Snead v. McCoull - 53 U.S. 407 (1851)
U.S. Supreme Court
Snead v. McCoull, 53 U.S. 12 How. 407 407 (1851)
Snead v. McCoull
53 U.S. (12 How.) 407
Prior to the Revised Code of Virginia in 1819, the lien created upon land by a judgment was the same as in England. In both countries, the following rules prevailed
1. That the lien of the judgment resulted entirely from the right of the plaintiff to sue out an elegit and charge the goods and the moiety of the lands of the debtor.
2. That the election so to charge them by an elegit executed discharges from liability the body of the defendant and the remaining moiety of the lands.
3. That the capias ad satisfaciendum executed is, pro tanto, a satisfaction of the judgment which releases proprio vigore any previous lien upon the lands and inhibits all recourse against the goods and chattels or lands of the debtor, with the exceptions of the instances of death whilst charged in execution or of an escape from prison or a rescue.
A discharge under the act of Congress for the relief of persons imprisoned for debt, 2 Stat. 4, sec. 2, did not restore the lien originally created by the judgment and waived by issuing a ca. sa.
In 1819, the State of Virginia revised her code. By a part which went into operation on 1 January, 1820, it was enacted that thereafter the issuance of a ca. sa. should constitute a lien upon lands.
But as it did not relate to past liens, the purchaser of a lien created under the Revised Code had a good title when compared with a claimant under the lien which existed in 1817, but which had been waived by issuing a capias ad satisfaciendum.
After a case had been argued and was under advisement, a motion to permit the complainant to file a further bill by way of supplement and amendment, which would have made an essential change in the character and objects of the cause, was properly overruled in the circuit court.
The facts in the case are fully set forth in the opinion of the Court.