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Tyler v. Judges of Court of Registration, 179 U.S. 405 (1900)

Tyler v. Judges of Court of Registration

No. 213

Argued October 26, 1900

Decided December 17, 1900

179 U.S. 405


A petitioner in an application for a writ of prohibition to the judges of a Court of Land Registration upon the ground that the contemplated proceedings in said court denied to parties interested due process of law, cannot maintain a writ of error from this Court to the supreme court of the state without showing that he is personally interested in the litigation, and has been, or is likely to be, deprived of his property without due process of law.

The fact that other persons in whom he has no personal interest and who do not appear in the case may suffer in that particular is not sufficient.

This was a petition by Tyler to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts for a writ of prohibition to be directed to the judges of the Court of Registration to prohibit them from further proceeding under what is known as the Torrens Act in the registration of a certain parcel of land described in the application, or in the determination of the boundary between such parcel of land and land of petitioner.

The petition alleged, in substance, that David E. Gould and George H. Jones, on December 22, 1898, applied to the court of land registration to have certain land in the County of Middlesex brought under the operation and provisions of the Land Registration Act, and to have their title thereto registered and confirmed. The land referred to was shown on a plan filed with the application. The petitioner, who was the owner of an estate in fee simple in a parcel of land adjoining part of the land described in the application, insisted that the boundary line between his land and the part aforesaid was not correctly shown on the plan filed with the application, but encroached upon and included part of his land. The petition prayed for a writ of prohibition, and alleged that the Land Registration Act,

Page 179 U. S. 406

under which the proceedings were taken, violated the provisions of the Constitution of the United States, first, in making a decree of confirmation conclusive upon persons having an interest in the land, though they may have had no notice of the proceedings for registration, and therefore would have the effect of depriving such persons of their property without due process of law, and otherwise than by the law of the land; second, that the act was also invalid in giving judicial powers to the recorder and assistant recorders therein mentioned, who were not judicial officers under the Constitution of the commonwealth, and also gave them power to deprive persons of their property without due process of law; third, that the operation of the act in other respects depended for the effect thereby intended upon the conclusiveness of the original decree of registration, and the exercise of nonjudicial powers by the recorder, etc.

Upon the petition and answer, which simply averred compliance with the terms of the act, together with the rules of the land court, etc., the case was reserved for a full bench upon the only question raised at the hearing, namely, the constitutionality of the act. The court decided the act to be constitutional, and dismissed the petition. 175 Mass. 71. Hence this writ of error.

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