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U.S. Supreme Court

Missouri Valley Land Co. v. Wiese, 208 U.S. 234 (1908)

Missouri Valley Land Co. v. Wiese

No. 101

Argued January 10, 1908

Decided February 3, 1908

208 U.S. 234


Where a judge of the highest court of a state, in allowing a writ of error, adds to his signature "Presiding Judge, etc., in the absence of the chief judge from the state," that recital is prima facie evidence that the chief judge is absent and the judge signing is presiding, and, if not controverted, the writ of error is properly allowed and the requirement of § 999, Rev.Stat., that it must be allowed either by the Chief Justice of the state court or a justice of this Court is complied with.

The contention in the state court that plaintiff in error's title rested on a patent to his grantor and that, prior to the issuing thereof, the legal title had remained in the United States, so that adverse possession could not be obtained, involves a federal question, and as in this case it was not frivolous, and was necessarily decided by the state court, and such decision was adverse to the title set up under the United States, this Court has jurisdiction under § 709, Rev.Stat., to review the judgment.

The rulings of this Court that the Union Pacific Railroad main line grant, within place limits, made by the Act of July 1, 1862, 12 Stat. 489, and the amendatory Act of July 2, 1864, 13 Stat. 356, was in praesenti, and that, after definite location of its road, the grantee company could maintain ejectment and that title could be acquired against it by adverse possession, held in this case to apply to lands embraced within the grant for construction of the Sioux City branch road, notwithstanding such branch was to be constructed by a company to be thereafter incorporated.

Where lands are within the overlap of place limits of two grants, both of which are in praesenti, and for which eventually a joint patent is issued to both companies, the occupancy of a portion thereof, under a deed given by one of the companies after definite location, and before the issuing of the joint patent, is adverse to the other company, and not that of a co-tenant; nor, under the circumstances of this case, do the acts of such occupant in acquiring title from the United States, under the remedial Act of March 3, 1887, 24 Stat. 556, interfere with his title thereto which had already been established by adverse possession.

The facts are stated in the opinion. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 208 U. S. 238

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