18 D.C. 8 (D.C.D.C. 1888), 10,306, United States v. Morris

Docket Nº:In Equity. 10,306.
Citation:18 D.C. 8
Opinion Judge:Mr. Chief Justice BINGHAM:
Party Name:THE UNITED STATES v. MARTIN F. MORRIS ET AL.
Attorney:Mr. R. B. LEWIS, for appellant. Mr. HUGH T. TAGGART, contra .
Case Date:November 05, 1888
Court:Supreme Court of District of Columbia
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 8

18 D.C. 8 (D.C.D.C. 1888)

THE UNITED STATES

v.

MARTIN F. MORRIS ET AL.

In Equity. No. 10,306.

Supreme Court, District of Columbia.

November 5, 1888

1. The acts of Congress of August 2, 1882, and 5, 1886, directing the Attorney-General to institute a suit in this court, " in the nature of a bill in equity," for the purpose of establishing the title of the United States to the Potomac River flats, and fixing a time within which all persons claiming an interest therein should answer, are to be construed as meaning that the proceedings in such suit are to be according to the usual course in courts of equity.

2. In accordance with such course, the justice presiding is invested with a discretion upon proper showing to permit a party at any time before final hearing to amend a pleading or to file a supplemental pleading if facts have arisen since the filing of the original pleading.

3. Since the intention of Congress in directing this proceeding was to completely quiet the title of the United States to the lands in question, the court upon an application to file a supplemental answer will not scrutinize the character of the claim proposed to be set up, but will defer that to final hearing on the merits.

APPEAL from an order of the special term overruling a motion by Henry M. Marshall and others, defendants, for leave to file supplemental answers.

THE FACTS are stated in the opinion.

Mr. R. B. LEWIS, for appellant.

Mr. HUGH T. TAGGART, contra .

OPINION

Mr. Chief Justice BINGHAM:

This case comes before us again on the appeal of the defendants, Henry M. Marshall and others, from the orders passed at the Special Term, June 26, 1888, and July 31, 1888, overruling motions of said defendants for leave to file supplemental and amended answers in said cause.

By the act of Congress, approved August 2, 1882, chapter 375, which made an appropriation for " improving the Potomac River in the vicinity of Washington with reference to the improvement of navigation, the establishment of harbor lines, and the raising of the flats, under the direction of the Secretary of War," authority was given the Attorney-General to cause a suit or suits in law or in equity to be instituted in the name of the United States, in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, against any and all claimants of title under any patent, which, in his...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP