Cocks v. Izard - 74 U.S. 559 (1868)
U.S. Supreme Court
Cocks v. Izard, 74 U.S. 7 Wall. 559 559 (1868)
Cocks v. Izard
74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 559
A bill in equity, by the owner of real estate sold at public judicial sale will lie against a person who, at such sale, has made untrue representations, which prevent other persons from bidding and by which he has so, himself, got the property at an undervalue. The original owner is not confined to seeking relief through the summary modes such as motion to set aside the sale, which it was within the power of the court from which the execution issued to grant. Slater v. Maxwell, 6 Wall. 276, affirmed.
During the late rebellion, one Anderson, by a proceeding in what was known as "the Provisional Court of Louisiana" -- a court established by proclamation of the President in October, 1862, when the insurrection which had prevailed in Louisiana, had temporarily subverted and swept away the judicial authorities of the Union, and which, by the terms of its constitution, was to last only until "the restoration of the civil authority" -- brought some sort of suit against one Cocks.
The suit proceeded to execution, and, on execution, the marshal of the said Provisional Court exposed to public sale certain real estate owned by Cocks in New Orleans and worth $15,000. Cocks was a resident of Mississippi,
and knew nothing of the suit, execution, or exposure to sale. At the sale, one Izard, his tenant, who was there, made a bid of $1,500, giving out and letting it be understood that he was bidding for account of Cocks and in his interest. Persons, who were at the sale thus refrained from bidding from a wish not to compete, and, competition being so prevented, the property was knocked down to Izard at the sum bid by him.
Izard acknowledged these facts soon after the sale, and promised to reconvey on receiving the money which he had advanced. He afterwards refused to do this.
Cocks now filed a bill in the court below, setting forth the above facts, that Izard had received in rents, in two years, $2,500; and praying an account and reconveyance.
Izard demurred, and the court below, sustaining the demurrer, dismissed the bill. Cocks appealed.