Reavis v. Fianza - 215 U.S. 16 (1909)
U.S. Supreme Court
Reavis v. Fianza, 215 U.S. 16 (1909)
Reavis v. Fianza
Argued April 26, 27, 1909
Decided November 1, 1909
215 U.S. 16
This Court has jurisdiction of this case, for, even if the requisite amount is not involved, the meaning and effect of a provision of the Philippine Organic Act of July 1, 1902, c. 1369, 32 Stats. 691, is involved.
The provision of § 45 of the Organic Act of the Philippine Islands relating to title to mines by prescription refers to conditions as they were before the United States came into power and had in view the natives of the islands and intention to do them liberal justice.
Courts are justified in dealing liberally with natives of the Philippines in dealing with evidence of possession. Carino v. Insular Government, 212 U. S. 449.
The limitation of size of mining claims in § 22 of the Philippine Organic Act applies only to claims located after the passage of that act.
Under § 28 of the Philippine Organic Act, a valid location could not be made if the land was occupied by one who was already in possession before the United States came into power, and the claim of one locating under those conditions does not constitute an adverse claim under § 45 of that act.
A right to an instrument that will confer a title in a thing is a right to the thing itself, and a statutory right to apply for a patent to mining lands is a right that equity will specifically enforce.
Although, if seasonably taken, an objection to the form of remedy might be sustained, after trial on the merits, it comes too late.
7 Phil. 610 affirmed.
The facts are stated in the opinion.