U.S. Supreme Court
Sheehy v. Mandeville & Jamessen, 10 U.S. 6 Cranch 253 253 (1810)
Sheehy v. Mandeville & Jamessen
10 U.S. (6 Cranch) 253
A promissory note given and received for and in discharge of an open account is a bar to an action upon the open account, although the note be not paid.
This Court will not direct the court below to allow the proceedings to be amended.
A several suit and judgment against one of two joint makers of a promissory note is no bar to a joint action against both upon the same note.
The whole of, a joint note is not merged in a judgment against one of the makers on his individual assumpsit, but the other may be charged in a subsequent joint action if he pleads severally.
Error to the circuit court for the District of Columbia sitting at Alexandria, in an action of assumpsit chanrobles.com-redchanrobles.com-red
brought by Sheehy against Joseph Mandeville and R. B. Jamesson.
The declaration consisted of three counts.
The first count was upon a promissory note as follows, viz.,
"James Sheehy complains of Joseph Mandeville and Robert Brown Jamesson, lately trading under the firm of Robert Brown Jamesson, of a plea of trespass on the case for that whereas, on 17 July, 1804, the said defendant Joseph Mandeville, secretly trading with the defendant Robert B. Jamesson by way of buying and selling merchandise, at Alexandria in the county aforesaid, under the name, title, style, and firm of Robert Brown Jamesson, and whereas the said defendants under the said name, firm, and style, on the said 17 July, 1804, at, &c., made their certain note in writing, called a promissory note, subscribed by them by and under the name, style, title and firm of Robert B. Jamesson, bearing date the same day and year, and then and there delivered the said note to the plaintiff, and by the said note did, under their firm aforesaid, promise to pay to the said plaintiff or to his order $604.91 for value received, negotiable at the Bank of Alexandria, by reason whereof and by force of the law in such cases made and provided the said defendants became liable to pay to the plaintiff the said sum of money contained in the said note according to the tenor and effect of the said note, and being so liable, they, the said defendants, under the name and firm aforesaid, afterwards, to-wit, the same day and year aforesaid, at Alexandria aforesaid, undertook,"
The second count was indebitatus assumpsit for goods sold and delivered to the defendants under the name and firm of Robert B. Jamesson.
The third count was a quantum valebant for the same goods. chanrobles.com-redchanrobles.com-red
The defendants were duly arrested, but Jamesson was discharged by a judge upon entering a common appearance, he having been before discharged under the act of Congress for the relief of insolvent debtors within the District of Columbia, and no further proceedings seem to have been had against him.
The defendant Mandeville appeared and filed two pleas.
"And the said defendant, by George Youngs, his attorney, comes and defends the wrong and injury, when, &c., protesting that the said goods, wares and merchandise, in the declaration mentioned, were not sold and delivered to the said Robert B. Jamesson and this defendant jointly, for plea saith that the said James ought not to have and maintain his action aforesaid against him because he says that heretofore, to-wit, on 17 July, 1804, at Alexandria, the said Robert B. Jamesson, in the declaration named, made his promissory note, payable to the said James Sheehy or order, sixty days after date, for $604.91, negotiable at the Bank of Alexandria, which said note, so as aforesaid made by the said Jamesson, was given by the said Jamesson to the said James Sheehy and by him received for and in discharge of an account or bill of the said James Sheehy against the said R. B. Jamesson for sundry goods, wares, and merchandise at the special instance and request of the said R. B. Jamesson sold and delivered by the said James to the said Robert B. Jamesson. And the said defendant Joseph avers that the said goods, wares and merchandise mentioned in the plaintiff's declaration are the same goods, wares, and merchandise so as aforesaid sold and delivered to the said Robert B. Jamesson by the said James Sheehy, and the same for which the said R. B. Jamesson gave his aforesaid negotiable note, and none other, and afterwards, to-wit, on 8 June, 1805, the said James Sheehy sued out of the clerk's office of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia for the County of Alexandria his writ in an action of debt upon the aforesaid note against the said Robert B. Jamesson, and such proceedings
were had therein that at the July term of the said court in the year 1806 a judgment was rendered in favor of the said James Sheehy against the said R. B. Jamesson for the debt and damages mentioned in the declaration filed in that action, to be discharged by the payment of the said $604.91, with interest from 15 September, 1804, till paid, which will at large appear by the records of the said court now here remaining in the said Circuit Court of the District of Columbia for the County of Alexandria, which judgment still remains unreversed and in full force, all of which the said defendant is ready to verify; wherefore he prays judgment whether the said plaintiff his action aforesaid ought to have and maintain against him upon the second and third counts in the said declaration,"
"2d plea. And the said defendant, by leave of the court, . . . for further plea saith that the plaintiff his action aforesaid against him ought not to have and maintain on the first count in his said declaration because he saith that heretofore, to-wit, on 8 June, 1805, the said James Sheehy sued out of the clerk's office of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia for the County of Alexandria his writ in an action of debt against the said Robert B. Jamesson, and afterwards, in July, filed his declaration therein upon a note of the said Robert B. Jamesson to the said James Sheehy, dated 17 July, 1804, payable sixty days after date, for $604.91, for value received, negotiable at the Bank of Alexandria, and afterwards such proceedings were had in the said suit that at July term, of the said court in the year 1806 judgment was rendered therein in favor of the said James Sheehy against the said Robert B. Jamesson for the debt and damages in the said declaration mentioned to be discharged by the payment of $604.91, with interest from 15 September, 1804, until paid, and also costs of suit; all which the said defendant is ready to verify by the record and proceedings of the said court, . . . which said judgment still remains unreversed and in full force, also to be verified by the record. . . . And the
said defendant avers that the promissory note in the first count in the plaintiff's declaration mentioned and described is the same note upon which the aforesaid judgment was rendered and obtained, against the said Robert B. Jamesson as aforesaid, and not other or different, and this the said defendant is ready to verify; whereupon the defendant prays judgment if the said plaintiff ought to have and maintain his action aforesaid against him upon the first count in the said declaration,"
To the first plea the plaintiff demurred, and assigned as causes of demurrer,
1. That the plea does not traverse the assumpsit laid in the declaration.
2. It does not expressly confess or deny that the goods were sold and delivered to the said Joseph Mandeville and Robert B. Jamesson, nor that the note in the declaration mentioned was given by the said house and firm of Robert B. Jamesson.
3. An unsatisfied judgment against Robert B. Jamesson is no bar to an action upon the same cause of action against the other defendant, against whom no judgment has been rendered.
4. It does not aver that the judgment against Jamesson has been satisfied.
5. It does not deny or admit that the defendant, Mandeville, assumed to pay for the goods.
6. The plea is no answer to the declaration.
To the second plea the plaintiff also demurred, and assigned the same causes of demurrer.
The judgment of the court below upon these demurrers was in favor of the defendant Mandeville, and the plaintiff brought his writ of error. chanrobles.com-redchanrobles.com-red