Moore v. Greene
60 U.S. 69 (1856)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Moore v. Greene, 60 U.S. 19 How. 69 69 (1856)

Moore v. Greene

60 U.S. (19 How.) 69

Syllabus

In the present case, where a bill was filed to set aside titles for frauds alleged to have been committed in 1767, the bill does not make out a sufficient case, and the evidence does not even sustain the facts alleged. And the disability to sue arising from coverture is not satisfactorily proved.

In case of alleged fraud, it is true that the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the fraud is discovered. But then the bill must be specific is stating the facts and circumstances which constitute the fraud, and in the present case, this is not done.

Where property was sold under an administrator's sale, the presumption is in favor of its correctness, and after a long possession under it, the burden of proof is upon the party who impeaches the sale.

The bill was filed by Elizabeth Moore a citizen of the State of New York, the great-grandchild of John Manton, of Rhode Island, who died in 1767. It alleged a series of frauds, beginning in 1757, when one of his sons-in-law prevailed upon him by fraud to make a deed; then that his three sons-in-law conspired together to have him declared non compos mentis; then that they fraudulently set aside his will; then that one of his sons-in-law cheated his own children out of their share of the estate, and the administrator became a party to the fraud; then that the town council, conniving with the sons-in-law, adjudged the paper not to be a lawful will, and that all the parties fraudulently prevented an appeal. These charges of fraud were made to include many other transactions which it is not necessary to specify. The claim of the complainant was that she was entitled to a share of the lands held by the defendants, and the prayer was that a partition might be decreed.

Hawkins filed his answer, saying that he had purchased property from Samuel W. King, who derived it from his father, Josiah King, who inherited it from his father, William B. King, and that he and the Kings had been in the uninterrupted

Page 60 U. S. 70

and quiet possession of the property for more than twenty years before the filing of the bill, and therefore be pleaded the statute of limitations. He also denied all knowledge of the important facts stated in the bill.

Greene answered and explained the manner in which he had come into possession of the property -- viz., from his father, Samuel Greene who was a devisee of his father, Joshua Greene who purchased it from Josiah King, administrator of John Manton, in 1770, since which time it had been in the possession of the family. He also denied all knowledge of the alleged frauds, and pleaded the statute of limitations.

After taking much testimony, the cause came up for hearing in November, 1854, when the circuit court dismissed the bill with costs. The complainant appealed to this Court.

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