Procedural Posture

Procedural Posture

Appellants sought review of the judgment of the Superior Court of San Joaquin County (California), sustaining appellee’s objections in response to appellants’ attempt to prove the allegations in their answer, and holding appellants liable on a promissory note.

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Appellants made a non-negotiable promissory note, payable to respondent, for a piece of agricultural equipment. Respondent contended that the sole consideration for the note was the credit given to appellants. Appellants admitted making the note, but denied that it was delivered to respondent. Additionally, appellants alleged that it signed the note simply as an accommodation to its partnership, which was to be held liable for any sum recovered. Finally, appellants asserted that respondent conspired to cheat and defraud appellants. At trial, the lower court sustained respondent’s objections to appellants’ attempts to prove all the allegations in their answer. On appeal, the court held that the lower court erred in excluding appellants’ evidence, and in directing the jury to find for respondent. The evidence sought to be drawn out by the excluded questions would have made appellants’ proof more explicit and satisfactory, and should have been admitted.


The court reversed the judgment against appellants and ordered a new trial, because the lower court erred in excluding appellants’ evidence, as well as in instructing the jury to find for respondent.

Ellen Hollington

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