Where a complainant filed a bill on the equity side of the
circuit court for an injunction to prevent the sale of slaves which
had been taken in execution as the property of another person, the
evidence shows that they were the property of the complainant, and
the circuit court was directed to make the injunction
Junius Amis filed his bill under the following
The respondent David Myers, having obtained a judgment against
William D. Amis, issued execution thereon and caused to be seized
seven slaves. The complainant, Junius Amis, thereupon filed his
bill claiming these slaves as his property and praying an
injunction to arrest the sale of them. He made David Myers and W.
F. Wagner, the marshal, parties defendant to the bill. The
injunction was afterwards granted.
David Myers appeared and filed his answer. He admitted the
issuance of the execution as alleged, and he admitted the marshal's
seizure of the property as alleged and the advertisement for sale
under the process, but he denied the complainant's title and denied
all interest in him, legal or equitable, concerning the said
slaves. And the defendant further charged that these slaves were
purchased by William D. Amis of Nathaniel Hill in New Orleans for
the sum of five thousand dollars; that they were delivered to him
and taken by him to the plantation on which he resided, in the
Parish of Madison, where they remained until the levy
The circuit court, upon the final hearing upon bill, answer,
depositions, and proofs, dissolved the injunction and dismissed the
bill with costs. The complainant appealed to this Court, and,
having died, his executor and executrix were made parties.
MR. JUSTICE CAMPBELL delivered the opinion of the Court.
The plaintiff filed his bill in the Circuit Court of the United
States for the Eastern district of Louisiana, to restrain the sale
of certain slaves taken in execution of a judgment of that court in
favor of the defendant against William D. Amis.
Page 57 U. S. 493
The case of the plaintiff is that the slaves are his lawful
property, and are not subject to the execution of the defendant.
The defendant denies this allegation and insists that the property
in the slaves is vested in his debtor.
The evidence shows that the slaves were purchased in New Orleans
by the defendant in the execution. He provided the purchase money
by procuring the acceptance and discount of a draft at thirty days
date, by a mercantile firm upon the promise of sending funds for
its payment at its maturity. He was disabled from doing this by the
occurrence of facts that are detailed in the evidence, and the
plaintiff, for his relief, caused the draft to be paid by his own
factor, and agreed to take the slaves as his property.
The bill of sale, given to the defendant in execution, did not
contain the name of the vendee, but a blank space was left for the
insertion of the name. When this arrangement took place, the
plaintiff's name was inserted and the paper given to him. The
slaves have been at his plantation, and although William D. Amis
resides there, no act of mastership is shown, and he denies having
any interest in the slaves.
We think this testimony establishes the case of the
It is proper to notice that this case is not one of equitable
cognizance. The plaintiff had a clear and adequate remedy at law,
under the Code of Practice of Louisiana. C.P. 298, § 7.
It is not usual for this Court to take an exception of this
nature on its own motion and where no objection has been made by
the defendant; but this case is one so clearly beyond the limits of
the equitable jurisdiction of the circuit court, that the fact is
noticed that it may not serve as a precedent.
The decree of the circuit court is reversed, and the cause
remanded, with directions to enter a decree to perpetuate the
This cause came on to be heard on the transcript of the record
from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern
District of Louisiana, and was argued by counsel. On consideration
whereof it is now here ordered, adjudged, and decreed by this Court
that the decree of the said circuit court in this cause be, and the
same is hereby reversed with costs, and that this cause be, and the
same is hereby remanded to the said circuit court, with directions
to perpetuate the injunction granted in this cause.