94 U. S. 682; Town of East Lincoln v. Davenport, rd. 801 j Wilson v. Salamanca, 99 U. S. 504; Nugent v.Supervisors, 19 Wall. 252; EmpiTe v.Darlington, 101 U. S. 91; Menasha v. Hazard, 102 U. S. 81; Harter v. Kemochan, 103 u. S. 574: Tipton Co. v. Locomotive Works, rd. 532.
Fraudulent Representations-Property Value. GORDON v. BUTLER, U. S. Sup. Ct. Oct. Term, 1881. Error to the circuit court of the United States for the northern district of New York. This wa.o; an action for alleged fraud in obtaining a loan upon insufficient security. 'fhe decision was rendered in the supreme court May 8, 1882, Mr. Justice Field delivered the opinion of the court, reversing the judgment and remanding the cause for a new trial. The law does not hold one responsible for the extravagant notions he may entertain of the value of property dependent upon its future successful exploitation, or the result of future enterprises; nor for expressing them to one acquainted with its general character and condition. The law does not fasten responsibility upon one for expressions of opinion as to matters in their nature conjectural and uncertain. A statement of an opinion aSRigning a certain value to property, like a mine or quarry not yet opened, is not to be pronounced fraudulent because the property upon subsequent de\relopment may prove to . be worthless: nor is it to be pronounced honest because the property may turn out of much higher value. Whenever property of any kind depends for its value upon contingencies which may never occur, or developments which may never be made, opinion as to its value must necessarily be more or less of a speculative character; and no action will lie for its expression, however fallacious it may prove, or whatever the injury a reliance UpOIl it may produce; but for opinions upon matters capable of accurate estimation by application of mathematical rules or scientific principles, such as the capacity of boilers or the strength of materials, or for opinions of parties possessing special learning or knowledge upon the subject. the case may be different; and for false statements, where deception is designed, and injury has followed from reliance on them, an action may lie. Leslie W. Russell, for plaintiff in error. Harry Bingham and A. X. Panser, for defendant in error Case cited: Holbrook v. Connor, 60 Me. 578.
UNITED STATES v. RrNDSKOPF, U. S. Sup. Ct. Oct. Term, 1881. Error to the circuit court of the United 8tates for the eastern district of Wisconsin. The decision of the supreme court was rendered on April 24, 1882. Mr. Justice Field delivered the opinion of the court, reversing the decision of the circuit court and remanding the case for a new trial. The assessment of the commissioner of internal revenue was only prima facie evidence of the amount dile as taxes upon the spirits distilled between the dates mentioned. It established a prima facie case of liability. and if not impeached it was sufficient to justify a recovery; but every material fact upon which his liability was asserted was open to contestation. The distiller and his sureties were at liberty to SllOW that no spirits, or a less quantity than
NOTES OJ' DEOISIONS.
that stated by the commissioner, were distilled within the period mentioned. and this entirely, or in part, overthrows the assessment. They were at liberty to Ilhow a payment of the tax in whole or in part, and thus discharge or reduce the liability. To the extent, however, in which the assessment was impaired, it Wa$ evidence of the amount due.· It was error, therefore, to instruct the jury that the assessment be taken and considered in its entirety, and that the government was entitled to recover the exact amount assessed or not any sum. A decree in the eqUity suit is not a bar to the prosecution of the action against the principal and sureties ona distiller's bond, in the absence of proof that the assessment which it adjUdged invalid covered the spirits upon which the assessment in this suit was made. S. F. Phillips, Solicitor Gen., for plaintiffs in error. J. P. C. Cottrill, L. Abraham, and C. E. Mayer, for defendants in error. Public Land-Claim of Right to. SIMMONS '0. OGLE, U. S. Sup. Ct. Oct. Term,1881. Appeal from the circuit court of the United States for the southern district of Illinois. Appellant recovered judgment in an action of ejectment on a patent from the United States. Defendant in that action brought suit in chancery to compel a conveyance of the legal title to himself, on the ground of a superior equity, and prevailed in his suit, from which this appeal is taken. The case was decided in the supreme court of the United States on April 10,1882. Mr. Justice Miller delivered the opinion of the court, reversing the decree of the circuit court. The law. encouraging settlements upon the public lands are so indulgent, and so numerous are these settlements, that the weight of the inference in favor "of any claim of right on the part of a settler, whether legal or equitable, against the United States, growing out of the mere possession, is very slight, and a party claiming land, as against a patentee, on the ground of a superior eqUity, has cast upon him the necessity to make clear and satisfactory proof of his superior equity. In all completed sales of the public land, besides the entry in the books of the local land-office, two other documents of superior probative force usually attend the sale, which together constitute the certifi. cate of sale,-the first signed by the register giving a. description of the land, the amount paid, and the name of the purchaser; the second signed by the receiver, which is a. simple receipt for the price; and in the absence of a patent these documents must be produced to establish any claim of right. R· .A.. Halbert and F . .A.. McConaughty, for appellant. J. L. D. Morrison, for appellee. Bill of Review. BURLEY '0. FLINT, Sup. Ct. U. S. Oct. Term, 1881. This was an appeal from the circuit court of the United Slates forihe northerndii;trict of Illinois. A bill of review had been filed in the circuit court seeking to reverse so much of the former decrees of the court in a foreclosure suit as denied the statutory right of redemption given by the laws of the state in regard to land sold under such decrees. .A. hearing was had on motion to dismiss the bill, which, by consent of c.ounsel. was to be treateu as a demunel', and the court dis