Peirsoll v. Elliott - 31 U.S. 95 (1832)
U.S. Supreme Court
Peirsoll v. Elliott, 31 U.S. 6 Pet. 95 95 (1832)
Peirsoll v. Elliott
31 U.S. (6 Pet.) 95
The complainants filed a bill for a perpetual injunction, and to oblige the appellees to deliver up a deed of conveyance of lands, and which deed, in a suit between the parties, had been declared by the court void on its face.
"The court is well satisfied that this would be a proper case for a decree according to the prayer of the bill, if the defectiveness of the conveyance was not apparent on its face, but was to be proved by extrinsic testimony."
But where the defectiveness is so apparent, the court will not order the deed to be delivered up.
The defendants in their answer insist on their title both at law and in equity, and on being left free to assert that title, if they shall choose so to do. A general dismission of the bill with costs, the court assigning no reason for that dismission, may be considered as a decree affirming the principles asserted in the answer, as leaving the defendants at full liberty to assert their title in another ejectment, and as giving some continuance to
that title. The decree of the circuit court dismissing the complainants' bill ought to be so modified as to express the principles on which the bill is dismissed, so as not to prejudice the complainants.
In addition to the fact, shown by the bill and answer, that the controversy between the parties as to the title to the lands was not abandoned by the defendants, a fact which is entitled to same influence in the question of costs, the bill prays that the defendants might be enjoined from committing waste while they retained possession of the premises that a receiver might be appointed and that an account of rents be taken. These are proper objects of equity jurisdiction. If they had been accomplished when the decree was pronounced, the bill might have been dismissed, but not so far as is disclosed by the record, with costs. The defendants were not entitled to costs.
The facts and pleadings are fully stated in the opinion of the court.