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Hoffman v. Trenton Times

Decided: December 12, 1940.

HAROLD G. HOFFMAN, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
TRENTON TIMES, JAMES KERNEY, JR., AND TRENTON TIMES CORPORATION, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS



On appeal from the Supreme Court, Middlesex Circuit.

For the plaintiff-respondent, Harry Green and George L. Burton.

For the defendants-appellants, Pitney, Hardin & Skinner (Charles R. Hardin, Worrall F. Mountain, Jr., and Douglas M. Hicks).

Campbell

The opinion of the court was delivered by

CAMPBELL, CHANCELLOR. This appeal is from a judgment in favor of the plaintiff-respondent against the defendants-appellants for alleged libelous publications. As to these, a retraction was demanded but, it is charged, was not made.

Numerous reasons for reversal are assigned; some have been waived and are not argued, and those remaining go to trial errors; to all of which we have given meticulous study and consideration, and we do not find that any make for reversible error and none require any particular mention except four, of which we shall speak later.

Nothing of value can be gained by any attempt to recite or array the evidence.

The questions of liability and damages, or the merits of the cause, so to speak, are not before us. Both of these questions were settled adversely to appellants, by the jury and later the damages were reviewed and settled by the trial judge under a rule for a new trial.

As previously pointed out there are only four grounds that appear to us to call for any particular mention: (1) refusal to nonsuit; (2) refusal to direct a verdict; (3) refusal to charge request number fourteen, and (4) refusal to charge request number 15.

1 and 2. There was no error in refusing to nonsuit or direct a verdict. There were facts, admitted and controverted, designed to establish appellants' guilt or innocence of the alleged libel and their liability to answer in damages therefor, which required submission to the jury and it would have been error to have withdrawn them from that body.

3. There was no error in refusing to charge request fourteen.

Its language is: "The payments to two of the fourteen employes, namely: the $200 paid to Elizabeth L. McLaughlin, and the $150 paid to Albert B. Hermann, were not authorized by statute. These two employes held positions for which so-called line item appropriations were made by the statute, and the statute provides that the incumbents of such offices or positions shall not receive compensation in ...


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