Leffingwell v. Warren
67 U.S. 599 (1862)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Leffingwell v. Warren, 67 U.S. 2 Black 599 599 (1862)

Leffingwell v. Warren

67 U.S. (2 Black) 599

Syllabus

1. The courts of the United States, in absence of legislation upon the subject by Congress, recognize the statutes of limitation of the several states, and give them the same construction and effect as that are given by the local tribunals. They are a rule of decision under the 34th section of the Judiciary Act of 1798.

2. The construction given to a state statute by the highest judicial tribunal of such state, is regarded as a part of the statute, and is as binding on the courts of the United States as the text.

3. If the highest judicial tribunal of a state adopt new views as to the proper construction of such a statute and reverse its former decisions, this Court will follow the latest settled adjudications.

4. The lapse of the time given by statute for bringing an ejectment not only bars the remedy, but extinguishes the right and vests a perfect title in the adverse holder.

5. The statute of Wisconsin limiting the time within which suit for the recovery of lands sold for taxes must be brought begins to run from the time of the recording of the tax deed, whether possession has or has not been taken by the purchaser.

6. It is immaterial whether the sale and the deed be void or valid; it is sufficient that a sale has been made and the deed recorded, to bring the statute into activity, and after the lapse of the period limited, to entitle the purchaser, and those claiming under him, to its protection.

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