MCGUIRE V. BLOUNT, 199 U. S. 142 (1905)

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U.S. Supreme Court

McGuire v. Blount, 199 U.S. 142 (1905)

McGuire v. Blount

No. 6

Submitted January 18, 1905

Restored to docket January 30, 1905

Orally argued October 1 and 13, 1905

Decided October 30, 1905

199 U.S. 142


While courts will guard against any attempt of an interested judge to force himself upon litigants, if the record does not clearly establish the disqualification relied upon, this Court will not disturb the judgment on that ground.

The plaintiff in ejectment must recover on the strength of his own title, which must be sufficiently established to warrant a verdict in his favor, and in the absence of that open, notorious and continuous adverse possession necessary to prove a title by prescription, he may be defeated if the defendant is not a mere trespasser or interloper and shows an outstanding and subsisting title in a stranger.

Spanish documents coming from official custody and bearing on their face every evidence of age and authenticity and which otherwise are entitled to admissibility as ancient documents will not be excluded because subjected to various changes of possession during the transition of the government of Florida from Spain to the United States and during the Civil War, where it does not appear that they were ever out of the hands of a proper custodian, that the originals were lost, or there had been any fraudulent substitution.

Proceedings had many years ago to convey title under Spanish laws are not to be scrutinized with a view to discovering defects, and, if sufficient under the Spanish system, they will not be upset on technical objections to their regularity even if such objections might have been successfully urged in the forum where, and at the time when, the proceedings were had.

Where the court would be bound to set a verdict aside for want of testimony to support it, it may direct a finding in the first instance and not await the enforcement of its view by granting a new trial.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 199 U. S. 143

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