FEDERAL REPORTER, vol. 51.
it is· not within the province of a court of equity to act as a court of review.as iespects alleged errOrS of a court oflaw. Tilton v. Cofield, 93 U. S. 163;!' Nor does it make any difference that there is here involved a federal question, for the decision olthe court of errors and appeals upon lmchquestion is reviewable only by the supreme court of the United States; The motion for an injunction must be denied. But we are not prepared to say that this bill may not be available to the complainant to regulate the mutual use of the premises by the two railroad companies intheexereise of their respective franchises, and the motion to dismiss wHlbedenied. And now, July 12, 1892, the motion for an injunctIOn is ro;v,erruled j and the restraining order is dissolved. The motion to dismiss bill is denied.
MARR et al.
(O£rcuit Court, D. Minnesota. 1892.)
, ,of'sllcqcontract is vague, uncertain, and fragmentary, will not be enforced 20 years , atter the alleged date thereof. lind when the relation of the parties and surround" rebut the presumption of the existence of such contract. pertormance of a contract for the sale of land rests in the discretion of ,thebl>iIr1l, and will not tie decreed when it would work a hardship or injustice to parties, in SUch a case, may be left to their remedies at law.
"'.' Sl;leCiftc P!lrformanceof an alleged oral contract to convey land, when the proot
8·. li\.pI;&....p,:!"ROVEMENTS-EQUlTJES, , " 'De':fElndant bought a farm in order to secure a home for her indigent brother and 'h'isf&mily.taking the deed in her own name. He took possession. and lived thereon " Y,ears, un-til, hi!!, making some improvements, but in the meau time advanced hhn money far exceeding the value thereof. Hel,d, in a suit , . widow for specUi<r: performance 9f an alleged oral contraot to sell the farm to deceased, that there was no equity arising in complainant's favor because of the improy;ements. _, , , " 'VEl!irvok'l.Nn 'PI'IRcnASiIlR-'"Ta:E -CONTRACT-PROPOSITION AND ACCEPTANCE. offer of sale oVand standll :fo,r 2() years, and until after the death of, the Var,ty to 'whom it is made, compliance with its terms, the Widow and sole aeviseeof such party cannot accept the proposition, and offer to perform it, and,tllereby make a contract binding upon the proposer.
In Bill by Mary Marr, and Mary Jane :Marr as executrix; ,of the estate of Dennis Washington Marr. deceased, against Charlotte R.ijhaw, to enforce the specific performance of an oral contract to convev land. Bill dismissed. Kneeland, for. complainants. ,Lightner, for defendant. .CircuitJudge, and NELSON, District Judge. SANBORN, Circuit This is a suit inequity to enforce the to convey a tract of about 170 acres specific performance of a ofland near. the city of¥inneapolis, brought by Mary Jane Marr, who
MARR V. SHAW.
is the widow, sole devisee, and sole executrix of the last will of Dennis W. Marr, deceased. The bill alleges that on the 14th day of November, A. D. 1866, the defendapt, who had just purcha::ed the land for $6,200, made a contract with Dennis W. Marr, in consideration that he would enwr upon, cultivate,and occupy the land, "and pay the taxes thereon, t\1at she would the same to him at any time he should the said $6,200, and that in the mean time he should have all pay ,arid profits of the land and. its cultivation; that Dennis W. :Marr thep,agreed Jo ,purchase the land on these terms, paid her $200 of the purcl;utsemop.ey, and on the 20th day of March, 1867, entered upon. and and cultivated, the land, and paid the taxes upon died, on September 12, 1886, and that in the mean time he it, until had made permanent improvements thereon. The answer denies that the defandapt ever made any contract to sell the land to Mr. Marr, but avers that b\)ught it in1866, to provide a place for him to earn his living and support his family, and agreed that he might go into the possession and. use of it as her tenant at will, on condition that he should pay the taxes on the land, and keep the improvements in good repair. It also that under this agreement he did enter upon the land in March, 1861, and occupied it until he died. It denies that he ever paid the purchase of the property, or made any permanent improve'ments: and alleges that between the date of her purchase of the land, death the defendant had advanced to him more than $3.000, w1iiyh he had never repaid. lntbe'consideration of this case it must be borne in mind that the and use of this land by Mr. Marr, and the payment of the, taxes thereon, were acts that both parties admit he agreed The complainant claims he performed them unto hIS «\)ntract of purchase; the defendant, that he performed them unof lease; hence the acts and their performder his do \),(Astrengthen the contention of either party· We must theref()re look other evidence to determine the only issue in this case, viz., whether tb,e defendant made a contract of sale or a contract of lease with Marr 1866, and to the contract thus established the occupation and' use must be referred. This issue is strenuously contested, and the existence of any contract of sale rendered at least doubtful by the testimony of the witnesses. It therefore becomes important to notice the circumstances and situation of the contracting parties, and to consider the probability of the existence of this contract. As disclosed by the record, they were these: The defendant was the sister of Dennis W. Marr. She lived in New England, sometimes in Scarborough, Me., sometimes in Springfield, Mass. Mr. Marr, in and prior to 1857, lived in a h()usein St. Anthony, now Minneapolis, Minn., which he or his wife owned, but which was mortgaged for morethan $2,000 to one Mayau.In 1857, Mr. Marr failed in business, and was ever after that insolvent, until in 1868 he took the benefit of the barlk.rupt act. In 1859 he was to pay the ,mortgage on the house he occupied, and to Prevent and to save himself and family, which consisted
l"EDEHAL' Imr'OR'l'ER, vol.
'ghls, from being tUfned:Ottt'o'fd&oItl, he be'to btly',alld she did buy, house, it, and gavEl the use and rent !pr9perW;rrom 1859 until he' died in 1886, on the improvements Iii 1866, w,110 was still living in this house of the besought a. neighbor of his, who was goitlg go to the defendant in Maille, tell her of his' extreme poverty, berto buy apiece of lnndand putbim on it as her tenan(so')hat he' could the,re earn a comfortable Hying for his family. This nE'igb,bor r.arried JDessage to the defendant, ,and in response she came Irom 1\1aine to Mi.tmeapolis, in 1866" for the purpose of buying a farm, and puttiqg her brother upon it as her tenant, 60 that he might there support, his family, and educate his, Immediately on her tohk pity on his poverty, and bought him a. pair of horses, a wagoll, and harness, for him to earn his living with during that winter. She then bQught the lllnd" in controversy, it to be conveyed to herself, paid,$4,OOOcashfor it, andgave a mortgage back for $2,200, Matr and his tamwhich she SUbsequently paid. In March, 1867, ily moved upon the filrm in controversy, and he continued to occupy it from that date until,he died. EoI' the horses, wagon, harness, Ilpd Qther purchases of personal, property the defendant made for this brother, and in the expenses of her trip to Minnesota to assist about $1,000 in the fall of 1866. Iothe spring and summer oQ8!37 she advanced 8645 to enable hinito" plow and seed this farm, and, pUY!lpachineryto operate it. In 1873, at his request, she intru,sted hiQl .. buy 10 acres of land adjoining herfarm, and to invest the balance In pine lanas for her. He took the money, but never"hoqght the 10 !:lcres, never invested any orit in pine lands, and ne,ver acco\lpted for or paid backuny of all these moneys so ad vanced and intruste!1 to h,m, which amount. to more than 83,000. About the year 1871, Mr.;rdllrrgrubbed and broke up about 30 acreS of new land on this farm, and;wlthin two years after he received the 81,500 from the defendant tq W,'vest for her,he built upon it a granary, machinery buildh\lnllery, houRe, shingled the house and barn, moved an old building acrQss the roadand attached it to the house, enlarged the cellar, and, built a ne\Vkitchen, SQ that the buildings were made more spacious, useful, and comfortable, at,an expense of about'$l,700i but nopermanerit improvements aplJear to have been made by him subsequent to 1875. Under theile, circurasMI1ces, it is insisted by the complainant thatin November, H$6, contracted orally to convey this farm to Marr f91' '6,200, whenever he was able to The witnesses tocomplainant, however, go no further than to testify that, with Marr time, Of the purchase of the farm the defendan( told him she the place for him to make a home for and his family, and that the farui should be his at any time he co'uld 'pay back whllt she had paid for it, and Mr.