Bommer v. Stedelin

Missouri Court of Appeals

237 S.W.2d 225 (Mo. Ct. App. 1951)

A judge has broad discretion to reopen evidence after both parties have rested their cases.

Relevant Facts

Bommer (the plaintiff) owned a car that was damaged while parked in a garage managed by Stedelin (the defendant). The plaintiff sued, seeking damages, and alleged that because the defendant managed the garage, the defendant was liable for the damage. At trial, the defendant moved for a directed verdict on the basis that the plaintiff failed to prove that allegation. The trial judge indicated that he would grant the motion after an hour's recess. The plaintiff requested the judge to reopen the evidence and promised to produce additional proof of the defendant’s management of the garage within an hour. The record did not show any reason why the judge, the parties, the jury or any witnesses would have been surprised or inconvenienced by the one hour delay. Nevertheless, the judge denied the plaintiff’s request, and after the recess the judge directed the verdict for the defendant. The plaintiff appealed.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 29, 2020

Judicial Opinion

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Procedural History

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Citations

237 S.W.2d 225 (Mo. Ct. App. 1951)