Griffin v. Reynolds - 58 U.S. 609 (1854)
U.S. Supreme Court
Griffin v. Reynolds, 58 U.S. 17 How. 609 609 (1854)
Griffin v. Reynolds
58 U.S. (17 How.) 609
Where a suit was brought for damages sustained by the breach of a covenant of warranty of title to land in Alabama, and the plaintiff, in order to establish the existence of an outstanding paramount title at the date of the conveyance, offered the record of a suit in ejectment against his grantor, in which suit the plaintiff himself had been a witness, this record should have been allowed to be given in evidence without any reservation.
The ruling of the court was therefore erroneous, admitting the record but referring it to the jury to determine whether the testimony given by the plaintiff was material, and if so to disregard the evidence.
In order to show an outstanding title, a copy from the records of the probate court in Alabama of a deed of trust from the original owner of the land was offered in evidence, but no evidence was offered to account for the original. This copy should not have been admitted.
The deed containing the warranty upon which the suit was brought, was properly admitted in evidence, being an original deed, duly acknowledged and recorded.
An instruction to the jury was erroneous -- namely that if the plaintiff had not lost all the land conveyed to him by the defendant, then the jury might allow him the average value of the part lost in proportion to the price paid for the whole. The true measure of damage was the loss actually sustained by the eviction from the land for which the title has failed.
Although the deed of warranty was properly made by the grantor and wife in order to bar her dower, yet an action upon the covenant of warranty cannot be brought against her. She can make no such covenants.
The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.