Crary v. Field

Citation61 P. 118,10 N.M. 257
PartiesCRARYv.FIELD et al.
Decision Date03 May 1900
CourtSupreme Court of New Mexico

OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Syllabus by the Court.

1. The former decision of this court in this case, upon substantially the same evidence, is the law of the case, and will not be reviewed.

2. Where a husband remained in undisputed possession of community real estate from the death of his wife, in April, 1868, until 1882, when he sold the same without objection to a bona fide purchaser for value, the law will presume that the sale was lawfully made, and this presumption will prevail to protect the title of such purchaser, whether there were community debts at the death of the wife or not, in a suit by the heirs of the wife.

Appeal from district court, Bernalillo county; before Justice J. W. Crumpacker.

Action by Neill B. Field, executor, and others against Hattie E. Crary. Judgment for plaintiffs, and defendant appeals. Reversed.

Where a husband remained in undisputed possession of community real estate from the death of his wife, in April, 1868, until 1882, when he sold the same without objection to a bona fide purchaser for value, the law will presume that the sale was lawfully made and this presumption will prevail to protect the title of such purchaser, whether there were community debts at the death of the wife or not, in a suit by the heirs of the wife.

Childers & Dobson, for appellant.

F. W. Clancy, for appellees.

McFIE, J.

This case is now before the court for the second time. The former trial in the court below resulted in a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs, appellees in this case, and the defendant, Hattie E. Crary, sued out a writ of error to this court. This court heard the case upon its merits, as shown by the testimony and briefs of counsel, and on the 2d day of October, 1897, filed an opinion reversing and remanding the cause. 50 Pac. 342. Upon the second trial in the court below, the testimony taken at the former trial was admitted as evidence, by agreement, and the appellees here introduced but one additional witness, Nicolas Lucero, and the court, who tried the case without a jury, rendered judgment for the appellees in this court. Hattie E. Crary, the appellant, appealed from this decision, brought the record here, and upon the hearing it was agreed that the record and briefs used in this court on the former hearing should be made a part of the record at the present hearing.

There is one point in this case upon which counsel seem to agree, and that is that the former decision of this court, if upon substantially the same evidence, so far as it states the law, is the law of this case, and will not be reviewed by the court at this hearing. The appellees admit this to be the general rule of law, but contend that the evidence in this record is substantially different, and that where such is the case the rule of law above stated is not applicable. The rule of law above referred to (and which seems to be the settled law) is fairly stated in the case of Phelan v. City and County of San Francisco, 20 Cal. 45, as follows: “A previous ruling by the appellate court upon a point distinctly made may be only authority in other cases, to be followed and affirmed, or to be modified or overruled, according to its intrinsic merits. But in the case in which it is made it is more than authority; it is a final adjudication, from the consequence of which the court cannot depart nor the parties relieve themselves.” The supreme court of Vermont, in the case of Stacy v. Railroad Co., 32 Vt. 552, in stating this rule and giving some of the reasons for adhering to it, says: “The rule has long been established in this state, often declared from the bench, and we believe uniformly adhered to, that in the same case this court will not revise nor reverse their former decisions. If all questions that have ever been determined by this court are to be regarded as still open for discussion and revision in the same cause, there would be no end to their litigation, until the ability of the parties or the ingenuity of their counsel was exhausted.” Briefly stated, the facts are that Clara Candelaria was the wife of Miguel Montaño in 1862, when Montaño acquired title by deed, and thus brought into the marriage community the real estate which is the subject of this suit. Clara died in April, 1868, leaving five children, the issue of such marriage, and Miguel Montaño, her surviving husband. Miguel Montaño was appointed, and on the 26th day of April, 1868, qualified as administrator of the estate of his deceased wife. The record is silent as to any further proceedings by the administrator. Montaño remained in possession of the community property without objection, continuously, until the 27th day of January, 1882, when he conveyed a part of the property to one C. W. Lewis, and on the 2d day of October, 1883, he sold another portion of the property to Casiana Montaño De Sanchez, who was one of the children of Miguel Montaño and wife. Casiana Montaño De Sanchez became the wife of Nicholas J. Sanchez, and in 1891 they brought the original suit against the appellant and her husband, who succeeded to the Lewis title, to recover possession of an interest claimed by her (Casiana) as an heir to her mother's estate. Casiana and her husband both died while the original suit was pending, leaving a minor child, James Sanchez, as their sole survivor. Upon suggestion of the death of the plaintiffs being made, the suit was revived in the name of Neil B. Field, executor of the estate of Casiana, and an order was made authorizing the executor to prosecute the suit as guardian and next friend of James Sanchez. The above facts are equally applicable to the present, as well as the former, case, and upon these facts this court in its former decision declared the law of the case to...

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13 cases
  • Varney v. Taylor
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • 2 Diciembre 1968
    ...appellate court on a second appeal. Sanchez v. Torres, 38 N.M. 556, 37 P.2d 805; McBee v. O'Connell, 19 N.M. 565, 145 P. 123; Crary v. Field, 10 N.M. 257, 61 P. 118. We have also held that the law of the case doctrine applies not only to questions which are expressly or by necessary implica......
  • Reade v. Lea
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • 26 Febrero 1908
    ...the right, which that law gives on dissolution of the community, to one-half of the community property. In Crary v. Field, 9 N. M. 229, 50 Pac. 342, Id., 10 N. M. 257, 61 Pac. 118, the right of the surviving husband, under the civil law, to sell so much of the community realty as may be nec......
  • Farmers' State Bank of Texhoma v. (wolford
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • 4 Septiembre 1925
    ......This doctrine, “the law of the case,” has been many times applied in this jurisdiction. Rupe v. N. M. Lbr. Co., 3 N. M. 555, 9 P. 301; Crary v. Field, 10 N. M. 257, 61 P. 118; Flournoy v. Bullock, 11 N. M. 87, 66 P. 547, 55 L. R. A. 745; U. S. v. Denver & Rio Grande R. R. Co., 11 N. M. ......
  • Farmers' State Bank of Texhoma, Okl. v. Clayton Nat. Bank
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • 4 Septiembre 1925
    ......This doctrine, "the law. of the case," has been many times applied in this. jurisdiction. Rupe v. N.M. Lbr. Co., 3 N. M. 555, 9. P. 301; Crary v. Field, 10 N.M. 257, 61 P. 118;. Flournoy v. Bullock, 11 N.M. 87, 66 P. 547, 55. L.R.A. 745; U.S. v. Denver & Rio Grande R. R. Co., . 11 ......
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