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CONLEY V. NAILOR, 118 U. S. 127 (1886)

U.S. Supreme Court

Conley v. Nailor, 118 U.S. 127 (1886)

Conley v. Nailor

Argued April 12-13, 1886

Decided April 26, 1886

118 U.S. 127


In equity, each case to set aside a deed for incapacity of the grantor, or intoxication at the time of execution amounting to incapacity, must be decided on its own merits, without regard to previous decisions in cases differing in the facts.

When the complainant in a bill in equity neither demands nor waives an answer under oath, and the respondent answers under oath, the answer is evidence on behalf of the respondent, conclusive if not contradicted.

A deed by a father for the benefit of his illegitimate child is upon a good and sufficient consideration, and if it contains a remainder to the mother of the child, and the child dies in the lifetime of the father, the conveyance is good as against the legitimate children of the grantor.

In order to cause a will or deed to be set aside on the ground of fraud and undue influence, it must be established to the satisfaction of the court that the party making it had no free will, but stood in vinculis.

When a married man, with a wife living and a family of legitimate children, lives apart from them in illegal intercourse with another woman by whom he has an illegitimate child, and makes a conveyance of real estate for the benefit of that child with remainder to the mother and another conveyance to the mother for her own benefit, and the child dies, and it is not shown that the grantor was incapable of making the deeds, either by reason of the weak state of his intellect or by reason of intoxication at the time of execution, or that there was fraud or undue influence, a court of equity will, after the death of the grantor, sustain the conveyances in favor of the mother as against the legitimate children.

This was a bill in equity to set aside four deeds under which the appellant, who was defendant below, claimed. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.

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