HANLEY V. DONOGHUE, 116 U. S. 1 (1885)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hanley v. Donoghue, 116 U.S. 1 (1885)

Hanley v. Donoghue

Argued November 18-19, 1885

Decided December 14, 1885

116 U.S. 1


Under Article IV, Section 1, of the Constitution and § 905 of the Revised Statutes, a judgment recovered in one state against two joint defendants, one of whom has been duly summoned and the other has not, and which is valid and enforceable by the law of that state against the former alone, will support an action against him in another state.

This Court, upon writ of error to the highest court of a state, does not take judicial notice of the law of another state, not proved in that court and made part of the record sent up, unless by the local law that court takes judicial notice of it.

In an action brought in one state upon a judgment recovered against the defendant jointly with another person in another state, an averment that the judgment, by the law of the state in which it was rendered, is valid and enforceable against this defendant and void against the other person is an allegation of fact which is admitted by demurrer.

This was an action brought by Michael Hanley and William F. Welch against Charles Donoghue in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County in the State of Maryland upon a judgment for $2,000 recovered by the plaintiffs on June 4, 1877, in an action of covenant against the defendant, Charles Donoghue, together with one John Donoghue, in the Court of Common

Page 116 U. S. 2

Pleas of Washington County in the State of Pennsylvania, and there recorded.

The declaration contained three counts. The first count set forth the recovery and record of the judgment as aforesaid in said court of common pleas, and alleged that it was still in force and unreversed. The second count contained similar allegations, and also alleged that in the former action Charles Donoghue was summoned, and property of John Donoghue was attached by process of foreign attachment, but he was never summoned, and never appeared, and that the proceedings in that action were duly recorded in that court. The third count repeated the allegations of the second count, and further alleged that

"by the law and practice of Pennsylvania, the judgment so rendered against the two defendants aforesaid is in that state valid and enforceable against Charles Donoghue, and void as against John Donoghue,"

and that,

"by the law of Pennsylvania, any appeal from the judgment so rendered to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (which is the only court having jurisdiction of appeals from the said court of common pleas) is required to be made within two years of the rendition of the judgment; nevertheless no appeal has ever been taken from the judgment so rendered against the said defendants, or either or them."

The defendant filed a general demurrer to each and all of the counts, which was sustained, and a general judgment rendered for him. Upon appeal by the plaintiffs to the Court of Appeals of the State of Maryland, the judgment was affirmed. 59 Md. 239. The plaintiffs thereupon sued out this writ of error on the ground that the decision was against a right and privilege set up and claimed by them under the Constitution and laws of the United States.

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