Simmons v. Ogle
105 U.S. 271 (1881)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Simmons v. Ogle, 105 U.S. 271 (1881)

Simmons v. Ogle

105 U.S. 271

Syllabus

1. Where, in a suit involving the right to lands, the equities of the respective parties are equal, the legal title must prevail.

2. Against the United States, the presumption of a party's claim of right to a tract of public land growing out of his mere possession of it is but very slight, and so long as the United States retains the legal title, the statute of limitations does not run against it, nor does any equity in his favor arise from such possession and the nonassertion of that title.

3. A. recovered in ejectment possession of lands conveyed to him by the United States. The judgment defendant thereupon flied his bill setting up that B., under whom he claimed, had long previously to the inception of A.'s title duly entered them at the proper office, and praying that A. be compelled to convey the legal title to the complainant. Neither the receipt of the receiver to B. for the purchase money nor the register's certificate of purchase entitling B. to a patent was produced or accounted for, and the defendant's evidence strongly conduced to show that the papers never existed and that the sale was never made. Upon the facts, held that the bill should be dismissed.

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