DeCambra v. Rogers
189 U.S. 119 (1903)

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U.S. Supreme Court

DeCambra v. Rogers, 189 U.S. 119 (1903)

DeCambra v. Rogers

No. 170

Argued and submitted February 24, 1903

Decided March 16, 1903

189 U.S. 119

Syllabus

In an ordinary contest between two applicants for preemption, in which the officers of the Land Department have decided upon the testimony in favor of one and against the other, the decision of tile Land Department on questions of fact is conclusive upon the courts.

When the Secretary of the Interior has made a decision in such a contest, the courts will not entertain an inquiry as to the extent of his investigation and knowledge of the points decided or as to the methods by which he reached his determination.

On April 28, 1897, Hannah Rogers and Frank J. Rogers, holders of the legal title to a tract of land in Alameda County,

Page 189 U. S. 120

commenced in the superior court of that county an action in ejectment against Manuel S. De Cambra and others. The defendants answered with a general denial, and, as authorized by the practice in California, De Cambra filed a cross-complaint in equity alleging that the plaintiffs had obtained the legal title wrongfully and held it in trust for him, and prayed a decree quieting his title to the land. A demurrer to this cross-complaint was sustained, and upon a trial of the action, a judgment was rendered in favor of the plaintiffs, which judgment was affirmed by the Supreme Court of California, 132 Cal. 502, and thereupon this writ of error was sued out.

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