Taylor v. Doe - 54 U.S. 287 (1851)
U.S. Supreme Court
Taylor v. Doe, 54 U.S. 13 How. 287 287 (1851)
3 How. 287
Taylor v. Doe
54 U.S. (13 How.) 287
By the laws of Mississippi, deeds of trust and mortgages are valid as against creditors, and purchasers only from the time when they are recorded.
A judgment is a lien from the time of its rendition.
Therefore, where a judgment was rendered, in the interval between the execution and recording of a deed, it was a lien upon the land of the debtor.
A fieri facias, being issued upon this judgment, was levied upon the land, but before the issuing of a venditioni exponas, the debtor died.
It was not necessary to revive the judgment by a scire facias, but the sheriff who had thus levied upon the land could proceed to sell it, under a venditioni exponas, and a purchaser, under this sale, could not be ejected by a claimant under the deed given by the debtor.
It was an ejectment, brought in the court below by Miller, against the Taylors, who were the purchasers of the property in question at a sheriff's sale. The controversy was respecting the validity of the sale, the circumstances attending which are detailed in the opinion of the Court. The following table shows the date of the various transactions.
Crane was the owner and in possession of the property.
September 21, 1840, Crane made a deed of trust to Pitser Miller.
November 17, 1840, a judgment was given against Crane, at the suit of some third person, for $6,000, in the Circuit Court of the County of Marshall.
Upon this judgment a fieri facias was issued, returnable to the first Monday in June, 1841.
December 7, 1840, the deed from Crane to Pitser Miller was recorded.
April 16, 1841, the execution was levied upon the land in controversy. Whereupon Crane claimed the benefit of the valuation law of Mississippi. The property was valued at six thousand dollars, but two-thirds not being bid, the papers were returned to the clerk's office.
February 20, 1842, Crane died.
May 30, 1842, twelve months after the return of the papers, a writ of venditioni exponas, tested on the first Monday in March, 1842, was issued, commanding the sheriff to sell the land.
August 17, 1842, the sheriff sold the land to the Taylors, and on the same day made them a deed for it and put them in possession.
April 20, 1843, Pitser Miller put up the land for sale under the deed of trust from Crane, when Austin Miller became the purchaser, and received a deed from the trustee.
In October, 1847, Miller brought his action of ejectment against the Taylors in the District Court of the United States for the Northern District of Mississippi, Miller being a citizen of the State of Tennessee.
In December, 1849, the cause came on for trial.
On the foregoing facts, which were established by legal testimony, the court charged the jury, that if they believed, from
the evidence in the case, that the venditioni exponas, by virtue of which the land in controversy was sold, and under which the defendants became purchasers thereof, was issued and tested after the death of said William Crane, and without a revival of the judgment by scire facias, then such sale and purchase were void, and conferred no title on defendants.
The defendants excepted and brought the case up to this Court.