Walden v. Bodley,
39 U.S. 156 (1840)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Walden v. Bodley, 39 U.S. 14 Pet. 156 156 (1840)

Walden v. Bodley

39 U.S. (14 Pet.) 156


There are cases in chancery where amendments are permitted at any stage or progress of the cause, as where an essential party has been omitted, but amendments which change the character of the bill or answer so as to make substantially a new case should rarely if ever be admitted after the cause has been set for hearing, much less after it has been heard.

A decree dismissing a bill in chancery generally may be set up in bar of a second bill, but where the bill has been dismissed on the ground that the court had no jurisdiction, which shows that the merits were not heard, the dismission is not a bar to a second bill.

Where parties by agreement dispense with the usual formalities and no injustice results from the mode adopted, the court should not on slight ground set aside the proceeding.

It is a general rule that a tenant shall not dispute his landlord's title; but this rule is subject to certain exceptions. If a tenant disclaims the tenure and claims the fee in his own right, of which the landlord has notice, the relation of landlord and tenant is put an end to and the tenant becomes a trespasser, and he is liable to be turned out of possession though the period of his lease is not expired.

The same relation as that of landlord and tenant subsists between a trustee and a cestui que trust as it regards the title.

A court of equity cannot act on a case which is not fairly made out by the bill and answer. But it is not necessary that these should point out in detail the means which the court shall adopt in giving relief. Under the general prayer for relief, the court will often extend relief beyond the specific prayer and not exactly in accordance with it. Where a case for relief is made out in the bill, it may be given by imposing conditions on the complainant, consistently with the rules of equity, in the discretion of the court.

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