Brewster v. Wakefield - 63 U.S. 118 (1859)
U.S. Supreme Court
Brewster v. Wakefield, 63 U.S. 22 How. 118 118 (1859)
Brewster v. Wakefield
63 U.S. (22 How.) 118
Whilst Minnesota was a territory, the following statute was passed:
"Sec. 1. Any rate of interest agreed upon by the parties in contract, specifying the same in writing, shall be legal and valid."
"Sec. 2. When no rate of interest is agreed upon or specified in a note or other contract, seven percent per annum shall be the legal rate."
Where a party gave two promissory notes, in one of which he promised to pay, twelve months after the date thereof, a sum of money, with interest thereon at the rate of twenty percent per annum from the date thereof, and in another promised to pay another sum, six months after date, with interest at the rate of two percent per month, the mode of computing interest under the statute was to calculate the interest stipulated for up to the time when the notes became due, and after that time at the rate of seven percent per annum.
Although the laws of the territory abolished the distinction between cases at law and cases in equity and required all cases to be removed from an inferior to a higher court by writ of error, and not by appeal, yet such laws cannot regulate the process of this Court, and the present case, being in the nature of a bill in equity, is properly brought up by appeal.
The parties who acquired liens on the mortgaged property subsequent to the mortgage in question were not necessarily parties to this appeal, and if they had appeared to the suit in the court below, one defendant, whose interest is separate from that of the other defendants, may appeal without them.
The facts of the case are fully stated in the opinion of the Court.