Stults v. Forst

Citation135 Ind. 297,34 N.E. 1125
PartiesSTULTS v. FORST et al.
Decision Date18 October 1893
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana


Appeal from circuit court, Huntington county; Joseph S. Dailey, Judge.

Action by Harmon W. Stults, administrator, against Alfred Forst and others. Judgment for defendants. Plaintiff appeals. Affirmed.G. W Stults, Cobb & Watkins, and Sayler & Sayler, for appellant. J B. Kenner and J. C. Branyan, for appellees.


The facts in this case, as found by the court, and not questioned by the parties, are as follows: (1) That Conrad Forst died in Huntington county, Ind., intestate, on May 15, 1873, leaving as his heirs at law his widow, Sarah Forst, and their children, the appellee Alfred Forst and others, and seised in fee of certain described real estate, being 80 acres of land in said county. That one John Stults was appointed administrator of said estate, and there being no assets in his hands to pay certain indebtedness of the estate, in pursuance of a petition and order of court, he sold the undivided two-thirds of said land to pay such indebtedness. (2) That said sale was made after due and proper notice, on the 17th of April, 1878, to one Joseph C. Best, a son-in-law of the administrator, for $1,600 That the administrator reported the payment of the purchase money to court, executed to the purchaser a deed for the land, and on the 15th day of October, 1878, made his report in final settlement of said estate, and was discharged from his trust. (3) That on the 18th day of February, 1879, Joseph C. Best conveyed said land to John Stults, said former administrator, and immediately thereafter said Stults entered into possession of said real estate. (4) That on the 29th of October, 1880, in a suit brought by Sarah Forst, widow aforesaid, against John Stults, Joseph C. Best, and others, upon a complaint in the Huntington circuit court, wherein it was alleged that the sale made by John Stults, administrator, to Joseph C. Best, of said land, which was afterwards sold by said Best to said Stults, was a fraudulent and sham sale, and that the same was the result of a collusion between said Stults and Best to defraud the widow and heirs of said decedent; that it was a sale by the administrator to himself,-to which complaint an answer in general denial was filed,-said sale was by agreement set aside, and held invalid, which agreement was so made by the parties after it was ascertained by them that the land had been wrongfully described in the notice of sale. (5) That a part of the prayer of the complaint mentioned in the last finding was that the final settlement made by said administrator, John Stults, be set aside, and the estate of said decedent be reinstated. That, pending such further administration, John Stults died, on November 4, 1881, and Harmon W. Stults, the appellant, was appointed administrator of the estate of the said John Stults. (6) That on the 19th day of January, 1882, William Brown was appointed administrator de bonis non of the estate of Conrad Forst, and on the 2d day of September, 1882, the appellant, as administrator of the estate of John Stults, filed a claim in the Huntington circuit court against the estate of Conrad Forst, in which claim appellant demanded $2,029.32, principal and interest of purchase money paid for said land, the sale of which had been set aside as aforesaid. That said $2,029.32 was and is the identical matter claimed by the complaint in this case. That on said claim an issue was formed, and the same was at the January term, 1886, of said court, submitted to the court for trial, a jury being waived, and the court took the same under advisement until the 18th day of February, 1886, and, being fully advised in the premises, dismissed the claim, and the costs thereof were charged to the claimant, appellant herein. That this judgment of dismissal has never been appealed from, modified, vacated, or in any manner set aside, but is still in full force. (7) That the claim set out in the preceding finding is the identical claim on which recovery is sought in this case, and the parties are the same. (8) That on the said 2d day of September, 1882, the appellant filed a complaint against said William Brown, administrator de bonis non of the estate of Conrad Forst, to compel him to execute a deed to the heirs of said John Stults for the undivided two-thirds of said real estate, and said Brown, administrator, filed his demurrer to said complaint, which demurrer was sustained by the court. On an appeal from this ruling to the supreme court, the judgment of the lower court was affirmed. Stults v. Brown, 112 Ind. 370, 14 N. E. Rep. 230. (9) That on the 20th day of Febuary, 1886, during the pendency of said appeal in the supreme court, the said Brown filed his final report and resignation as such administrator de bonis non, which report and resignation were at the time accepted and approved by the court, and said administrator discharged upon the payment by the heirs of certain debts and costs of administration, appellant's said claim not being included in said debts. Since said resignation and final report, there has been no administrator of said estate. (10) That the heirs of Conrad Forst paid off all the debts and costs of administration so ordered when said report and resignation were accepted and approved, but did not pay the claim in suit. (11) That, out of the moneys reported as received from Joseph C. Best, John Stults, as administrator, before July 1, l878, paid judgments of record against Conrad Forst, his decedent, amounting to $690.44, and that prior to said sale to said Best he had overpaid on claims against said estate the sum of $75. That prior to said July 1, 1878, said Stults, administrator, paid out of moneys reported from said sale of real estate on alleged claims against said estate the further sum of $840.40, but that none of such claims, except the judgments aforesaid, were of record. That said claims were not filed as claims against said estate, nor had they been allowed by the court or by the administrator of record, and nothing appears to show whether the alleged claims were valid claims against said estate, or not, except the receipts for the payment thereof. (12) That the claim sued on in this cause accrued within 15 years prior to the commencement of this suit, which was begun on the 10th day of January, 1889. That no part of the claim sued on herein accrued within the period of six years prior to the commencement of this action. (13) That on April 15, 1882, in a proceeding for partition in the Huntington circuit court by Sarah Forst, widow, against the children of said decedent, there were set off to the widow, in severalty, in lieu of her undivided one-third interest in said land, 26 2/3 acres off the west side thereof, leaving subject to any claim appellant may have 53 1/3 acres off the east side. (14) That John Stults paid in discharge of judgments mentioned in finding No. 11 the aggregate sum of $690.44, which, with interest, amounts to $1,125.41, no part of which was ever repaid to him or to appellant. (15) That after said claim was dismissed, as set out in finding No. 6, and after said administrator de bonis non had been discharged, the appellee Alfred Forst, in good faith, purchased of the widow of Conrad Forst, and of the children of said decedent, except the undivided two-twenty-sevenths part thereof owned by the minor appellees, all the real estate referred to in finding No. 1. That at the date of said purchase the claim in suit was not pending, but that said Alfred Forst then knew that the same had not been paid. Upon these findings of facts the court found conclusions of law as follows: “Upon the foregoing facts the court concludes that the law in this case is with the defendants; that the plaintiff...

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