Hodgedon v. Hubbard Case Brief

Summary of Hodgedon v. Hubbard, Sup court of Vermont 1846

Facts
Plaintiff purchased a stove on misrepresented credit. Defendant almost immediately realized Plaintiff was fin irresponsible, and went after p to recover the stove. Defendant attempted to repossess the stove and Plaintiff pulled out a knife, force was used to recover the stove. Plaintiff sought action against Defendant for trespass for assault and battery, and for taking away the stove. Jury was instructed that although p did take the stove, d were not justified in using force to retrieve it, and if force was used, the d would be liable. Verdict was for the plaintiff, defendant raised exceptions. Now on appeal before the Supreme Court of Vermont

Issue
Whether Defendant’s were justified to use force to recover their property obtained by fraudulent means?

Rule
Yes, Defendant’s were justified to use force to recover their property obtained by fraudulent means

Analysis
To recover property, no violence was necessary or required. The plaintiff pulled out a knife and thus became the aggressor. Defendant had no right to protect his possession of the stove which he acquired by fraudulent means. Defendant’s had a right to hold the plaintiff by force, and they used no unnecessary violence

Conclusion
judgment reversed



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