UNITED ST.A.'tiJS v. UNION PAC. RY. CO. et aI.
(Circuit Court of Appeals, Eighth' Circuit. May 6,' 1895.) No. 495
PUBLIC LANDS-RAILWAY GRANTS-BoNA FIPE PURCHASERS.
A bona "fide purchaser of the title 01'11. land-grant railroad company to lands patented to it by wlstake, and which were from the grant by reason or prior pre-emption claims, that were subsequently canceled, has superior equities, constituting a good defense to a suit brought by the United States under the act of March 3, 1887, to set aside the patent and restore the title to the government. U. S. v. Winona & St. P. R. Co. (No. 564) 67 Fed. 948, followed. 61 Fed. 143, afilrmed.
Appeal from the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Kansas. ' , '
This Is an appeltl. from a decree which dismissed a billexhiblted by the appellant, the United States, under the act of March 3, 1887 (24 Stat. 55H), aside a patent of ,160 ,acres of land Issued on 10, 1874, to the Kansas Pacific Railroad Oompany, under the act of July 1, 1862 (12 Stat. c. 120, §§ 3, 9, pp. 489, 492, 494), and the acts amendatory thereof, and to restore to the United States the' title under iliat patent, which at the commence;ment 9f thll:\suit wa!! beld by the appellee William IfoarC!- The original grant was made to the Leavenworth, Pawnee & Western Railroad Company of Kansas. The name of that company was subsequently changed to the Union Pacific Railway Company, Eastern Division; then to the Kansas Pacific Railroad Company; and that company was afterwards consolidated with the appellee the Union Pacific Railway Company, which has succeeded to all the rights this' railroad company acqUired under any of ,Its names. In all particularS essential to the determination of this ,case We terms of thill grant were the same as those of the grant considered in the case of U. S. v. Winona & St. P. R. Co. (No. 5(4) 67 Fed. IH8. 11 Stat. 195. But ilie act of JUly'1', 1862, authodzed the president of the United States to issue a pateiltfor the lands within the grant opposite the constructed'roadwhenever 40 consecutive miles of it had ,been completed. On May 8, 1867, the railroad company filed its map of the definite location of its line of railroad opposite the land here in This land was part of an· odd section within the place llmits of the grant. At the time of the definite location of the line of the road, opposIte this land a declaratory statement had' been filed upon it under the pre-emption laws. This filing was canceled by the proper officer of the land office on October 3, 187L On September 29, 1871, one J. G. Mohler made a homestead entry upon said tract of land, which was canceled on September 9, 1873.· On July 28, 1885, Mohler applied to the proper officer of the land office for the reinstatement of his homestead entry. His application was rejected, and he made application to purchase the land under section 2 of the act of June 15, 1880, but this application was rejected. On March 11, 1873, the Kansas PacIfic Railroad Company conveye!1 thil;l land by warranty deed to one Powers. On September a, 1875, Powers conveyed by llke deed to one Berg. On April 22, 1881, Berg, by like deed, conveyed to one Whitman. On July 28, 1883, Whitman conveyed by like deed to one Quinn. On SeptemUer 1, 1885, Quinn conveyed the land to the appellee William Hoard. The patent to the Kansas Pacific Railroad Company and the deeds which conveyed the title under that patent to Quinn were duly recorded In the office of the county where the land Is situated, and an abstract of title, which dlsclMed this complete chain of title, was furnished to Hoatd before be purchased. There was a one-story bOllsel a barn, and a stable upon the, land, and 110 Rel'eS of It were under cultiVation when lIoard made the pur<;hase, He bought the land of Quinn, who was then In possession Of, It, In 1885, a,ndpald him $5,000 for It.. a:e has since lived upon and cuitivated'itas a farm. 'B:e'had no notIce of any defects in the title or of any claim or any one but Quinn to any Interest in the land until after he had purchased and paid for it.
UNION PAC. BY. 00. ,. UNITED STATU.
W. C,. Perry, U. S. Atty. .. . T. (T. L.Bond, on the1?rlef),for.appellee Willlam Hoard. N. H.Loomis (A. 1. Williams (and R. W. Blair, on the brief), for appellee Union Pac. Ry. Co.. Fred M. Dudley, Northern Pac.R. Co., flIed brief by . leave of court. Before CALDWELL, SANBORN, and THAYER, Circuit Judges. SANBORN, Circuit Judge, after stating the facts as above, delivered the opinion of the court. The principles announced in U. S. v. Winona & P. R. Co. (No. 564) 67 Fed. 94:8, are decisive of this case. Conceding, but not deciding, that by the previous flling of the declaratory statement pre-emption rights had attached to this land at the time when the line of the railroad OPP9$ite to it was definitely fixed; this land was excepted from the grant to the railroad company. But the land was within the jurisdiction, and its disposition within the power, of the land departmentof the United States. The patent issued by that department to the railroad company was not void, but conveyed the legal title. The appellee William Hoard was a bona· fide purchaser for value of that title, without of any defects in it; and his equitable rights as such purchaser are superior to the equitable claims of the United States to have the title restored to it, and constitute a oomplete defense to this suit. The decree below must be affirmed. without costs to either party in this court; and it is soor(J.(ilred.
UNION PAC. RY. CO. et at v. UNITED STATES. (Circuit Court ·ot .Appeals, Eigbth Circuit. May 6, 1893.) No. 307.
ESTOPPEL AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.
A suit in wbich the United States bu no interest, and in which It t. under no obUgationeither to the pubUc or to the party for whose benefit the suit is brought, can be sustained no better in the name of the United States than in. the name of the real party in interest; and an estoppel which 'would operate against the rights of such party will bar recovery, notwithstanding that the .United States is the formal complainant. U. S: v. Winona & st. P. R. Co. (No. 564) 67 Fed. 948, tollowed.
SAME-PUBLIC LANDS-SUIT TO CANCEL RAILROAD GRANTS.
Certain lands were enepted out ot a railroad grant because a pre-emption claim had attached thereto at the time or adefinlte location of the road. Subsequently, the pre-emptioner relinqUished his claim, and the land was sold by the railroad compa.ny, and the title conveyed by it was at length obtained by one W. tor his wife, llnd they took possession under their deed. They, however, concealed from the railroad company and trom the United Stales that they had bought the railroad title; and atterwards W. made a homestead entry upon the land, which entry, atter a contest betore the land department with the railroad company, was caneeled, and'. patent was issued to the railroad comtlany. W. haVing died, his wite caused the deed conveying the railroad title to her to be raeorded, thus. showing a perfect chain ot title trom the United State.