Sherry v. McKinley
ERROR to the Supreme Court of the State of Tennessee.
This is a bill filed by McKinley and others in the Chancery Court of Shelby County, Tennessee, and for the purposes of the case it was conceded that they were the owners of two lots of ground near Memphis, in that county, prior to the tax sale thereof, June 22 and June 25, 1864, under the act of Congress for the collection of direct taxes in insurrectionary districts within the United States and for other purposes, and the acts amending the same. Tax-sale certificates in due form were granted by the commissioners to Sherry, the purchaser at said sale. The complainants alleged that the sales were null and void, because the said acts of Congress were unconstitutional; that the assessment was excessive; that the commissioners put the act in force before the military occupation of the whole of said county by the United States; that the sales were not sufficiently advertised; and that although the day fixed in the advertisement was June 13, 1865, the lots were not in fact sold until the 22d and 25th of that month. The bill prayed that the sales be set aside. The defendants answered. The court passed a decree in conformity with the prayer of the bill. The Supreme Court, on appeal, decreed that the tax commissioners in making the sales did not follow the acts of Congress in this, that the military authority of the United States was not established throughout the county of Shelby when they entered upon the discharge of the duties of their office; that the sales were therefore void; that the certificates be cancelled and held for naught; that the possession of the property be restored to the complainants; and that an account of the rents and profits be taken. Thereupon Sherry sued out this writ of error.
Mr. William M. Randolph for the plaintiff in error.
Mr. J. B. Heiskell, contra.
MR. JUSTICE STRONG delivered the opinion of the court.