Graham v. Bayne - 59 U.S. 60 (1855)
U.S. Supreme Court
Graham v. Bayne, 59 U.S. 18 How. 60 60 (1855)
Graham v. Bayne
59 U.S. (18 How.) 60
A statute passed by the State of Illinois on 3 March, 1845, permits matters both of fact and law to be tried by the court if both parties agree.
Where a case was tried in the circuit court of the United States in which both parties agreed that matters of law and fact should be submitted to the court, and it was brought to this Court upon a bill of exceptions which contained all the evidence, this Court wilt remand the case to the circuit court with directions to award a venire de novo.
A bill of exceptions must present questions of law. Where there is no dispute about the facts, counsel may agree on a case stated in the nature of a special verdict. But to send the whole evidence up is not the same thing as agreeing upon the facts.
Even if a special verdict be ambiguous or imperfect, if it find but the evidence of facts and not the facts themselves, or finds but parts of the facts in issue and is silent as to others, it is a mistrial, and the court of error must order a venire de novo. They can render no judgment on an imperfect verdict or case stated.
This was an action of ejectment brought by Bayne against Graham to recover the southeast quarter of section 15, in townships seven, range four east.
The circumstances under which the case came up are stated in the opinion of the Court.