U.S. Supreme Court Smith & Buchanan v. Delaware Insurance Company, 11 U.S. 7 Cranch 434 434 (1813)
Smith & Buchanan v. Delaware Insurance Company
11 U.S. (7 Cranch) 434
ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
Decided: a verdict "for the defendants, subject to the opinion of the court upon the points reserved," does not authorize an absolute judgment for the defendants, unless the points reserved and the opinion of the court thereon, are stated on the record.
Error to the Circuit Court for the District of Maryland in an action of covenant on a policy of insurance.
The jury found a verdict "for the defendants, subject to the opinion of the court on the points reserved." And judgment was thereupon rendered "for the defendants accordingly."
The plaintiffs, by their counsel, moved the court below that the points reserved (which the motion states, without stating the facts out of which they arose) and the opinion of the court upon those points, should be entered on the record.
The court did not act on this motion, and of course the points do not appear so as to enable this Court to take notice of them.
The defendants (it was said) would not agree to any arrangement by which the legal merits of the cause, as they appeared below, might come into discussion here.
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE MARSHALL.
The case is too plain for argument. The jury did not intend to find a general verdict, but to submit the points of law to the court. If the law had been for the plaintiffs the court could only have awarded a venire de novo. The facts ought to have appeared, so that the judgment might have been either reversed or affirmed upon the merits.
Judgment reversed and a new trial awarded.