Davison v. Davis
125 U.S. 90 (1888)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Davison v. Davis, 125 U.S. 90 (1888)

Davison v. Davis

No. 100

Argued December 6-7, 1887

Decided March 19, 1888

125 U.S. 90

Syllabus

The payee of a promissory note gave to the promisor a receipt acknowledging it as given for the purchase of personal property to be delivered to the promisor on payment of his note. The note not being paid at maturity, the payee notified the promisor that he should not recognize his further claim to the property, and after a further lapse of time without hearing from him, destroyed the note. Held that the sale was, conditional, not to be completed until payment of the note.

The remedy by bill in equity to compel a specific performance of a contract

Page 125 U. S. 91

to sell personal property upon the payment of a promissory note given by the other party, payable at a date after the making of the contract, is lost through the laches of the complainant if he wait five years after the maturity of the note before filing his bill, and the property meanwhile greatly increases in value.

The Court holds as the result of the transactions between the parties which are recited in its opinion that, each being a holder of shares in a railroad company, they agreed that their respective interests should be joint and equal, and that the appellant should pay to the appellee the sum necessary to equalize the difference in cost between them, and that, this agreement not being carried out by the appellant, the parties substituted a new agreement, based upon the principal feature of the old one (that the appellee should sell to the appellant enough of his stock to make the holdings equal), but that each holding under the new agreement was to be in severalty and free from conditions.

In equity. Decree dismissing the bill. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.

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