Mackall v. Mackall, 135 U.S. 167 (1890)
U.S. Supreme CourtMackall v. Mackall, 135 U.S. 167 (1890)
Mackall v. Mackall
Argued and submitted April 21, 1890
Decided April 21, 1890
135 U.S. 167
APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT
OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
A bill in equity was filed to set aside a deed made to one of his sons by the grantor as made under undue influence, and to affirm the validity of a will executed by that grantor a short time before the making of the deed. A decree was entered affirming the deed as to a part of the property conveyed by it as a confirmation of a previously acquired equitable title and setting it aside as to the remainder. The plaintiffs appealed; the defendant took no appeal. Held that although the decree was apparently incongruous in supporting the deed as to a part and setting it aside as to the remainder on a bill charging undue influence, yet as no appeal had been taken by the defendant, the Court would look into the merits, and that, whatever criticism might be made upon its form, the decree was substantially right.
When a husband and wife separate, and one son remains with the father, taking his part, sharing his confidence and affection, and assisting him in his affairs, and the other children go with the mother, taking her part in the family differences, and this state of things continues for years, until terminated by the death of the father, it is natural and reasonable that the father, in disposing of his estate, should desire to specially provide for the son who remained with him and took his part, and a deed made by him with this object, and under the natural influences springing from such relationship will be sustained unless it be made further to appear that the son practiced upon the father imposition, fraud, importunity, duress, or something of that nature in order to secure its execution.