United States v. Dalles Military Road Co.,
140 U.S. 599 (1891)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Dalles Military Road Co., 140 U.S. 599 (1891)

United States v. Dalles Military Road Company

Nos. 1218, 1219, 1248, 1444 to 1448

Argued March 8-9, 1891

Decided May 25, 1891

140 U.S. 599




In suits in equity brought by the United States under the Act of Congress passed March 2, 1889, 25 stat. 850, against corporations and persons claiming to own lands granted to the State of Oregon by the Acts of

Page 140 U. S. 600

Congress of July 2, 1864, 13 Stat. 355, July 5, 1866, 14 Stat. 89, and February 25, 1867, 14 Stat. 409, to declare the lands to be forfeited to the United States and to set aside, for fraud, patents granted therefor, the defendants pleaded the issuing of certificates by the governor without fraud committed upon or by him; that they were bona fide purchasers, for a valuable consideration, without notice, and that they had expended moneys in respect of the lands in good faith. The pleas having been set down for hearing, the circuit court sustained them and dismissed the bills, without permitting the plaintiffs to reply to the pleas. Held that they ought to have been allowed to take issue on the pleas.

The act of 1889 intended a full legal investigation of the facts, and did not intend that the interests involved should be determined on the untested allegations of the defendants.

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