Introduction to Rounds qui tam v. JS

Document Transcript

Rounds v. JS
Geauga Co., Ohio, Court of Common Pleas, 10 February 1837
 
Rounds for the use of the State of Ohio as well as Himself v. JS
Geauga Co., Ohio, Court of Common Pleas, 31 October 1860
 
Historical Introduction
In February 1837, , a resident of , Ohio, initiated six separate legal actions against JS, , and four junior officers of the . In November 1836, JS and other church leaders approved a constitution to organize and govern the Kirtland Safety Society Bank, likely hoping to benefit the local economy and provide financial aid to the church. Unsure whether they would be able to receive a charter for a bank from the state legislature, they altered the original articles organizing the bank to establish instead a joint stock association called the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company. In January 1837, this “anti-banking company” began issuing notes, signed by JS and Rigdon as officers of the society.
’s legal actions were 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 suits against the four junior officers were concluded in their favor that summer.
The lawsuits against JS and were brought to trial in October 1837, months after the closed its doors amid a nationwide financial panic. The jury decided in favor of the plaintiff in both cases, after which of the judgment for the Rigdon case was sought and partially satisfied. assigned his half of the judgments for both cases to , the other half of the judgments still belonging to the state of . Newell in turn assigned his portion of the judgments to and , agents of JS, for $1,600. The combination of the approximately $700 partial satisfaction of judgment and the $1,600 assignment effectively paid judgments for both cases in full.
When and paid for the judgment in 1838, they failed to make the payment part of the court record; therefore, court records indicated that only a portion of the judgment had been satisfied. The oversight allowed Newell to proceed against JS’s assets as though he had not received payment in full. He did so in 1859, petitioning the legislature to have the judgment to him, based on his claim that he expended personal funds to initially prosecute the cases against JS and . The legislature granted the request. In 1860, Newell sought satisfaction through the assets of JS’s estate. The legislature also authorized Newell “at his own charges and expense, in the name of the state of Ohio, to revive said judgments.”
On 29 October 1860, the probate court for , Ohio, appointed , the spouse of ’s granddaughter Emily E. Sawyer, as administrator of JS’s estate at Holcomb’s request. Two days later, the court of common pleas noted the action taken by the legislature in assigning the judgment to Newell and went on to grant Newell’s motion to revive the case against JS. On 24 September 1861, Holcomb petitioned the probate court for permission to sell real estate belonging to JS’s estate in . The court appointed three appraisers to provide the appraisal of the property, and on 18 April 1862, the and other property JS had owned were sold to . was to receive her dower interest from the sale, which amounted to $4.11, to be paid annually for the duration of her life.
 
Calendar of Documents
This calendar lists all known documents created by or for the court, whether extant or not. It does not include versions of documents created for other purposes, though those versions may be listed in footnotes. In certain cases, especially in cases concerning unpaid debts, the originating document (promissory note, invoice, etc.) is listed here. Note that documents in the calendar are grouped with their originating court. Where a version of a document was subsequently filed with another court, that version is listed under both courts.

Footnotes

  1. 1

    Summons, 9 Feb. 1837 [Rounds qui tam v. JS]. In addition to suing JS and Rigdon, Rounds brought actions against Horace Kingsbury, Newel K. Whitney, Frederick G. Williams, and Warren Parrish. (See Documents Related to Rounds qui tam v. JS.)  

  2. 2

    Constitution of the Kirtland Safety Society Bank, 2 Nov. 1836.  

  3. 3

    For the Kirtland Safety Society’s revised articles and a discussion of the attempt to secure a charter, see Articles of Agreement for the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company, 2 Jan. 1837; Documents, Volume 5, Introduction to Part 5: 5 Oct. 1836–10 Apr. 1837.  

  4. 4

    Historical Introduction to Articles of Agreement for the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company, 2 Jan. 1837; Kirtland Safety Society Notes, 4 Jan–9 Mar. 1837.  

  5. 5

    An Act to Prohibit the Issuing and Circulating of Unauthorized Bank Paper [27 Jan. 1816], Swan, Statutes of the State of Ohio [1840], pp. 136–137, secs. 1, 5.  

    Statutes of the State of Ohio, of a General Nature, in Force, December 7, 1840; Also, the Statutes of a General Nature, Passed by the General Assembly at Their Thirty-Ninth Session, Commencing December 7, 1840. Columbus, OH: Samuel Medary, 1841.

  6. 6

    In these further suits, the plaintiff became nonsuit, meaning judgment was given against Rounds and the defendants recovered costs. (See Docket Entry, Verdict, 25 October 1837 [Rounds qui tam v. Parrish]; Transcript of Proceedings, circa 25 October 1837 [Rounds qui tam v. Whitney]; Transcript of Proceedings, circa 25 October 1837 [Rounds qui tam v. Williams]; Transcript of Proceedings, circa 25 October 1837 [Rounds qui tam v. Kingsbury]; and Documents, Volume 5, Introduction to Part 5: 5 Oct. 1836–10 Apr. 1837; see also Walker, “Kirtland Safety Society and the Fraud of Grandison Newell,” 33–148; and Adams, “Grandison Newell’s Obsession,” 173–175.)  

    Walker, Jeffrey N. “The Kirtland Safety Society and the Fraud of Grandison Newell: A Legal Examination.” BYU Studies 54, no. 3 (2015): 33–147.

    Adams, Dale W. “Grandison Newell’s Obsession.” Journal of Mormon History 30 (Spring 2004): 159–188.

  7. 7

    Docket Entry, Judgment, 25 Oct. 1837 [Rounds qui tam v. JS]. For the historical context of the Kirtland Safety Society and reasons for its collapse, see Joseph Smith Documents from October 1835 through January 1838; Documents, Volume 5, Introduction to Part 5: 5 Oct. 1836–10 Apr. 1837; and Documents, Volume 5, Introduction to Part 6: 20 Apr.–14 Sept. 1837.  

  8. 8

    Docket Entry, Judgment, 25 Oct. 1837 [Rounds qui tam v. JS]. Personal property totaling $716.25 was sold to facilitate payment of the judgment. (Docket Entry, Costs, ca. 25 Oct. 1837 [Rounds qui tam v. JS].) Attempts to pay judgment by levying property owned by Rigdon are recorded in docket entries for both cases, possibly due to a sheriff’s notation on the fieri facias interconnecting the two. (Docket Entry, Costs, ca. 25 Oct. 1837 [Rounds qui tam v. Rigdon].)  

  9. 9

    It is unclear why the amount paid for the judgments exceeded what the law required by $300. Litigant costs and fees for the sheriff and county clerk totaled about $140 for both cases, and the assignment required Newell to pay “all costs” accrued on the judgments. It is unclear if Newell’s obligation included the $140 or was in addition to it. Granger died in 1841, and physical custody of Newell’s assignment of the judgment passed to Oliver’s son Gilbert Granger. On 3 March 1842, JS apparently received this assignment from a settlement with Gilbert. (Assignment of Judgment, 1 Mar. 1838 [Rounds qui tam v. JS]; JS, Journal, 3 Mar. 1842.)  

  10. 10

    See An Act for the Relief of Grandison Newell [10 Mar. 1859], Acts of a General Nature, vol. 56, p. 271; Assignment of Judgment, 1 Mar. 1838 [Rounds qui tam v. JS]; Docket Entry, Judgment, 25 Oct. 1837 [Rounds qui tam v. JS]; and Docket Entry, Costs, ca. 25 Oct. 1837 [Rounds qui tam v. JS]. The judgment Newell assigned to Marks and Granger was only Rounds’s half. The status of the state’s portion of the judgment was unclear, thereby providing grounds for Newell to revive the judgment.  

    Acts of a General Nature and Local Laws and Joint Resolutions, Passed by the Fifty-Third General Assembly, of the State of Ohio: At Its Second Session, Begun and Held in the City of Columbus, January 3, 1859, and the Fifty-Seventh Year of Said State. vol. 56 Columbus, OH: Richard Nevins, 1859.

  11. 11

    An Act for the Relief of Grandison Newell [10 Mar. 1859], Acts of a General Nature, vol. 56, p. 271.  

    Acts of a General Nature and Local Laws and Joint Resolutions, Passed by the Fifty-Third General Assembly, of the State of Ohio: At Its Second Session, Begun and Held in the City of Columbus, January 3, 1859, and the Fifty-Seventh Year of Said State. vol. 56 Columbus, OH: Richard Nevins, 1859.

  12. 12

    Motion, 29 Oct. 1860 [Rounds for the use of the State of Ohio as well as Himself v. JS]; Lake Co., OH, Probate Court, Final Records in Estates of Deceased Persons, 1843–1903, vol. B, p. 469, microfilm 974,893, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL. The probate court could grant any creditor the power to administer all assets of the deceased, which were situated in Ohio. In 1860 Newell was living with the Holcombs. (An Act Further to Amend the Act Entitled “An Act to Provide for the Settlement of the Estates of Deceased Persons,” Passed March 23, 1840 [25 Mar. 1851], Statutes of the State of Ohio, vol. 2, p. 1665, sec. 1; Hall, Thomas Newell, 139–140; 1860 U.S. Census, Painesville, Lake Co., OH, 169.)  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

    Swan, Joseph R., comp. Statutes of the State of Ohio, of a General Nature, in Force January 1st, 1854: With References to Prior Repealed Laws. Cincinnati: H. W. Derby, 1854.

    Hall, Mary A. Newell, comp. Thomas Newell, Who Settled in Farmington, Conn. A. D. 1632. And His Descendants. A Genealogical Table. Southington, CT: Cochrane Bros., 1878.

    Census (U.S.) / U.S. Bureau of the Census. Population Schedules. Microfilm. FHL.

  13. 13

    Docket Entry, Revived Judgment, 31 Oct. 1860 [Rounds for the use of the State of Ohio as well as Himself v. JS]. Provisions for reviving a judgment are found in An Act to Establish a Code of Civil Procedure [11 Mar. 1853], Public Statutes at Large, of the State of Ohio, vol. 3, pp. 2000–2003, secs. 400–417. Though the legislature authorized Newell to revive the judgments against JS and Rigdon, court records suggest he only revived the judgment against JS.  

    The Public Statutes at Large, of the State of Ohio: From the Close of Chase's Statutes, February, 1833, to the Present Time. Arranged in Chronological Order. With References to the Judicial Decisions Construing Those Statutes. And a Supplement, Containing All Laws Passed Prior to February, 1833, Which Are Now in Force. 4 vols. Edited by Maskell E. Curwen. Cincinnati: By the author, 1853–1861.

  14. 14

    Lake Co., OH, Probate Court, Probate Journal, 1852–1879, vol. D, p. 175, microfilm 974,890, U.S. and Canada Records Collection, FHL.  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

  15. 15

    Lake Co., OH, Probate Court, Probate Journal, vol. D, pp. 181, 185, microfilm 974,890, U.S. and Canada Records Collection, FHL; An Act to Provide for the Settlement of the Estates of Deceased Persons [23 Mar. 1840], Statutes of the State of Ohio [1854], p. 370, sec. 33. The law required that the court appoint “three suitable, disinterested persons” as estate appraisers who were “sworn to a faithful discharge of their trust.” (An Act Regalating the Mode of Administering Assignments in Trust for the Benefit of Creditors [6 Apr. 1859], Acts of a General Nature, vol. 56, p. 232, sec. 3.)  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

    Swan, Joseph R., comp. Statutes of the State of Ohio, of a General Nature, in Force January 1st, 1854: With References to Prior Repealed Laws. Cincinnati: H. W. Derby, 1854.

    Acts of a General Nature and Local Laws and Joint Resolutions, Passed by the Fifty-Third General Assembly, of the State of Ohio: At Its Second Session, Begun and Held in the City of Columbus, January 3, 1859, and the Fifty-Seventh Year of Said State. vol. 56 Columbus, OH: Richard Nevins, 1859.

  16. 16

    Lake Co., OH, Probate Court, Probate Journal, vol. D, pp. 232–233, microfilm 974,890, U.S. and Canada Records Collection, FHL; “Legal Notice,” Press and Advertiser (Painesville, OH), 25 Sept. 1861, [3]; Lake Co., OH, Deeds, 1840–1950, Deed Records, vol. S, pp. 526–527, 24 Oct. 1862, microfilm 974,939, U.S. and Canada Records Collection, FHL.  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

    Press and Advertiser. Painesville, OH. 1860–1861.

  17. 17

    Lake Co., OH, Probate Court, Probate Journal,vol. D, p. 214, microfilm 974,890,U.S. and Canada Records Collection, FHL; An Act to Amend an Act Entitled “An Act Relating to Dower” Passed January 28, 1823 [11 Jan. 1843], Public Statutes at Large, of the State of Ohio, vol. 2, p. 918, sec. 1.  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

    The Public Statutes at Large, of the State of Ohio: From the Close of Chase's Statutes, February, 1833, to the Present Time. Arranged in Chronological Order. With References to the Judicial Decisions Construing Those Statutes. And a Supplement, Containing All Laws Passed Prior to February, 1833, Which Are Now in Force. 4 vols. Edited by Maskell E. Curwen. Cincinnati: By the author, 1853–1861.