La Roche v. Jones - 50 U.S. 155 (1850)
U.S. Supreme Court
La Roche v. Jones, 50 U.S. 9 How. 155 155 (1850)
La Roche v. Jones
50 U.S. (9 How.) 155
After the cession by Georgia to the United States, in 1802, of all the territory north of 31° north latitude and west of the Chatahoochee River, Congress passed an act, 2 Stat. 229 confirming certain titles derived from the British or Spanish governments and appointing commissioners to hear and decide upon such claims, whose decision was declared to be final.
In 1812, another act was passed, 2 Stat. 765, confirming the title of those who were actual residents on 27 October, 1795, and whose claims had been filed with the register and reported to Congress.
A grant of land on the north side of latitude 31, issued in 1789 by the Governor General of Louisiana and West Florida was void because the United States owned all the country to the north of latitude 31 under the treaty of 1782. Consequently, no title to land so granted could pass by descent.
But the subsequent legislation of Congress conferred a title emanating from the United States and vested it in the person to whom the commissioners awarded the land.
This title is conclusive against the government, and a court of law cannot now inquire into previous facts in a collateral action with a view of impeaching that title. It is equivalent to a patent.
This was an ejectment brought by Richard Jones and wife, against the plaintiffs in error to recover eight hundred acres of land in Wilkinson County in the State of Mississippi.
The suit was brought in 1823, and in 1825 a verdict was rendered by agreement in favor of the plaintiff, subject to the opinion of the court upon the whole facts in the case. The judgment of the court below was in favor of the plaintiff.
The facts in the case are all recited in the opinion of the court, and need not be repeated.