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BICKNELL V. COMSTOCK, 113 U. S. 149 (1885)

U.S. Supreme Court

Bicknell v. Comstock, 113 U.S. 149 (1885)

Bicknell v. Comstock

Submitted January 8, 1885

Decided January 19, 1885

113 U.S. 149


The mutilation (without the consent and against the protest of the grantee) of a patent for public land by the Commissioner of the Land Office, after its execution and transmission to the grantee, and the like mutilation of the record thereof, do not affect the validity of the patent.

Page 113 U. S. 150

A state statute of limitations as to real actions begins to run in favor of a claimant under a patent from the United States on the issue of the patent and its transmission to the grantee.

The lapse of time provided by a statute of limitations as to real actions vests a perfect title in the holder.

This was an action to recover the consideration paid for a tract of land in Iowa and the value of the improvements thereon brought by defendant in error, as plaintiff below against the plaintiff in error as defendant. The complaint alleged a conveyance by Bicknell to one Bennett, the subsequent transfer to the defendant by sundry mesne conveyances, valuable improvements on the premises made by Bennett and his grantees, and a failure of title in Bicknell when the deed was made by reason of a superior title in the State of Iowa under a land grant. Judgment below for plaintiff, to reverse which this writ of error was brought.

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