Mcdaniel v. Mcelvy

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtSTRUM, J. (after stating the facts as above).
Citation108 So. 820,91 Fla. 770
Decision Date03 May 1926
PartiesMcDANIEL et al. v. McELVY et al.

108 So. 820

91 Fla. 770

McDANIEL et al.
v.
McELVY et al.

Florida Supreme Court

May 3, 1926


En Banc.

Suit by Nannie McDaniel and others against Daniel McElvy and others to quiet title. From a decree denying the relief sought and dismissing the bill of complaint, complainants appeal. Reversed and remanded.

Syllabus by the Court

SYLLABUS

Statute relating to quieting title is remedial and should be liberally construed and applied (Laws 1925 [Ex. Sess.] c. 11383). Chapter 11383, Laws 1925 (Ex. Sess.), is designed to afford a prompt and adequate method by which the rightful owner of real property may place his own title in repose by obtaining a speedy adjudication of the effect of hostile claims or clouds. Such a statute is remedial and highly beneficial, and should be liberally and reasonably construed and applied.

Statute held to provide cumulative and additional method to clear and remove clouds from title and not to repeal any existing laws (Laws 1925 [Ex. Sess.] c. 11383). Chapter 11383, Laws 1925 (Ex. Sess.), provides a cumulative and additional method for clearing and removing clouds from the title to land, and does not repeal any existing laws.

Jurisdiction over proceedings to quiet title and prevent litigation is inherent in courts of equity; though courts have imposed limitations on exercise of chancery jurisdiction to quiet title and prevent litigation, it is always competent for Legislature to remove such restrictions, not departing from what legitimately belongs to practice of court of chancery under Constitution (Const. art. 5, § 11). Jurisdiction over proceedings to quiet title and prevent litigation is inherent in courts of equity; and, although the courts have imposed limitations upon its exercise, it is always competent for the legislative power to remove those restrictions, not departing, however, from what legitimately belongs to the practice of a court of chancery under the provisions of organic law.

Object of Laws 1925 (Ex. Sess.) c. 11383, relating to quieting title, held to be to enable rightful owner to secure relief against one not rightful owner, but who asserts claim or pretends to have right in land, to enable one who claims by title, good except for defective execution or acknowledgment of deed or mortgage, to have title quieted, and to afford means by which existing record title may be extinguished as cloud on title of one who had acquired title by adverse possession. The object of chapter 11383, Laws 1925 (Ex. Sess.), is to afford relief in three general situations: (1) It enables the rightful owner to secure relief against a person who is not the rightful owner, but who nevertheless asserts some claim or who pretends to have some right or title to such land, under a conveyance thereof or otherwise; (2) it enables one who claims by a title, good but for the defective execution or acknowledgment of a deed or mortgage under which he claims, and which was intended to convey or mortgage the whole title, to have his title quieted and established as against such defect and against those who may appear or claim to have some interest in the land by reason thereof; and (3) it affords a means by which an existing record title may be extinguished as a cloud upon the title of one who has acquired a good and sufficient title by adverse possession.

In suits to quiet title under Laws 1925 (Ex. Sess.), c. 11383, complainant must deraign title from ultimate source or allege facts showing good title by adverse possession or allege title in himself from defendant, or allege that complainant claims from common source with defendant, complainant having better title therefrom. In suits brought under chapter 11383, Laws 1925 (Ex. Sess.), the complainant must either (a) deraign his title from its ultimate source; or (b) allege facts which show in him a good title by adverse possession; or (c) allege title in himself from the defendant; or (d) allege that complainant claims from a common source with the defendant, the complainant having a better title from that source. The effect, if any, of chapter 11383, Laws of 1925, relating to the effect of deeds or wills after the lapse of 20 years from the record or probate thereof, respectively, is not presented in this case, and therefore is not now decided.

In suits to quiet title under Laws 1925 (Ex. Sess.) c. 11383, complainant must allege so much with reference to defendant's claim or title as is necessary to show subject-matter and relief sought are within statute, but need not set out in extenso or particularly define defendant's title or claim. In suits brought under chapter 11383, Laws 1925 (Ex. Sess.), the complainant is required to allege so much with reference to the title or claim of the defendant as is necessary to show that the subject-matter of the suit and the relief sought are within the provisions of the statute. It is unnecessary, however, for complainant, in his bill of complaint, to set out in extenso or to particularly define the title or claim of the defendant.

In suit under Laws 1925 (Ex. Sess.) c. 11383, to quiet title, complainant's proof must clearly show validity of his own title and invalidity or inferiority of defendant's title or claim, unless such is admitted by defendant. The complainant's proof must show with clearness, accuracy, and certainty, not only the validity of his own title, but the invalidity or inferiority of defendant's title or claim, unless such invalidity or inferiority be admitted by defendant by default, disclaimer, or otherwise.

Suits to quiet title may be characterized as suits quasi in rem. Suits to quiet title are not technically suits in rem, nor are they strictly speaking in personam, but, being against the person in respect of the res, wherein the decree does not extend beyond the property in controversy, these proceedings acquire a status that may be characterized as suits quasi in rem.

In suits to quiet title, it is not essential that the court have jurisdiction of the person of the defendant.

Resport to constructive service by publication is based on necessity, and, if personal service could be had by exercise of reasonable diligence, substituted service is unauthorized. Resort to constructive service by publication is predicated upon necessity, and, if personal service could be effected by the exercise of reasonable diligence, substituted service is unauthorized.

Where statute authorizes court to determine title and decree it to rightful owner, and personal service cannot be effected after due diligence, decree is binding without personal service or appearance if statute provides reasonable method of imparting notice to defendant which was strictly followed. In cases where the statute authorizes the court to determine the question of title and decree it to the rightful owner, and where personal service cannot be effected after due diligence, the decree is valid and binding without personal service or appearance, if the statute has provided a reasonable method of imparting notice to the defendant, and that method has been strictly followed.

Within limitations imposed by Constitution, every state had exclusive jurisdiction over persons and property in its territory, and state may, within limitations of Constitution, regulate manner of and conditions on which property within its territory may be acquired, enjoyed, and transferred and title thereto quieted and determined. Within the limitations imposed by the Constitution of the United States, every state possesses exclusive jurisdiction over the persons and property in its own territory. The state may accordingly regulate the manner of and the conditions upon which property situate within its own territory may be acquired, enjoyed and transferred, and the title thereto quieted and determined.

Owner of land is chargeable with knowledge of general laws prescribing manner in which it may be enjoyed or title thereto effected. The owner of land is chargeable with knowledge of general laws prescribing the manner in which it may be enjoyed or the title thereto affected.

Though state cannot bring person of nonresident within its limits, it may determine extent of his title to real estate therein; to determine title to real estate of nonresident, state may provide any reasonable method of imparting notice to owner. Although a state cannot bring the person of a nonresident within its limits, it may nevertheless determine the extent of his title to require as condition precedent to issuance of of such determination may provide any reasonable method of imparting notice.

Legislature may by reasonable regulations authorize issuance of substituted process on allegations following wording of statute, unsupported by other allegations showing that personal service is impossible or impracticable. It is competent for the Legislature, by reasonable regulations, to authorize the issuance of substituted process upon allegations which follow the wording of the statute, unsupported by other allegations which show that personal service is impossible or impracticable. Such a procedure is constitutionally valid.

Statute held not to require as condition precedent to issuance of order of publication, that complainant fully set out facts showing that personal service on defendant is impossible or impracticable; in quieting title, substituted process may issue on allegations strictly following wording of statute (Laws 1925 [Ex. Sess.] c. 11383). Chapter 11383, Laws Florida 1925 (Ex. Sess.), does not require, as a condition precedent to the issuance of the order of publication, that complainant shall fully set out the facts which show that personal service upon the defendant is impossible or impracticable. Under the terms of this statute, substituted process may issue upon allegations which strictly follow the wording of the statute.

Although allegations following words of statute are sufficient as predicate for...

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101 practice notes
  • Humble Oil & Refining Co. v. Sun Oil Co., No. 13312.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 20 Septiembre 1951
    ...beyond the property in controversy, these proceedings acquire a status that may be characterized as quasi in rem. McDaniel v. McElvy, 91 Fla. 770, 108 So. 820, 51 A.L.R. 731. It was because the instant case was not technically an in rem proceeding that we held the State of Texas to be not a......
  • U.S. v. Rodrigue, Slip Op. 09-108.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • 1 Octubre 2009
    ..."[a] party seeking to utilize service by publication must be able to show that personal service could not be made"); McDaniel v. McElvy, 91 Fla. 770, 108 So. 820, 830-31 (1926) (underscoring that "resort to constructive service by publication is predicated upon necessity, and, if personal s......
  • Smetal Corp. v. West Lake Inv. Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 16 Abril 1936
    ...to in any case where by the exercise of reasonable diligence actual personal service can readily be secured. In McDaniel v. McElvy, 91 Fla. 770, 108 So. 820, 832, 51 A.L.R. 731, this court, speaking through Mr. Justice Strum, said: allegations of a categorical nature which follow the words ......
  • Kelsey v. Lake Childs Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 5 Abril 1927
    ...350, 33 L.Ed. 761; [112 So. 889] U.S. v. Bagnell Timber Co. (C. C. A.) 178 F. 795. See, also, the cases cited in McDaniel v. McElvy (Fla.) 108 So. 820, text 830, beginning with the case of Witherspoon v. Duncan, 4 Wall. 210, 18 L.Ed. 339. The qualified entryman, who enters public lands with......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
101 cases
  • Humble Oil & Refining Co. v. Sun Oil Co., No. 13312.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 20 Septiembre 1951
    ...beyond the property in controversy, these proceedings acquire a status that may be characterized as quasi in rem. McDaniel v. McElvy, 91 Fla. 770, 108 So. 820, 51 A.L.R. 731. It was because the instant case was not technically an in rem proceeding that we held the State of Texas to be not a......
  • U.S. v. Rodrigue, Slip Op. 09-108.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • 1 Octubre 2009
    ..."[a] party seeking to utilize service by publication must be able to show that personal service could not be made"); McDaniel v. McElvy, 91 Fla. 770, 108 So. 820, 830-31 (1926) (underscoring that "resort to constructive service by publication is predicated upon necessity, and, if personal s......
  • Smetal Corp. v. West Lake Inv. Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 16 Abril 1936
    ...to in any case where by the exercise of reasonable diligence actual personal service can readily be secured. In McDaniel v. McElvy, 91 Fla. 770, 108 So. 820, 832, 51 A.L.R. 731, this court, speaking through Mr. Justice Strum, said: allegations of a categorical nature which follow the words ......
  • Kelsey v. Lake Childs Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 5 Abril 1927
    ...350, 33 L.Ed. 761; [112 So. 889] U.S. v. Bagnell Timber Co. (C. C. A.) 178 F. 795. See, also, the cases cited in McDaniel v. McElvy (Fla.) 108 So. 820, text 830, beginning with the case of Witherspoon v. Duncan, 4 Wall. 210, 18 L.Ed. 339. The qualified entryman, who enters public lands with......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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