Cooper v. Burrows, 9360

Decision Date10 March 1972
Docket NumberNo. 9360,9360
Citation83 N.M. 555,1972 NMSC 17,494 P.2d 968
PartiesE. R. COOPER et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. Thomas BURROWS et al., Defendants-Appellants.
CourtNew Mexico Supreme Court
OPINION

McMANUS, Justice.

This case arose when E. R. Cooper and Doris E. Cooper, plaintiffs-appellees, filed suit to quiet title to a large tract of land in Mora County, New Mexico. The tract had initially been part of the Mora Land Grant. The patent on the land grant was issued in 1876 and established the general boundaries as north on the Ocate River, south where the Sapello empties, east on the Aguaje de la Yegua, and on the west the Estillero.

In March, 1877, one Stephen B. Elkins, holder of a number of undivided interests in the Grant, brought suit in the District Court of Mora County, in cause No. 632, asking for a partition of the Grant among the owners. William E. Gortner was appointed special master in the cause and he submitted his first report, covering ownership of the interests, in 1894. In 1912, Elkins died and Union Land & Grazing Company was substituted as plaintiff since that company was Elkins' successor in interest and title. In 1914, Gortner submitted a second report which was quite extensive and voluminous. It was this report upon which the trial court in the partition suit based its final decree. On March 16, 1916, a partition sale was held by Gortner upon order of the court and Edward B. Wheeler received title to the land in question under a Master's deed. In 1917, Wheeler quitclaimed the disputed tract of land to Union Land & Grazing Company. The description reads:

'All that portion of the tract of land commonly known as the Mora Grant lying south of the 5th correction line north, and being all the right, title and interest of the first parties acquired under or by virtue of a certain Master's Deed executed and delivered under and by virtue of the decree in the District Court * * *.'

In 1950, Union Land & Grazing Company quitclaimed the section of land now in dispute to E. R. Cooper. This tract was bordered on the west by the Mora Land Grant line, on the south by C. R. Walker and R. C. Kay, on the west by G. R. Linville, and on the north by the Rio de la Casa.

There probably would have been no question as to the correct state of the title if the trustees of the community of Cleveland had not intervened in the original partition suit on December 18, 1916. The intervention occurred after the special master's sale deeding the tract to Wheeler but before Wheeler quitclaimed to Union Land & Grazing Company. In 1918, the court declared the trustees to be the owners of several tracts of land but excepted the tracts owned by Wheeler. This exception included the tract now in dispute.

In 1969, appellees filed their quiet title suit involving the land above described. After hearing the evidence, the trial court found for the appellees. The defendants-appellants, Thomas Burrows and Fidencia Branch, appeal from that judgment.

Both the Burrows and Fidencia Branch are claiming under the Cleveland title. We will discuss the Branch claim at the outset. The Branch claim is based on a 1919 deed from the community of Cleveland to one Fidel G. Trujillo. This was a deed covering a tract of land 75 varas in width and bounded on the south by the Rio de la Casa. Fidel Trujillo purported to deed this land to Pablita Trujillo in 1926. The description, however, referred to the south boundary as being the Pecos Forest Reserve line. Pablita deeded the same land to Frutoso Archuleta and Emelia Archuleta. These deeds contained the same reference to the south boundary as being the forest reserve line. One Joe Archuleta deeded the same property eo Eloy Branch, deceased...

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6 cases
  • Aboud v. Adams
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court
    • March 2, 1973
    ...contrary finding on the disputed evidence. See Tome Land & Improvement Co. v. Silva, 83 N.M. 549, 494 P.2d 962 (1972); Cooper v. Burrows, 83 N.M. 555, 494 P.2d 968 (1972); Williams v. Vandenhoven, 82 N.M. 352, 482 P.2d 55 (1971); Trujillo v. Romero, 82 N.M. 301, 481 P.2d 89 (1971); Wood v. ......
  • Demers v. Gerety, 1098
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • September 19, 1973
    ...of witnesses, reconcile inconsistent or contradictory statements of witnesses and say where the truth lies. Cooper v. Burrows, 83 N.M. 555, 494 P.2d 968 (1972); Durrett v. Petritsis, 82 N.M. 1, 474 P.2d 487 In 1963 plaintiff was operated on in Boston for an ileostomy and colectomy. An ileos......
  • State v. Seaton
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court
    • August 23, 1974
    ...is for the jury and not for us to decide. Worthey v. Sedillo Title Guaranty, Inc., 85 N.M. 339, 512 P.2d 667 (1973); Cooper v. Burrows, 83 N.M. 555, 494 P.2d 968 (1972); Durrett v. Petritsis, 82 N.M. 1, 474 P.2d 487 (1970); State v. Hudson, 78 N.M. 228, 430 P.2d 386 (1967); State v. Ortega,......
  • Sternloff v. Hughes
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court
    • May 1, 1978
    ...of witnesses where evidence substantially supports findings of fact and conclusions of law of the trial court. Cooper v. Burrows, 83 N.M. 555, 494 P.2d 968 (1972). Finally, defendants claim the plaintiff is guilty of laches. This contention is entirely without merit. Indeed, the trial court......
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