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Introduction to Rounds qui tam v. JS

Rounds qui tam v. JS
Geauga Co., Ohio, Court of Common Pleas, 10 February 1837
 
Historical Introduction
The Church of the Latter Day Saints faced significant financial pressure in 1836, brought on primarily by the construction of a in , Ohio, and by large purchases of land in and . Hoping to benefit the local economy and provide financial aid to the church, in November 1836 JS and other church leaders approved a constitution to organize and govern the Kirtland Safety Society Bank. Unsure whether they would be able to receive a charter for a bank from the legislature, they altered the original articles organizing the bank to establish instead the “Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Society.” In January 1837, this “Anti-Banking Company” began issuing notes, signed by JS and as officers of the society.
The following month Samuel Rounds, a resident of nearby , Ohio, initiated separate legal actions against JS, , and four others involved as officers of the Kirtland Safety Society. The action was based on an statute that granted private citizens the right to sue persons acting as officers of unauthorized banks. The penalty was $1,000, which would be divided equally between the party who brought the action and the state.
The cases against JS and were brought to trial in October 1837, months after the Kirtland Safety Society closed its doors amid a nationwide financial panic. The jury decided in favor of the plaintiff, after which execution of the judgment was sought and partially satisfied. Rounds assigned his interest in the judgment to , who in turn received $1,600 from and acting as agents for JS. In return, Newell transferred the judgments to the agents, effectively settling the debt.
Though the judgment had been purchased from in 1838, in 1859 he petitioned the legislature to revive the judgment based on his claim that he had not been compensated. Leave was granted, and in 1860 Newell again sought satisfaction through the assets in JS’s estate.
For legal proceedings of the five separate cases which Rounds brought against , , , , and , see “Documents Related to Rounds qui tam v. JS.” Rounds failed to appear in the cases against Parrish, Whitney, and Williams and Kingsbury, which resulted in a judgment of nonsuit against Rounds.
 
Calendar of Documents
9 February 1837 David D. Aiken, Summons, to Geauga Co. Sheriff, for JS, Geauga Co., OH
9 Feb. 1837; handwriting probably of David D. Aiken; notation by Abel Kimball. Not extant.
9 Feb. 1837; handwriting probably of Abel Kimball. Not extant.
Ca. 25 Oct. 1837; in Transcript of Proceedings, Geauga County Court of Common Pleas Record, vol. U, p. 362, Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH; handwriting of Charles H. Foot.
 
22 April 1837 Samuel Rounds, Declaration, Geauga Co., OH
22 Apr. 1837; handwriting probably of Reuben Hitchcock. Not extant.
Ca. 25 Oct. 1837; in Transcript of Proceedings, Geauga County Court of Common Pleas Record, vol. U, pp. 362–363, Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH; handwriting of Charles H. Foot.
 
Between ca. 22 April and 9 June 1837 JS or his attorney, Demurrer, Geauga Co., OH
Between ca. 22 Apr. and 9 June 1837. Not extant.
 
10 June 1837 Docket Entry, Leave to Amend, Chardon, Geauga Co., OH
10 June 1837; Geauga County Court of Common Pleas Journal, vol. N, p. 223, Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH; handwriting of Charles H. Foot.
 
Ca. 10 June 1837 Docket Entry, Case Costs, Chardon, Geauga Co., OH
Ca. 10 June 1837; Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, Execution Docket, vol. D, p. 15, Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David D. Aiken and Abel Kimball.
 
25 October 1837 Docket Entry, Judgment, Chardon, Geauga Co., OH
25 Oct. 1837; Geauga County Court of Common Pleas Journal, vol. N, p. 237, Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH; handwriting of Charles H. Foot and David D. Aiken.
 
Ca. 25 October 1837 Docket Entry, Case Costs, Chardon, Geauga Co., OH
Ca. 25 Oct. 1837; Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, Execution Docket, vol. G, p. 105, Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH; handwriting of David D. Aiken; notations by Charles H. Foot and William N. Keeny; signature of Elijah G. White.
 
Ca. 25 October 1837 Transcript of Proceedings, Chardon, Geauga Co., OH
Ca. 25 Oct. 1837; Geauga County Court of Common Pleas Record, vol. U, pp. 362–364, Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH; handwriting of Charles H. Foot; possible signature of Van R. Humphrey.
 
Ca. 25 October 1837 JS, Bill of Exceptions, Geauga Co., OH
Ca. 25 Oct. 1837. Not extant.
 
6 November 1837 Fieri Facias, to Abel Kimball, Chardon, Geauga Co., OH
6 Nov. 1837; handwriting probably of David D. Aiken. Not extant.
 
16 November 1837 David D. Aiken, Execution, to Abel Kimball, Chardon, Geauga Co., OH.
16 Nov. 1837. Not extant.
 
Between ca. 6 Nov. 1837 and ca. 28 Feb. 1838 Assignment, to Grandison Newell, Geauga Co., OH
Between ca. 6 Nov. 1837 and ca. 28 Feb. 1838. Not extant.
1 March 1838 Grandison Newell, Assignment of Judgment, to William Marks and Oliver Granger, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH
1 Mar. 1838; handwriting of William Marks; signature of Grandison Newell; attestation in handwriting of Lyman Cowdery.
Rounds qui tam v. JS
Geauga Co., Ohio, Court of Common Pleas, 10 February 1837
 
Historical Introduction
The Church of the Latter Day Saints faced significant financial pressure in 1836, brought on primarily by the construction of a in , Ohio, and by large purchases of land in and . Hoping to benefit the local economy and provide financial aid to the church, in November 1836 JS and other church leaders approved a constitution to organize and govern the Kirtland Safety Society Bank. Unsure whether they would be able to receive a charter for a bank from the legislature, they altered the original articles organizing the bank to establish instead the “Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Society.” In January 1837, this “Anti-Banking Company” began issuing notes, signed by JS and as officers of the society.
The following month Samuel Rounds, a resident of nearby , Ohio, initiated separate legal actions against JS, , and four others involved as officers of the Kirtland Safety Society. The action was based on an statute that granted private citizens the right to sue persons acting as officers of unauthorized banks. The penalty was $1,000, which would be divided equally between the party who brought the action and the state.
The cases against JS and were brought to trial in October 1837, months after the Kirtland Safety Society closed its doors amid a nationwide financial panic. The jury decided in favor of the plaintiff, after which execution of the judgment was sought and partially satisfied. Rounds assigned his interest in the judgment to , who in turn received $1,600 from and acting as agents for JS. In return, Newell transferred the judgments to the agents, effectively settling the debt.
Though the judgment had been purchased from in 1838, in 1859 he petitioned the legislature to revive the judgment based on his claim that he had not been compensated. Leave was granted, and in 1860 Newell again sought satisfaction through the assets in JS’s estate.
For legal proceedings of the five separate cases which Rounds brought against , , , , and , see “Documents Related to Rounds qui tam v. JS.” Rounds failed to appear in the cases against Parrish, Whitney, and Williams and Kingsbury, which resulted in a judgment of nonsuit against Rounds.
 
Calendar of Documents
9 February 1837 David D. Aiken, Summons, to Geauga Co. Sheriff, for JS, Geauga Co., OH
9 Feb. 1837; handwriting probably of David D. Aiken; notation by Abel Kimball. Not extant.
9 Feb. 1837; handwriting probably of Abel Kimball. Not extant.
Ca. 25 Oct. 1837; in Transcript of Proceedings, Geauga County Court of Common Pleas Record, vol. U, p. 362, Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH; handwriting of Charles H. Foot.
 
22 April 1837 Samuel Rounds, Declaration, Geauga Co., OH
22 Apr. 1837; handwriting probably of Reuben Hitchcock. Not extant.
Ca. 25 Oct. 1837; in Transcript of Proceedings, Geauga County Court of Common Pleas Record, vol. U, pp. 362–363, Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH; handwriting of Charles H. Foot.
 
Between ca. 22 April and 9 June 1837 JS or his attorney, Demurrer, Geauga Co., OH
Between ca. 22 Apr. and 9 June 1837. Not extant.
 
10 June 1837 Docket Entry, Leave to Amend, Chardon, Geauga Co., OH
10 June 1837; Geauga County Court of Common Pleas Journal, vol. N, p. 223, Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH; handwriting of Charles H. Foot.
 
Ca. 10 June 1837 Docket Entry, Case Costs, Chardon, Geauga Co., OH
Ca. 10 June 1837; Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, Execution Docket, vol. D, p. 15, Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David D. Aiken and Abel Kimball.
 
25 October 1837 Docket Entry, Judgment, Chardon, Geauga Co., OH
25 Oct. 1837; Geauga County Court of Common Pleas Journal, vol. N, p. 237, Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH; handwriting of Charles H. Foot and David D. Aiken.
 
Ca. 25 October 1837 Docket Entry, Case Costs, Chardon, Geauga Co., OH
Ca. 25 Oct. 1837; Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, Execution Docket, vol. G, p. 105, Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH; handwriting of David D. Aiken; notations by Charles H. Foot and William N. Keeny; signature of Elijah G. White.
 
Ca. 25 October 1837 Transcript of Proceedings, Chardon, Geauga Co., OH
Ca. 25 Oct. 1837; Geauga County Court of Common Pleas Record, vol. U, pp. 362–364, Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH; handwriting of Charles H. Foot; possible signature of Van R. Humphrey.
 
Ca. 25 October 1837 JS, Bill of Exceptions, Geauga Co., OH
Ca. 25 Oct. 1837. Not extant.
 
6 November 1837 Fieri Facias, to Abel Kimball, Chardon, Geauga Co., OH
6 Nov. 1837; handwriting probably of David D. Aiken. Not extant.
 
16 November 1837 David D. Aiken, Execution, to Abel Kimball, Chardon, Geauga Co., OH.
16 Nov. 1837. Not extant.
 
Between ca. 6 Nov. 1837 and ca. 28 Feb. 1838 Assignment, to Grandison Newell, Geauga Co., OH
Between ca. 6 Nov. 1837 and ca. 28 Feb. 1838. Not extant.
1 March 1838 Grandison Newell, Assignment of Judgment, to William Marks and Oliver Granger, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH
1 Mar. 1838; handwriting of William Marks; signature of Grandison Newell; attestation in handwriting of Lyman Cowdery.