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Washington Securities Co. v. United States, 234 U.S. 76 (1914)

Washington Securities Company v. United States

No. 367

Argued May 7, 8, 1914

Decided May 25, 1914

234 U.S. 76


Findings of fact concurred in by two lower federal courts will not be disturbed by this Court unless shown to be clearly erroneous.

A purchaser from a patentee is bound to take notice that the land was acquired under the homestead law when that appears in the patent, and if the other circumstances show that the purchase was made with knowledge that the land was known to be coal land when it was entered by the patentee, the purchaser must be deemed to have

Page 234 U. S. 77

taken with notice of the fraudulent obtaining of coal lands under the homestead law.

Where the application and proof of an entryman is strictly ex parte, the proceedings are not adversary, and while the finding of the land officer may not be open to collateral attack, they are not conclusive, but only presumptively right, against the government in a suit to cancel the patent on the ground that it was obtained by fraud.

194 F. 59.

The facts, which involve the validity of patents for lands issued under the homestead law and claimed by the government to have been fraudulently obtained because the lands were known to be valuable for coal at the time, are stated in the opinion.

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