Garrow v. Davis - 56 U.S. 272 (1853)
U.S. Supreme Court
Garrow v. Davis, 56 U.S. 15 How. 272 272 (1853)
Garrow v. Davis
56 U.S. (15 How.) 272
Black, as agent for the owners, contracted to sell a large quantity of land in Maine, which contract was assigned by the vendee until it came, through mesne assignments, into the hands of Miller and others.
Payments were made from time to time on account, but at length, in consequence of a failure to make the payments stipulated in the contract and by virtue of a clause contained in it, the contract became void.
In this State of things, Miller employed one Paulk to ascertain from Black the lowest price that he would take for the land and then to sell to others for the highest price that he could get.
Paulk sold and assigned the contract to Davis for $1,050.
Upon the theory that Paulk and Davis entered into a fraudulent combination, still, Miller and others are not entitled to demand that a court of equity should consider Davis as a trustee of the lands for their use. They had no interest in them, legal or equitable, nor anything but a goodwill, which alone was the subject matter of the fraud, if there was any.
But the evidence shows that this goodwill did not exist, for Black was not willing to sell to Miller and others for a less price than to any other person.
Although Paulk represented himself to be acting for Miller and others when in reality he was representing Davis, yet he did not obtain the land at a reduced price thereby, but on the contrary at its fair market value.
The charges of fraud in the bill are denied in the answers, and the evidence is not sufficient to sustain the allegations.
The appellants were complainants below, whose bill was dismissed under the circumstances stated in the opinion of the Court.