102 N.W. 381 (Minn. 1905), 14,140, Minnesota Debenture Company v. Johnson

Docket Nº:14,140 - (143)
Citation:102 N.W. 381, 94 Minn. 150
Opinion Judge:BROWN, J.
Attorney:Savage & Purdy, for appellant. Tryon & Booth, for respondent.
Case Date:January 27, 1905
Court:Supreme Court of Minnesota

Page 381

102 N.W. 381 (Minn. 1905)

94 Minn. 150




Nos. 14,140 - (143)

Supreme Court of Minnesota

January 27, 1905

Action in ejectment in the district court for Hennepin county. The case was tried before Harrison, J., and a jury, which rendered a verdict in favor of plaintiff for possession of the land and $200 for the detention thereof. From an order denying a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or for a new trial, defendant appealed. Reversed and new trial granted.



A judgment is conclusive only against parties thereto and their privies. As to strangers, it is evidence only of its entry, and not of any fact on which it was based.

Who Is Privy by Estate.

To constitute one the privy by estate of another, it must appear that he succeeded after the bringing of the action by which he is sought to be concluded to an estate or interest held by the party to the judgment.

What Judgments Are Evidence Against All Persons.

The rule that a judgment is admissible in evidence against all the world, as a link in a party's chain of title, does not apply to all judgments. It applies more particularly to judgments in partition proceedings, probate decrees, actions to foreclose mortgages or liens, and to all judgments which operate proprio vigore to transfer title, or such as render valid a disclosed link, which, without the judgment, would be defective or invalid.

Other Judgments.

Such rule does not apply to ordinary judgments in actions to determine adverse claims, which do not purport to transfer title, or render valid an otherwise defective link in the chain of title.

Judgment not Competent Evidence of Title.

In an action in ejectment, plaintiff, to support its claim of ownership, traced title to the land in controversy from the general government to one George F. Dean, and, to show title in itself, offered in evidence a judgment in an action brought by it against Dean to determine adverse claims, in which action this defendant, who was at the time of its commencement, and when the judgment therein was rendered, in the actual possession of the land, was not a party; and it was not shown that he was the privy of Dean. The judgment did not purport to transfer the Dean title to plaintiff, nor render valid a disclosed defective link in the chain of title. It is held that the judgment was not competent evidence of title in plaintiff as against this defendant.

Savage & Purdy, for appellant.

Tryon & Booth, for respondent.


[94 Minn. 151] BROWN, J.

Action in ejectment. The facts are as follows: To sustain the allegations of the complaint that plaintiff was the owner of the land in controversy, and entitled to its possession, plaintiff offered in evidence the record of a patent from the United States to one Moffett; the record of a deed from Moffett and wife to one Joseph Dean; the final decree of distribution of the probate court of Hennepin county in the matter of the estate of Joseph Dean, deceased, assigning and decreeing the property to William E. Dean and other heirs; the record of a deed from the heirs of Joseph Dean to George F. Dean; and a judgment in an action brought by this plaintiff against George F. Dean and others, entered on February 4, 1899 -- and rested its case. Whereupon defendant offered to prove that he was in the actual possession and occupancy of the property in question at the time of the commencement of the action in which the judgment just referred to was rendered, and has since that time continuously remained in the possession of the same. The offer was objected to by plaintiff, and the objection sustained by the trial court, unless defendant would disclose the nature of the title held by him. Defendant declined to include in his offer anything further than to show his actual possession of the land at the time of the commencement of the action referred to, and during its...

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