71 A.2d 415
No. 3892.Supreme Court of New Hampshire Carroll,
Decided February 7, 1950.
In municipal courts located in cities and towns having a population of fifteen hundred or more the judge’s finding of facts is final in civil causes in which damages are demanded (R. L., c. 377, s. 20). The words of the statute (R. L., c. 377, s. 20) “the finding of facts shall be final” precludes trials de novo in the Superior Court and were intended to prevent duplication of fact finding there.
ASSUMPSIT, originally brought in the Municipal Court of Wolfeboro to recover for services rendered and material furnished by the plaintiff to the defendant. That court rendered judgment for the plaintiff and the defendant appealed to the Superior Court where plaintiff’s motion to dismiss was granted, subject to exception, on the ground that the
finding of facts in the municipal court was final within the meaning of R. L., c. 377, s. 20. This section reads as follows:
“In municipal courts located in cities and towns having a population of fifteen hundred or more, the finding of facts shall be final; but questions of law may be transferred to the supreme court in the same manner as from the superior court.”
It is agreed that the municipal court in question is located in a town having a population of over fifteen hundred. The defendant, however, relies on other provisions in our laws the material portions of which are:
“Except as herein otherwise provided, appeals may be taken from judgments of municipal courts in the same manner and upon the same conditions as from justices of the peace. . . .” R. L., c. 377, s. 22.
“Either party may appeal from the judgment of a justice, in a civil cause, to the superior court.” R. L., c. 376, s. 9 as amended by Laws 1947, c. 121, s. 12.
Further facts appear in the opinion. Transferred by Goodnow, C. J
Harvey, Laddey Kalled, for the plaintiff, furnished no brief.
Eliot U. Wyman, for the defendant.
The wording of R. L., c. 377, s. 20 and the case of Wilder v. Kneeland, 94 N.H. 185, 186 are decisive against the defendant’s contention. In this case Marble, C. J. speaks as follows: “Section 20 of chapter 377 establishing the finality of the judge’s findings of facts, is not to be severed from its context and has reference obviously to civil causes in which damages are demanded.” The case before us is a civil cause in which damages are demanded. Furthermore, the defendant in his reliance upon section 22 of chapter 377 ignores the words “Except as herein otherwise provided.”
Obviously there would be no appeal on questions of fact to the Supreme Court and therefore the words in section 20 “the finding of facts shall be final” must preclude trials de novo in the Superior Court and were intended to prevent duplication of fact finding there, otherwise they are meaningless.
Judgment for the plaintiff.