."

Upon this bill of exceptions the case came up to this Court.

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