Common Pleas, Philadelphia County.
June Term, 1784.
A motion was made, the 10th of November, on the part of the defendant, to set aside the return of the jury of inquiry, on affidavit of irregular proceedings; and the Court granted a rule to show cause &c.
And now two of the jurors attended and deposed, that Leib's book, supported by his own oath, had been admitted as evidence of the delivery of a quantity of leather by Leib, to the order of Bolton, in part discharge of an agreement between them. But being asked, whether they founded their inquest in any degree upon that evidence, they said it was founded upon that, and concurrent testimony.
In support of the motion it was contended, that, though the admission of books in the manner above stated, had been customary; yet that the custom ought not to be carried farther than to prove work done, or wares delivered; that the purpose for which they had been introduced, on the present occasion, arose upon a collateral point, to establish a sett off in diminution of the damages, and that it was, therefore, irregular to admit them. With respect to the concurrent testimony mentioned by the jurors, it was said, that as neither the nature, or effect of it, appeared to the Court, it might have been even more improper than the allowance of the books as evidence; but that, in all events, the inquest ought to be set aside, as what did appear, shews it to have been raised so far upon an erroneous foundation.
But, by the Court: We will not set aside the verdicts of juries of inquiry; nor the reports of referrees, upon frivolous grounds. Nor, will we examine into the effect of any particular piece of evidence upon the minds of the jury; for, unless it appears, that there was no proper evidence before them, we must presume that they had sufficient grounds for their inquest.
The Rule discharged.
Sergeant for the plaintiff—Lewis and Levy for the defendant. See Cases Temp. Hard. 381.
Leib v. Bolton, 1 U.S. 82, 1. Dall. 82 (C.P. Phila. Cty. 1784)
Last modified: December 11, 2014