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Natchez Insurance Company u. Helm.
in Harcourt v. Gaillard, 12 Wheat. 523, which was founded on a patent from the governor of West Florida, bearing date in January, 1777. It was held to be invalid because it was issued after the declaration of independence, and also because it was a grant made flagrante bello by the power which failed in the
If the land granted had been in West Florida, neither of these reasons could have prevailed, because the declaration of independence did not extend to Florida, and because that province was not at war with Great Britain, and the decision must have been the other way. The land then claimed lies in the vicinity of that which is involved in the present suit. Indeed, the court expressly admitted that if the land was embraced by the limits of Florida, the grant might have been sustained. But it was held that the territory between the thirty-first degree and the mouth of the Yazoo had never been detached from Georgia by any valid act.
The consequence is, that the grant to Campbell from the British governor of West Florida was destitute of validity, for want of power in that officer. It must depend alone on the articles of cession from Georgia to the United States, which provided for the confirmation of such grants.
On the other points I have nothing to add to the view already taken.
21. 1821 d72970
13s 1821 lj 83 260
NATCHEZ INSURANCE COMPANY v. John N. HELM.
The case of Doe on the demise of Helm .v. The Natchez Insurance Company,
8 S. & M. 197, so far as it relates to the construction of the valuation law, and the mode of appraising property levied on under execution, which is at the time under appraisement from previous levies on other executions; and alsu so far as it relates to the sale under the last execution of such previously
appraised property ; cited and affirmed. The Natchez Insurance Company being the owner of some land, the Planters'
Bank and Rhasa Parker having each judgments against the company, the former for $1397, and the latter for $3761, levied executions on the land ;
Natchez Insurance Company o. Helm.
Stanton, Buckner & Co., after the other judgments also obtained a judg-
Helm purchased them, he must refund them the money so paid.
On appeal from the vice-chancery court at Natchez; Hon. James M. Smiley, vice-chancellor.
The bill states that in May, 1841, the sheriff levied an execution in favor of Parker, against complainants, on two lots in the city of Natchez, which were not sold for want of time; and afterwards a renditioni exponas issued. An execution in favor of the Planters' Bank, against the same parties, was also levied on the same lots, in September, 1841. The lots were appraised at $35,000, and not sold because of a failure to bring two thirds of their value. At the return term of the last execution, to wit, November, 1841, Stanton, Buckner & Co., recovered a judgment against complainants, for $16,212, which was afterwards reVersed, but before the reversal execution issued, returnable to May term, 1842 which was also levied on the same lots which had been levied on and offered for sale, under the prior executions. A second appraisement took place, in which the appraisers deducted from the value of the property the sum of $8158, the amount of the two executions which had been previously levied; that is, they valued it as incumbered property. The lots were on this appraisement valued at $10,842 over and above the amount of the
Natchez Insurance Company v. Helm. incumbrance. It was sold to Helm for $7228, and the plaintiffs in execution directed the sheriff to make a deed to the purchaser, who had arranged the amount of the bid with them, and the deed was accordingly made. These proceedings, it is alleged, were void, and passed no title, because the appraisers had no authority to make the appraisement in the way they did, and because the lots were not subject to sale, in consequence of the previous levy. The bill also charges, that when Helm made the arrangement with Stanton, Buckner & Co., he knew them to be in failing circumstances, and they soon afterwards became bankrupts; that no actual payment was made, but Helm either gave his notes, or purchased the lots to secure an amount which Stanton, Buckner & Co. owed him; and in either event he is not a bona fide purchaser, and therefore not entitled to hold the property since the reversal of the judgment; and believing that Helm had not acquired title, they refused to deliver possession, and he thereupon commenced his action of ejectment. In November, 1842, writs of venditioni exponas issued on the executions, in favor of Parker and the Planters' Bank; and in order to obtain a stay on the former, the complainants paid the latter, before the 23d of March, 1813, the amount of which was $4397, which sum they believe was paid by the sheriff to Helm, who had become the assignee of the judgment. On the 7th of April, 1847, Helm became the assignee of Parker's judgment also, and had taken out a venditioni, to sell the lots, although he claims them under the sale made under the execution of Stanton, Buckner & Co.
The prayer is for an injunction to stay proceedings in the ejectment suit, and on the Parker execution, by preventing the sale of the lots, or otherwise proceeding against the complainants thereon; and also, if the purchase of the lots by Helm should be deemed valid, that he be decreed to pay them the amount of his bid, and also the amount paid by them on the Planters' Bank execution, to wit, $4397, with interest; and that he enter up satisfaction on the execution of Parker, so as to discharge complainants from further liability.
On the 8th of June, 1847, the defendant moved to dissolve the injunction, which motion was sustained, so far as to allow Helm
Natchez Insurance Company v. Helm. to sell the lot in question, under the Parker execution, but not so as to allow him to proceed against complainants, on the execution, as to any other property. And he was also permitted to prosecute the ejectment suit to judgment.
The defendant demurred to certain parts of the bill, to wit, to so much as showed the assignment of Parker's judgment to him, that he was about to sell the lot under it; and to so much as prayed that satisfaction should be entered on that judgment; and that defendant, as assignor, might be restrained from proceeding thereon against complainants.
He also demurred to that part of the bill, which stated the levy, the new execution, the assignment and payment by complainants of the Planters' Bank execution; and to the prayer that such payment should be refunded by defendant, because this part of the bill was multifarious, and because the court could not grant relief thereon.
He also demurred to that part of the bill which relates to the recovery of the judgment of Stanton, Buckner & Co., and all the proceedings under that judgment, including the appraisement, the purchase by Helm, the supposed illegality of his title, the institution of the ejectment, &c. &c.; so that in truth the greater part of the bill was demurred to. The defendant answered such parts of the bill as were not covered by the demurrer, the particulars of which need not here be set out.
On hearing the demurrers, the first and second were overruled, and leave given to answer. The third demurrer was sustained.
The complainants appealed, and the defendant took a crossappeal, and the vice-chancellor has certified that he deemed an appeal necessary to settle the principles of the case.
Geo. Winchester, for Natchez Insurance Company,
Argued the case, and cited City of Natchez v. Minor, 10 S. & M. 246; Helm v. Natchez Insurance Co., 8 S. & M. 197.
McMurran, for Helm,
Cited in his brief, 8 S. & M. 197; 3 How. 66; 1 N. Y. Dig. 1020, 1021; 13 John. R. 101, 102; 15 Ib. 395; 17 Ib. 167 ;
Natchez Insurance Company u. Helm. 4 Cow. 644; Cro. Jac. 246; Bankrupt Law, 5 2, 34, 35; 2 Bibb, 204; 4 John. R. 536, 541, 542, 589, 602.
Mr. Chief Justice Sharkey delivered the opinion of the court.
The objects of this bill are twofold; Ist, to vacate a sale of a lot, made under an execution, in favor of Stanton, Buckner & Co., against complainants, at which Helm became the purchaser, and has instituted ejectment for the premises; and if that cannot be done, then, 2d, for relief against an execution in favor of Parker, on the ground that it should be satisfied out of the lot in question, and further to have refunded the amount which complainants paid on an execution in favor of the Planters' Bank, because that too should have been satisfied in the same way.
Rhasa Parker and the Planters' Bank had both recovered judgmients against the complainants. The executions were levied on the lot, and it was appraised at $35,000. Failing to bring two thirds of its value, the sale was postponed. In the mean time, Stanton, Buckner & Co. recovered their judgment for $16,212, which was afterwards reversed, but before the reversal, execution was levied on the same lot which was then under the levy of the two former executions; it was again appraised, and the appraisers deducted from its value the amount of the two executions which were then levied on it, and valued it, subject to the incumbrances, at $10,842. It was offered for sale, and Helm became the purchaser at $7228, and the plaintiffs in execution directed the sheriff to make him a deed, as he had arranged the amount of the bid with them.
The purchase by Helm is attacked on several grounds. It is said that he is not a bonâ fide purchaser, and is therefore affected by the reversal of the judgment. The bill charges that he either gave his notes for the amount, or it was arranged by liquidating the indebtedness of Stanton, Buckner & Co. to him. A discovery on this subject is called for, and Helm answers that part of the amount bid by him was appropriated by arrangement in satisfaction of the indebtedness of the plaintiffs in execution, and the balance he paid them in cash. If he had paid them the money, it would have been the same thing as though