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United States Supreme Court

84 U.S. 253

Tyler  v.  Magwire

APPEAL from the Supreme Court of Missouri; the case being thus:

The constitution of Missouri ordains:

'That the right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.'

The code of the same State enacts:

'There shall be in this State but one form of action for the enforcement or protection of private rights, and the redress or the prevention of private wrongs, which shall be denominated a civil action. [1]

'Suits may be instituted in courts of record by filing in the office of the clerk of the proper court, a petition setting forth the plaintiff's cause or causes of action, and remedy sought, &c. [2]

'The first pleading on the part of the plaintiff is the petition, which shall contain: (1.) The title of the cause, specifying the name of the court and county in which the action is brought, and names of parties to the action, plaintiffs and defendants. (2.) A plain, concise statement of the facts constituting a cause of action, without unnecessary repetition. (3.) A demand of the relief to which a plaintiff may suppose himself entitled. [3]

'The only pleading on the part of the defendant is either a demurrer or an answer. [4]

'SECTION 6. The defendant may demur to the petition when it shall appear upon the face thereof, either (1) that the court has no jurisdiction of the person of the defendant, or the subject of the action; or (2) that the plaintiff has no legal capacity to sue; or, &c., &c.

'SECTION 10. When any of the matters enumerated in section six (the last quoted section) do not appear upon the face of the petition, the objection may be taken by answer. If no such objection be taken either by demurrer or answer, the defendant shall be deemed to have waived the same, excepting only the objection to the jurisdiction of the court over the subject-matter of the action, and excepting the objection that the petition does not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action.' [5]

This provision of the constitution and these provisions of the code being in force, one Magwire, on the 18th of September, 1862, filed his petition in the Court of Common Pleas of St. Louis, Missouri, against Tyler and forty-three other defendants, stating that on the 1st of June, 1794, Joseph Brazeau had a grant of 4 x 20 arpents of land along the bank of the Mississippi River, near the village of St. Louis; that on the 9th of May, 1798, he sold and conveyed 4 x 16 arpents, being, the northern part of the tract, to Louis Labaume, reserving the 4 x 4 arpcnts at the southern end for himself; that he, Magwire, the plaintiff, by a chain of conveyances, became the owner of said 4 x 4 arpents; that Labaume, after purchasing the said 4 x 16 arpents, February 15th, 1799, procured an extension of his limits west to the aggregate quantity of 360 arpents, and the same was surveyed to him April 10th, 1799; that this survey was made contrary to the terms of the grant to Labaume, and so that, by mistake or design, Labaume included in the survey of his enlarged grant the Brazeau tract, which he did not own; that on the 22d of September, 1810, the board of commissioners for the adjustment of land titles in Missouri confirmed to Brazeau his 4 x 4 arpents, and to Labaume his land; that afterwards, and notwithstanding the said 4 x 4 arpents justly and honestly belonged to the plaintiff, the defendants and others, in combination and confederacy, procured a survey to be made under the authority of the United States in such manner as to include the whole Brazeau tract in the claim of Labaume, and procured under like authority a patent to be issued granting the land covered by said survey to the legal representatives of said Labaume; that the said survey and patent of the Labaume confirmation were issued and procured by said defendants by fraud, covin, and misrepresentation; that on the 20th of May, 1862, the Brazeau confirmation of 4 x 4 arpents was surveyed inside the exterior limits of the survey and patent of Labaume, and on the 10th of June, 1862, a patent was issued to Brazeau, or his legal representatives, therefor; that each of the defendants claimed an interest in the said Brazeau tract, and was in possession thereof, and had received the rents and profits of the same; that every one of them had notice of the rights of the plaintiff under Brazeau, and that all the defendants had confederated and combined to keep the plaintiff out of possession of the lands claimed, and the rents and profits; that the patent and survey to Labaume's representatives were older than the patent and survey to Brazeau's representatives; that defendants continually assert the validity of the Labaume title and the invalidity of the Brazeau title, and that the said patent and survey for Labaume's representatives, so procured by fraud, covin, and misrepresentation, conflicted with the patent and survey for Brazeau's representatives, and constituted a cloud upon the plaintiff's title.

'Wherefore,'-thus ran the prayer of the plaintiff's petition 'to the end that equity and justice may be meted out to the plaintiff, and that he may be protected in his just rights,' the plaintiff prayed:


^1  Revised Statutes of Missouri, 1216.

^2  Ib. 1222.

^3  Ib. 1229.

^4  Ib. 1230.

^5  Ib. 1231.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).