Bradford v. Morrison
|Bradford v. Morrison
United States Supreme Court
BRADFORD v. MORRISON
Argued: and submitted January 7, 1909. --- Decided: February 23, 1909
This is an appeal from a judgment of the supreme court of the territory of Arizona, affirming a judgment of the district court of Yavapai county, in that territory, quieting the title to several mining claims involved in the action.
The appellant brought the action for such purpose under the provision of a statute permitting it, against Morrison, the appellee, together with Elmer R. McDowell and Thomas D. Bennett. McDowell and Bennett made default, but Morrison, the appellee, as the assignee of Bennett, duly filed his amended answer, which contained a special denial that the appellant was the owner of the property described in her complaint, and he then set up that he was the assignee of one Thomas D. Bennett of a certain judgment, which was recovered in the same court in which this proceeding or action was brought, which judgment was for the sum of $2,730.25, and was against the two individuals, Tom Taylor and E. G. Wager, which was docketed December 30, 1899. The case was submitted to the trial court on an agreed statement of facts, and the trial resulted in a judgment quieting plaintiff's interest in the undivided three fourths of the claim as against the defendants, and quieting appellee Morrison's title as against plaintiff and the other defendants in the remaining one fourth of such claim.
An appeal taken to the supreme court of the territory resulted in the affirmance of the judgment, and the plaintiff then took an appeal to this court upon a statement of facts found by the supreme court.
From this statement of facts it appears that the mining claims in controversy are unpatented lode claims. The judgment in Bennett v. Wager was rendered December 23, 1899, and docketed December 30, 1899. On December 23, the day of the recovery of the judgment, and continuously thereafter until August 27, 1900, the actual co-owners and possessors of the mining claims were one D. C. Wood, the owner of a one-half interest, and E. G. Wager and Reese M. Ling, each a one-quarter interest. It is in regard to Wager's interest in the claims at that time, December 30, 1899, that the controversy has arisen.
On August 27, 1900, Wood, Wager, and Ling, by mining deed, conveyed their interest in the claims to the McCabe Extension Mining & Milling Company, a corporation, and contemporaneously with the delivery of that deed the grantors placed the corporation in the actual and exclusive possession of the claims. The corporation and its assignee, the plaintiff, ever since that time have been in the actual and exclusive possession of the claims, and have performed each and every year since the year 1900 to the date of the findings, which were filed January 23, 1907, annual labor in excess of the amount of $100 per annum upon each of said claims, and the corporation has, during its possession of the claims, expended more than $40,000 in improvements in and on the mines.
Neither Wager, Wood, nor Ling has been in possession of the claims since August 27, 1900, when they conveyed them to the corporation.
The appellant claims under conveyance executed pursuant to judicial sales made under writs issued on a judgment obtained against the corporation subsequently to the conveyance made to it, and appellant is in the present actual and exclusive possession of the claims. Under one of these sales a deed was executed and delivered to her on October 26, 1904, which, it is said, related back to November 6, 1902, the date of the filing of the lien of the judgment against the company. On November 29, 1904, an execution was issued on the judgment in Bennett v. Wager, and levied upon the interest which Wager had in the claim at the time judgment was recovered against him (December 30, 1899), and the sale was made under that levy, December 22, 1904, to the appellee Morrison, and a certificate of sale was issued to him for that interest.
Mr. E. M. Sanford for appellant.
Mr. Robert E. Morrison, in propria persona, for appellee.
Statement by Mr. Justice Peckham:
Mr. Justice Peckham, after making the foregoing statement, delivered the opinion of the court: