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ROBERTSON V. PICKRELL, 109 U. S. 608 (1883)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Robertson v. Pickrell, 109 U.S. 608 (1883)

Robertson v. Pickrell

Argued December 5, 1883

Decided December 17, 1883

109 U.S. 608


1. Records and judicial proceedings of each state affecting property or estate within it have in every other state the force and effect which they possess in the their origin, but as to similar property or estate situated in another state, they have no greater or other force than similar records or proceedings in the courts of that state.

2. The probate of a will in one state does not establish the validity of the will as a will devising real estate in another state unless the laws of the latter state permit it. The validity of the will for that purpose must be determined by the laws of the state in which the property is situated.

3. A transcript of the record of a probate of a will in Virginia, sufficient to pass real estate there, is not proof of the validity of the will in the District of Columbia for the purpose of passing real estate there.

4. In order to pass real estate situated in the District of Columbia, a will must be executed as provided by the laws in force there, and its validity must be established in the manner provided by those laws.

5.. Probate of a will in the District of Columbia is evidence of its validity only so far as it affects personal property. As a will devising real estate, the instrument itself must be produced, with the evidence of the subscribing witnesses, or if they be dead, or their evidence legally unattainable, with proof of their handwriting.

6. The plaintiffs claimed as heirs of R. They showed a deed by R to S of an estate in the premises for the life of M, but without covenants by S to surrender to R or his heirs, or as to any further interest in R. They also showed that the life estate of S passed by mesne conveyances to the defendants. Held that the defendants were not estopped from setting up an adverse superior title.

Suit to recover possession of a tract of land in the City of Washington.

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