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Opinion of the Court.

by Schuler's attachment of December 5, 1884, which was levied upon it as the property of Baker. The deed from Baker to Ledbetter, and the conveyance from Ledbetter to Israel, being void as to Schuler, he had the right to proceed to a decree in his suit without noticing the apparent title, which Ledbetter had, of record, at the time the attachment of December 5 was levied, or the title which the latter attempted, after the levy of that attachment and in fraud of Baker's creditors, to convey to Israel. It results that the rights of Thompson under the mortgage from Israel, and under the decree, sale and purchase in the suit brought by him, having been acquired while the land was under a valid levy by Schuler's attachment of December 5, 1884, as the property of Baker, were subject to whatever rights were acquired by. Schuler, as purchaser, under the decree in his suit. Baker being a party to that suit, his interest in the land, levied upon by Schuler's attachment, could not be conveyed by him so as to defeat the final decree in that suit. And no greater rights could be acquired by a purchaser from Baker after the attachment, than Baker himself had. In Tuttle v. Turner, 28 Texas, 759, 773, which involved the title of one who purchased land after a levy thereon of an attachment, the court said: “If he purchased after the appellees acquired a lien on the lands by levy of the attachment, his rights are subordinate to theirs. The attachment lien being a prior incumbrance, he takes subject to its prior satisfaction. Being a pendente lite purchaser, he is affected with notice of the rights of the appellees,” etc. So, in Ilancock v. llenderson, 45 Texas, 479, 48+, where the contest was between the holder of an attachment lien upon land, and a person who purchased from the grantees of the defendant in the attachment, who, it was alleged, had conveyed the land to such grantees with the fraudulent intent to hinder his creditors, such purchaser having no actual notice of the issuing of the attachment or of the levy, the court said : “That a valid levy created a lien on the land attached, and, when properly returned on the writ into the court from which it issued, is notice to third parties, are propositions which it is not deemed necessary to discuss. . It follows that



Statement of the Case.

Mrs. Louisa Hancock [the purchaser after the levy of the attachment] having bought the land under these circumstances, took it subject to the plaintiff's [attachment] lien." To the same effect is Pacton v. Meyer, 67 Texas, 96, 98. See also County of Warren v. Marcy, 97 U. S. 96, 105; Union Trust Co. v. Southern Navigation Co., 130 U, S. 565, 570; Murray v. Ballou, 1 Johns. Ch. 566, 576.

For the reasons stated, we are of opinion that the title to the land was in Schuler in virtue of his purchase at the sale in the suit brought by him, and of the marshal's deed to him.

Judgment affirmed.





No. 75.

Submitted November 5, 1891. – Decided November 23, 1891.

The plaintiff in his bill set up in himself a legal title to real estate derived

from the State of Louisiana to which it had been listed as swamp or overflowed lands; averred that the respondents claimed the same land under certain old French grants which had been recognized by the Land Office as valid; and prayed that he might be declared to be the owner and put in possession of the premises, and have an accounting for rents and protits. Held, that on these averments he had a plain, adequate and complete remedy at law, and that the bill must be dismissed.

The court stated the case as follows:

The controversy involved in this suit arose from conflicting claims of the parties to lands in the suburbs of New Orleans, alleged to be of great value. It seemed from the opinions of the Secretaries of the Interior presented on the hearing, that no regular survey by the Land Department of the government was extended over the city and its suburbs prior to 1871. The surveys previously made were only such as were required to ascertain the boundaries of old grants from the Spanish or

Statement of the Case.

French government. But in 1871 and 1872, under the direction of the Land Department, surveys were extended over the city and adjoining country to Lake Ponchartrain, and township maps of the same were prepared and approved. One of the townships described as township twelve south, range eleven east, disclosed various lands which, being low and wet, fell under the designation of swamp or overflowed lands covered by the swamp-land grant to the State of 1819, and they were listed to the State. Within the township there were extensive improvements, consisting of railroads, gardens, race courses, cemeteries and buildings of various kinds, such as are usually found in the neighborhood of a large city.

When it became known that the lands of the township were held by the Land Department to belong to the State, and, therefore, were open to sale, many parcels were entered by different parties, the complainant in this case being one of them.

It subsequently appeared that certain ancient grants covering the premises, alleged to have been made by the former governments of Spain and France, were brought forward by one of the defendants in this case, the New Orleans Canal and Banking Company, which claimed under them, for itself and its vendees, title to the lands. Proceedings were then taken to obtain a reconsideration of the action of the Land Department, a resurvey of the city and suburbs, and an annulment of the listing of the lands in township 12, south, to the State, as swamp and overflowed.

It would serve no useful purpose to detail at length the various proceedings had under the direction of the Interior Department exercising its supervisory authority over the officers of the Land Department, to correct their alleged erroneous action. They are stated at length in the opinions of the Secretaries. It is sufficient to say that the genuineness and extent of the ancient grants were considered and established. The finding of the lands as vacant swamp and overflowed was set aside, and the listing of the same to the State was cancelled.

The complainant thereupon filed his bill in the Circuit Court


Argument for Appellant.

of the United States for the Eastern District of Louisiana, by which he seeks to have his alleged title adjudged to be valid, and possession of the demanded premises decreed to bim with the rents and profits for their unlawful use and possession. In the bill he detailed the various steps, taken through the instrumentality of the Land Department, to obtain title to the premises. He set forth that by the Treaty of Paris of April 30, 1803, with the French Republic, the whole province or Territory of Louisiana, comprising the lands designated on the official map of township 12 south, range 11 east, had been ceded to the United States; that the lands had not been previously separated from the public domain; that since their cession the United States had exercised ownership over them and Congress had passed several acts respecting them and, among others, the swamp land act of 1819; and that under them the lands had been selected and listed, as swamp and overflowed land, to the State, and he had become their purchaser. He also averred that he was the sole owner of 2295 acres of the lands by his purchase, of which he had received patents for all but 800 acres, and for this balance he had been prevented from receiving patents by the fraudulent conduct of parties claiming under pretended ancient grants. After reciting various proceedings before the Land Department and in the District Court of the United States respecting the said grants, the bill alleged that the Land Department had decided that these ancient grants were complete French grants needing no confirmation, and obligatory upon it so far as to require it to direct the public surveys to be closed on the lands corered by them. It charged that the various proceedings taken by the department in that respect were invalid and unauthorized; and that from the invalidity and unauthorized character of the proceedings. the complainant's right to the lands was not defeated nor impaired. It therefore prayed that the complainant might be declared the owner and put in possession of the premises described, and have an accounting for the rents and profits.

Mr. J. Hard Gurley, Jr., for appellant.

Argument for Appellant.

The facts charged in the bill fully justify maintaining the suit on the equity side of the court. Complainant has not an adequate remedy at law. Although complainant may have a legal title, it is not a complete legal title to all the lands, and he charges acts of fraud against one of the defendants which have prevented and still prevent him from completing his title to a portion of the lands, and which threaten to injure his title to all the lands. This entitles him to the assistance of a court of equity. Boyce v. Grundy, 3 Pet. 210, 215. The multiplicity of suits which would be necessary at law is sufficient to maintain the equity jurisdiction. Crews v. Burcham, 1 Black, 352, 358. At law a separate suit against each defendant would be necessary.

The facts set forth in the bill show that the Banking Company has for fourteen years been harassing complainant and casting clouds upon his title by claiming title under “pretended, false, fraudulent and invalid grants,” and by a continued “fraudulent attempt to manufacture a title to said lands,” has prevented complainant from completing his legal title to portions of said land, and from obtaining the evidences of said title from the officers of the Land Department, and has caused the officers of that department to close the public surveys upon the lines of said alleged grants, to cancel complainant's patents and to declare said alleged grants to be complete French grants, needing no confirmation, in illegal violation of complainant's rights.

To stop these acts, investigate these frauds, ascertain the exact limits and location of the claim of each defendant and compel an accounting, only the equity powers of the court can afford adequate and prompt relief, without a multiplicity of suits and a great expense.

The case of lipp v. Babin, 19 How. 271, chiefly relied upon in the opinion of the Circuit Court, differs widely from the case at bar. In that case there was no array of acts of fraud, no manufacturing of titles, no cancelling of patents, no illegal and conflicting acts and decisions of the Land Department to be reviewed and reversed, no fraudulent acts by defendants preventing complainant from completing his title,

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