Horsford v. Romeo

Citation407 F.2d 1302
Decision Date14 March 1969
Docket NumberNo. 17311.,17311.
PartiesSamuel HORSFORD v. Gilbert ROMEO, Appellant.
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)

Alexander A. Farrelly, Birch, Maduro, DeJongh & Farrelly, Charlotte Amalie, V. I., for appellant.

George H. T. Dudley, Charlotte Amalie, V. I., for appellee.

Before MARIS, VAN DUSEN and ALDISERT, Circuit Judges.


MARIS, Circuit Judge.

This is an appeal by the defendant from a judgment for the plaintiff in an action for the proceeds of the sale of land. The land in question was located on the island of Antigua and had been conveyed by the Government of Antigua to the plaintiff and a certificate of title issued to him in 1952. In 1966 the Government desired to acquire the land as part of a missile site and since the plaintiff was in New York the defendant obtained a power of attorney from the plaintiff under which the defendant, acting as the plaintiff's attorney in fact, conveyed the land to the Government and received the proceeds, BWI $8,040.00. The defendant paid the plaintiff US $200.00 of the proceeds but refused to pay the balance, whereupon the plaintiff instituted this suit. The defense, set up in the answer under the heading of counterclaim, was that the defendant was the equitable owner of the land and as such was entitled to the proceeds of its sale and that the payment of $200.00 to the plaintiff was a gift. Upon consideration of the sharply conflicting evidence the district court found that the plaintiff had acquired title to the land in question from the Government of Antigua and concluded that as against the plaintiff the defendant had no interest in the land which would entitle him to retain any of the proceeds of the sale. Judgment was accordingly entered in favor of the plaintiff for the proceeds of the sale, converted to U. S. currency, less the sum of $200.00 previously paid. The defendant on appeal makes two contentions.

The first contention of the defendant is that the plaintiff failed to plead and prove the law of Antigua and the court failed to apply that law in determining whether the legal title of the plaintiff to the land in question was subject to a trust in favor of the defendant as equitable owner. This contention is wholly without merit. In the first place the district court was entitled to presume, in the absence of any showing to the contrary, that the common law of Antigua, a common law jurisdiction, was the same in this...

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5 cases
  • Franco v. Ncrc
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • July 12, 2007
    ...the Court on terms, if justice so requires, shall treat the pleading as if there had been a proper designation."); Horsford v. Romeo, 407 F.2d 1302, 1303 (3d Cir. 1969) ("[T]he court will treat a defendant's pleading denominated a counterclaim as an answer raising affirmative defenses, rega......
  • Tenneco Inc. v. Saxony Bar & Tube, Inc., 85-1257
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • November 12, 1985
    ...or defense to a suit does not become an independent piece of litigation because of its label. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(c); Horsford v. Romeo, 407 F.2d 1302, 1303 (3d Cir.1969); Office & Professional Employees Union v. Allied Industrial Workers Union, 397 F.Supp. 688, 691 (E.D.Wisc.1975), aff'd, 535 F......
  • Standard Fire Ins. Co. v. United States
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • March 14, 1969
  • Quirico v. Lopez, 16908
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • August 18, 1987
    ...defense, regardless of its title, if the allegations of the pleading so require. SCRA 1986, 1-008(C); see also Horsford v. Romeo, 407 F.2d 1302 (3rd Cir.1969). Defendant's answer, paragraph one, states in part that, "the plaintiff had engaged his services to water, cultivate, and harvest ce......
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