Smith v. Cockrill
ERROR to the Circuit Court for the District of Kansas.
The suit was an action of ejectment by Cockrill against Smith, to recover the possession of several lots of land in the city of Leavenworth.
The plaintiff claimed title under a sale on a judgment against one Clark, recovered in a State court on the 4th of April, 1862. The sale took place on execution upon the judgment on the 23d of July, 1863, at which the plaintiff, Cockrill, became the purchaser, and received a deed from the sheriff of the lots in question.
The defendant, Smith, also claimed title under a sale on execution upon two judgments against Clark, recovered in the District Court of the United States-one on the 29th of May, 1861, the other on the next day of the same month. And the sale took place under the executions by the marshal on the 8th August, 1861, and Smith became the purchaser, and received a deed from the marshal for the same lots.
Both parties thus set up title under Clark; and as Smith, the defendant below, had the elder title, if there was nothing else in the case, he would have been entitled to recover.
It was objected, however, that the deed to him from the marshal under the sale was void, for the reason that it was not made in conformity with the code of civil procedure of Kansas, which requires an appraisement of the property levied on, and that it shall be sold on the execution for two-thirds of its appraised value.
It being admitted that the property was not thus appraisd , nor sold, the court below held that the sale was void, and that the marshal's deed conveyed no title to the purchaser. The correctness of this view raised the only question in the case.
Mr. T. A. Hendricks and Mr. R. Breckenridge, for the plaintiff in error; Messrs. Clough and Wheat, with an elaborate brief of Mr. Lysander B. Wheat, setting out the statutes and authorities bearing on the case-contra.
Mr. Justice NELSON delivered the opinion of the court.