Davila v. Mumford - 65 U.S. 214 (1860)
U.S. Supreme Court
Davila v. Mumford, 65 U.S. 24 How. 214 214 (1860)
Davila v. Mumford
65 U.S. (24 How.) 214
The statute of limitations of Texas provides in its fifteenth section,
"That every suit to be instituted to recover real estate, as against him, her, or them in possession under title or color of title shall be instituted within three years next after the cause of action shall have accrued, and not afterwards, but in this limitation is not to be computed the duration of disability to sue from the minority, coverture, or insanity of him, her, or them, having cause of action. By the term 'title' as used in this section is meant a regular chain of transfer from or under the sovereignty of the soil, and 'color of title' is constituted by a consecutive chain of such transfer down to him, her, or them in possession, without being regular, as if one or more of the memorials or muniments be not registered, or not duly registered, or be only in writing, or such like defect as may not extend to or include the want of intrinsic fairness and honesty, or when the party in possession shall hold the same by a certificate of head right, land warrant, or land scrip, with a chain of transfer down to him, her, or them in possession and provided that this section shall not bar the right of the government."
And the sixteenth section provides
"That he, she, or they who shall have had five years like peaceable possession of real estate, cultivating, using, or enjoying the same, and paying tax thereon, if any, and claiming under a deed or deeds duly registered, shall be held to have full title, precluding all claims, but shall not bar the government, and, saving to the person or persons having
superior right and cause of action, the duration of disability to sue arising from nonage, coverture, or insanity."
The construction of the fifteenth section is this: that although the elder title was on record, the constructive notice thereof to the holder of the junior title was not sufficient to charge the latter with a "want of intrinsic fairness and honesty," so as to prevent the bar of the statute from running.
The sixteenth section commented on, but its meaning not definitively adjudged. An act of the Republic of Texas cured whatever defects existed in the power of the commissioner who issued the grants to the defendants.
The principal question in the case was the construction of the statute of limitations passed by the State of Texas, which is discussed in the opinion of the Court, and need not be stated in this place.