Reid v. Kelly, 12 N.C. 313, 1 Dev. 313 (1827)

Dec. 1827 · Supreme Court of North Carolina
12 N.C. 313, 1 Dev. 313

Thomas M. D. Reid v. John B. Kelly.

From Moore.

The records of the County Courts cannot be collaterally impeached in the Superior Courts. Therefore, evidence offered to pr-ve that a judgment of the County Court, m another suit, was entered up in the vacation, without the order of the Court, is inadmissible.

Every Court has power to correct its records; and m this respect,, the Superior Courts have an appellate jurisdiction to correct those of the County Courts.

This was a special action on the case, in which the Plaintiff declared, that, he had brought an action of debt against one. Flora Martin, in the County Court of Moore, ♦'« That the Defendant being an Attorney of that Court, '• entered an appearance for the said Flora, and after »{the final adjournment of the Court to which the writ was returned, and without the leave or order of the Court, did falsely enter, at the Clerk’s office, in the *314« record of the said action, between die Plaintiff and tbs. said Flora, n judgment of nonsuit, whereby, &c.” The Defendant pleaded JVbf Guilty, and upon he issue made by that plea, the canse was tried, before Ruffin Judge, on the last Fall Circuit.

The Plain Jiff offered in evidence the record of the cause, bel ween himself and Flora Martin, in the County Court, whereby H appeared, that, the Defendant was (he Attorney of Flora, and that a judgment, of nonsuit was entered, because there was no appearance on behalf of the Plaintiff. The judgment, as the same was tiet forth in the record, was regularly entered by the Court, during the term. The Plaintiff offered to prove, that in fact the judgment was not. entered by the Court; but that the entry thereof was made by the present Defendant, in the records of the County Court, after the adjournment of the Court, at the Clerk’s office, when the rules were taken by the Attorneys. The Defendant objected to the admission of this testimony, because the County -Court is the exclusive judge of the. correctness of its own records, and is alone, conusant of its rules of practice, in signing judgments of nonsuit, and taking other rules which are of course, and which are usually entered at the Clerk’s office.

The presiding Judge acquiescing in the correctness of this reasoning, ¡ejected the evidence. In submission to this opinion, the Plaintiff suffered a nonsuit, which the Judge refusing to set aside, lie appealed.

W. II Haywood, for the Plaintiff, submitted the cause without argument. No Counsel appeared for the Defendant.

Henderson, Judge

I concur with the Judge, who tried this cause iu the Court below, and for the reasons given by him.

The records of a Court, by which T understand the *315memorial of the proceedings of a Court of Record, upon a matter within its jurisdiction, whep offered .in evi-deuce, either in the same, or any other Court, cannot be impugned by counter evidence. The only question of fact, to be examined into dehors itself, if any is, is the thing, offered as a record, a memorial of the. judicial proceedings of the Court, as recognized by the. Court itself? If it is, there is an end to further enquiry as to the facts it affirms ; it is taken as verity itself. But this does not impeach the power of the Court, upon proper proceedings, instituted for that purpose, to examine into, ami ascertain, how that, which appears regularly upon their memorial, came there ; and ii found to have been improperly placed there, to expunge it from their proceedings. Tin’s power however, i¡Lc<íül!^i«!á&J;be Court' of which it purports to be*a rece sesses it ( unless acting in anpaslate capacity )-not even the Supreme, over the m | cumb v. Anderson, 1 Law Rep. 466. Jones v. Zolli- coffer—Austin v. Rodman, 1 dy, ditto, ¿82). j*t pos-ipacfttW). (Slo-Hawks 71. Fisitte v. Gandy, auto. 282

Per Curiam — Judgment affirtn