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Weidman v. Ketcham

Court of Appeals of New York
15 N.E.2d 426 (1938)


Facts

Elmer Ketchum (defendant) was the assistant postmaster at a post office. While in the post office, Ketchum wrote a letter to Weidman, telling Weidman that he should come pay for the apples that he stole out of Ketchum’s orchard. The postmaster was present at the time Ketchum was writing the letter. Ketchum told the postmaster that he was sending a letter to a man who stole apples from his orchard. Ketchum did not say Weidman’s name. The postmaster could not see the writing on the letter, to whom the letter was addressed, or the name or mailing address on the envelope. Weidman sued Ketchum for libel. The jury returned a verdict for Weidman. The trial court then granted Ketchum’s motion to set aside the verdict and dismiss the complaint. The appellate court reversed and reinstated the verdict. Ketchum appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Rippey, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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