French v. Taylor
199 U.S. 274 (1905)

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U.S. Supreme Court

French v. Taylor, 199 U.S. 274 (1905)

French v. Taylor

No. 57

Argued November 8, 1905

Decided November 27, 1905

199 U.S. 274

Syllabus

Where the validity of a state revenue statute itself is not drawn in question, but plaintiff in error contends that he was denied due process of law because state officers acting thereunder did not fully comply with the statute, only questions of local law and fact are involved, and the determination of the state court is not reviewable on writ of error by this court.

It is too late to raise federal question.s on petition for rehearing to the highest court of the state unless the petition is entertained and the point passed on.

This was a suit to quiet title to certain real estate, brought in the Superior Court of King County, Washington, by Sarah Woodward and Sarah Woodward as executrix of Henry S. Woodward, against H. C. Taylor and others. Sarah Woodward resigned her letters as executrix, and John H. McGraw was appointed administrator with the will annexed, and thereupon was made a co-plaintiff. The superior court entered

Page 199 U. S. 275

a decree of dismissal and plaintiffs took the cause by appeal to the Supreme Court of Washington, which affirmed the judgment. 33 Wash. 1. A petition for rehearing was filed and denied. 33 Wash. 11. Henry French was substituted as appellant, and he brought this writ of error.

The case is stated by the supreme court thus:

"Several causes of action are alleged in the complaint. Each cause is to set aside a separate deed to the property in question. It is necessary to notice only the first cause alleged. For some time prior to the year 1891, Sarah Woodward was a nonresident of the State of Washington, and is still such nonresident. She was the owner of lot 8, in block 11, Maynard's plat to the City of Seattle. This property was assessed for general, state, and county taxes for the year 1891, in the name of C. Winehill. It does not appear that the taxing officers knew, when the assessment was made, that the property belonged to Mrs. Woodward. Subsequently the taxes for that year became delinquent, and the property was sold in 1894, under the provisions of the Revenue Act of 1893. . . . The County of King became the purchaser. Subsequently the county transferred the certificate of sale to the respondents, who thereafter obtained a tax deed. At the trial of the cause, the lower court held that this tax deed conveyed a valid title, and dismissed the action. The points relied upon by appellants to secure a reversal are that the property was not assessed in the name of the owner, that no notice of the sale, or of the expiration of the time of redemption, or of the application for a deed, was given to the owner, and that therefore the respondents acquired no title to the land by virtue of the sale and tax deed. "

Page 199 U. S. 276

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