UNITED STATES V. JONES, 131 U. S. 1 (1889)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Jones, 131 U.S. 1 (1889)

United States v. Jones

Nos. 1103, 1102, 1482

Argued January 28-29, 1889

Decided May 13, 1889

131 U.S. 1




The Act of March 3, 1887, "to provide for the bringing of suits against the government of the United States," 24 Stat. 505,c. 359, does not confer upon the District or Circuit Courts of the United States, or upon the Court of Claims, jurisdiction in equity to compel the issue and delivery of a patent for public land.

These cases were suits in equity brought against the United States under the recent Act of March 3d, 1887, 24 Stat. 505, c. 359, extending the jurisdiction of claims against the government to the District and Circuit Courts of the United States. They were suits for specific performance, seeking to compel the United States to issue and deliver to the plaintiffs respectively patents for timber land alleged to have been taken up and purchased by them under the act for the sale of timber lands in the States of California, Oregon, etc., passed June 3d, 1878, 20 Stat. 89, c. 151. * The petitions contained averments

Page 131 U. S. 2

of performance of the conditions required by said act, the payment of the price of the lands to the receiver of the land office, the giving of his certificates and receipts therefor, and the refusal of the government to issue patents to the petitioners as entitled thereto. They prayed in each case for a decree, 1st, that the petitioner is owner of the land by virtue of the purchase, and 2d, that the United States issue and deliver, or cause to be issued and delivered, in accordance with law, a patent granting and conveying the land purchased. The United States by its attorney demurred to the several petitions. The circuit court overruled the demurrers and rendered decrees for the plaintiffs. From these decrees the present appeals were taken.

Page 131 U. S. 14

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