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YOUNG V. DUVALL, 109 U. S. 573 (1883)

U.S. Supreme Court

Young v. Duvall, 109 U.S. 573 (1883)

Young v. Duvall

Argued November 16, 19, 1883

Decided December 17, 1883

109 U.S. 573


In a suit to set aside a deed of trust executed to secure the payment of a note signed by husband and wife, and the acknowledgment of which was certified as required by law, it was in proof that the wife signed the note and the deed, having an opportunity to read both before signing them; she was before an officer competent to take her acknowledgment, and he came into her presence at the request of the husband, to take it, and she knew, or could have ascertained, while in the presence of the officer, as well to what property the deed referred as the object of its execution. Held that the certificate must stand against a mere conflict of evidence as to whether she willingly signed, sealed, and delivered the deed, or had its contents explained to her by the officer, or was examined privily and apart from her husband, and that even if it be only prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated, it cannot be impeached, in respect to those facts, except upon proof which clearly and fully shows it to be false or fraudulent.

Bill in equity to set aside a deed of trust given by husband and wife of wife's real estate to secure payment of a debt of the husband. The following averment in the bill shows the ground of the action:

"7. Complainant charges and avers that said deed of trust (and the other paper, whatever it may be) is a fraud upon her rights; that the same is void in law, in that she did not know its contents, and that she did not acknowledge the same in any manner, either in the presence or hearing of her husband, or separately and privately and apart from him; that she never borrowed or ever received one cent or any other sum therefor or on account of said deed of trust; that the whole transaction was fraudulent and void; that said John Little is dead, and said Holtzman now claims to be the holder of said debt, and she is advised that her only remedy is in this Court."

The case was mainly argued on the facts.

Page 109 U. S. 574

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