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BROWN V. WEBSTER, 156 U. S. 328 (1895)

U.S. Supreme Court

Brown v. Webster, 156 U.S. 328 (1895)

Brown v. Webster

No. 160

Submitted January 16, 1895

Decided March 4, 1895

156 U.S. 328


The measure of damages for the purpose of jurisdiction, in an action against the grantor of real estate on the warranty of title in his deed of conveyance, is the purchase money paid with interest.

The plaintiff below, defendant in error, bought in 1881 from the defendant below, with full warranty, a tract of land, the purchase price of which was $1,200. In 1886, one Thomas Hugh sued to recover the land in question, averring that he had a superior title to that which had been purchased and conveyed as above stated. This action culminated in a final judgment, ousting the defendant therein from the property. The plaintiff here, who was defendant in the suit in ejectment, then brought this suit in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Nebraska, to recover the sum of $6,342.40 and costs. The alleged cause of action was the sale,

Page 156 U. S. 329

the warranty, and the eviction, and the sum above mentioned was laid as the amount of damages claimed. The defendant demurred on the ground that the court had no jurisdiction of the subject of the action

"for that it appears on the face of said amended petition that the amount in controversy herein between the plaintiff and defendant, exclusive of interest and costs, does not exceed the sum and value of $2,000."

A plea was subsequently filed, but by order of the court was stricken from the record. The demurrer was overruled. After answer filed, the case was submitted to the court without the intervention of a jury; judgment was thereupon rendered for the plaintiff in the sum of $1,030, and the defendant brought the case here by error.

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