Sheirburn v. De Cordova - 65 U.S. 423 (1860)
U.S. Supreme Court
Sheirburn v. De Cordova, 65 U.S. 24 How. 423 423 (1860)
Sheirburn v. De Cordova
65 U.S. (24 How.) 423
By a statute of Texas, actions of ejectment, trespass to try title &c., can be maintained upon certificates for head rights or other equitable titles.
But this Court has decided that in the courts of the United States, suits for the recovery of lands can only be maintained upon a legal title.
A plaintiff in the court below who had nothing more than an incipient equity could not, therefore, maintain his action.
The bill of exceptions contained the evidence of the title of Sheirburn, the plaintiff, when the defendants objected to the admissibility of said locations and entries because the same were vague, uncertain, and indefinite and also because surveys thereon were not returned to the General Land Office, but the court overruled said objections and the defendants excepted thereto. The plaintiffs here closed.
The objection made in this Court, viz., that the plaintiff could not maintain the suit upon a head right in the court of the United States, did not appear to have been made upon the trial, but the question seemed to turn upon the validity of the title of the defendants, which was sustained, and upon that ruling the plaintiff brought the case up to this Court.