Knotts v. Stearns,
91 U.S. 638 (1875)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Knotts v. Stearns, 91 U.S. 638 (1875)

Knotts v. Stearns

91 U.S. 638


1. Where, upon a bill filed for that purpose in the proper court by the guardian of infants, a decree for the sale of the real property whereof their father died seized was obtained with the consent of his widow, no inquiry, so far as her rights are involved can be had touching the validity of the sale if made pursuant to the decree, and approved by the court.

2. Where the interest of the children then in being, or the enjoyment of the dower right of the widow, requires the conversion of such property into a personal fund, a child en ventre sa mere does not, until born, possess any estate therein which can affect the power of the court to pass a decree directing such conversion. Whatever estate devolves upon such child at his birth is an estate in the property in its then condition.

3. Under the laws of Virginia, parties in being possessing an estate of inheritance in property are regarded as so far representing all persons who, being afterwards born, may have interests therein that a decree for the sale thereof binding them will also bind the latter persons.

4. The requirement of the statute of Virginia which, as an additional security against improvident proceedings for the sale of an infant's estate, provides that all those who, were he then dead, would be his heirs or distributees shall be parties was met in the present case by making the mother and her other children parties.

6. The title of a purchaser at a judicial sale is not affected by an order of the court touching the investment of the purchase money.

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