SPENCER V. LAPSLEY, 61 U. S. 264 (1857)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Spencer v. Lapsley, 61 U.S. 20 How. 264 264 (1857)

Spencer v. Lapsley

61 U.S. (20 How.) 264


The judge of the District Court of the United States in Texas had power to order the record of a suit in which he was interested to be transmitted to the Circuit Court of the United States in Louisiana.

A plea in abatement, filed in connection with pleas in bar, was irregular; and the refusal of the court below to allow the plea to be filed is not subject to the review of this Court.

A contract for the sale of eleven leagues of land in Texas, issued before the revolution, and subsequently located within the colonizing grant of Austin and Williams, with their consent, and certified by the secretary of state, was good without the signature of the governor.

So far as the land was within the colonizing grant of Robertson, his consent was not necessary, the term of his grant having expired.

Where no organization of a colonial grant had taken place by the introduction of settlers, the land not occupied was open for public sale, with the consent of the empresario, and the alcalde was a proper person to put the purchaser in possession.

That the survey was made before the order of survey was directed to the surveyor was not fatal to the grant. Any preliminary defects were cured by the patent. The fairness of the grant cannot be investigated at law at the instance of a third party.

A power of attorney, authenticated before a regidor, proved by the handwriting of the regidor and the assisting witnesses held sufficient.

Page 61 U. S. 265

This was an action of trespass to try title brought by Lapsley against Spencer, originating in the District Court of the United States for Texas, which sat at Galveston, thence removed to the district court which sat at Austin, and thence removed to the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

The narrative of the facts of the case, and of the points which successively arose upon the trial, is fully given in the opinion of the Court, and the statement of the points which were made by the counsel who argued the case in this Court, renders it unnecessary for the reporter to repeat them.

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