Orton v. Smith
59 U.S. 263 (1855)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Orton v. Smith, 59 U.S. 18 How. 263 263 (1855)

Orton v. Smith

59 U.S. (18 How.) 263

Syllabus

Those only who have a clear, legal, and equitable title to land, connected with possession, have a right to claim the interference of a court of equity to give them peace or dissipate a cloud on the title.

Therefore, where the complainant was the volunteer purchaser of a litigious claim, was the assignee of a secret equity for apparently a mere nominal consideration and of the bare legal title for a like consideration, and this legal title assigned to him during the pendency of a suit in chancery in a state court to ascertain the person justly entitled to it, it was error in the court below to grant to such complainant a perpetual injunction.

The courts of the United States should not entertain a bill of peace upon a title in litigation in a state court.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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