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Commonwealth v. George Murr and Clayton Kise. presented before you certain evidence as to his good reputation before this charge was made against him. Evidence of good character is always admissible for the defendant in a criminal case. It is to be weighed and considered in connection with all the other evidence in the case.
If that evidence, when considered with the other evidence submitted, creates a reasonable doubt, then the defendant is entitled to an acquittal.”
It seems to me that the defendants received all the consideration at the hands of the Court that the law demanded. Believing that there is no merit in the reasons assigned, they are now dismissed, and the rules for new trials are discharged.
Conrt of Common Pleas of Lancaster County
L. D. Hurst v, W. 8. and Ida E. Hastings.
Judgment-Married women. A judgment entered on a note signed by a husband and wife will be opened as to the wife after the death of the husband where the evidence shows that she signed it as surety for her husband.
Rule to open judgment as to Ida E. Hastings. February Term, 1920, No. 268.
B. F. Davis, for rule.
This is a rule to show cause why a judgment entered against Ida E. Hastings should not be opened. It appears from the petition, answer and testimony that Ida E. Hastings is a married woman, and was on April 1, 1913, when the note upon which this judgment was entered was signed. Her husband, now deceased, was the W. S. Hastings, Sr., the other defendant in the above judgment. She alleges in her petition that she received no consideration for signing the note, but that the money was obtained by W. S. Hastings, Sr., and that her name appears thereon only as surety for him. L. D. Hurst, the plaintiff in the judg. ment, has filed an answer, in which he denies the allegations of the petition, but does not state any of the circumstances under which the money was loaned by him.
In her testimony Ida E. Hastings says that the money was borrowed by her husband from the plaintiff for the purpose of assisting a young man who was their neighbor, Mr. Ray P. Reese, to improve his property. Mr. Reese was called as a witness, and testified that at that time he did get the sum of eight hundred dollars in smaller amounts from W. S. Hastings, Sr., and that he gave a mortgage to him for eight hundred dollars, which mortgage was offered in evidence.
The plaintiff offered no testimony to contradict the testimony on the part of Mrs. Hastings, and, as is the case with the answer to the
L. D. Hurst v. W. S. and Ida E. Hastings. petition, he offered no testimony to show any of the circumstances under which the money was loaned.
It is well settled that a married woman is not authorized to sign a judgment note as surety for anyone. We have frequently decided that where the testimony leads us to believe that the judgment was signed by her for that purpose it must be opened. The most recent of these cases is Haefner v. Mowery, 36 L. L. R. 179. In that case there was a clause in the note alleging that the note was given for her personal benefit, and not as surety or endorser for any other person, but as the testimony showed that the married woman signed the note for the benefit of her husband, it was opened, and she was permitted to make a defense against it. The testimony in this case shows that it was signed by the petitioner as surety for her husband. We, therefore, make absolute the rule to show cause why this judgment should not be opened, so that the said Ida E. Hastings may defend against it.
Rule made absolute.
C. P. AND Q. S. OPINIONS.
Metzger v. Messner. Rule for judgment for defendant 1. 0. '. discharged.
October 8, 1921.
H. A. Gantert v. Chas. Rote. Rule for judgment for want of a sufficient affidavit of defense discharged.
Max D. Halbern v. Harry R. Siegler and Lester E. Hite. Demurrer overruled.
E. D. Russell v. Geo. W. Kinzer. Exceptions to findings of law and fact dismissed.
Josephine Meckley v. Ralph Meckley et al. Exceptions to findings dismissed.
Peoples Natl. Bank v. David Sweigart. Rule to strike off judg. ment made absolute.
William W. Fetler, Ex. v. Hiram K. Brendle et al. Exceptions to findings dismissed.
C. G. Rosenberger to use of W. A. Rupp v. John Henry Dissinger. Rule to open judgment discharged.
Annie Ruben Hilgert 1. Frank Hilt. Rule for judgment on Pleadings. Judgment for defendant.
John B. Brown v. Eliz. A. Brown. Exceptions to decree dismissed.
Peoples Trust Co. v. W. H. Rothfus. Rule for judgment for want of a sufficient affidavit of defense made absolute and judgment for plaintiff for $1164.68.
In re Salisbury Twp. School District. Rule to remove directors dismissed.
Commonwealth v. Wilbur J. Deitcher. Order of maintenance reduced.
Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County
Harold G. Ripple, Atty. for Lena Miedl v. Theodore Wolf. Two judgments for same debt-Burden of proof-Husband and wife.
Where a defendant gave a judgment for money loaned and subsequently, on the representation of the plaintiff's wife, who knew of this judgment, that the money loaned was really hers, gave her also a judgment for the same amount, the burden is on the wife, on a rule to show cause, to show that the money loaned to the defendant was her money and not her husband's, and she, having failed to show such fact, the second judgment will be opened.
(See ante, page 485.)
Harold G. Ripple and Oliver S. Schaeffer, contra.
It appears that, about August, 1918, Otto Miedl and Lena Miedi, who were then living together as man and wife, together went to the house of the defendant, which was at 726 West Vine Street, Lancaster, and gave him the sum of $200.00. He then prepared a paper, acknowledging the debt, in the name of Otto Miedl, and gave it to said Miedi. This was at the time satisfactory to all the parties. About May, 1919, Lena Miedl took $100.00 to the defendant's house, in East Lampeter Township, and gave it to the defendant, but took no writing from him for it. On June 3, 1919, Otto Miedl came to his house with a judgment note for $300.00, payable to himself, and this note the defendant and Josef Gerhart signed and delivered to Otto Miedl. On March 13, 1920, it was assigned to H. Edgar Sherts, and on the same day entered in this Court to January Term, 1920, No. 201. At this time Otto Miedl and Lena Miedl had ceased to live together.
On January 6, 1920, Lena Miedl went to see the defendant and brought him to the office of Harold G. Ripple, her attorney. She represented that the $300.00 was her money, and induced him to sign a judgment note payable to Harold G. Ripple, attorney for Lena Miedl, for this amount, payable on April 1, 1920. Mr. Ripple did not know at that time that Wolf had already given Otto Miedl a judgment note for the amount, but Lena Miedl did, because Wolf had told her so. Under this state of facts, the defendant presented his petition, asking that this judgment shall be opened and he be let into a defense, first, because the judgment is without consideration ; second, because he does not owe any part of the same; and third, because he signed it under the false representations made by said Lena Miedl that a former judgment in favor of her husband, Otto Miedl, was invalid.
The defendant is in the position of having given two judgments for the same debt. It is conceded that the judgment note given to Harold G. Ripple, attorney for Lena Miedl, was in point of time
VOL. XXXVII, No. 104
Harold G. Ripple, Atty. for Lena Miedl v. Theodore Wolf. given after the judgment note given to Otto Miedl, and it was proven that Lena Miedl knew that fact when her judgment note was signed. The burden was, therefore, on Lena Miedl to show that the money given to the defendant was her money, and not her alleged husband's. He has failed to show any such facts, and we, therefore, conclude that this judgment should be opened and the defendant let into a defense.
The rule is, therefore, made absolute.
Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County
Otto Miodi, to use of H. Edgar Shorts, v. Thoodore Wolf and
Pending the final disposition of the case of Harold G. Ripple, attorney for Lena Miedl, 2. Theodore Wolf. November Term, 1919, No. 157. (See preceding case.) The rule in this case is continued.
Court of Quarter Sessions of Lancaster County
Commonwealth v. Lena Miedl.
Husband and wife - Bigamy — Complaint by husband against uite
Sufficiency of indictment-Demurrer-Limitations.
A demurrer to an indictment for bigamy will not be sustained on the ground that the complaint was made by the husband of the defendant. A demurrer goes only to defects apparent on the face of the indictment.
An indictment for bigamy setting forth that the defendant did on a given date and thereafter “unlawfully have two husbands at one and the same time," is sufficient, being substantially in the language of the Act of March 27, 1903, P. L.
Where, in such case, the date given in the indictment is more than two years before the indictment was brought, the indictment will not be quashed on demurrer as barred by the statute of limitations. This question is properly raised on the trial and neither acts of cohabitation within the two years which toll the running of the statute or the date of the second marriage need be set forth in the indictment.
Demurrer. September Sessions, 1920, No. 34.
Commonwealth v. Lena Miedl.
H. Edgar Sherts and Wm. C. Rehm, Dist. Atty., contra.
December 24, 1920. Opinion by LANDIS, P. J.
The indictment in the above case charges that, on the 13th day of June, 1918, and thereafter, and within two years last past, the defendant “did unlawfully have two husbands at one and the same time, to wit, Otto Penn and Otto Miedl.” The defendant's counsel claims that the offense is not sufficiently set out therein, and for this reason has filed a demurrer.
The second section of the Act of March 27, 1903, P. L. 102, provides that, “ from and after the passage of this Act, if any person shall have two wives or two husbands at one and the same time, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.” In section 11 of the Act of March 31, 1860, P. L. 433, it is enacted that “every indictment shall be deemed and adjudged sufficient and good in law which charges the crime substantially in the language of the Act of the Assembly prohibiting the crime, and prescribing the punishment, if any such there be.” Following this provision, in Williams v. Commonwealth, 91 Pa. 493, it was held that " an indictment which charges the crime substantially in the language of the Act of Assembly is sufficient. ... The accused may, however, apply to the court or a judge for an order for a bill of particulars." Again, in Commonwealth 7. Miller, No. 1, 31 Sup. 309, it was decided that “where an indictment against a school director charges him substantially in the words of section 66 of the Act of March 31, 1860, with being interested in a contract for furnishing school supplies to the district of which he is director, and no application is made for a bill of particulars, the defendant is not entitled to have the indictment quashed because it was not sufficiently specific as to the kind of supplies and material furnished, or the price or prices agreed upon.” Commonwealth v. Beatty, 15 Sup. 5, and many other cases sustain this same principle. In Commonwealth v. Lewandowski, 74 Sup. 512, it is said : “ The indictment in this case being in the words of the Act, we see no room for argument left to the defendant. If the defendant desired a more specific charge, he should have asked for a bill of particulars : Com. v. McCoy, 10 Pa. Superior Ct. 598."
It is true that section 4 of the Act of March 27, 1903, P. L. 102, directs that “no indictment which is brought or exhibited under sections two and three of this Act shall be barred by any statute of limitation : Provided, the indictment is brought or exhibited within two years next after any act of cohabitation between the parties to the bigamous marriage laid in the indictment, or, if there be no act of cohabitation, within two years from the date of entering into such bigamous marriage." But acts of cohabitation or the date of the second marriage need not, because of this section, be set forth in the indictment. The statute can be pleaded and if in the proof it appears that more than two years have elapsed since cohabitation or the date of the