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CONTINENTAL CASUALTY CO. v. AMERICAN FIDELITY
July 7, 1959
CONTINENTAL CASUALTY COMPANY, PLAINTIFF,
AMERICAN FIDELITY AND CASUALTY COMPANY, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mercer, Chief Judge.
Subsequent to the court's opinion and judgment filed and
entered on March 19, 1959, 186 F. Supp. 173, upon defendant's
motion to alter and amend the judgment entered February 7, 1958,
defendant filed its second motion to alter and amend.
In its entirety the motion is restricted to either repetitive
contentions upon matters which were before the court on its prior
consideration of the cause or contentions which might have been
raised prior to the March 19th judgment. The court is here
concerned with interpretation of the provisions of two policies
of insurance. The court's decision as to the construction thereof
is set forth in its opinions previously entered, and judgment was
entered in accordance with the court's conception of the correct
interpretation of the policies. Litigation must end at some
point. Piecemeal litigation of legal issues is burdensome both to
the court and to parties to a cause and detrimental to decorum
and judicial processes. Our system of jurisprudence contemplates
that a party who is dissatisfied with the decision of a trial
court may submit the cause to a court of higher jurisdiction for
review. Argument and reargument of legal questions by motions
repetitively presented to the trial court can serve no purpose
other than to burden the judicial process with a load which
neither the court nor the parties should bear. The cause was
presented to the court upon cross motions for summary judgment,
each party asserting that there remained no questions of fact for
decision. Defendant can not at this late hour successfully
contend that the judgment is in error because there are questions
of fact which can only be resolved upon a trial.
The instant motion exceeds the bounds of an orderly procedure
and with one exception to be noted will be denied.
Defendant's contention that the court erred in allowing
interest to plaintiff from March 17, 1955, to the date of the
judgment entered March 19, 1959, appears to be meritorious. The
court's decision in that respect merely perpetuates its judgment
of February 8, 1958, and this contention ought to have been
raised in defendant's first motion. Since it appears, patently,
that each of the prior judgments was erroneous in this respect,
the strict form of insistence upon timely procedures should give
way to the substantive and practical goal of a procedurally
correct adjudication. This cause does not present a situation
permitting the awarding of interest prior to judgment under the
applicable federal statute and the statutes of the State of
Illinois. Cf., Lumbermen's Mutual Ins. Co. v. Slide Rule & Scale
Engineering Co., 7 Cir., 177 F.2d 305, 311; Myers v. Walker,
24 Ill. 133; 23 I.L.P. Interest § 61. Accordingly, the March 19th
judgment will be amended by striking therefrom the following
language, to-wit: "together with interest on said amount at the
rate of 5% per annum from March 17, 1955, to the
date of this judgment". As so amended that judgment is approved
and will be and is hereby allowed to stand as the judgment of the
court in this cause.
Defendant's motion to alter and amend the judgment is in all
other respects hereby denied.
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