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State v. Zeek

Decided: June 6, 1938.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, DEFENDANT IN ERROR,
v.
CHARLES ZEEK, PLAINTIFF IN ERROR



On writ of error to Morris County Quarter Sessions Court.

For the plaintiff in error, J. Bernard Saltzman.

For the defendant in error, Orville V. Messlar, prosecutor of the Pleas.

Before Brogan, Chief Justice, and Justices Trenchard and Parker.

PER CURIAM.

Charles Zeek, the plaintiff in error, and Ludwig Kolar were indicted upon two counts. The first charged in effect that on February 16th, 1937, at the township of Jefferson, Morris county, Charles Zeek, who was president of the board of education of the township of Jefferson, and Ludwig Kolar, who was clerk of such board, with intent feloniously to cheat and defraud said board of education, did then and there feloniously, unlawfully, knowingly and designedly, falsely pretend and represent to the custodian of the funds of the board of education that a certain bill had been approved for payment by the board and that said custodian then and there believing said false pretenses and representations, was deceived and induced thereby to sign a warrant, together with

the said defendants, for the payment of said bill for materials, and that the said defendants designedly obtained and received the sum of $54 moneys of said board, by means of said false pretenses and representations, whereas in truth and fact said bill for materials was utterly false and untrue in that said defendants knew that such pretenses and representations were false and untrue at the time of making the same. The second count charged that the defendants by means of such false pretenses and representations, received and obtained from the said board of education, feloniously, unlawfully, falsely, knowingly and designedly the said sum of $54 with the intent to cheat and defraud the said board.

At the trial Kolar pleaded guilty, and the plaintiff in error (hereinafter referred to as the defendant) was convicted by the jury.

Defendant's first point is that the court erred in refusing to grant the motion to quash the indictment, the allegations being that it did not disclose sufficient facts to apprise the defendant of the charge made against him; that the false pretense was not negatived; that the indictment did not charge that by false pretenses the defendant obtained a signature on the check or warrant.

But our examination of the entire indictment, and of all its various allegations, discloses that such contentions are mistaken in point of fact, and that the indictment was legally sufficient. State v. Vanderbilt, 27 N.J.L. 328; State v. Tomlin, 29 Id. 13; State v. Oxx, 59 Id. 99. Moreover in any event the refusal to quash upon the ground stated was discretionary. State v. Bove, 98 Id. 350; affirmed, Ibid. 576. No motion was made for a bill of particulars. While denial of arrest of judgment seems to have been assigned for reversal, we find that no such motion was made nor was the matter referred to in the argument.

The next point is that the court erred in permitting the witness Kolar to answer certain questions. These questions we think were properly admitted. Those said to be "leading" were well within the discretion of the court to allow. Others were rendered competent by reason of testimony which had

preceded them, and others were competent to show that the method of defrauding the board had arisen from a series of transactions leading up to the final one, and that the method used was always the same and had a logical tendency to prove some ...


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