1. The court accepts the concurrent findings of the district
court and circuit court of appeals upon the facts in an equity case
unless clear error is shown. P. 255 U. S.
2. Where the facts determine the decision, and where the record
exhibits no clear error in the concurrent findings and the
appellant has not brought up all the evidence, a decree may be
affirmed on motion to avoid the harmful and useless delay of
retaining the case for oral argument. Id.
265 F. 621 affirmed.
] from a decree of the circuit court of appeals
Page 255 U. S. 222
which affirmed a decree of the district court holding Bodkin
trustee for Edwards as to certain patented land. The case is stated
in the opinion.
MR. JUSTICE VAN DEVANTER delivered the opinion of the Court.
This is a suit by Edwards to have Bodkin declared a trustee for
him of the title to a quarter section of land in California. While
the land was public and subject to entry under the homestead law,
Edwards, a qualified applicant, made a homestead entry of it and
afterwards submitted final proofs in due course. Bodkin instituted
a contest against the entry and obtained its cancellation by the
Land Department. The land officers then permitted Bodkin to make a
homestead entry of the tract, afterwards allowed him to relinquish
that entry and make others of the same tract under soldiers'
additional rights of which he was the assignee, and finally
patented the tract to him. During all these proceedings, Edwards
actively asserted the validity of his claim and sought to interpose
it as an obstacle to passing the title to Bodkin. This suit was
brought shortly after the patents issued. Apparently Edwards
himself drafted the bill. The district court dismissed it without
leave to amend, and he appealed. The circuit court of appeals,
while recognizing that the bill was somewhat inartful, held that it
contained allegations which, if true, disclosed a right to the
relief sought. The decree of dismissal was accordingly reversed.
249 F. 562. When the case got back to the district court, the form
of the bill was helped by amendments, but the substance remained
Page 255 U. S. 223
as before. Bodkin answered, and the issues were tried. The court
found that the material allegations of the bill were true, that, in
the proceedings before the Land Department, matters presented by
Edwards which should have been considered were not considered, and
that, in consequence, the title was passed to Bodkin when it should
have gone to Edwards. A decree for the latter followed, and Bodkin
appealed. The circuit court of appeals affirmed this decree, and,
in the course of its opinion, said: "A careful review of the
testimony assures us that all material allegations of the bill of
complaint have been substantiated." 265 F. 621. Bodkin then took a
further appeal to this Court, the decision of the circuit court of
appeals not being final under § 128 of the Judicial Code.
The appellee, Edwards, now moves that the appeal be dismissed,
or, in the alternative, that the decree be affirmed, under Rule 6,
222 U.S. Appendix, p. 10. The appellant, Bodkin, although served
with the motion and supporting brief, has not presented any brief
The motion to dismiss must be denied, and the one to affirm
sustained. The case as presented here turns essentially on
questions of fact. Both courts below, on a review of the evidence,
have found the facts in the same way. This Court, under a settled
rule, accepts such concurring findings unless clear error is shown.
Page v. Rogers, 211 U. S. 575
211 U. S. 577
Washington Securities Co. v. United States, 234 U. S.
, 234 U. S. 78
Wright-Blodgett Co. v. United States, 236 U.
, 236 U. S. 402
National Bank of Athens v. Shackelford, 239 U. S.
. No such error is shown by the record before us.
Besides, it does not contain all the evidence that was before the
courts below, a part having been omitted under the appellant's
specification of what should be included. In these circumstances,
to retain the case for oral argument in regular course would result
in harmful delay and serve no useful purpose.