United States v. Coronado Beach Co. - 255 U.S. 472 (1921)
U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. Coronado Beach Co., 255 U.S. 472 (1921)
United States v. Coronado Beach Company
Nos. 524, 525
Argued March 1, 2, 1921
Decided March 28, 1921
255 U.S. 472
1. The fifth section of the Mexican Colonization Law of August 18, 1824, which declares the right of the federal government, for the defense or security of the nation, to make use of lands for the purpose of constructing warehouses, arsenals, and other public edifices, cannot be construed as reserving a power of expropriation without compensation over land granted under the act to a Mexican citizen. P. 255 U. S. 485. Arguello v. United States, 18 How. 539.
2. The title to tide and submerged lands acquired by the State of California upon her creation was subject to prior Mexican grants, and subject to the jurisdiction of the district court, under the Private Land Claims Act of March 3, 1851, to determine whether such lands, in any case before it, had been granted by the prior sovereignty. P. 255 U. S. 487.
3. A decree of the district court construing the boundary calls of a grant as including tide and overflowed lands adjacent to the granted upland, and confirming it accordingly, was a valid exercise of the court's jurisdiction, even if the construction was erroneous, and is not subject to collateral attack upon the ground that the Mexican documents, correctly interpreted, confined the grant to the shoreline. P. 255 U. S. 487.
4. In a suit by the United States to condemn rights deraigned under a Mexican grant confirmed, surveyed, and patented under the Act of March 3, 1851, supra, in which the government claimed that adjacent tide and overflowed lands, included in the survey and patent, were not in the original grant or the confirmatory decree, and did not pass, held that the confirmation and patent were conclusive, and that the Mexican map of the boundaries, which, with the other documents of the grant, was referred to in the decree of the district court as defining it, was irrelevant. Pp. 255 U. S. 487-488.
5. Held, further, that the patent could not be collaterally impeached by showing from the field notes that the line including the tide and
submerged lands was not surveyed, and that, considered as a direct attack, the suit was barred by the limitation Act of March 3, 1891. P. 255 U. S. 488.
6. An expert witness to value in a condemnation case used maps and drawings to illustrate his conception of the possible uses of the land. Held that, if the plan so portrayed was remote and speculative, the objection went to the weight of his testimony, and not to such use of the maps and drawings. P. 255 U. S. 488.
7. Under the Act of July 27, 1917, c. 42, 40 tat. 247, providing for the taking of the "whole of North Island" and for "the determination and appraisement of any rights private parties may have in said island," and under the bill in this case following the act, the government took not merely the upland, but the adjacent tide and overflowed land as well. P. 255 U. S. 489.
274 F. 230 affirmed.
The cases are stated in the opinion.