Benjamin Murphy v. Thomas H. Tindall
The facts in this case are closely connected with those of Murphy v. McElmurry. On November 6, 1821, Benjamin Murphy and his attorney Robert Crittenden (at the time the Territorial Secretary, or today's equivalent of the Lieutenant Governor) filed a complaint in the Pulaski Court of Common Pleas, alleging that Thomas Tindall was wrongfully detaining his horse.
Richard Menefee, Deputy Clerk, acting for A.H. Renick, Clerk, issued a writ of replevin, directing the sheriff to seize the horse and return it to Murphy, and to summon Tindall to the next term of court. Meanwhile, Murphy filed a bond for $250. Charles Sinclear was his surety, and Robert Patterson witnessed the bond.
Sheriff Gabriel Greathouse executed the writ on Tindall and returned the horse to Murphy on November 7. Tindall's attorney Neil McLane appeared in court and claimed that Tindall had purchased the horse at a constable's sale. Tindall "put himself upon the country" (requested a jury trial). At this point Chester Ashley's name appears in the record as attorney for plaintiff, although it appears nowhere else.
On November 28, the three "worshipful" lay judges of the Court of Common Pleas, James Newell, Thomas Tennant, and James Lemon, holding court at Cadron, the county seat, heard the defendant's plea in the case.
Probably in early March, trial was held. The jury, summoned by Sheriff Henry Armstrong, consisted of Christley Harness, Robert Carlisle, Lewis Jones, John Stanly, Joshua Smith, Daniel Norman, Nathan Arnett, Reese Price, Lemon Price, William Stanly, Green Stanley and James Peel. They found the defendant not guilty. The plaintiff filed a bill of exceptions, claiming that the judge had incorrectly instructed the jury that it must find that Tindall was the one who took the property from Murphy. Thomas Eskridge was the attorney who filed the bill of exceptions, so either he was working with McLane or had taken the case over from him. Tindall appealed, and filed an appeal bond; Jenkin Williams, Reuben Blunt and Samuel McHenry were the sureties on the bond. Thomas Newton, Deputy Clerk, acting for Samuel Anderson, clerk, certified the record.
From the record book of the Superior Court, it is not clear when the court heard the case. It issued an opinion on April 24, 1822, identical to the opinion in Murphy v. McElmurry. Andrew Scott, Joseph Selden and Benjamin Johnson were the judges sitting at that term. The opinion from this case was later published, and the published opinion is available here.
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