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FRANCE V. CONNOR, 161 U. S. 65 (1896)

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U.S. Supreme Court

France v. Connor, 161 U.S. 65 (1896)

France v. Connor

No. 68

Argued May 2-3, 1895

Decided March 2, 1896

161 U.S. 65


Section 18 of the Act of Congress of March 3, 1887, c. 397, conferring and regulating the right of dower, applies to the Territory of Utah only, and not to other territories of the United States. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 161 U. S. 66

This was a petition for the assignment and setting off of dower in lands in the County of Carbon and Territory of Wyoming, filed April 1, 1889, in the district court for that county, and alleging that the plaintiff, on February 7, 1887, intermarried with James France, then and until his death a resident and citizen of that county and territory; that he died August 21, 1888, intestate, leaving the plaintiff his widow, and having been seised during the marriage of an estate of inheritance in lands situated in that county, and fully described in the petition; that upon his death the plaintiff, by virtue of the marriage, became entitled to dower in these lands, which had never been assigned or set off to her, and which she had never received any compensation or equivalent for, or at any time lawfully released her right to; that on March 16, 1888, he, being insolvent, made an assignment, according to the laws of the territory to the defendants for the benefit of his creditors of all his property, including these lands, and that the defendants took and since held possession of these lands, and refused to assign and set off to the plaintiff her dower therein. The defendants filed a general demurrer, which was sustained, and judgment entered for the defendants.

The plaintiff filed a petition in error in the supreme court of the territory, which, upon the admission of the State of Wyoming into the Union, was entered and argued in the supreme court of the state, and the judgment affirmed upon the ground that the Act of Congress of March 3, 1887, c. 397, § 18, did not apply to the Territory of Wyoming. 3 Wyo. 445. The plaintiff sued out this writ of error.

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