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U.S. Supreme Court

Jeems Bayou Club v. United States, 260 U.S. 561 (1923)

Jeems Bayou Fishing & Hunting Club v. United States

Nos. 119 and 137

Argued November 21, 22, 1922

Decided January 2, 1923

260 U.S. 561


1. The rule that, where lands are patented according to an official plat, showing meander lines along or near the margin of a body of water, the plat is to be treated as part of the conveyance and the water itself constitutes the boundary does not apply when it is conclusively shown that no body of water exists or existed at or near the place indicated, or where no attempt to survey tracts lying beyond the meander line was actually made. P. 260 U. S. 564.

2. The United States cannot be estopped to question the existence of a survey by statements made in correspondence by officials of the Land Department. P. 260 U. S. 564.

3. Defendants who took possession of land in Louisiana and extracted oil in good faith under a patent which had long been erroneously treated by government officials as conveying the tract are liable, as innocent trespassers, for the value of the oil after deducting the cost of drilling and operating the wells. P. 260 U. S. 564. See Mason v. United States, ante, 260 U. S. 545.

274 F. 18 affirmed.

Appeal and cross-appeal from a decree of the circuit court of appeals affirming a decree of the district court in a suit by the United States to quiet its title to a tract of public land, enjoin trespasses, and secure an accounting for oil wrongfully extracted.

Page 260 U. S. 562

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