Monday, April 29, 2013

Johnson v. M'Intosh case brief

Johnson v. M'Intosh case brief
21 U.S. 543

CASE SYNOPSIS: Plaintiffs requested review of a decision of the District Court of Illinois, granting title to property in that state to defendants on the basis of a land grant from the United States.

FACTS: Plaintiffs, mostly British subjects and their heirs, claimed title to property conveyed to them by the Piankeshaw Indians prior to the American Revolution. Plaintiffs contended that their title ran directly from the Native Americans who owned the property and therefore it was superior to defendants' title.

Defendants' land grant came directly from the United States government and the district court held that defendants' claim was superior.

The court based this decision on the idea that the Piankeshaw were not actually able to convey the land because they never "owned" it in the traditional sense of the word. The Court agreed and upheld the defendants' title by land grant.

CONCLUSION: The Court upheld the decision of the lower court and treated defendants' claim to the contested property to be superior to plaintiffs' claim.

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