Et Ux. v. Et Ux.

Decision Date15 January 1943
Docket NumberNo. 1709.,1709.
Citation30 A.2d 88
CourtVermont Supreme Court
PartiesAGUIRRE et ux. v. AJA et ux.


Exceptions from Court of Chancery, Washington County; Orrin B. Hughes, Chancellor.

Suit by Salustiano Aguirre and wife against Antonio Aja and wife for an injunction against an alleged trespass, and for other relief, wherein defendants filed a cross-bill. Decree for defendants, and plaintiffs appeal.

Decree reversed, and bill and cross-bill dismissed for want of jurisdiction of the subject matter.


Finn & Monti, of Barre, for plaintiff.

T. Tracy Lawson, of Barre, and Fred E. Gleason, of Montpelier, for defendant.


The plaintiffs as husband and wife hold title to a lot of land at 155 Berlin Street in the City of Montpelier. The defendants are husband and wife, and the defendant Antonio Aja holds title to a lot adjoining and numbered 153. There is a common driveway between the houses upon the two lots, located one-half upon each lot. The plaintiffs in their bill of complaint allege that the defendants have committed certain trespasses upon the driveway and upon the plaintiffs' lot, and have threatened to prevent and do now prevent the plaintiffs from enjoying the driveway and using a portion of their lot, and that unless enjoined will continue such trespasses, and that they have no adequate remedy at law. The defendants filed an answer, and a cross-bill in which they allege in turn trespasses by the plaintiffs upon the common driveway and the obstruction of the same by them, and in which they pray that the plaintiffs be enjoined from further obstruction of it. In his findings the chancellor states that during the progress of the trial the plaintiffs waived and abandoned their claims of trespasses and threats and any claim for damages by reason thereof, and that the only issue remaining for consideration was the location of the common driveway and the ownership of a parcel of land located westerly of the northerly half of the common driveway. As to the trespasses alleged in the cross-bill the chancellor found that in 1939 the plaintiff Salustiano Aguirre in excavating a cellar for an addition to his house put dirt and stones from the excavation into the common driveway in such manner as to prevent the defendants' tenant from using it, and that such dirt and stones were later put back upon the plaintiffs' land by some boys. In his decree the chancellor merely located the northerly boundary of the plaintiffs' lot and the driveway, all as claimed by the defendants. The plaintiffs have appealed and filed a bill of exceptions.

We do not reach a consideration of the merits of the case. It is not the business of equity to try titles to real estate, and the existence of a dispute as to the boundary between adjoining lands does not alone afford sufficient ground for a court of equity to ascertain and fix the boundary. Watkins v. Childs, 79 Vt. 234, 65 A. 81.

It is not enough to allege jurisdictional facts; they must also be proved. Mere statements in a bill upon which equity jurisdiction might be maintained, but which are not proved, will not authorize a decree upon such facts of the bill as, if standing alone, would not give the court jurisdiction. While it is desirable to expedite legal proceedings and avoid unnecessary expense we cannot without jurisdiction retain a case after hearing rather than put the parties to the expense of a new trial, because to adopt such a...

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11 cases
  • Turner v. Bragg
    • United States
    • Vermont Supreme Court
    • 4 Enero 1944
    ...adjoining lands does not alone afford sufficient ground for a court of equity to ascertain and fix the boundary.” Aguirre v. Aja, 113 Vt. 123, 124, 30 A.2d 88, 89; Watkins v. Childs, 79 Vt. 234, 236, 65 A. 81. But this principle does not preclude the court from finding such lines and landma......
  • State v. Frotten.
    • United States
    • Vermont Supreme Court
    • 7 Mayo 1946 proceed with the trial thereon, and so, under the circumstances, might be presented in this Court for the first time. Aguirre v. Aja, 113 Vt. 123, 125, 30 A.2d 88, and cas. cit. P.L. 1545, as amended by No. 31, § 3, Acts of 1941, is as follows: ‘Eighteen judicious persons within each cou......
  • Price v. Rowell
    • United States
    • Vermont Supreme Court
    • 2 Marzo 1960
    ...and continuing injury, or the threat of oppressive litigation must appear. Watkins v. Child, 79 Vt. 234, 236, 65 A. 81; Aguirre v. Aja, 113 Vt. 123, 125, 30 A.2d 88; Curtis v. O'Brien, 117 Vt. 52, 56, 84 A.2d 584; Baker v. Koslowski, 117 Vt. 124, 129, 85 A.2d It is equally settled that equi......
  • Lafko v. Lafko
    • United States
    • Vermont Supreme Court
    • 19 Junio 1969
    ...matter of the controversy can be generated only by force of law. It is unaffected by agreement or conduct of the parties. Aguirre v. Aja, 113 Vt. 123, 125, 30 A.2d 88. The Legislature has not restricted the general jurisdiction of county courts to particular terms of courts. The power confe......
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