Baker v. Humphrey - 101 U.S. 494 (1879)
U.S. Supreme Court
Baker v. Humphrey, 101 U.S. 494 (1879)
Baker v. Humphrey
101 U.S. 494
1. A. conveyed premises in 1851 to B., and took from him a mortgage for the purchase money. Both deeds were recorded. B. never took possession. A., by an instrument recorded March 19, 1852, assigned the mortgage to C., who conveyed the premises with warranty to D., under whom complainant claims title. B. lived near the premises for years, and knew that C. and others were in adverse possession claiming title, but never claimed or intimated that he had himself any title. B. drew the conveyance of C. to D., and as a notary public took C.'s acknowledgment thereto, and was silent as to any defect in the title. B. executed a quitclaim deed of the premises in 1872 to a stranger. Held that the facts made a complete case of estoppel in pais, and that nothing passed by B.'s deed.
2. An attorney employed by both parties to an agreement for the purchase of land for the sum of $8,000, upon discovering a defect in the title, concealed the fact from one of the parties, and in accordance with a secret agreement with the other procured a conveyance by quitclaim for the sum of $25 to E., his own brother. Held that his conduct was a gross breach of professional duty, and that E. should he decreed on receiving the purchase money, $25, to convey to the injured party the premises, with covenant against the title of E. and all others claiming under him.
This was a bill filed by Sandford Baker against George P. Humphrey, Hiram D. Hurd, Charles A. Hurd, and David Smith to have the ostensible legal title to certain premises which had vested in Humphrey by one Chapman declared to have been fraudulently obtained, and that Humphrey be adjudged to convey the premises to the complainant. The bill was heard upon the pleadings and proofs, and dismissed. Baker appealed here.
The facts are fully stated in the opinion of the Court.