Open main menu

United States Supreme Court

25 U.S. 177

Rankin & Schatzell  v.  Scott

ERROR to the District Court of Missouri.

This was an action of ejectment, brought in the Court below by the defendant in error, Scott, to recover the possession of a house and lot in the town of St. Louis. At the trial, a special verdict was found, stating, that in the year 1816, John Little married Marie Antoinette Labadie, who was then seised in fee of the house and lot in question. She died without issue, leaving the husband seised in fee of a moiety of the premises. He soon afterwards died without issue, and intestate. In April, 1821, judgment was rendered in the Circuit Court of the county where the premises lay, against the administrator of Little, in favour of Schatzell and another, for 2,747 dollars and 19 cents. In March following, another judgment was rendered against the same, in favour of B. Pratte, for 1,241 dollars. Execution was immediately issued upon the latter judgment, and the premises in question sold under it to Scott, the plaintiff in ejectment; and soon afterwards, another execution issued upon the first judgment, and the same premises were sold to Schatzell, one of the defendants below, and conveyed to him by the sheriff's deed. Rankin, who was tenant to Little in his lifetime, remained in possession of the premises after his death. and attorned to Schatzell. The question raised upon these facts was, whether the sale by the Sheriff, under the second judgment and first execution, devested the lien of the first judgment? The Court below determined it in the affirmative; and the cause was brought, by writ of error, before this Court. Jan. 15th.

Mr. Benton, for the plaintiffs in error, relied upon the express provisions of the statute of Missouri, to show that the local law made the first judgment a lien upon the land for the term of five years, within which time it was enforced, and Shatzell purchased under it. [a] For the general effect of a judgment lien, he cited the authorities in the margin. [b]

Mr. Talbot, contra. [c]Jan. 23d.

Mr. Chief Justice MARSHALL delivered the opinion of the Court, and after stating the case, proceeded as follows:


^a  Geyer's Dig. LL. Missouri, 264. 267.

^b  1 Johns. Cas. 224. 13 Johns. Rep. 463. 533. 1 Dall. 481. 486. 4 Dall. 450.

^c  1 Term Rep. 729. 1 Lord Raym. 251. 1 Burr. 20. 8 Co. Rep. 171. Cro. Eliz. 181. 1 Salk. 320.

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).