Romeu v. Todd - 206 U.S. 358 (1907)
U.S. Supreme Court
Romeu v. Todd, 206 U.S. 358 (1907)
Romeu v. Todd
Argued April 19, 1907
Decided May 27, 1907
206 U.S. 358
All the local law of Porto Rico is within the legislative control of Congress, and under § 8 of the Foraker Act, 31 Stat. 79, the local law remains in force until altered, amended, or repealed by Congress or in the manner provided in the act, and cannot be disregarded by the courts.
The local statutory law of real property in Porto Rico, requiring the giving and recording of a cautionary notice of a pending suit in order to affect third parties dealing with the recorded owner, not having been altered, amended or repealed, applies to a suit brought on the equity side of the District Court of the United States for Porto Rico, and notwithstanding the provisions of 34 of the Foraker Act, constructive notice of the pendency of such an action is not, in the absence of the cautionary notice required by the local law, operative against innocent purchasers.
The district court of the United States is not a constitutional court of the United States; its authority emanates wholly from Congress under the sanction of its power to govern territory occupying the relation that Porto Rico does to the United States.
The facts are stated in the opinion.