14 Misc. 538

Edith Vowell, Respondent, v. The Twenty-third Street Railway Co., Appellant.

(New York Common Pleas

General Term,

December, 1895.)

A dismissal of a complaint on the ground that the plaintiff-' had executed' a release to a joint tortfeasor, and thereby discharged the defendant, from liability, is a j udgment upon the merits. .

Where the clerk’s minutes in- such a case fail to state that the dismissal was upon the merits, a motion to amend them in that respect nuncpro- . tune should be granted.

Appeal- from two orders, one denying the defendant’s-motion to correct the .extract from the clerk’s minutes nwnofro tuno by inserting after the word dismissed ” the words. upon the 'merits,” and the other .granting the plaintiff’s, motion to vacate and set-aside the. judgment on the ground that it was not in conformity with the' extract from- the clerk’s. - minutes, with leave to either party to enter judgment in conformity with the direction o.f the court as shown by the extract from the clerk’s minute's.

*539 Jolm T. Little, Jr., for appellant.

Alfred O. Cowan, for respondent.

• Bookstaver, J.

This action was brought to recover damages for injuries received by reason of the negligence of the-defendant in the management of a car, whereby the plaintiff, while in the act of alighting, was run over and injured by a laundry wagon owned by one IjEenry Wilcke. The answer, after denying the allegations of negligence, set up as a separate defense that prior to the commencement of this action the plaintiff, by an instrument in writing under seal, for a valuable consideration, released and discharged the said Henry Wilcke from all and. every claim and demand for the injuries so received, and that thereby the defendant was released and discharged from any liability for the injuries set out in the complaint.

The complaint Was dismissed upon the trial on the ground that the plaintiff had executed a release to a joint tort feasor, thereby discharging- the defendant from any liability. This, was a judgment upon the merits. The release was pleaded and proved and was a complete bar to the action.

Section 1209 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that“ A final judgment dismissing the complaint, either before or after a trial, * * * does not prevent a new action for the same cause of action, unless it expressly declares, or it appears by the judgment roll, tjiat it is rendered upon the merits.” Prior to the amendment of this section in 1877 it was held that a judgment dismissing a complaint was not a bar to another action for the same cause (Wheeler v. Ruckman, 51 N. Y. 391), and the amendment was enacted with a view to changing this in a case where the merits were necessarily involved in the dismissal under the section as it now stands. Where the record shows the judgment was upon the merits it is a bar. O’Rourke v. Hadcock, 114 N. Y. 541, 551, 555. It appears from the record in this case that the complaint was dismissed “on the ground of the release.” This release barred the action, and the decision was, therefore, upon the *540merits; a new action and a new trial in stich.a Case must have the same result. The cases cited by, the plaintiff were either decided before the amendment of section 1209 or are cases where the dismissal was not upon, the merits, and are, therefore, not in point.. .

It follows that the court should have allowed the amendment to the clerk’s minutes asked for, and that the order, vacating the. judgment was erroneous. Both orders should be reversed,, with ‘costs and disbursements, and the defendant have leave to renew his, motion to correct .the clerk’s .minutes1 nunepro tune. 1 ' , 1

Bischoff and Pryor, JJ., 'concur. . , 1

Orders, reversed, with costs and disbursements, with leave to defendant to renew its motion to correct the clerk’s minutes. .

Vowell v. Twenty-Third Street Railway Co.
14 Misc. 538

Case Details

Vowell v. Twenty-Third Street Railway Co.
Decision Date
Dec 1, 1895

14 Misc. 538

New York



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