U.S. Supreme Court
Burbank v. Conrad, 96 U.S. 291 (1877)
Burbank v. Conrad
96 U.S. 291
1. In Louisiana, a conveyance of lands is valid between the parties without registration, and passes the title. The only consequence of a failure of the purchaser to place his conveyance on the records of the parish where the lands are situated is that he is thereby subjected to the risk of losing them if they be again sold or hypothecated by his vendor to an innocent third party, or if they be seized and sold by a creditor of his vendor for the latter's debts.
2. The Registry Act was not intended to protect the United States in the exercise of its power of confiscation from the consequences of previous unrecorded sales by the alleged offender. By the decree, the United States acquires for his life only the estate which at the time of the seizure he actually possessed, not what he may have appeared from the public records to possess, by reason of the omission of his vendees to record the act of sale to them, and only that estate, whatever it may be, for that period passes by the marshal's sale and deed.
This was a suit for partition of certain real property in New Orleans, and was brought in a district court of Louisiana. The defendants had judgment, which was affirmed by the supreme court of the state, and the plaintiff brought the case here on writ of error. The facts sufficiently appear in the opinion of the Court.