Elzaburu v. Chaves,
239 U.S. 283 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Elzaburu v. Chaves, 239 U.S. 283 (1915)

Elzaburu v. Chaves

No. 52

Submitted November 1, 1915

Decided November 29, 1915

239 U.S. 283


The former practice in regard to appeals from the Supreme Court of Porto Rico provided by § 35 of the Foraker Act of 1900, was superseded by § 244, Jud.Code, subjecting appeals from that court to the same regulations as appeals from the district courts of the United States, thus extending the review of this Court to include questions of fact, and § 244 has been repealed by section three of the Act of January 28, 1915, with a reservation of cases then pending in this Court.

In this case, the record discloses no sufficient ground for reversing the court below on questions of fact.

The courts of Porto Rico having held, prior to the decision in this case,

Page 239 U. S. 284

that a judgment in a proceeding under § 395 of the Mortgage Law to establish title was not res judicata as between the party instituting the proceeding and a party opposing it, and having also held that § 395 had not been repealed either directly or by implication, held that such prior decisions had stood so long unchallenged as to have become a rule of property, and should not now be overruled.

A party defeated in a statutory possessory proceeding in an inferior court, which a higher court has already held not to be a proceeding in which the judgment is res judicata, may rely upon such decision and refrain from appealing from such adverse judgment, and bring suit in the courts to set it aside.

19 Porto Rico 162 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the title to land in, and the construction of the Mortgage Law of, Porto Rico, are stated in the opinion.

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