Santa Fe Pacific R. Co. v. Fall,
259 U.S. 197 (1922)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Santa Fe Pacific R. Co. v. Fall, 259 U.S. 197 (1922)

Santa Fe Pacific Railroad Company v. Fall

Nos. 108, 109

Argued January 24, 1922

Decided May 29, 1922

259 U.S. 197


The Act of April 28, 1904, e. 1810, § 1, 33 Stat. 556, provided that sections of land in New Mexico granted the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad Company might, in specified circumstances, be relinquished at the request of the Secretary of the Interior by the grantee or its successors, and entitled them to select in lieu, and have patented, " other sections of vacant public land of equal quality in said Territory, as may be agreed upon with the Secretary of the Interior."


(1) That a relinquishment of lands at the Secretary's request effected a contract binding the government to convey such vacant lands within the Territory as the company should select, provided only they were of equal quality with the lands relinquished. P. 259 U. S. 199.

(2) That the equality must be determined according to the conditions existing at the time of selection. P. 259 U. S. 200.

(3) That where the Secretary undertook to cancel selections because of higher values of the selected lands, revealed by investigations made long after the selectior, it was an abuse of his discretion under the act which should be restrained. P. 259 U. S. 199.

267 F. 653, 656; 50 App.D.C. 95, 98, reversed.

Appeals from decrees of the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia which affirmed decrees of the Supreme Court of the District dismissing appellant's bills to enjoin the Secretary of the Interior from cancelling selections of public land.

Page 259 U. S. 198

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