U.S. Supreme Court
Lamborn v. County Commissioners, 97 U.S. 181 (1877)
Lamborn v. County Commissioners
97 U.S. 181
A contract for the purchase by A. from B. of certain lands in Kansas provided that A. should pay all taxes lawfully assessed on them, and that B. would convey them upon the payment of the purchase money. The taxes assessed for the year 1870, held by the supreme court of the state to be valid, not having been paid, the county treasurer advertised, and, in May, 1871, sold the lands therefor, the county bidding them in. In 1872, C., trustee and representative of A., relying upon the validity of the tax, paid without protest into the county treasury, out of moneys belonging to A., a sum sufficient to redeem the lands so sold, and received the tax certificate therefor, which he took in his own name. He also paid a portion of the taxes for 1871 and 1872. The statute provides that, on the nonredemption of lands within three years from the day of the sale thereof for taxes, the treasurer may, on the presentation of the certificate, execute a deed to the purchaser, or refund the amount paid therefor, if he discovers that, by reason of error or irregularity, the lands ought not to be conveyed. This court having decided that the lands were not taxable, C., in 1874, offered to return the tax certificate to the county treasurer, and demanded that the moneys paid by him be refunded. That demand having been refused, he brought this action to recover them.
1. That C. cannot be regarded as a purchaser of the lands.
2. That the payments by him so made, there having been neither fraud, mistake of fact, nor duress, were voluntary, in such a sense as to defeat the action.
3. That the statute of Kansas, as construed by the supreme court of that state, does not, upon the facts of the case, entitle him to recover.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.