Curtis v. Innerarity - 47 U.S. 146 (1848)
U.S. Supreme Court
Curtis v. Innerarity, 47 U.S. 6 How. 146 146 (1848)
Curtis v. Innerarity
47 U.S. (6 How.) 146
Where there was a sale of wild lands in Florida, occupied by Indians, and the purchasers gave a mortgage to secure the payment of some outstanding installments of the purchase money, the fact that the purchasers had not complete possession of the lands is not a sufficient objection to their being charged with interest from the time when the money was due.
They had paid a large part of the purchase money before the execution of the mortgage, without raising this objection, and the parties to the contract of sale knew that the Indians had possession of the lands as hunting grounds.
The purchasers in a former suit averred that they had peaceable possession, and the vendors cannot be held responsible for a subsequent disturbance.
The doctrine of the civil law, viz., "that the vendee is not liable for interest where he received no profits from the thing purchased," applies only to executory contracts where the price is contracted to be paid at some future day, and the contract is silent as to interest.
Nor is it an objection to the allowance of interest, that the purchaser was put to much trouble and expense to obtain a recognition of his title.
The claim to be released from interest, upon the ground that there was no person legally authorized to receive it, is not supported by the facts in this case.
Where the vendor gave a power of attorney to an agent to receive a payment from the purchasers on account, and the agent gave a receipt in full for certain balances by way of adjustment and compromise, and the vendor disapproved of the acts of the agent, the payment is not good, even on account, against the vendor.
The purchasers, by making a payment in this way, upon certain terms which were not within the power of attorney, constitute the agent their agent. For two years afterwards, they insisted upon the binding force of the acts of the agent to the extent to which he had given releases, and only claimed the payment to be on account when the agent became insolvent. It was then too late.
All the material facts in the case are set forth in the opinion of the court.