Wasatch Mining Co. v. Crescent Mining Co.
148 U.S. 293 (1893)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Wasatch Mining Co. v. Crescent Mining Co., 148 U.S. 293 (1893)

Wasatch Mining Company v. Crescent Mining Company

No. 135

Argued March 13, 1893

Decided March 27, 1893

148 U.S. 293

Syllabus

The plaintiff below contracted to buy of defendant and the defendant agreed to sell to plaintiff, for a valuable consideration, several pieces or parcels of land. In pursuance of said contract, a deed was made by the defendant to the plaintiff wherein and whereby, by mistake and inadvertence in describing the property conveyed, there was omitted therefrom an important part of the property contracted to be sold. The purchase price was a round sum for all the tracts, and was paid. Held that a case for a reformation of the deed was clearly made out unless, indeed, the defendant should be able to show some good reason why such admitted or established facts are not entitled to their apparent weight.

In equitable remedies given for fraud, accident or mistake, it is the facts as found that give the right to relief, and as it is often difficult to say upon admitted facts whether the error which is complained of was occasioned by intentional fraud or by mere inadvertence or mistake, the appellant in this case has no reason to complain of the language of the court below in attributing his misconduct to mistake or inadvertence rather than to intentional fraud, and he cannot raise such an objection for the first time in this court.

When, in the trial of a case, no objection is made to the admission of evidence and its relevancy to the pleadings, it is too late to raise those questions in this court.

The record discloses that the Crescent Mining Company filed its complaint against the Wasatch Mining Company in the District Court of the third Judicial District of Utah Territory; that an answer denying the allegations of the complaint was duly filed; that evidence was taken on behalf of the respective parties; that the action was tried by the court sitting without a jury, and that the court made the following findings of fact:

"In July, 1886, said plaintiff contracted to buy of defendant, and defendant agreed to sell to plaintiff, for a valuable consideration, the following-described mining property and premises,

Page 148 U. S. 294

situated in Uintah Mining District, Summit County, Utah Territory, bounded, with magnetic variation at 17 deg. and 20 min. east, as follows, to-wit:"

"Beginning at corner No. 1 of the Walker & Walker Extension mine, and running thence N., 44 deg. 35 min. west, 220 feet, to corner No. 2 of said mine, from which U.S. mineral monument No. 4 bears south, 46 deg. 10 min. west at a distance of 158 feet; thence south, 21 deg. 15 min. west, 196 feet, to corner No. 3; thence south, 68 deg. 5 min. west, 2,804 feet, to corner No. 4; thence south, 44 deg. 35 min. east, 216 feet, to corner No. 5; thence north, 68 deg. 5 min. east, 1,410 feet, to corner No. 3 of the Buckeye mine; thence south, 44 deg. 35 min. east. along the southerly end line of said Buckeye mine, 130 feet, to corner No. 4 thereof; thence north, 68 deg. 5 min. east, 1,400 feet, to corner No. 1 of said last mentioned mine; thence north, 44 deg. 35 min. west, 130 feet, to corner No. 2 of said Buckeye mine, the same being also corner No. 6 of said Walker & Walker Extension mine; thence north, 21 deg. 15 min. east, 190 feet, to the place of beginning, together with all dips, spurs, and angles, and also all metals, ores, gold and silver bearing quartz, rock, and earth therein, and all the rights, privileges, and franchises thereto incident, appendant, or appurtenant, or therewith usually had and enjoyed, and all the estate, rights, title, interest, and property, possession, claim, and demand of said party defendant in or to the same."

"2. In pursuance of said contract, a deed was made by defendant to plaintiff bearing date September 1, 1886, wherein and whereby, by mistake and inadvertence in describing the property so contracted for and to be deeded, there was omitted therefrom so much of said property and premises as had been patented by the United States to James Lowe and others as part of lot 42, called the 'Pinyon & Pinyon Extension Mining Claim.'"

"3. That in making said contract and said deed, it was the intention of parties plaintiff and defendant to include the premises and property omitted as last aforesaid, and the purchase price thereof was paid and secured with that of the property deeded. "

Page 148 U. S. 295

From the facts so found, the court drew the conclusion that the plaintiff was entitled to have its deed from defendant so reformed as to embrace and include in its description of the property to be conveyed all that which was described in the first finding of fact.

From this judgment of the district court an appeal was taken to the supreme court of the territory, and from the judgment of that court affirming the decree of the district court an appeal was taken to this Court.

Page 148 U. S. 296

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