Bond v. Brown - 53 U.S. 254 (1851)
U.S. Supreme Court
Bond v. Brown, 53 U.S. 12 How. 254 254 (1851)
Bond v. Brown
53 U.S. (12 How.) 254
By the Louisiana practice, if neither party claims a trial by jury, the whole case is decided by the court -- matters of fact as well as of law.
Where, upon such a trial, no testimony is objected to, and it does not appear that any question of law arose or was decided, and the case is brought to this Court by writ of error, the judgment of the court below must be affirmed.
The decision of the court below upon questions of fact is as conclusive upon this Court as the verdict of a jury would be.
This was a suit brought by Brown, a citizen of Mississippi, against Bond, as the administrator of Mary Ann Cade, upon a bond with a collateral condition given by one Witherspoon, for which Mary Ann Cade was responsible.
The petition set out the bond and the breaches. The defendant answered, denying some of the material facts stated in the petition and alleging other facts which, if proved, were sufficient to bar a recovery. Neither party claimed a trial by jury, and according to the Louisiana code of practice, articles 494, 495, the whole case was submitted to the judge.
In February, 1849, the cause came on for trial, and after argument the court pronounced the following judgment:
"This cause having been argued and submitted to the court
on a former day on the pleadings, law, and evidence, and the court having maturely considered the same and being fully advised in the premises and satisfied that the plaintiff has fully substantiated the allegations in his petition, it is ordered, adjudged, and decreed that judgment be rendered in favor of the plaintiff, James Brown, and against the defendant, Joshua B. Bond, administrator of the estate of Mary Ann Cade, widow of Elias M. Witherspoon, for the sum of fourteen thousand dollars, with interest thereon at the rate of five percentum per annum from the eleventh day of January in the year eighteen hundred and thirty-seven until paid, and costs of suit to be taxed."
"Judgment rendered 13 June, 1849."
"Judgment signed 18 June, 1849."
"THEO. H. McCALEB [SEAL]"
The defendant sued out a writ of error and brought the case up to this Court.