Quinby v. Conlan
104 U.S. 420 (1881)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Quinby v. Conlan, 104 U.S. 420 (1881)

Quinby v. Conlan

104 U.S. 420

Syllabus

1. The verdict of a jury upon an issue which a court of chancery directed them to try is merely advisory.

2. A party lawfully settling upon a portion of a quarter-section of public land who in good faith complies with the statutory requirements is entitled as against subsequent settlers to preempt that quarter-section, and they derive no right thereto by purchasing the claim of a prior settler unless, by an actual entry at the proper office, he has a transferable interest in the land.

3. The courts cannot exercise a direct appellate jurisdiction over the rulings of the officers of the Land Department nor reverse or correct them in a suit between private parties.

4. Where, by misconstruing the law, those officers have withheld from a party his just rights or misrepresentation and fraud have been practiced necessarily affecting their judgment, the courts may in a proper proceeding interfere and refuse to give effect to their action.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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