Field v. Holland
10 U.S. 8

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U.S. Supreme Court

Field v. Holland, 10 U.S. 6 Cranch 8 8 (1810)

Field v. Holland

10 U.S. (6 Cranch) 8

ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT

FOR THE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA

Syllabus

The report of auditors, appointed by consent of parties in a suit in equity, is not in the nature of an award by arbitrators, but may be set aside by the court, although neither fraud, corruption, partiality, or gross misconduct on the part of the auditors be proved.

A court of equity may ascertain the facts itself if the evidence enables it to do it, or may refer the question to a jury or to auditors. After an issue ordered, a court of equity may proceed to a final decree without trying the issue or setting aside the order.

The answer of one defendant is evidence against other defendants claiming through him.

Without expressly revoking an order of reference to auditors, the court may direct an issue to ascertain the facts

The answer of a defendant is evidence against the plaintiff, although it be doubtful whether a decree can be made against such defendant.

The plaintiffs cannot avail themselves of the answer of a defendant, who in substantially a plaintiff; it is not evidence against a co-defendant.

If neither the debtor nor the creditor has made the application of the payments, the court will apply them to the debts for which the security is most precarious.

Error to the Circuit Court for the District of Georgia in a chancery suit, in which Field, Hunt, Taylor and Robeson, were complainants and Holland, Melton, Tigner, Smith, Cox and Dougherty were defendants.

The decree of the court below dismissed the bill as to all the defendants.

The bill stated that on 21 July, 1787, Micajah Williamson obtained from the State of Georgia a grant of 12,500 acres in Franklin County in that state. On 9 July, 1788, Williamson conveyed to Sweepson, who, on 23 July, 1792, conveyed to Cox, who, on 3 September, 1794, conveyed to Naylor, who, on 18 December, 1794, conveyed to the complainant Field, and one

Page 10 U. S. 9

Harland, as tenants in common, and that Harland afterwards conveyed his undivided interest to the other complainants.

That the defendants Melton, Tigner and Smith, claim title to the land in virtue of a sale made by the sheriff to the defendant Melton, upon two writs of fieri facias, founded upon judgments obtained by the defendant Holland against the defendant Cox, one in the year 1793, for

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