Bond Administrator of Cade v. Brown
THIS case was brought up, by writ of error, from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
It 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:
J. B. BOND, Adm'r, &c. }
'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 per centum 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 13th June, 1849.
'Judgment signed 18th June, 1849.
'THEO. H. McCALEB, [SEAL.] U.S. Judge.'
The defendant sued out a writ of error, and brought the case up to this court.
It was argued by Mr. Marr, for the defendant in error, no counsel appearing for the plaintiff in error.
Mr. Marr contended that, according to the plaintiffs, the judgment of the court was equivalent to a general judgment for the plaintiff. There was no objection in any form to any portion of the testimony offered on the trial, no bill of exceptions taken, no motion for a new trial, no case stated by argument of counsel. It is not the province of this court to determine questions of fact, merely as such, on a writ of error. It must legally presume that the allegations of the petition were proven by sufficient and competent testimony; and the decision of the Circuit Court, to this effect, is as conclusive upon this court as if the facts stated in the petition had been found to be true by the verdict of a jury; 5 How., 289; 7 How., 846; and the authorities cited by Mr. Justice Wayne, 7 How., 865.
Mr. Chief Justice TANEY delivered the opinion of the court.