U.S. Supreme Court
Chapin v. Streeter, 124 U.S. 360 (1888)
Chapin v. Streeter
Submitted January 4, 1888
Decided January 23, 1888
124 U.S. 360
The owner of an undivided half interest in personal property in possession of the whole of it, is liable for the entire tax upon it, and is not released from that liability by the payment of one-half of the tax upon the whole.
A and B were joint owners of the furniture of a hotel. A carried on the hotel and leased of B his half interest in the furniture at an agreed rent, which was not paid as it became due. The taxes on the furniture being unpaid, A paid one-half of the amount due for taxes and the officer distrained, advertised and sold to C the undivided half of B therein for the other half. A then hired this undivided half of C at an agreed rental, and the rent was paid. B brought suit against A to recover the rent due under the lease from him. Held that A was liable for the whole tax, and being in exclusive possession of the property under his contract with B, it was his duty to pay it, and that the officer was as much bound to satisfy the tax out of A's interest in the property as out of B's, and that the facts above stated constituted no defense against B's action for the rent, nor the further fact that B notified A that if he paid his half of the taxes, he would not allow it in settlement.
This was an action on a contract to recover rent. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.