Parker V. Shell Oil Co. - Supreme Court Of California

Parker V. Shell Oil Co.

By Supreme Court Of California

  • Release Date - Published: 1946-12-23
  • Book Genre: Law
  • Author: Supreme Court Of California
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Parker V. Shell Oil Co. Supreme Court Of California read online review & book description:

On June 7, 1940, plaintiffs instituted this action to recover moneys which allegedly became due to them from defendant oil company during the period from January 15, 1932, to August 1, 1936, while plaintiffs as lessors, sublessees, and agents of defendant operated a Shell service station. Their complaint alleges as a first cause of action that the sum of $3,259.02 is due as the unpaid balance of rent under the terms of plaintiffs' lease of their service station to defendant, and as a "Second Cause of Action" that defendant became indebted to plaintiffs in the sum of $3,259.02 on an open, mutual, current account. At a prior (the first) trial of this action it appeared that the first cause of action was barred by the statute of limitations except as to rental accruing after June 7, 1936 (Code Civ. Proc., § 337, subd. 1). Defendant stipulated that judgment could be entered against it for rent which became due within four years of the date of filing the complaint. For reasons not here material the trial court refused to admit documentary evidence offered by plaintiffs in support of the "Second Cause of Action." Judgment was against plaintiffs on such "Second Cause of Action." Plaintiffs appealed. (Parker v. Shell Oil Co. (1942), 55 Cal. App. 2d 48 [130 P.2d 158].) The District Court of Appeal held that the evidence should have been admitted and reversed the judgment. On that prior appeal defendant contended (p. 55 of 55 Cal. App. 2d) that "no prejudice to appellants occurred because the offered documents, as a matter of law, would not constitute an open, mutual, and current account." The District Court of Appeal said, "This contention is predicated on the argument that the account pleaded in the second count is based on the lease pleaded in the first, and that the law will not permit a person, where his claim on express contract is barred by the statute of limitations, to evade the statute by the device of pleading that claim as an open account. That is undoubtedly the law. [Citations which concern book accounts;

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