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a brief historical legend, compiled without praise and without cen-
sure, is an appropriation for a public use, for which the United States
may, in the exercise of its right of eminent domain, condemn and
take the necessary lands of individuals and corporations, situated
within that State, including lands occupied by a railroad company.
United States v. Gettysburg Electric Railway Company, 668.
2. Any act of Congress which plainly and directly tends to enhance the
respect and love of the citizen for the institutions of his country and
to quicken and strengthen his motives to defend them, and which is
germane to and intimately connected with and appropriate to the
exercise of some one or all of the powers granted by Congress, must
be valid, and the proposed use in this case comes within such
3. The mere fact that Congress limits the amount to be appropriated for
such purpose does not render invalid the law providing for the taking
of the land. Ib.
4. The quantity of land which should be taken for such a purpose is a
legislative, and not a judicial, question. Ib.
5. When land of a railroad company is taken for such purpose, if the
part taken by the government is essential to enable the railroad cor-
poration to perform its functions, or if the value of the remaining
property is impaired, such facts may enter into the question of the
amount of the compensation to be awarded. Ib.
1. A court of equity in the District of Columbia may take jurisdiction
of a bill brought against the administrator and heirs of an intestate,
alleging a verbal agreement between the intestate and the plaintiff by
which the plaintiff was to contribute one half of the cost of a tract of
land and of a dwelling-house to be erected thereon, and the intestate,
after entering on the property, was to convey to him a half interest
therein, and setting forth his performance of his part of the agree-
ment, and her repeated recognition of her obligation to perform her
part thereof, and her death without having done so after having mort-
gaged the property for a debt of her own, and praying for an account-
ing, and a decree directing payment to the plaintiff of one half of the
value of the real estate and improvements, and a sale of the same; and
the court may decree specific performance of so much of the contract
proved as can be enforced, and compensation to the plaintiff in dam-
ages for the deficiency. Townsend v. Vanderwerker, 171.
2. While the mere payment of the consideration in money in such case is
insufficient to remove the bar of the statute of frauds, such payment,
accompanied by an entry of the other party into possession under the
contract, is such a part performance as will support a bill like the
present one. Ib.
8. The question of laches does not depend upon the fact that a certain
definite time has elapsed since the cause of action accrued, but upon
whether, under all the circumstances of the particular case, the plain-
tiff is chargeable with a want of due diligence in failing to institute
proceedings earlier; and, under the peculiar circumstances of this case,
the bill is not open to the defence of laches. 1b.
4. The bill in this case is not open to the charge of multifariousness. Ib.
5. In May, 1885, P., having an opportunity to purchase ten acres of land
near Omaha, at a cost of $3600, payable $1250 in cash, the rest on
credit, wrote to D. that he could buy the tract for $1800, payable $2500
in cash, the rest on credit, and asked him to join in the purchase. D.
assented, sent his $1250 to P., and joined in a mortgage for the bal-
ance of the purchase money. In October, 1885, P. wrote to D. that he
had sold the ten acres to B. for $6000, $3000 of which were in cash,
and enclosed a cheque for $1500, and a deed to B. to be executed by
D. in which the consideration was expressed at $6000. This amount
was subsequently changed to $10,000 without D.'s knowledge. On
the day after receiving the deed, B. reconveyed the property to P.
The land was laid out into lots and streets under direction of P., and
some of the lots were sold to bona fide purchasers. After the institu-
tion of this suit, the remainder was conveyed by P. to one M., for a
recited consideration of $19,425. In February, 1887, the deception
practised by P. as to the price of the land, and as to the change in the
consideration of the deed to B. came to the knowledge of D., who
thereupon wrote P., calling upon him to refund the overpayment in
the purchase money, and to pay him one half of the increase in the
amount of the consideration for the deed to B. P. made no payment,
and commenced a correspondence which lasted until D. became pos-
sessed of knowledge of the reconveyance by B. to P. This bill in
equity was then filed by D., praying for an accounting, and that he be
decreed entitled to all the benefits of the original purchase, and that
the deed to B., the deed from B. to P., and the deed from P. to M. be
declared fraudulent; that P. be required to convey to D. so much of
the premises as had not been conveyed to other parties for a valuable
consideration; that he account to plaintiff for the sums received from
such sales, and that he be restrained from selling other lots. The
court below dismissed the bill on the ground that D. had elected to
retain what he had received and to pursue his claim for moneys still
due, and could not maintain a suit to set the whole transactions aside.
Held, (1) That the plaintiff was entitled to a decree setting aside and
annulling the deed purporting to have been executed by P. to M., the
deed from B. to P., and the deed to B. from P. and D., leaving the title
to the premises in question where it was prior to the execution of the
last named deed; such decree to be without prejudice to any valid
rights acquired by parties who purchased in good faith from P. while
the fee was in him alone; (2) That the cause should be referred to a
commissioner for an accounting between D. and P. in respect of the
sums paid by them, respectively, on the original purchase, as evi-
denced by the deed of 1885, to P. and D.; D. in such accounting to
have credit for one half of all amounts received by P. on the sales by
him of any of the lots into which the ten acres were subdivided, and
P. to have credit for any sums paid by him in discharge of taxes or
other charges upon the property. Dickson v. Patterson, 584.
1. If, upon the face of a record anything is left to conjecture as to what
was necessarily involved and decided, there is no estoppel in it when
pleaded, and nothing conclusive in it when offered as evidence.
McCarty v. Lehigh Valley Railroad Co., 110.
2. An employé, paid by salary or wages, who devises an improved method
of doing his work, using the property or labor of his employer to put
his invention into practical form, and assenting to the use of such
improvements by his employer, cannot entitle himself, by taking out
a patent for such invention, to recover a royalty or other compensation
for such use. Gill v. United States, 426.
3. A person looking on and assenting to that which he has power to
prevent is precluded from afterwards maintaining an action for
4. Solomons v. United States, 137 U. S. 342, affirmed and applied to this
1. While it is competent, if a proper foundation has been laid, to impeach
a witness by proving statements made by him, that cannot be done by
proving statements made by another person, not a witness in the case.
Goldsby v. United States, 70.
2. It is within the discretion of the trial court to allow the introduction
of evidence, obviously rebuttal, even if it should have been more prop-
erly introduced in the opening; and, in the absence of gross abuse, its
exercise of this discretion is not reviewable. Ib.
3. Rev. Stat. § 1033 does not require notice to be given of the names of
witnesses, called in rebuttal. Ib.
4. If the defendant in a criminal case wishes specific charges as to the
weight to be attached in law to testimony introduced to establish an
alibi, he may ask the court to give them; and, if he fails to do so, the
failure by the court to give such instruction cannot be assigned as
5. A certificate by the Commissioner of Pensions that an accompanying
paper "is truly copied from the original in the office of the Commis-
sioner of Pensions," taken together with a certificate signed by the
Secretary of the Interior and under the seal of that Department, certi-
fying to the official character of the Commissioner of Pensions, is a
substantial compliance with the provisions of Rev. Stat. § 882, and
authorizes the paper so certified to be admitted in evidence. Ballew
v. United States, 187.
6. Sundry exceptious as to the rulings of the court upon the admissibility
of testimony considered, and held to be immaterial, or unfounded.
Haws v. Victoria Copper Mining Co., 303.
7. Certain testimony held not to prejudice the defendants, but rather
tending to bear in their favor, if at all material. Pierce v. United
8. Confessions are not rendered inadmissible by the fact that the parties
are in custody, provided they are not extorted by inducements or
9. When one party to an action has in his exclusive possession a knowl-
edge of facts which would tend, if disclosed, to throw light upon the
transactions which form the subject of controversy, his failure to
offer them in evidence may afford presumptions against him. Kirby
v. Tallmadge, 379.
See CRIMINAL LAW, 13, 14, 21;
LOCAL LAW, 3.
See HABEAS CORPUS, 3.
FLEEING FROM JUSTICE.
See CRIMINAL LAW, 2, 3.
FRAUDS, STATUTE OF.
See EQUITY, 2.
1. Under section 753 of the Revised Statutes, the courts of the United
States have power to grant writs of habeas corpus for the purpose of
inquiring into the cause of restraint of liberty of any person in jail, in
custody under the authority of a State, in violation of the Constitution
or of a law or treaty of the United States; but, except in cases of
peculiar urgency, will not discharge the prisoner in advance of a final
determination of his case in the courts of the State; and, even after
such final determination in those courts, will generally leave the peti-
tioner to his remedy by writ of error from this court. Whitten v.
2. In a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, verified by oath, as required
by Rev. Stat. § 754, only distinct and unambiguous allegations of fact,
not denied by the return, nor controlled by other evidence, can be
assumed to be admitted. Ib.
3. A warrant of extradition of the Governor of a State, issued upon the
requisition of the Governor of another State, accompanied by a copy
of an indictment, is prima facie evidence, at least, that the accused
had been indicted and was a fugitive from justice; and, when the
court in which the indictment was found had jurisdiction of the
offence, is sufficient to make it the duty of the courts of the United
States to decline interposition by writ of habeas corpus, and to leave
the question of the lawfulness of the detention of the prisoner, in the
State in which he was indicted, to be inquired into and determined,
in the first instance, by the courts of the State. Ib.
4. A prisoner in custody under authority of a State will not be discharged
by a court of the United States by writ of habeas corpus, because an
indictment against him lacked the words "a true bill," or was found
by the grand jury by mistake or misconception; or because a mitti-
mus issued by a justice of the peace, under a statute of the State, upon
application of a surety on a recognizance, and affidavit that the prin-
cipal intended to abscond, does not conform to that statute. Ib.
5. In a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, verified by the petitioner's oath
as required by Rev. Stat. § 754, facts duly alleged may be taken to be
true, unless denied by the return or controlled by other evidence; but
no allegation of fact in the petition can be assumed to be admitted,
unless distinct and unambiguous. Kohl v. Lehlback, 293.
6. General allegations in such a petition that the petitioner is detained in
violation of the Constitution and laws of the United States or of the
particular State, and is held without due process of law, are averments
of conclusions of law, and not of matters of fact. Ib.
HUSBAND AND WIFE.
See CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, 7;
See JURISDICTION, D.
See PUBLIC LAND, 7.