Bucher v. Hohl

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtValliant
Citation97 S.W. 922,199 Mo. 320
PartiesBUCHER v. HOHL et al.
Decision Date21 November 1906
97 S.W. 922
199 Mo. 320
BUCHER
v.
HOHL et al.
Supreme Court of Missouri. Division No. 1.
November 21, 1906.

1. ATTORNEY AND CLIENT—PROPERTY—ACQUISITION BY ATTORNEY.

In an action for divorce by a wife, defendant made no appearance, and the decree was by default. At and prior to the time of such proceedings, plaintiff was the owner of certain real estate which had been conveyed by her husband to a third person and reconveyed to her. There was nothing to impeach the validity of such deeds. In the divorce proceedings plaintiff's attorneys represented to her that defendants were contesting the case very hard, and the best they could do for her was to obtain for her a part of such land, whereupon a decree was entered giving a part thereof to her, and the remainder to the husband, after which execution

[97 S.W. 923]

was issued on a judgment against the husband, and at a sale of the land on such execution plaintiff's attorneys purchased the same. Held, that by such purchase they acquired no rights as against their client.

2. SAME.

Where attorneys for plaintiff in a divorce suit improperly secured a decree dividing property of plaintiff between her and defendant therein, and the evidence showed only a case of implicit trust and confidence by her in her attorneys, her acquiescence in the decree cannot avail the attorneys to their advantage and to her disadvantage, and as to them she is not estopped from claiming her property.

3. LIMITATION OF ACTIONS—MARRIED WOMAN.

Where the owner of property was a married woman at the time possession thereof was taken by third persons, the statute of limitations did not begin to run against her during her coverture.

4. ATTORNEY AND CLIENT — PROPERTY OF CLIENT—ACQUISITION BY ATTORNEY.

Where attorneys by their improper acts obtained title to land belonging to their client, such client's subsequent recognition of their title is not binding on her where the evidence shows only a case of implicit trust and confidence by her in her attorneys.

5. EQUITY—LACHES.

The defense that a claim is stale is purely an equitable one, and unless there is some natural justice back of it, a court of equity will not entertain it.

6. QUIETING TITLE—RELIEF.

In a suit to quiet title it appeared that plaintiff's attorneys had improperly secured title to the land in question, and that defendant who had purchased from them knew that she had been the owner of the land, and that his codefendants, from whom he purchased, were her attorneys in a divorce suit in which a decree had been entered giving her husband the property in question, and that the only title of the attorneys was a sheriff's deed under execution against the husband. Held, that defendant in so purchasing the property was not altogether innocent, and that he should be required to settle with plaintiff, instead of with his grantors, for the purchase price of the land.

Appeal from Circuit Court, Jefferson County; Frank R. Dearing, Judge.

Action by Martha V. Bucher against George Hohl and others. From a judgment for defendants, plaintiff appeals. Reversed.

W. A. Kennedy, Mooneyham & Gregory, and A. T. Brewster, for appellant. E. J. Bean, for respondents.

VALLIANT, J.


This is a suit to quiet title to 75 acres of land in Jefferson county. The trial in the circuit court resulted in a finding and judgment for the defendants, from which judgment the plaintiff has appealed.

Both parties claim title derived from John Mabee who, it is agreed, owned the land in 1880 and on down until it passed either to the plaintiff in 1881, or to defendants in 1884. April 5, 1881, plaintiff was the wife of John Mabee. On that day John Mabee and wife conveyed a tract of 120 acres, of which the 75 acres in suit were a part, by warranty deed to Elizabeth M. Simon for the consideration, as expressed, of $2,700 and on the same day Elizabeth M. Simon for the same consideration, as expressed, by warranty deed conveyed the 120 acres to the plaintiff. These deeds were duly recorded and they constitute the plaintiff's title. In January, 1884, plaintiff brought suit against her then husband John Mabee for divorce, praying also for alimony; Mabee being then a nonresident was given constructive notice of the suit by publication, he made default, the plaintiff obtained a decree of divorce, and, in the same decree, it was adjudged that she should have as for her alimony one-half, according to value, of the 120 acres, and commissioners were appointed to make partition of the same which was done, setting apart to her husband the 75 acres now in suit, and to her the remaining 45 acres, which contained the improvements. Plaintiff went into possession of the part allotted to her, but Mabee never appeared to take possession of the part set off to him; if he ever heard of it the record does not show it. In 1884 a judgment was rendered against Mabee in the circuit court of that...

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11 practice notes
  • Murphy v. Butler County, No. 38916.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 5, 1944
    ...is purely an equitable one, and unless there is some natural justice back of it, a court of equity will not entertain it. Bucher v. Hohl, 97 S.W. 922, 199 Mo. 320; Schwind v. O'Halloran, 142 S.W. (2d) 55, 346 Mo. C.T. Bloodworth and Tedrick & Tedrick for respondent. (1) Defendants' demu......
  • Toler v. Edwards
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • March 28, 1913
    ...Rutter v. Carothers, 223 Mo. 640, 122 S. W. 1056; Stevenson v. Smith, 189 Mo. 447, 88 S. W. 86; Bucher v. Hohl, 199 Mo. loc. cit. 330, 97 S. W. 922, 116 Am. St. Rep. 492; Loomis v. Railroad, 165 Mo. loc. cit. 495, 65 S. W. 962; Hudson v. Cahoon, 193 Mo. loc. cit. 562, 91 S. W. 72; Kline v. ......
  • Marshall v. Hill
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 26, 1912
    ...with Hill. It will only be applying the same equitable principle, to a less marked extent, that was applied by us in Bucher v. Hohl, 199 Mo. 320, 97 S. W. 922, 116 Am. St. Rep. The judgment of the circuit court for St. Francois county is reversed, and the cause remanded to that court, with ......
  • Schwind v. O'Halloran, No. 36291.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 3, 1940
    ...it. Stanton v. Thompson, 234 Mo. 7, 15[d], 136 S.W. 698, 701[d]; Adams v. Gossom, 228 Mo. 566, 584[f], 129 S.W. 16, 21[f]; Bucher v. Hohl, 199 Mo. 320, 330, 97 S.W. 922, 925, 116 Am St. Rep. 492. So far as indicated by the instant record, Mr. Schwind's assumption of dominion over the proper......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • Murphy v. Butler County, No. 38916.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 5, 1944
    ...is purely an equitable one, and unless there is some natural justice back of it, a court of equity will not entertain it. Bucher v. Hohl, 97 S.W. 922, 199 Mo. 320; Schwind v. O'Halloran, 142 S.W. (2d) 55, 346 Mo. C.T. Bloodworth and Tedrick & Tedrick for respondent. (1) Defendants' demu......
  • Toler v. Edwards
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • March 28, 1913
    ...Rutter v. Carothers, 223 Mo. 640, 122 S. W. 1056; Stevenson v. Smith, 189 Mo. 447, 88 S. W. 86; Bucher v. Hohl, 199 Mo. loc. cit. 330, 97 S. W. 922, 116 Am. St. Rep. 492; Loomis v. Railroad, 165 Mo. loc. cit. 495, 65 S. W. 962; Hudson v. Cahoon, 193 Mo. loc. cit. 562, 91 S. W. 72; Kline v. ......
  • Marshall v. Hill
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 26, 1912
    ...with Hill. It will only be applying the same equitable principle, to a less marked extent, that was applied by us in Bucher v. Hohl, 199 Mo. 320, 97 S. W. 922, 116 Am. St. Rep. The judgment of the circuit court for St. Francois county is reversed, and the cause remanded to that court, with ......
  • Schwind v. O'Halloran, No. 36291.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 3, 1940
    ...it. Stanton v. Thompson, 234 Mo. 7, 15[d], 136 S.W. 698, 701[d]; Adams v. Gossom, 228 Mo. 566, 584[f], 129 S.W. 16, 21[f]; Bucher v. Hohl, 199 Mo. 320, 330, 97 S.W. 922, 925, 116 Am St. Rep. 492. So far as indicated by the instant record, Mr. Schwind's assumption of dominion over the proper......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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