Stewart v. United States
316 U.S. 354 (1942)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Stewart v. United States, 316 U.S. 354 (1942)

Stewart v. United States

No. 848

Argued April 27, 28, 1942

Decided May 25, 1942

316 U.S. 354

Syllabus

1. The findings in this case, supported by substantial evidence, establish that the Mexican grant to Castro, as confirmed by the Board of Land Commissioners, and conveying Mare Island, in San Pablo Bay, California, does not include the large area of tule marsh claimed by the petitioners in this case. P. 316 U. S. 358.

2. Under Mexican law, the ownership of land bordering on navigable water extends to the line of the highest high tide. P. 316 U. S. 359.

3. The decree of the Board of Land Commissioner confirming the grant to Castro and fixing the boundary is to be interpreted according to the common law in force in California at the time it was entered. Under that law, the boundary would be the line of ordinary high water mark. P. 316 U. S. 359.

4. Where a decree confirming a Mexican grant described the land confirmed as "a place . . . called . . . Mare Island . . . , " adding that, being an island, it was bounded by the water's edge, evidence of what was commonly known as Mare Island is admissible not to attack the decree, but to interpret and apply it in identifying the boundaries intended. P. 316 U. S. 362.

121 F.2d 705 reversed.

29 F.Supp. 59 affirmed.

Certiorari, 315 U.S. 791, to review a decree reversing a decree of the District Court which dismissed a bill by the United States seeking to quiet title to an area of marshland lying in the vicinity of the Mare Island Navy Yard.

Page 316 U. S. 355

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