King v. Thompson
38 U.S. 128 (1839)

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U.S. Supreme Court

King v. Thompson, 38 U.S. 13 Pet. 128 128 (1839)

King v. Thompson

38 U.S. (13 Pet.) 128

Syllabus

A bill was filed claiming a specific performance of an alleged contract to convey a house and lot in Georgetown for the benefit of the wife of the complainant, the complainant having expended a large sum of money in improving the property in the expectation that it would be conveyed as required by the bill. The court not considering that sufficient evidence of an agreement to convey the property was given, ordered that the property should be sold, and out of the proceeds that the advances made by the complainant should be repaid. The property sold for a sum far less than the amount expended. Held that the balance unpaid after the sale, was not a debt due by the estate of the father of the wife, and could not be claimed of his representatives.

In December, 1822, the appellant filed in the circuit court a creditor's bill in the usual form against the appellees, praying for the sale of the real estate of George King, deceased, in aid of his personal estate. It appeared that George King had died intestate and insolvent in 1820, and with the assent of the defendants a decree of sale of his real estate was made in January, 1823. Under this decree, sales were made, reported, and confirmed, and in March, 1831, a final sale of all the real estate was made except a house and lot on Civil Alley in Georgetown, which sale, on the claim of Josias Thompson and wife, was set aside in April, 1831. As the sales were made, audits of the accounts of the estate and the claims were made from March, 1827, to March, 1836. On the last report of the auditor coming before the court, Alexander Caldwell, administrator of Josias Thompson, who had become deceased, exhibited to the circuit court a claim against George King for a dividend out of the assets of his estate, and on his motion the auditor's report was recommitted.

The record made the case of George King's heirs v. Thompson, 9 Pet. 204, a part of this case. Josias Thompson and wife, in the case referred to, had claimed of the heirs of George King, that the house and lot on Civil Alley in Georgetown should be conveyed to them, alleging that an agreement to that effect had been made with them in his lifetime by George King, Josias Thompson having married the daughter of George King, and in consideration of this agreement Josias Thompson had laid out four thousand dollars in buildings and improvements on the lot. The court not being satisfied upon the evidence that a decree for the conveyance of the property should be made, ordered that a sale of the property should be made and that the proceeds should be first applied to repay to Josias Thompson the sum of four thousand dollars laid out on the same, and that the balance should be paid over for the benefit of the creditors of George King.

Under this decree the property was sold, and it produced the sum

Page 38 U. S. 129

of eight hundred and twenty-seven dollars, leaving of the sum expended by Josias Thompson, three thousand one hundred and seventy-three dollars, unpaid.

In April, 1837, the administrator of Josias Thompson claimed from the estate of George King a dividend on the sum of four thousand dollars, the amount laid out on the house and lot, being two thousand six hundred and twenty-six dollars, less the sum of eight hundred and twenty-seven dollars, the proceeds of the house and lot.

This claim was made on the allegation that Josias Thompson was a creditor of George King to the amount of four thousand dollars, by the expenditure of that sum on the house and lot, and that he was entitled to come in and have, on that amount, an equal dividend with the other creditors of the estate of George King, deducting the proceeds of the property in Georgetown.

The circuit court made a decree allowing to the administrator of Josias Thompson the amount claimed by him, and the defendants prosecuted this appeal.

Page 38 U. S. 130

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