Deanes v. Scriba

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First page of the opinion Deanes v. Scriba, in Reports of Cases Argued and Adjudged in the Court of Appeals of Virginia, by Daniel Call. 3rd ed, ed. Lucian Minor. Richmond: A. Morris, 1854.

Deanes v. Scriba, 6 Va. 414, 2 Call 415 (1800), [1] was a case where the court determined how the court was to proceed when a party could not procure a key, yet seafaring witness.


Scriba, Scroppal, and Starman sued the Deanes for the balance of an account in which the plaintiffs sold the Deanes a cask of snuff-boxes. The original contract did not include whether the goods should be sold for cash or credit, nor did it contain the total balance due with interest.

The Court's Decision

In order to discover the total amount owed, Chancellor Wythe requested the account be investigated by the commissioner. However, the Deanes often requested to postpone the commissioner’s report while trying to get the deposition of a witness who was often overseas. Wythe decreed that the defendants pay the plaintiffs 495 pounds 15 shillings and 3 dollars with interest. The defendants appealed. The Court of Appeals reversed the ruling.

See also


  1. Daniel Call, Reports of Cases Argued and Adjudged in the Court of Appeals in Virginia, 3rd ed., ed. Lucian Minor (Richmond: A. Morris, 1854), 2:415.