Hopkins v. Hebard
235 U.S. 287 (1914)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hopkins v. Hebard, 235 U.S. 287 (1914)

Hopkins v. Hebard

No. 30

Argued October 16, 19, 1914

Decided November 30, 1914

235 U.S. 287

Syllabus

The function of a bill of review filed for newly discovered evidence is to relieve a meritorious complainant from a clear miscarriage of justice where the court is able to see, upon a view of all the circumstances, that the remedy can be applied without mischief to the rights of innocent parties and without unduly jeopardizing the stability of judicial decrees.

The relief prayed by a bill of review for newly discovered evidence is matter of sound discretion, and not of absolute right, and even though

Page 235 U. S. 288

the evidence be persuasive of error in the former decree, the bill of relief should not be allowed if it should result in mischief to innocent parties.

Notwithstanding this Court has recently decided, in an action between North Carolina and Tennessee, that the boundary between them is different from that which the circuit court of appeals had previously adjudged it to be in cases affecting titles to land now owned by third parties relying on the decree of that court, it will not now overturn those decisions, as the stability of judgments and the protection of rights acquired in reliance upon them would, under the circumstances of this case, make the review inequitable.

194 F. 301, refusing a bill to review 103 F. 531, affirmed.

The facts, which involve the principles controlling the granting of bills of review in cases affecting title to land, and their application to property the title to which is claimed under grants of different states the boundary between which has long been in dispute, are stated in the opinion.

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