Dull v. Blackman
169 U.S. 243 (1898)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Dull v. Blackman, 169 U.S. 243 (1898)

Dull v. Blackman

No. 192

Argued January 18-19, 1898

Decided February 21, 1898

169 U.S. 243

Syllabus

On June 25, 1889, plaintiff in error, Daniel Dull, being the owner of the tract of land in controversy, conveyed the same by warranty deed executed by himself and wife to John E. Blackman. Blackman, on August 2, 1889, made a deed of the same land to George F. Wright as security for moneys to be advanced by Wright. On the 29th of February, 1892, Blackman commenced this suit in the District Court of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, to compel a reconveyance by Wright on the ground of his failure to advance any money. Prior thereto, and on January 30, 1892, Blackman had executed a deed of the land to Edward Phelan, which conveyance was at first conditional but by agreement signed by the parties on September 15, 1892, was made absolute. On the 17th of September, 1892, Phelan filed his petition of intervention setting forth his rights in the matter under the deed of January 30 and the agreement of September 15, and also making plaintiffs in error and others defendants, alleging that they claimed certain interests in the property and praying a decree quieting his title as against all. On January 24, 1893, plaintiff's counsel withdrew his appearance for Blackman, and, upon his application, was allowed to prosecute the action in the name of Blackman for and in behalf of Phelan, the intervenor. On February 2, 1893, the plaintiffs in error appeared in the suit and filed an answer denying all the allegations in plaintiffs petition and in the petition of intervention. On the 15th of that month, they filed an amended answer and a cross-petition, in which they set up that Blackman had obtained his deed from them by certain false representations, and that a suit was pending in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in which Daniel Dull was plaintiff, and Blackman, Wright, Phelan and others were defendants, in which the same issues were made and the same relief sought as in the case at bar. On May 29, they filed an amendment to their answer and cross-petition setting forth that the case pending in the Supreme Court of New York had gone to decree, and attached a copy of that decree. The suit in the Supreme Court of the State of New York was commenced on the 3d of November, 1892. Blackman was served personally within the limits of that state, but the other defendants therein, Wright, Phelan, and Duffle, their counsel, were served only by delivering to them in Omaha, Nebraska, a copy of the complaint and summons. No appearance was made by them, notwithstanding which the decree was entered against them as against Blackman, and was a decree establishing the title of Daniel Dull, setting, aside the deed made by him and his wife to Blackman, and enjoining the several defendants from further prosecuting

Page 169 U. S. 244

the action in the Iowa court. After certain other pleadings and amendments thereto had been made the case in the District Court of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, came on for hearing, and upon the testimony that court entered a decree quieting Phelan's title to the land as against any and all other parties to the suit, subject, however, to certain mortgage interests which were recognized and protected but which are not in any way pertinent to this controversy between Dull and wife and the defendants in error. On appeal to the supreme court of the state, such decree was, on January 21, 1896, affirmed. Held that the decree of the Supreme Court of Iowa was right, and that it should be affirmed.

The facts in this case are as follows: on June 25, 1889, plaintiff in error, Daniel Dull, being the owner of the tract of land in controversy, conveyed the same by warranty deed executed by himself and wife to John E. Blackman. Blackman, on August 2, 1889, made a deed of the same land to George F. Wright as security for moneys to be advanced by Wright. On the 29th of February, 1892, Blackman commenced this suit in the District Court of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, to compel a reconveyance by Wright on the ground of his failure to advance any money. Prior thereto, and on January 30, 1892, Blackman had executed a deed of the land to Edward Phelan, which conveyance was at first conditional, but by agreement signed by the parties on September 15, 1892, was made absolute. On the 17th of September, 1892, Phelan filed his petition of intervention, setting forth his rights in the matter under the deed of January 30 and the agreement of September 15, and also making plaintiffs in error and others defendants, alleging that they claimed certain interests in the property, and praying a decree quieting his title as against all. On January 24, 1893, plaintiff's counsel withdrew his appearance for Blackman, and, upon his application, was allowed to prosecute the action in the name of Blackman for and in behalf of Phelan, the intervenor. On February 2, 1893, the plaintiffs in error appeared in the suit and filed an answer denying all the allegations in plaintiffs petition and in the petition of intervention. On the 15th of that month, they filed an amended answer and a cross-petition, in which they set up that Blackman had obtained his deed from them by certain false representations, and that a suit

Page 169 U. S. 245

was pending in the supreme court of the State of New York, in which Daniel Dull was plaintiff, and Blackman, Wright, Phelan and others were defendants, in which the same issues were made and the same relief sought as in the case at bar. On May 29, they filed an amendment to their answer and cross-petition setting forth that the case pending in the Supreme Court of the New York had gone to decree, and attached a copy of that decree. The suit in the supreme court of the State of New York was commenced on the 3d of November, 1892. Blackman was served personally within the limits of that state, but the other defendants therein, Wright, Phelan, and Duffie, their counsel, were served only by delivering to them in Omaha, Nebraska, a copy of the complaint and summons. No appearance was made by them. Notwithstanding which, the decree was entered against them as against Blackman, and was a decree establishing the title of Daniel Dull, setting aside the deed made by him and his wife to Blackman and enjoining the several defendants from further prosecuting the action in the Iowa court. After certain other pleadings and amendments thereto had been made, the case in the District Court of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, came on for hearing, and upon the testimony, that court entered a decree quieting Phelan's title to the land as against any and all other parties to the suit, subject, however, to certain mortgage interests which were recognized and protected, but which are not in any way pertinent to this controversy between Dull and wife and the defendants in error. On appeal to the supreme court of the state, such decree was, on January 21, 1896, affirmed, from which judgment of affirmance plaintiffs in error have brought the case here.

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