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Hunt v. Paquette

Supreme Court of Vermont. January Term, 1930
Feb 5, 1930
102 Vt. 403 (Vt. 1930)


Opinion filed February 5, 1930.

Bills of Exceptions in Municipal Court — Signing and Filing — General Exceptions — Effect Where Transcript Made Controlling and Fails to Show Exceptions to Rulings of which Complaint is Made.

1. Under G.L. 1647, bill of exceptions in municipal court must be filed with clerk of such court, and failure to do so is a jurisdictional defect, upon which Supreme Court will act of its own motion in dismissing exceptions, without waiting for parties to make claim that case is not in Supreme Court.

2. Since by G.L. 1647 a cause is passed to Supreme Court from a municipal court in same manner as if passed from county court, bill must be signed by presiding judge within time limit as provided by G.L. 2258, and a so-called "Amended Bill of Exceptions" from judgment of municipal court, not signed by the judge of such court, presents nothing to Supreme Court for review.

3. Where signed bill of exceptions merely states that "defendant excepted to findings of facts and to the judgment of the court," no particular finding being pointed out and no particular fault indicated, exception is too general to be available.

4. Where transcript was referred to and made part of exceptions and controlling as to all of them, errors claimed by defendant in his brief in certain rulings of trial court relating to admission and exclusion of evidence, held not available for review by Supreme Court, because transcript failed to show that an exception was taken to any of such rulings.

ACTION OF CONTRACT. Plea, general denial, and special plea setting up a different contract than relied upon by defendant and fulfillment thereof. Trial by Orleans County municipal court, Frank C. Williams, Municipal Judge. Findings of fact by court and judgment thereon for the plaintiff. The defendant excepted. The opinion states the case. Exceptions dismissed.

W.C. Lindsay for the defendant.

Walter H. Cleary for the plaintiff.

Present: POWERS, C.J., SLACK, MOULTON, and THOMPSON, JJ., and GRAHAM, Supr. J.

This case was tried without a jury, by the municipal court of Orleans County. The facts having been found, judgment was entered for the plaintiff, and the defendant excepted.

The filing stamped upon the bill of exception indicates that this was done with the county clerk of Orleans County. In Jones v. Metcalf, 95 Vt. 67, 68, 112 A. 831, we held that a bill of exceptions in a case in municipal court must be filed with the clerk of such court, under the provisions of G.L. 1647. The failure to do so here is a defect which touches our jurisdiction. Trask v. Trask's Estate, 99 Vt. 353, 354, 132 A. 136; Hotel Vermont Co. v. Cosgriff, 89 Vt. 173, 175, 94 A. 496. We do not wait for the parties to make the claim that there is no case here but act upon our own motion in dismissing the exceptions. Saund v. Saund, 100 Vt. 176, 178, 136 A. 22; Hinsman v. Marble Savings Bank, 100 Vt. 48, 50, 51, 134 A. 635; Filmore, Admr. v. Morgan's Estate, 93 Vt. 491, 493, 108 A. 840.

But even if the exceptions had been properly filed, no question would be presented for review. The bill, as signed by the municipal judge, provided for its amendment within thirty days from its date. A so-called "Amended Bill of Exceptions" appears, but it is not signed by the judge. By G.L. 1647 a cause is passed to the Supreme Court from a municipal court, on exceptions, in the same manner as if passing from the county court. In the latter case, the bill must be signed by the presiding judge within the time limited. G.L. 2258. Trask v. Trask's Estate, supra. If this is not done we are without jurisdiction to pass upon the exception. Tucker v. Yandow, 100 Vt. 169, 171, 135 A. 600. And such is the case here, so far as the so-called "Amended Bill" is concerned, because of the absence of the required signature.

In the signed bill, it is stated that "the defendant excepted to the findings of facts and to the judgment of the court." Since no particular finding is pointed out, and no particular fault is indicated, this exception is too general to be available. Bemis v. Aldrich et al., 102 Vt. 277, 147 A. 693, 694; Royal Bank v. Girard, 100 Vt. 117, 119, 135 A. 497; Landon v. Hunt, 82 Vt. 322, 324, 73 A. 865.

The transcript is referred to and made a part of the exceptions and controlling as to all of them. No exception to findings or judgment appears therein. In his brief the defendant claims error in certain rulings of the trial court relating to the admission and exclusion of evidence. But an examination of the transcript fails to show that an exception was taken to any of the rulings concerning which complaint is made, and so no question is reserved for consideration here. McAndrews v. Leonard, 99 Vt. 512, 519, 134 A. 710; Green v. Dodge, 79 Vt. 73, 80, 64 A. 499.

Exceptions dismissed.

Summaries of

Hunt v. Paquette

Supreme Court of Vermont. January Term, 1930
Feb 5, 1930
102 Vt. 403 (Vt. 1930)
Case details for

Hunt v. Paquette

Case Details

Full title:A.J. HUNT v. B. PAQUETTE

Court:Supreme Court of Vermont. January Term, 1930

Date published: Feb 5, 1930


102 Vt. 403 (Vt. 1930)
148 A. 752

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