Mattingly v. Boyd

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Mattingly v. Boyd by John Catron
Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

61 U.S. 128

Mattingly  v.  Boyd

THIS was an appeal from the Circuit Court of the United States for the district of West Tennessee.

The bill was filed by Sarah Ann Thorp, but in the course of proceedings her marriage with J. M. Mattingly was suggested, and the suit thereafter conducted in the names of Mattingly and wife.

The case is stated in the opinion of the court.

It was argued by Mr. Robinson, no counsel appearing for the appellee.

Mr. Robinson made the following points:

I. That if, when this suit was brought, Bylen had been alive and a citizen of Tennessee, and a party defendant, the plaintiff would not have been barred from proceeding against him by the statute of 21, Jac. 1, ch. 16, sec. 3, or by the Tennessee statute of 1715 taken from it, or by any other statute of that State. 1. Because, by the appointment of Bylen as guardian, an express trust was created, and the statute of limitations is no bar in the case of such express trust. (Pinkerton, &c., v. Walker and wife, 3 Hay., 221-'2; Bryant v. Pucket, ib., 252-'3; Parson, &c., v. Ivey, 1 Yer., 297; Armstrong v. Campbell, 3 Yer., 201; McDonald v. McDonald, 8 ib., 148; Smart and wife v. Waterhouse, 10 ib., 104; Porter v. Porter, 3 Humph., 586.) 2. Because the statute of 1715 does not bar actions of debt generally, but those only which are brought for arrearages for rent; (Kirkman v. Hamilton, &c., 6 Pet., 23; Tisdale v. Munroe, 3 Yer., 222;) and even if the plaintiff came within the 5th section, she comes within the disabilities provided for by the 9th section. 3. Because no statute of limitations in force in Tennessee bars an action on a specialty; neither such as Bylen gave when he qualified as guardian, nor such as was taken under the decrees of the Court of Chancery at Richmond. (Lawrence v. Bridleman, 7 Yer., 107; Hay v. Lea, 8 ib., 89; Rice v. Alley, 1 Sneed, 52;) and even if there were any statute of Tennessee prescribing a certain term of years within which an action must be commenced on such a bond as that, (pp. 36-'7,) the defendant does not show that such term of years has elapsed since the plaintiff married or attained the age of twenty-one years.

II. That supposing the plaintiff has a right to maintain a suit against Bylen or his representative for the money mentioned in said bond and the interest thereof, the right of action of Bylen against David H. Boyd, for the money received by the latter as agent, would not be barred by the time which has elapsed since Boyd received the money. For whether the attachment was right or wrong, Boyd claimed to hold and was allowed to hold the money pending the attachment, and is bound to answer for it when the attachment was terminated.

III. That seeing, if the plaintiff was to have a decree against Bylen, the latter would be entitled to a decree against Boyd, the proper course of equity is to decree immediately for the plaintiffs, against the administrator of Boyd-the party ultimately responsible. (Garnett, &c., v. Macon, &c., 6 Call, 349, and other cases cited in 2 Rob. Pract., 395-'8, old ed.)

IV. That the decree should be for $1,112.82, with interest from the 26th of October, 1826, (p. 32,) and the costs of this suit.

Mr. Justice CATRON delivered the opinion of the court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).