U.S. Supreme Court
Snyder v. Sickles, 98 U.S. 203 (1878)
Snyder v. Sickles
98 U.S. 203
A Spanish grant of land situate in the District of St. Louis, made May 12, 1785, which this Court, in Stanford v. Taylor, 18 How. 409, decided did not, without a survey, attach to any specific tract, was in 1811 confirmed by the board of land Commissioners. The first survey was made in 1834, but was not carried into patent, and on an application under the act of June 2, 1862, 12 Stat. 410, the Secretary of the Interior issued instructions for another survey. It was made, but he decided that no effect should be given to it, as it did not conform to the calls of the grant. In ejectment, the demanded premises being embraced by that survey, the plaintiff, who claimed under the grantee, offered in evidence it and one subsequently made by the surveyor of St. Louis County, Missouri, accompanied by proof that they conformed to the calls of the grant, and were identical. The evidence was excluded.
1. That the survey, having been disapproved by the Secretary, has no binding effect, and that the question of its correctness was not for the determination of the jury.
2. That in the absence of a subsisting recognized survey, the grant not having been confirmed by ascertained boundaries specifically set forth in the order of the board, so that the tract can be located without a survey, the plaintiff cannot recover.
3. That the Act of June 6, 1874, 18 Stat. part 3, 62, entitled "An Act to obviate the necessity of issuing patents for certain private land claims in the State of Missouri, and for other purposes," applies only to cases where the party interested is by law entitled to a patent.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.