Kerr v. Clampitt
95 U.S. 188 (1877)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Kerr v. Clampitt, 95 U.S. 188 (1877)

Kerr v. Clampitt

95 U.S. 188

Syllabus

1. This Court has no jurisdiction to revise the action of an inferior court upon the question of either granting or refusing a new trial, and the final judgment of such court cannot be examined through its rulings upon that question. If, when the final judgment is brought here for review by writ of error, no other documents are presented for consideration than such as were before the inferior court upon the application for a new trial, this Court cannot look into them, and if error is not otherwise disclosed by the record, the judgment will be affirmed.

2. This Court must have before it a bill of exceptions, or what is equivalent thereto, upon which the final judgment of the court below was reviewed, or it will not examine into any alleged errors except such as are otherwise apparent on the face of the record.

The record in this case shows that several issues of fact regularly made up were tried by a jury in the Third Judicial District Court of the Territory of Utah, that a verdict was returned in favor of the defendants in error for $3,583, and a judgment rendered thereon, Nov. 11, 1874, but it does not show that any exceptions were taken to the rulings of the court either admitting or rejecting evidence or to instructions given or to those refused, nor does it contain anything purporting to be a bill of exceptions.

It shows, however, that a motion for a new trial was made on that day, and that a "statement or motion for a new trial" was also filed on the 20th of March, 1875. At the foot of the statement is the following agreement, signed by attorneys for both parties: "It is hereby agreed that the foregoing shall constitute the statement on motion for a new trial in the above-entitled cause, and is correct." Endorsed on the statement is the following: "Settled statement on new trial, filed March 20, 1875."

This statement purports to give certain rulings of the court upon the admission and rejection of evidence and upon instructions to the jury given and refused, and exceptions which, it is said, were taken, but, by express agreement of the parties by their attorneys, the use of the statement is limited to the hearing of the motion for a new trial.

The record also shows that defendants below gave notice of

Page 95 U. S. 189

an appeal to the supreme court of the territory from the judgment entered on the verdict, as well as from that of the 1st of May, 1875, overruling the motion for new trial, and the bond recites an appeal from both judgments.

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