Mitchell v. St. Maxent's Lessee - 71 U.S. 237 (1866)
U.S. Supreme Court
Mitchell v. St. Maxent's Lessee, 71 U.S. 4 Wall. 237 237 (1866)
Mitchell v. St. Maxent's Lessee
71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 237
1. A writ of fieri facias, tested and issued after the death of the party against whom the judgment is recovered is void and confers no power on the ministerial officer to execute it.
2. The rule applies where the proceedings are commenced by seizing property under a writ of attachment, under the laws of Florida, as at the common law.
On a proceeding on foreign attachment, judgment had been obtained in Florida, November 12, 1825, against St. Maxent, a nonresident, but who owned certain lands in Escambia County there. St. Maxent died on the 25th day of November, 1825. On the 26th day of November, a fieri facias was issued. The sheriff returned it December 1, 1825, "levied on the land" in question. Then followed a venditioni exponas, but all proceedings were stayed by injunction. Then, on the 21st of December, 1826, a writ of fieri facias against the said St. Maxent was issued, directed to the marshal of the district, and under this the land was sold and conveyed to J. K. Mitchell, or to persons from whom he derived title. The heir of St. Maxent having brought ejectment against Mitchell, the court, on the above state of facts, gave judgment for the heir.
In this Court several questions were raised, among them, whether the sale to Mitchell, under the circumstances above stated, was valid.