United States v. Castro, 65 U.S. 346 (1860)
U.S. Supreme CourtUnited States v. Castro, 65 U.S. 24 How. 346 346 (1860)
United States v. Castro
65 U.S. (24 How.) 346
As a general rule, in order to support a title to land in California under a Mexican grant, the written evidence of the grant in the forms required by the Mexican law must be found in the public archives and records, where they were required by law and regulations to be deposited and recorded.
In order to support a title by secondary evidence, the claimant must show that these title papers had been deposited and recorded in the proper office, that the records and papers of that office, or some of them, had been lost or destroyed, and also that he entered into the possession of the premises and exercised authority as owner within a reasonable time after the date of the grant. The possession is an essential part of the secondary evidence of title.
Parol proof of a grant produced from a private receptacle, without proof that it bad been deposited and recorded in the proper office and the loss and destruction of papers in that office, is not sufficient to support a title, even if possession be proved by the oral testimony of witnesses.
The title of Castro is set forth in the opinion of the Court.