Rockville Corp.v.Rogan

Not overruled or negatively treated on appealinfoCoverage
Court of Appeals of MarylandMay 2, 1967
246 Md. 482 (Md. 1967)
246 Md. 482229 A.2d 76

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[No. 268, September Term, 1966.]

Decided May 2, 1967.

DIRECTED VERDICTS — Motion For Directed Verdict At Close Of Plaintiff's Case Is Withdrawn By Subsequent Presentation Of Evidence By Defendant — Rule 552(b) Applied. p. 484

DIRECTED VERDICTS — Motion For Directed Verdict At Close Of All Evidence Is Defective Where Grounds For Motion Are Not Stated, And Appeal Will Not Lie From Denial Of Motion — Rule 552(a) Applied. In this suit upon lease covenants and counterclaim for rent, the defendant moved for a directed verdict at the close of the plaintiffs' case, stating grounds in support of the motion. Following denial of the motion, the defendant presented evidence of its own. At the close of the case, defendant again moved for a directed verdict, without stating grounds. After argument on the motion (which did not appear in the record on appeal), the motion was denied and judgment entered for plaintiffs. On appeal from denial of the motions for directed verdict, the Court of Appeals held that there was nothing before the court for review. The objections to denial of the first motion were waived by the subsequent presentation of evidence, while the grounds for the second motion were not stated in the record before the appellate court. Since no exception had been taken to the instructions to the jury, there was no other basis for appellate review of the judgment. pp. 484-485


Decided May 2, 1967.

Appeal from the Circuit Court for Montgomery County (ANDERSON, J.).

Kevin G. Rogan and Martha A. Rogan, his wife, instituted suit against the Rockville Investment Corporation for breach of covenants to provide air conditioning contained in a lease with the plaintiffs. The defendant counterclaimed for unpaid rent. From a judgment entered upon jury verdict in favor of plaintiffs and cross-defendants, the defendant appeals.

Judgment affirmed, with costs.

The cause was argued before HORNEY, MARBURY, BARNES, McWILLIAMS and FINAN, JJ.

John C. Joyce, with whom were James P. Salmon and Duckett, Orem, Christie Beckett on the brief for appellant.

Joseph A. Lynott, Jr., for appellees.

Kevin G. Rogan and his wife, Martha A. Rogan, appellees, brought suit in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County to recover damages sustained as the result of an alleged breach of covenant to provide "adequate air conditioning" which was contained in a lease agreement between the appellant, Rockville Investment Corporation, and the appellees, who were to use and occupy the leased premises as a coin-operated laundry and "retail professional laundry and dry cleaning plant." The appellant filed a general issue plea and counterclaimed against the appellees for unpaid rent allegedly owed by appellees under the the terms of the lease.

A trial was held before a jury, Judge Anderson presiding. At the close of the appellees' case and at the close of all the evidence, appellant made motions for a directed verdict. Both motions were denied, and the case was sent to the jury which returned a verdict in favor of appellees. From the judgment on the verdict appellant has appealed.

There is nothing before this Court to review. After making its motion for a directed verdict at the close of appellees' case, which motion was denied, appellant offered evidence to support its theory of the case and to rebut the evidence presented by appellees. The motion for directed verdict was withdrawn by the appellant's presentation of evidence. Maryland Rule 552 b. Schmidt v. Millhauser, 212 Md. 585, 130 A.2d 572; Smith v. Carr, 189 Md. 338, 56 A.2d 151. At the close of all the evidence appellant made a motion for a directed verdict without stating the grounds therefor, as he had done previously for the motion made at the close of the evidence offered by appellees. The record indicates that there was argument on this motion, but it does not reveal any portion of that argument nor the grounds for this motion. A party has the obligation to state for the record the grounds of his motion for a directed verdict in order to inform the court and the counsel for the nonmoving party. Rule 552 a; Levin v. Cook, 186 Md. 535, 47 A.2d 505; Slaska v. Idzi, 186 Md. 530, 47 A.2d 503, and cases cited therein. The second motion was defective, and having failed to properly renew the first motion and the reasons therefor, appellant can not now rely upon either on appeal. Appellant also failed to object to any instructions given the jury. Since appellant offered evidence after making its motion for a directed verdict at the close of appellees' testimony, but failed to properly renew the motion at the close of all the evidence or to object to instructions with reference to the issues raised in the trial, the rulings on the motions and the instructions to the jury became the law of the case and the questions raised by the appellant are not properly before this Court for decision. Montauk Corp. v. Seeds, 215 Md. 491, 138 A.2d 907; Smith v. Carr, supra.

Judgment affirmed, with costs.

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