Pratt v. Law & Campbell
13 U.S. 456 (1815)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Pratt v. Law & Campbell, 13 U.S. 9 Cranch 456 456 (1815)

Pratt v. Law & Campbell

13 U.S. (9 Cranch) 456

ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT

FOR THE COUNTY OF WASHINGTON

Syllabus

Decided that in the sales of lots in the City of Washington, the lots are not chargeable for their proportion of the internal alley laid out for the common benefit of those lots, although the practice so to charge them has been heretofore universally acquiesced in by purchasers, and if a purchaser has acquiesced in that practice and has received a conveyance accordingly without objection, yet he does not thereby acquire a fee simple in such proportion of the alley, and may in equity recover back the purchase money which he has paid therefor.

If a purchaser of city lots stipulates to build within a limited time a house on every third lot purchased, or in that proportion, and receives conveyances for the greater part of the lots, he is not bound to build in proportion to the lots conveyed unless the whole number be conveyed.

In a case where it would be difficult to ascertain the injury resulting from the breach of contract or the sum in damages by which the injury might be compensated, this Court will not themselves ascertain the injury nor the damages, nor direct an issue quantum damnificatus.

Where a contract for the sale of land has been in part executed by a conveyance of part of the land, and the vendor is unable to convey the residue, a court of equity will decree the repayment of a proportionate part of the purchase money with interest.

If three persons mortgage their joint property to indemnify the drawer of bills of exchange drawn for their accommodation in case of protest, and if each of the mortgagors agrees to take up a third part of the bills upon their return under protest, and if two of them neglect to take up their two-thirds, whereby the other mortgagor is compelled to take up the whole of the bills, in consequence of which he requests the drawer not to release the mortgage, but to hold it for his benefit, a lien in equity is thereby created upon the mortgaged property to the amount of two-thirds of the bills in favor of that mortgagor who took up the whole.

Quaere whether a subsequent encumbrancer can compel a prior encumbrancer to disclose the consideration which he gave for the notes of the debtor upon which his encumbrance was founded?

An equity of redemption of real estate in Maryland is liable to attachment.

These several suits in chancery in the Circuit Court for the County of Washington in the District of Columbia, being involved in each other and relating to the same property, were heard and argued as one cause.

The first of these suits in the order of time was that of Pratt v. Duncanson & Ward, which was instituted on 24 March, 1801. The bill prayed that Duncanson and Ward might be enjoined from selling certain squares in the City of Washington which had been mortgaged by Morris, Nicholson and Greenleaf to Duncanson to indemnify him against the return of certain bills of exchange which he had drawn for their accommodation, to the amount of

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