144 U.S. 142 (1892), 210, Bedon v. Davie

Docket Nº:No. 210
Citation:144 U.S. 142, 12 S.Ct. 665, 36 L.Ed. 380
Party Name:Bedon v. Davie
Case Date:March 28, 1892
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 142

144 U.S. 142 (1892)

12 S.Ct. 665, 36 L.Ed. 380

Bedon

v.

Davie

No. 210

United States Supreme Court

March 28, 1892

Argued March 16, 1892

ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED

STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA

Syllabus

A judgment for the plaintiffs was rendered in August, 1873, in a United States Court in South Carolina in an action at law in ejectment in which a minor was defendant, and appeared and answered by a guardian ad litem, and which minor became of age in December, 1885, and brought a writ of error from this Court, under § 1008 of the Revised Statutes, within two years after the entry of the judgment, exclusive of the term of the disability of the minor. The case involved the title to land in South Carolina under a will made in 1819, the testator dying in 1820. In June, 1850, a suit in equity was brought in a state court of South Carolina which set up that the title to the land, under the will, was either in the grandmother of the minor or in her sons, one of whom was the father of the minor, the grandmother and the father of the minor being parties defendant to the suit, and the bill having been taken pro confesso

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against all the defendants, and dismissed by a decree made in March, 1851, which remained unreversed, an appeal taken therefrom having been abandoned. The only title set up by the plaintiff in error was alleged to be derived through his father and his grandmother. In September, 1854, an action of trespass to try title to the land was brought in a state court of South Carolina, and which resulted in a judgment for the plaintiff therein, but to which the plaintiffs in the ejectment suit were not parties or privies. Held that, as the decree in the equity suit was prior to the judgment in the trespass suit, and as the plaintiffs in the ejectment suit were not parties to the trespass suit, the judgment in the last named suit was of no force or effect in favor of the plaintiff in error, as against the decree in the equity suit.

The case is stated in the opinion.

BLATCHFORD, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE BLATCHFORD delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is an action at law, in ejectment, brought in the District Court of the United States for the Western District of South Carolina in June, 1873, by Dr. William Richardson Davie and others against James B. Heyward, the younger, and others, to recover a plantation situated in Chester District in South Carolina, on the Catawba River, and known as "Landsford."

Both the plaintiffs and the defendants respectively claimed the property under the will of General William Richardson Davie, the elder, made in September, 1819. The testator died in November, 1820. His will was duly executed to pass real estate, and was duly admitted to probate in the proper court. The plaintiffs were great-grandchildren of the testator, and were four in number. They were the children, and only heirs at law, of William Richardson Davie, doctor of medicine, who was the eldest male issue of William Jones Davie, who was a son of the testator.

The defendants were James B. Heyward, the younger, and

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Sarah B., his wife; Mary Wysong and her husband, Dr. R. Wysong; Alice Bedon and Josiah Bedon, minor children of the late Josian Bedon and Mary, his wife, now the said Mary Wysong; Hyder D. Bedon; William Z. Bedon; Julia Izard and her husband, Allen C. Izard; Jeannie B. Farrow and her husband, T. Stobo Farrow; A. Stobo Bedon; Richard Bedon, and Robin Carr Bedon, a minor.

Sarah B. Heyward, the wife of James B. Heyward, the younger, was called Sarah Bedon before she was married, and was the daughter of Julia A. Davie and her husband, Richard S. Bedon, the said Julia A. being the only daughter of Hyder Alli Davie, who was a son of the testator.

Mary Wysong, the wife of Dr. R. Wysong, was the widow of Josiah Bedon, who was a son of Richard S. Bedon and his wife, the said Julia A. Davie, Alice Bedon and Josiah Bedon were the children of the said Josiah Bedon and Mary, his wife. Hyder D. Bedon, William Z. Bedon, Julia Izard, Jeannie B. Farrow, A. Stobo Bedon, Richard Bedon, and Robin Carr Bedon were children of the said Richard S. Bedon and Julia A. his wife. The defendant Josiah Bedon was a minor when this suit was brought, and during the entire time of its pendency, to a final judgment.

The clause of the will of the testator under which the title was claimed by both parties is set forth in the margin. [1]

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Frederick William Davie, named in the will, died in April, 1850, leaving no issue surviving him. He left a last will and testament, duly executed, appointing as his executors Frederick G. Fraser and William Davie DeSaussure.

Hyder Alli Davie, named in the will, died in June, 1848, before the death of Frederick William Davie. He left no male children, but only a daughter, the said Julia A. who, after the death of General William Richardson Davie, married the said Richard S. Bedon.

[12 S.Ct. 666] Allen Jones Davie, named in the will, was the eldest son and the eldest child of the testator, and, when the testator died, had three sons and a daughter, and eldest of which sons was Dr. William Richardson Davie, father of the four plaintiffs.

Frederick William Davie, under the will, entered into possession of the plantation, and held the same during his lifetime. At his death, Dr. William Richardson Davie entered into the possession of it, and held it until he died, in January, 1854, intestate. In January, 1873, the defendant Heyward and his wife entered into possession of the plantation.

In July, 1873, on the petition of the defendant James B. Heyward for the appointment of a guardian ad litem for the infant defendants Alice Bedon and Josiah Bedon, as minor children of the late Josiah Bedon and Mary, his wife, then Mary Wysong, the said infants residing in the State of Maryland,

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an order was made by the circuit court appointing said Heyward their guardian ad litem in this cause, and authorizing and directing him to appear and defend the action on their behalf. On August 1, 1873, Heyward, as their guardian ad litem, filed an answer for them stating that, by reason of their tender years, they were wholly ignorant of the facts and statements set forth in the complaint, and therefore not able to admit or deny the same, but that they submitted their case to the discretion of the court and prayed its judgment for their costs and disbursements.

The defendants Heyward and wife, Dr. and Mrs. Wysong, Hyder D. Bedon, William Z. Bedon, Julia Izard and her husband, Jeannie B. Farrow and her husband, A. Stobo Bedon, and Richard Bedon answered the complaint, in July, 1873, setting up, as a special defense, that Dr. William Richardson Davie, in his lifetime, while in possession of the plantation, executed to Frederick G. Fraser, as...

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