Randall v. Howard - 67 U.S. 585 (1862)
U.S. Supreme Court
Randall v. Howard, 67 U.S. 2 Black 585 585 (1862)
Randall v. Howard
67 U.S. (2 Black) 585
1. The owner of mortgaged land made "a friendly arrangement" with the mortgagee to buy it in, ostensibly for his own use, but with the understanding that he was to hold it for the use of the mortgagor as if no sale had been made. This was done to defeat the claim of a third party, and with that view the mortgagor confirmed the sale. The mortgagee and purchaser afterwards claimed the land as his own. Held that the mortgagor cannot sustain a bill in equity to restrain the mortgagee from selling the land and to enforce the understanding made before the sale.
2. Neither party can enforce against the other a contract made between themselves to injure a third person in fraud of the law.
3. Nor will the character of such agreement be changed by showing that the claim of the third party, whose rights were to be affected by it, was also fraudulent.
4. Where it appears on the face of a bill that an agreement concerning an interest in lands set up by complainant is in parol, the defense of the statute of frauds may be taken advantage of on demurrer.
5. This Court has no jurisdiction on appeal to annul, revise, of change the decree of a state court of general jurisdiction having complete control of the parties and of the subject matter of controversy.
6. Where there is error in the proceedings of such a court, a review can be had in the appellate tribunals of the state.
7. Where the decree is sought to be perverted and made the medium of consummating a wrong, the court, on petition or suppletal bill, can prevent it.
The appellants in this case filed their bill of complaint in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Maryland on the 18th of February, 1859, against the appellee, to which he demurred, and the court sustained the demurrer. The case
came before the Supreme court on appeal from this decree. The allegations of the bill are stated in the opinion of the Court.