U.S. Supreme Court
Ehrhardt v. Hogaboom, 115 U.S. 67 (1885)
Ehrhardt v. Hogaboom
Submitted April 22, 1885
Decided May 4, 1885
115 U.S. 67
In an action of ejectment for lands in California where the plaintiff traces title to the lands from a patent of the United States issued to a settler under the preemption laws, oral evidence is inadmissible on the part of the defendant to show that the lands were not open to settlement under those laws, but were swamp and overflowed lands which passed to the state under the Act of September 28, 1850.
It is the duty of the Land Department, of which the Secretary of the Interior is the head, to determine whether land patented to a settler is of the class subject to settlement under the preemption laws, and his judgment as to this fact is not open to contestation in an action at law by a mere intruder without title.