Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Aller v. Aller case brief

Aller v. Aller case brief summary
40 N.J.L. 446 (1878)

Defendant executor filed a rule to show cause why a new trial should not be granted on verdict for plaintiff, the daughter of the maker of a note, rendered in the Hunterdon County Circuit Court (New Jersey), on her action to recover on the note.

The father had signed a note to his wife promising to pay her $ 1000. After several payments were made, the wife died. The father then agreed to pay the balance due to his daughter, and signed a new note to that effect. After judgment was granted in favor of the daughter, the court discharged the executor's rule for a new trial.


  • The daughter had no legal or equitable claim on the first note against their father after their mother's decease. 
  • The giving of the sealed promise in writing by the father was therefore a voluntary act on his part. It appeared to be his purpose to keep the note as the deceased wife's separate property and keep it from going into the general distribution of his estate. 
  • The instrument was not a promissory note, nor was it a simple contract, but it was in form and legal construction a deed under seal. 
  • It was not therefore an open promise for the payment of money, which was the primary requisite of a bill or promissory note, but it was closed or sealed, and lost its character as a commercial instrument and became a specialty governed by the rules affecting common law securities.

The executor's rule for a new trial was discharged.

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