Shearman v. Irvine's Lessee
8 U.S. 367 (1808)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Shearman v. Irvine's Lessee, 8 U.S. 4 Cranch 367 367 (1808)

Shearman v. Irvine's Lessee

8 U.S. (4 Cranch) 367

Syllabus

In this case it was decided:

The act of limitations of Georgia does not require an entry into lands within seven years after the title accrued unless there be some adversary possession or title to be defeated by such entry.

Error to the Circuit Court for the District of Georgia in an action of ejectment brought on 15 October, 1804, by Irvine's lessee against Shearman, for a tract of land in Camden County, in the State of Georgia.

The defendant below took a bill of exceptions to the refusal of the court to nonsuit the plaintiff on the trial, because he had not proved

"an entry within seven years after the title of the grantees accrued, or any entry by either of the heirs or persons claiming under the grantees within seven years after their titles respectively accrued."

The lessor of the plaintiff had produced in evidence two grants from the Province of Georgia, in 1766, to Alexander Baillie, under whom he claimed title by descent, and whose heir at law he had proved himself to be.

There was no evidence of title, or even of adverse possession on the part of the defendant, before the bringing of the suit, other than the averment of ouster, in the declaration, which was laid on 10 September, 1804, nor any evidence of title out of the lessor of the plaintiff.

In support of his motion for a nonsuit, the defendant relied on the act of limitations of Georgia, passed in the year 1767, by which it is enacted

"That all writs of formedon in descender, remainder, and reverter of any lands, &c., or any other writ, suit or action, whatsoever hereafter to be sued or brought by occasion, or means of any title heretofore accrued, happened, or fallen, or which may hereafter descend, happen, or fall, shall be sued or taken within seven years next after the passing of this act, or after the title and cause of action shall or

Page 8 U. S. 368

may descend or accrue to the same, and at no time after the said seven years. And that no person or persons that now hath, or have any right or title of entry into any lands, &c., shall at any time hereafter make any entry, but within seven years next after the passing of this act, or after his or their right or title, shall or may descend or accrue to the same, and in default thereof, such person so not entering, and their heirs, shall be utterly excluded and disabled from such entry after to be made."

The verdict and judgment below, being against the defendant, he sued out his writ of error.

Page 8 U. S. 369

2d. The statute gives remedy by ejectment within seven years after the cause of action accrued. In this case no cause of action accrued till the 10th of September, 1804, when the plaintiff's possession was disturbed. So long as it remained undisturbed he could not bring suit.

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