HALL V. LAW, 102 U. S. 461 (1880)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hall v. Law, 102 U.S. 461 (1880)

Hall v. Law

102 U.S. 461


1. Proceedings for the partition of real estate in Indiana were instituted in the year 1832, in the circuit court of the county where it is situate. The record consists of an order appointing three commissioners to divide the land between the several proprietors, their report at the next term, and its confirmation by the court. The report complies in its details with the requirements of the statute, gives the boundaries of the land, sets forth with proper description tire portion assigned to each proprietor, and is accompanied by a plat showing the tracts assigned. Held that it is not a valid objection to the proceedings when they collaterally come in question that no petition or complaint appears in the record as the foundation of them.

2. When the recitals in the record show the jurisdiction of the court and its compliance with the statute, the order appointing commissioners is an adjudication affirming the sufficiency of the application and notice, which can be questioned only in a direct review of the proceedings in an appellate court.

3. An instrument gives color of title -- whether the grantor acts under authority of judicial proceedings or otherwise -- if by apt words of transfer it passes what purports to be the title, and the grantee's possession of the lands thereunder for the period mentioned in the statute of limitations bars the true owner's right of recovery.

4. Where the complainant is out of possession, and the determination in his favor is only preliminary to a decree against the defendant for the surrender of the possession, the suit, although in form a proceeding in equity, so nearly resembles the common law action of ejectment as to justify the application of that statute.

6. The court, upon the facts of this case, holds that the claim made is stale, and without merit.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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