Wilson v. Riddle - 123 U.S. 608 (1887)
U.S. Supreme Court
Wilson v. Riddle, 123 U.S. 608 (1887)
Wilson v. Riddle
Argued November 30, December 1, 1887
Decided December 12, 1887
123 U.S. 608
In April, 1853, R. made a deed to himself, as trustee, of land in Georgia for the benefit of his wife and their children during the life of the wife and, after her death, of such children, which deed was recorded in May, 1853, in the office of the clerk of the superior court of the county in which R. resided. In May, 1870, R. mortgaged to W. the trust land and other land. W. foreclosed the mortgage, and on a sale, in 1876, bid in the mortgaged lands and obtained from the sheriff a deed of them and took possession of them. In 1881, the beneficiaries under the trust deed brought a bill in equity in the circuit court of the United states against W. to have the trust established. Among the defenses set up by W. he alleged that the trust deed was fabricated after the mortgage was made, and was antedated, and that he had no notice of the existence of the trust deed at or before the execution of the mortgage of May, 1870, or before the sheriff's sale in 1876. The Circuit Court, without making any previous order for the trial of issues of fact by a jury, had a trial by jury of the two questions above mentioned. The jury found in favor of the plaintiffs on both questions. The defendant had bills of exceptions signed to the rejection of evidence and to the instructions to the jury. The suit in equity was heard by the same judge who presided at the jury trial. No motion was made for a new trial. The decree was for the plaintiffs on the same proofs which were before the jury. On appeal by the defendant,
(1) No previous order for a jury trial was necessary, nor any certificate to the chancellor of the findings.
(2) The submission to the jury of the particular issues was not an unlawful exercise of the discretion of the circuit court.
(3) The formal exceptions taken on the jury trial will not be considered by this Court.
(4) The decree was correct on the facts.
(5) The voluntary settlement was authorized by the statute law of Georgia in force at the time it was made, it having been recorded within three months, and was good against W., under such statute law, because of the notice of its existence which he so had.
In equity. Decree in favor of plaintiffs. Defendant appealed. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.