Minor v. Tillotson (43 U.S. 392)
THIS case was brought before the court at the last term, on a motion to dismiss, and is reported in 1 Howard, 287.
The position of the case is sufficiently set forth in that report. It now came up on a final hearing.
Walker, for the plaintiffs in error, examined the title of the plaintiffs as set forth in the papers in the cause, and contended for its superiority over that of the defendant.
Webster, for the defendant, referred to the decision in 1 Howard, and said that it was quite evident that there was no error of law apparent on the face of the record. There is no ruling of evidence, no demurrer, no bill of exceptions, no agreed state of facts, no special verdict. Nor is it like any of those cases in which the court has acted on undisputed evidence, in cases from Louisiana, as if such undisputed evidence were equivalent to an agreed state of facts.
The whole case, law and fact, was submitted to the judge, as a referee or arbitrator. The law was disputed, and the facts were disputed; and whether judgment was rendered on the facts or on the law does not appear. The judgment is general, for the defendant. It is plain that this court cannot revise this judgment, without examining all the evidence, plan, depositions, surveys, &c., just as they would be examined by a jury.
For any thing which the record discloses, every point of law may have been decided in the plaintiff's favor.
Mr. Justice McLEAN delivered the opinion of the court.