This case is reversed because the state court failed to give due
faith and credit to the decree of this Court in Homestead Co.
v. Valley Railroad,
17 Wall. 153.
This was an action to recover the amount of taxes paid on real
estate in Iowa under circumstances similar in the main to those
described in Stryker v. Goodnow, ante, 123 U. S. 527
This cause was argued with that cause. The case is stated in the
opinion of the Court.
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WAITE delivered the opinion of the Court.
This is another suit brought by Edward K. Goodnow, assignee of
the Iowa Homestead Company, to recover taxes paid on "Des Moines
River Lands" for the years 1864 to 1871, both inclusive. For a
general statement of the facts, reference is made to Stryker v.
Crane, ante, 123 U. S. 527
Plumb, the plaintiff in error, was defendant below, and set up the
prior adjudication in the suit of Homestead
Company v. Valley Railroad,
17 Wall. 153, as a bar
to the action. This defense was overruled, and a judgment given
against him on the ground that he was not a party to that suit.
Goodnow v. Plumb,
64 Ia. 672. The judgment was not only
against Plumb, personally, but it was made a special lien on the
lands, which were the subject of taxation, because he was the
actual owner at the time of the levy. The case was treated in all
material respects the same as that of Litchfield's
Administrator v. Crane, ante, 123 U. S. 549
this there was error, in our opinion.
Page 123 U. S. 561
Edward Wade was a party to the suit as the apparent owner of the
lands now in question, and which were properly described in the
bill and included in the litigation. The record in this case shows
that the lands were conveyed by the navigation and railroad company
to Plumb in 1859, and he, in 1861, conveyed them to Wade, in trust
as security for a debt he owed a bank. This deed was duly recorded
in the proper recording office. In 1865, the lands were sold by
Wade under his trust and conveyed to Edward Wesley for the sole use
and benefit of Plumb. This deed was not put on record before the
suit of the Homestead Company was begun. As soon as Plumb heard of
the suit, he employed counsel and had an answer filed in the name
of Wade setting up a defense to the claim of the company and
asserting that the superior title was in those who held under the
river grant. He paid his proportion of the expenses of the
litigation and controlled the defense so far as Wade was concerned.
His interests in the suit were properly represented by Wade, whom
he allowed to appear on the records of the county as the real owner
of the lands. If there had been a decree against Wade for the taxes
and a lien therefor established on the lands, he would have been
bound, and could not have resisted the enforcement of the lien. So
too, if a personal decree had been rendered against Wade for the
money, it would have been conclusive in an action by Wade to
recover from him money paid for his use in satisfaction of the
decree. He was bound because he was represented in the suit by
Wade, under whom he claimed. This case is the converse of that of
Litchfield v. Goodnow, ante, 123 U. S. 549
There, Mrs. Litchfield was not represented in the suit by anyone
who was a party, and therefore she could not claim the benefit of
the decree. Here, Plumb was represented by Wade, and he stands,
consequently, as if he had been himself a party by name.
There were other questions in the case that might have been
considered by the court below, but as they were not and the
decision was put entirely on the ground that Plumb was not a party
to the decree which was pleaded in bar, we need not pass upon them
Page 123 U. S. 562
Because, therefore, the court failed to give due faith and
credit to the decree of the court which was pleaded in bar,
We reverse the judgment and remand the cause for further
proceeding not inconsistent with this opinion.