Kendall v. Ewert
259 U.S. 139 (1922)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Kendall v. Ewert, 259 U.S. 139 (1922)

Kendall v. Ewert

No. 157

Argued March 13, 1922

Decided May 15, 1922

259 U.S. 139

Syllabus

1. A deed made by an Indian to one who took it as agent for another employed at the time as a special assistant to the Attorney General in suits to set aside Indian conveyances held void under Rev.Stats. § 2078, following Ewert v. Bluejacket, ante,259 U. S. 129. P. 259 U. S. 141.

2. Upon an appeal from a decree of the circuit court of appeals dismissing an appeal from the district court upon the ground that the parties had entered into a valid stipulation for the final dismissal of the suit, this Court, finding the stipulation invalid, may dispose of the entire cause as justice may require. P. 259 U. S. 142.

3. The inference of incapacity for business arising from the fact that a man is generally regarded in his community as a common drunkard can only be overcome by clear evidence of his ability on the particular occasion, when a transaction in which he was plainly overreached is in question. P. 259 U. S. 146.

4. Held, upon the evidence, that a stipulation to dismiss this suit, and a quit-claim deed, both affecting valuable property rights of an Indian, were executed by him when incompetent due to his addiction to drink, and should be set aside. P. 259 U. S. 148.

5. An Indian's deed of his restricted allotment which is invalid because of his mental incompetency when he made it is not validated by its subsequent approval by the Assistant Secretary of the Interior, presumably given without knowledge of the Indian's condition when the deed was executed. P. 259 U. S. 148.

6. The equitable doctrine of relation is not applied to sustain an inequitable title. P. 259 U. S. 148.

7. Rents and royalties accrued from a restricted allotment of land made to an Indian are personal property passing to his administrator upon his death for payment of taxes and charges of administration and for distribution under the state law when no act of Congress controls. P. 259 U. S. 149.

8. A suit begun by an Indian allottee to set aside a conveyance of his allotment and for an accounting of rents and royalties may be revived after his death and maintained by his administrator in respect of the rents and royalties and the costs and expenses of

Page 259 U. S. 140

the litigation, after the land has been duly conveyed to the defendant by the allottee's heir. P. 259 U. S. 149.

9. Where conveyances were set aside because of the grantor's incompetency, held that the grantee must give indemnification for a mortgage by which he had encumbered the title in the interim if it remained a subsisting lien. P. 259 U. S. 150.

264 F. 1021 reversed.

Appeal from a decree of the Circuit Court of Appeals dismissing an appeal from a decree of the district court which dismissed a bill seeking to hold the appellee as trustee for the original plaintiff, Redeagle, in respect of an Indian allotment of mining land and of rents and royalties derived from it. The dismissal in the court below was based on a stipulation made by Redeagle with the appellee that the suit should be dismissed with prejudice, which the court below upheld against the contention that Redeagle, being a drunkard, was without capacity to make it.

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