Huff v. Doyle - 93 U.S. 558 (1876)
U.S. Supreme Court
Huff v. Doyle, 93 U.S. 558 (1876)
Huff v. Doyle
93 U.S. 558
1. The Act of Congress of July 23, 1866, 14 Stat. 218, confirming selections theretofore made by California of any portion of the public domain, divided them into two classes -- namely one in which they had been made from land surveyed by the United States before the passage of the act and the other in which the selected lands had not been so surveyed.
2. Where the surveys had been made before the passage of the act, it was, by the second section thereof, the duty of the state authorities to notify the local land officer of such selection, where they had not already done so. Such notice was regarded as the date of such selection.
3. Where the surveys had not yet been made, the state, under the third section, had the right to treat her selection made before the passage of the act as a preemption claim, and the holder of her title was allowed the same time to prove his claim under the act, after the surveys were filed in the local land office, as was allowed to preemptors under existing laws.
4. By a fair construction of these provisions and others of this statute and of the Act of March 3, 1853, l0 Stat. 244, the exception in the first section confirming these selections, of lands "held or claimed under a valid Mexican or Spanish grant," must be determined as of the date when the claimant,
under a state selection, undertakes to prove up his claim after the surveys have been made and filed, and within the time allowed thereafter to preemptors.
5. If at that date the land selected by the state was excluded from such a grant, either by judicial decision or by a survey made by the United States, the claimant may have his claim confirmed.