Reynolds v. Iron Silver Mining Co.,
116 U.S. 687 (1886)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Reynolds v. Iron Silver Mining Co., 116 U.S. 687 (1886)

Reynolds v. Iron Silver Mining Company

Submitted January 4, 1886

Decided March 1, 1886

116 U.S. 687


In procuring a patent for a placer mine claim under § 2333 of the Revised Statutes, where the claimant is also in possession of a lode or vein included within the boundaries of his placer claim, the patent shall cover both, if he makes this known and pays $ 5 per acre for twenty-five feet on each side of his vein, and $2.50 per acre for the remainder of his placer claim.

Where no such vein or lode is known to exist, the patent for a placer claim shall carry all such veins or lodes within its boundaries which may be afterwards found to exist under its surface.

But where a vein or lode is known to exist under the surface included in such patent, and is not in claimant's possession, and not mentioned in the claim on which the patent issues, the title to such vein or lode remains in the United States, unless previously conveyed to some one else, and does not pass to the patentee, who thereby acquires no interest in such vein or lode.

The title remaining in the United States in the veins thus known to exist and not claimed or referred to in the patent, the patentee and his grantee have no right to dispossess anyone in the peaceable possession of such veins, whether the latter have any title or not.

Page 116 U. S. 688

In such case, the rule which applies to actions of ejectment, and to all actions to recover possession of real estate applies -- namely that the plaintiff can only recover on the strength of his own title, and not on the weakness of defendant's title.

The facts which make the case are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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