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472 Shreve, Spindle v.

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177 Slidell v. Emler.

475 Slidell v. Grandjcan.

475 Slidell v. Richardson.

475 Slidell v. Tschirn.

475 Smith, Carroll Co. v.

539 Spindle v. Shreve.

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Ros JUDICATA - PURCHASERS PENDENTE LITE - CORPORATION ORGANIZED IN ANOTHER STATE.

A decree settling the title to real estate is conclusive, in any subsequent litigation, upon all parties, privies, and purchasers pendente lite ; and a corporation which purchases from its president lands which are in litigation in a suit to which he is a party, is not exonerated from the burden of this rule by the fact that it is organized under the laws of a different state.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

Wm. H. De Witt, for appellant.
George Norris, for appellees.

MILLER, J. The suit in this case was brought originally in the chancery court of Marion county, Tennessee, by V. A. Gaskill and his wife, who is now the appellant, H. L. Whiteside. The defendants were J. C. llaselton, the Bartow Iron Company, of which he was president, James P. Boyce, and in his own right and as executor of Ker Boyce, deceased. The principal allegation of the bill with which we have to deal is that plaintiffs, in right of* the wife, were the owners of one undivided half of certain mines, known as the Vulcan coal mines; that the half interest of plaintiffs was leased for five years to Badge and Eaton, against whom they had recovered judgments for rent unpaid, and that J. C. Haselton and the Bartow Iron Company had ol)tained possession of said mine, and were operating the same, and refused to

recognize plaintiffs' title to the land or interest in the mine, and were confederating with Badge and Eaton to defraud plaintiffs of their lien on the tools, implements and machinery used in mining, and to keep them out of possession of the property. These mines are situated on section 3, township 2, range 6, and plaintiffs, conceding the title of Haselton, or of the Bartow Iron Company, under him, to the other undivided half of this land, pray for a partition, for an account of the rents, and for general relief, and for a temporary injunction, appointment of a receiver, etc.

The case was removed, on the petition of Haselton and the Bartow Iron Company, into the circuit court of the United States for the Eastern district of Tennessee, where, after a hearing on the merits, the bill of the plaintiffs was dismissed. A motion was made in this court to dismiss the appeal from that decree on the ground that the amount in controversy does not exceed $5,000. There being no distinct statement anywhere in the record of the value of the property in controversy, the parties were permitted to file affidavits here on that subject. Appellant has accordingly produced the affidavit of R. L. Watkins, who swears he knows the property well, and that the undivided half interest in it claimed by appellant is worth over $5,000, and was so when when the suit was brought, aside from the $2,500 for rents claimed by her. The examination of the record makes this very probable, and, as there is no denial on oath of this affidavit, we think the amount in contro

versy is sufficiently proved to be over $5,000. The Bartow Iron Company a answers the bill,-the answer being sworn to by Haselton as its president,

and asserts its ownership of the mine, and of the entire quarter section in which it is found, by purchase from Haselton; and it denies that plaintiffs have any interest whatever in the same. Haselton also answers and alleges that he was the owner of the property when he sold and conveyed the same to the Bartow Company, and that the plaintiffs have no interest in it. He gives a history of the title and previous litigation about it, which, in the view we take of the case, is unimportant.

Upon this issue mainly the case was heard. Much evidence was introduced and is found in the record in the way of depositions, deeds, other suits, decrees, etc. The common source of title was Erasmus Alley, who, in 1859, conveyed the land in dispute, with many other tracts, to J. Holmes Agnew and James C. Haselton. It embraced a thousand acres and many distinct tracts. In the registration of the deed the south-east quarter of section 3 was omitted, as it is supposed, by accident. It is under this deed that appellant has for years claimed to own the undivided half of the land, and was in possession when the lease to Badge and Eaton was made. Other interests, however, intervened, and the question of innocent purchasers, without notice, embarrasses the case in some of its aspects. But on the trial there was introduced, by agreement of the parties, the record of a suit about this same land and the same title in the state chancery court of Hamilton county, or so much of that record as is necessary to this case. That suit was brought by Gaskill and wife, December 5, 1874, against Badge, Eaton, Haselton, and others, prior to the conveyance by Haselton to the Bartow Iron Company, and as there was a decree in favor of plaintiffs, it is relied on as conclusive of their rights in this suit against Haselton and the Bartow Company. We are unable to see why it should not be so. It was, like the present suit, a bill in chancery to enforce the lien of the plaintiffs for rents under the lease e of plaintiffs to Badge and Eaton. Haselton was made a defendant there, as She is here, on the ground that he had induced Badge and Eaton to recognize • his claim, and was confederating with them to defraud plaintiffs out of their

rents. Plaintiffs in that suit asserted title to an undivided half of the mine, and of the quarter section on which it is located. Haselton in his answer denied any interest in plaintiffs in the land. He gave an exhibit of the title, whereby he asserted it to be in himself, or nearly all of it, and admitted that

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