Pindell v. Mullikin - 66 U.S. 585 (1861)
U.S. Supreme Court
Pindell v. Mullikin, 66 U.S. 1 Black 585 585 (1861)
Pindell v. Mullikin
66 U.S. (1 Black) 585
A bill claiming title to and praying for possession of lands will be dismissed if the complainant and those through whom he claims have taken no steps to assert their right for twenty years, the land being, all that time, in the adverse possession of the defendants and their ancestor.
This was a bill in equity brought in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District Missouri by Richard Pindell, of Kentucky, against Napoleon B. Mullikin, Jerome B. Mullikin, Charles B. Wiggins, and Virginia, his wife, John R. Shepley William H. McPherson, P. Dexter Tiffany, Samuel Willi, James Clements, Jr., and David H. Armstrong, citizens of the state of Missouri.
The complainant prayed to have decreed to him fifty arpents of land in the neighborhood of St. Louis, and deduced his title from John R. Sloan, the sole heir and legal representative of one John Sloan, to whom the land claimed was alleged to have been conveyed by David Musick. The defendants had been in possession of it for more than twenty years before the filing of the bill.
John Sloan, the father of the plaintiff's grantor, died in 1818 without having recorded any deed from the previous owner to himself. It was supposed to have been lost as early as the death of Sloan. No steps were taken for forty years to assert any claim under it. According to the allegations of the bill, the representatives of Sloan knew all the time of his title to the land, yet they commenced no suit at all, and their assignee only after a lapse of forty years. J. R. Sloan, the son under
whom appellant claimed title, came of age in 1834, and knew as early as 1838 that Mullikin claimed portions of the tract in controversy. It was alleged that he took professional advice on the subject in 1838, but it was not until twenty years after that time, and twenty-four years after he came of age, that any suit was instituted.