Wickliffe v. Owings
THIS was an appeal from the circuit court of the United States for the district of Kentucky, sitting as a court of equity.
It was a bill filed by Wickliffe, under a statute of Kentucky, to quiet the title to sundry tracts of land of which the complainant was in possession, and to which he alleged that he had the legal title. Owings, it was averred, had removed to Texas, and become a citizen of that State; but had visited Kentucky, and set up a claim to the lands, threatening to institute suits against the complainant.
Owings, in his answer, denied the jurisdiction of the court, upon the ground that he was not a citizen of Texas; denied that the complainant had any title to the land, or, that if he had one, asserted that it was obtained by fraud; and alleged, that prior to the institution of this suit, he, himself, had filed a bill against Wickliffe, in the Bath circuit court of Kentucky, and relied on the priority of his bill in bar of Wickliffe's suit.
The district judge, who tried the cause in the court below, dismissed the bill, from which decree Wickliffe appealed to this court.
It was argued for the appellant by Mr. Preston, and a brief was also filed upon the same side by Mr. Charles A. Wickliffe. No counsel appeared for the appellee.
The arguments consisted chiefly in examinations of the testimony respecting the citizenship of Owings, in Texas, and of the various muniments of the title of Wickliffe to the lands; and also of a comparison of the dates of the institution of the respective suits in the state court and in the circuit court of the United States. As these involved no general principles of law, it is unnecessary to introduce them into the report of the case.
Mr. Justice CAMPBELL delivered the opinion of the court.