Stanley v. Gadsby,
35 U.S. 521 (1836)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Stanley v. Gadsby, 35 U.S. 10 Pet. 521 521 (1836)

Stanley v. Gadsby

35 U.S. (10 Pet.) 521


A, filed a bill in the circuit court for an injunction to prevent the sale of property by a trustee to whom it had been conveyed to secure the payment of a sum of money borrowed by him at usurious interest. The money borrowed had not been repaid, and the bill sought no discovery of the usury from the defendant, but averred that the complainant would be able to prove it by competent testimony. The circuit court dismissed the bill. Held that the decree of the circuit court was correct.

This is substantially an application for relief from usury, and the consequence of granting the injunction would be relief upon terms at variance with the rule of equity, so fully recognized at this term of the Court in the case of Brown v. Swann, that he who seeks the aid of equity to be delivered from usury must do equity by paying the principal and legal interest upon the money borrowed. The complainant does not offer to do so in this bill. This is essential to every such application in a court of equity, first to give the court jurisdiction and to enable the chancellor, if he thinks proper to do so, to require the payment of principal and interest before the hearing of the cause. The relief sought in such cases is an exemption from the illegal usury. The whole inquiry on the hearing is to establish that fact and to give relief to that extent. Whenever a complainant does not comply with the rule by averring in his bill his readiness or willingness to pay principal and interest, he can have no standing in a court of equity.

This was a bill filed in the circuit court by the appellant against the executors of James Walker praying for an injunction on a trustee to prevent his proceeding to sell certain real estate conveyed to him to secure the payment of a sum of money loaned to the complainant, and for relief against an alleged usurious contract.

The circuit court dismissed the bill.

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