Mercer v. Selden,
Annotate this Case
42 U.S. 37 (1843)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Mercer v. Selden, 42 U.S. 1 How. 37 37 (1843)
Mercer v. Selden
42 U.S. (1 How.) 37
The statute of limitation of Virginia passed in 1735 barred the right of entry unless suit was brought within twenty years next after the cause of action accrued. The savings are infancy, coverture &c., and such persons are barred if they do not bring their action within ten years next after their disabilities shall be removed.
The circumstances under which the defendant held in this particular case, constitute an adverse possession.
Disabilities which bring a person within the exceptions of the statute cannot be piled one upon another, but a party claiming the benefit of the proviso can only avail himself of the disability existing, when the right of action first accrued.
The general rule of law is that there must be an entry during coverture, to enable the husband to claim a tenancy by the curtesy.
The facts in the case are stated in the commencement of the opinion of the Court, which the reader is requested to turn to and peruse before referring to the sketch of the arguments of counsel.
The decision of the court being made to rest entirely upon the statute of limitations, all those branches of the argument relating
to the invalidity of the deed from Selden and wife to Dr. Mackay, on account of its not having been read to her, and of a defect in its acknowledgment, are omitted.