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Hefner v. Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

123 U.S. 747

Hefner  v.  Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

On May 21, 1877, a final decree was entered in that suit, reciting a hearing of the plaintiff and of Bates, and a default of the other defendants, confirming that default, ascertaining the sums due on the mortgage, and adjudging that the mortgage 'is a lien upon the mortgaged premises, prior and paramount to the lien of each and every of the said defendants;' that Bates pay those sums, with interest and costs, to the plaintiff on or before September 1, 1877; that, in default of such payment, a sale and conveyance of the mortgaged premises, or of so much thereof as might be necessary to satisfy those sums, be made by a master; 'and that the right, title, and equity of redemption of each and every of the defendants in this suit be, by a sale of the said mortgaged premises hereunder, forever barred and foreclosed, and the purchaser at such sale shall take the premises sold by title absolute, and such title shall relate back to the date of the execution of the mortgage to the complainant, to-wit, the twenty-third day of August, 1870.' On October 5, 1877, pursuant to that decree, the master sold the mortgaged premises by auction for less than those sums to the plaintiff, and executed a deed thereof accordingly.

In the present action the plaintiff further alleged that the defendants, Hefner and others, were in actual possession, claiming a right acquired from Callanan since the beginning of the suit for foreclosure, and had no right to possession against the plaintiff, and that Callanan claimed some interest in the premises under and by virtue of a pretended tax deed. The defendants filed an answer to this action, alleging that, the land in question being subject to taxes lawfully assessed thereon for 1870 and remaining due and unpaid, the county treasurer, at a tax sale on November 15, 1871, in conformity with law, sold the land to Callanan, and, there being no redemption from the sale, executed to Callanan on December 1, 1874, a tax deed thereof, which was duly recorded two days after, and a copy of which was annexed to the answer; and that the right and title created by the tax sale and deed, and no other, was owned by Callanan at the time of the proceedings for foreclosure and of the decree therein, and had since been conveyed by him to the defendants. A demurrer to this answer was sustained, and judgment rendered for the plaintiff; and the defendants sued out this writ of error.

C. H. Gatch and William Connor, for plaintiffs in error.

B. F. Kauffman, for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice GRAY, after stating the case as above, delivered the opinion of the court.


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).