Improvement Company v. Munson
81 U.S. 442 (1871)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Improvement Company v. Munson, 81 U.S. 14 Wall. 442 442 (1871)

Improvement Company v. Munson

81 U.S. (14 Wall.) 442

Syllabus

1. By the settled land laws of Pennsylvania, no title can exist under a second survey unless such second survey have been ordered by the board of property.

2. The mere fact that a second survey was made is not evidence, even after a long time, as against another confessedly first, that an order for the second was made by the board of property and that the order has been lost. And although the loss of such an order may be presumed after a lapse of time, yet the presumption can be made only where the order is shown by some kind of competent proof to have once existed.

3. Where a charge is merely ambiguous, a party dissatisfied with it ought, before the jury leave the bar, to ask the court to make it clear. He should not acquiesce in the correctness of the instruction, take his chance with a jury, and after the verdict is against him, claim the benefit of the ambiguity on error.

In error to the Circuit Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in which court Munson and others brought ejectment against The Schuylkill and Dauphin Improvement Company and two other like companies, all corporations of Pennsylvania, to recover certain valuable lands in the state just named. Judgment having gone for the plaintiffs, the companies brought the case here.

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