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tions prescribed by the second section of the statute in chancery though incapable of hold.
Act entitled “An Act in addition to an act enti ing lands in question.
tled 'An Act to amend the judicial system of the
United States'," approved the 3d of March, 1803, A bill was filed in the Circuit Court of the
as far as said regulations shall be practicable, Southern District of New York, by tye ber's or
shall be observed in respect to all writs of error

John Haberdinck, claiming certain real estate in

the city of New York, and an account of the rents and appeals from the said Court of Appeals in and profits thereof; the estate having been devised, the said territory to the Supreme Court of the in 1€96, to the Ministers, Elders and Deacons of United States. And the Act of 1803 thus re

the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of the city

of New York. To this bill, the respondents, among ferred to in the law of 1832, gives the right of other matters, pleaded that they had been in acappeal in cases of equity, of admiralty and tual adverse possession of the premises for forty maritime jurisdiction, and prize or no prize; years thest before the Bling of the bill. but leaves the cases of law to be brought up by his plea, sets forth facts from which it appears by writ of error as provided for by the Act of that the complainant, by the statutes of the State,

has no standing in court, and for the sake of repose 1789. And it has always been held that a case

and the common good of society is not permitted at law cannot, under the Act of 1803, be to sue his adversary, it is the rule of the court not brought here by appeal. 2 Wheat. 141, 142. to proceed further, and dismiss the bill. The question, then, is whether the proceed-chancery, it is not necessary that there shall be an

In pleading the statute of limitations to a bill in ings in the Florida courts were in a case at law. express reference to the statute of the State 10 They certainly differ from the ancient common

which the proceeding is instituted. The court lo law proceedings by writ of dower; and, indeed, limitations, when the facts are stated and relied on

judicially bound to take notice of the statutes of they necessarily differed from it, because the as a bar to further proceedings, If they are found widow's share of the negroes and personal

sufficient. property were united in the same proceeding bar his co-tenant.

One tenant in common may hold adversely to and that was instituted to recover her dower in the After the elapse of twenty years from the comreal estate; and it certainly does not strictly mencement of adverse possession of the property conform to any of the modes of proceeding if they had produced a deed in fee-simple from the known to the common law. But in many of the true owners of that date ; and all inquiry into States and territories the ancient common law their title or its incidents was effectually cut off. remedy for the purpose of obtaining an allot-bound to conform to the decisions of the State

The Supreme Court of the United States are ment of dower, as well as the remedies for courts, in relation to the construction of the stat. other mere legal rights, has been changed for ute of limitations of the $tate in which the

contro others more convenient and suitable to our

versy bas arisen. Such is the settled doctrine of

the Supreme Court. Cited, Green V. Neal, 6 situation and habits. Yet they are regarded as Peters, 291. cases at law, although they are not carried an No distinction is made by the courts of the State according to the forms of the common law in claiming to hold under the statute of limitations of

of New York, between a religious corporation, 454"] the case of *Parsons v. Bedford et al. the State, in regard to capacity to hold by force of 3 Peters, 447, the court, when speaking of the statute; therefore none can be taken by the remedies of this description, said that all suits Supreme Court of the United States.

The statute of New York is in substance tho brought to settle legal rights which were not same as that of 21 Jac. 1. That such a possession of equity or admiralty jurisdiction, whatever as is set forth in the plea in this case is protected might be their peculiar forms, were cases at by the statute, has been the settled doctrine of the

courts of that State for more than thirty years, If law, within the meaning of those terms, as it ever were doubted. used in the Constitution and acts of Congress. averred that all the parts of the lands sold bad

of plea In a case like the present it is true that although been conveyed and the moneys received by the dethe right is strictly a legal one, yet the Couri fendants more than forty years before the plea was of Chancery possesses concurrent jurisdiction Bled. This is deemed a conclusive bar. The bill with the courts of law. But the proceeding in this being a concurrent remedy with the action at

seeks the money, and six years barred the relief ; question is obviously not according to the prin-law. ciples or established practice of courts of equity, *The defendants had disclaimed the own. (°486 and was not intended to be such. It could not ership of certain lots which were described in the be sustained in any court acting upon the rules bine and of which they were charol with lining of a court of chancery, and must therefore be these lots. Held, that this was proper. There was

no probable cause for retaining this part of the regarded as a proceeding at law. And being a

bill, to obtain an account from the respondents. case at law it cannot, under the acts of ConObviously, no claim exists that can be made avall. gress before mentioned, be brought here ex able for the complainants, in regard to tbls portion

of the property.
cept by writ of error.
The appeal must therefore be dismissed.

Nappeal from the Circuit Court of the

United States for the Southern District of

New York. 455') *SMITH HARPENDING et al., Appel Note.—As to adverse possession, what necessary lants,

to constitute, and requisites of, see notes to 5 L. ed. U. S. 398 ; 40 L. ed. U. S. 215; 53 L.R.A. 941.

As to disclaimer by tenant of landlord's title, THE MINISTER, ELDERS and DEACONS OF and adverse possession, see notes to 7 L. ed. U. 8. THE REFORMED PROTESTANT DUTCH 596; 21 L. ed. U. s. 779.

As to the occupancy necessary to constitute adCHURCH OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK verse possession, see note to 9 L. ed. U. S. 624. et al., Appellees.

As to statute of limitations in equity cases, see notes to 6 L, ed. U. S. 287 ; 12 L. ed. U. $. 028;

36 L. ed. U. S. 135; 39 L. ed. U. 8. 1037; 42 L. ed. Pleading-statute of limitations, construction U. S. 711. by State court followed by this—practice

That State decisions and laws, in regard to limi

tation of actions, govern United States Courta, sea religious corporation-can make defense of note to 6 L. ed. 0. 8. 200.


On the 25th of March, 1839, the appellants | spective lots, pieces, and parcels of land, I, the filed a bill in the Circuit Court of the United said testator, do hereby give, devise, and be. States for the Southern District of New York, queath unto the said minister, elders and dea. they being citizens of other States than the cons of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church State of New York; stating that, prior to Sep. of the city of New York, and to their lawful tember, 1896, John H. Harberdinck, of the city successors forever, with all and singular the of New York, with four others, was seized in buildings, messuages, edifices, improvements, fee of the “Shoemaker's fields or lands," a tract emoluments, profits, benefits, reversions, ad. of about sixteen acres in the city of New York; vantages, hereditaments, and appurtenances and that in the same year partition of the same thereunto belonging, or in anywise appertain. was made, and Haberdinck became seized in ing, or reputed or esteemed as part, and belong. severalty of divers parcels of the land described ing to the same; to have and to hold all the in the bill. Haberdinck died seized of the land aforesaid several and respective lots, pieces, in January, 1722, leaving a widow, who died and parcels of land, with the several and rein 1723; and John Haberdinck, Jun., of New spective premises and appurtenances, unto the York, was his only heir, and inherited his said minister, elders and deacons of the Re. lands. The bill states that the complainants formed Protestant Dutch Church of the city of are the heirs of John Haberdinck, Jun., their New York, and their lawful successors, to the names having been varied to Haberding. It sole and only proper use, benefit, and behoof states that they are seized, with Peter Haber- of the said minister, elders and deacons of the ding, a citizen of New York, of these lands as Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of the city heirs as aforesaid; and that no sale or devise of of New York, and their lawful successors for the lands has been made by them, or by any of ever, "for to be received and employed (*458 their ancestors.

by the said minister, elders, and deacons of the The bill states that John H. Haberdinck Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of the city made leases of part of the lands for ninety-nine of New York, immediately after my decease or more years, and some of the leases so grant and the decease of my wife, Mayken Haber. ed did not expire until after 1829. The Dutch dinck, and only to the proper use, benefit, and Church have, for some time past, had posses- behoof, and for the payment and satisfaction sion of the lands allotted to John H. Haber of the yearly stipend, salary, or maintenance of dinck by the partition; and have claimed that the respective minister or ministers, which, they took such possession in virtue of some from time to time, and at all times hereafter, will or devise of John H. Haberdinck to them. shall be duly and legally called to the ministry They also obtained possession of the undivided of the said church, and to no other use or uses parcel, and allege title to some shares of it by whatsoever. And I, the said testator, do here: deeds from the other tenants in common; and by further order and direct, that the sole manhave demised parts of the same, etc.

agement, direction, administration, and gov. The bill alleges that the church is a religious ernment of the same, after my decease and the corporation in the city of New York, incorpo- decease of my wife, Mayken Haberdinck, shall rated under the laws of New York. The com- only be and remain in the hands, care, man. plainants have applied to the church for a agement, direction, and administration and 457") statement of the title under which government of the elders of the said church, they claim the property, and for a list of pa- for the time being, or whom they shall nomipers, and the inspection of their rent-roll, and nate, constitute, and appoint to act in their an account of the rents and profits.

stead or place, and without being subject or In March, 1822, the bill alleges that the de- bound to render any account of the same, but fendants returned to the Chancellor of New only to the minister or ministers, elders and York an inventory, in which they set forth deacons of the said Reformed Protestant Dutch that these lands are held by them as “sundry Church of the city of New York, for the time lots devised to the church by John Haberdinck, being. Provided, always, that it shall not be called the Shoemakers' land, as mentioned in a lawful, nor in the power of the said minister, former inventory, situated in the second and elders and deacons of the Reformed Protestant third wards of the city of New York;" and the Dutch Church of the city of New York, nor defendants alleged the said will is valid. their successors, nor the said elders or man.

The parts of the will set out in the bill of the agers for the time being, nor in the power of complainants relating to the property claimed any other person or persons whatsoever, for. by the complainants are as follows: "Item. ever hereafter, to make sale, dispose, or alienate I, the said John Haberdinck, do hereby give, any part of the said lands and premises, nor devise, and bequeath unto the minister, elders any of the profits, benefits, revenues, or ad. and deacons of the Reformed Protestant vantages accruing or arising out of the same to Dutch Church of the city of New York, and any use or uses whatsoever; but that the same their successors forever, all my, the testator's, shall be forever and remain to the only proper right, title, and interest, and property, in and use, benefit, and behoof as is above recited, deto an equal fifth part, share, and proportion of clared and expressed.". all that tract or parcel of land, situate, lying, The complainants charge that the will and and being upon Manhattan Island, within the the devise to the church was, at the date of the city of New York, called or known by the will, at the testator's death, and is, at this time name of Shoemaker's field, or land, on the wholly and absolutely void, illegal, and inop north side of Maiden Lane, or path, etc.; the erative at law. “The church could not ana which tract or parcel of land contains, by esti- did not acquire any right or estate under the mation, sixteen acres.” The will then describes will; and the possession of the premises was in the different lots, according to the partition, subordination to the title of the complainanta and proceeda, "all of which several and reland their ancestors. The church took posses.

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sind of five of the lots that were on Broadway, I thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine, until although only a part of two were devised to and at the time of the filing of this plea, these them.”

defendants were and have been, and are by The bill further states that the church was themselves and tenants holding under them, in 459*] incorporated on the *llth of May, 1696, the sole and exclusive possession of all and sin. then having a church in Garden Street, and gular the lands in the bill of complaint mencertain tracts of ground, and were authorized tioned (excepting the lands above described as "to have, take, acquire and purchase” lands, hereinafter disclaimed), during all which time etc., and not exceeding the yearly value of two of possession, all and singular the said lands hundred pounds, New York currency, equal to have been improved by buildings, and inclosed five hundred dollars. That the property held with a substantial inclosure, excepting that the by them was considerable, and has ever since land twenty-five feet in width from John Street been actually, and for twenty years past has to Fair Street, now Fulton Street, between the been worth at least ten thousand dollars. The side of lots 84 and 86, and a continuation there. yearly value of the lands devised by Haber- of, having been during all that time enjoyed as dinck has ever since greatly exceeded the a public street for access to the lands upon the amount which the church was from time to same, and as a public street then, ever since, time by law authorized to hold; and from 1780 and now used by all good citizens of this State to 1800 the yearly value thereof was ten thou- as a public street and highway, without rents, sand dollars; from 1800 to 1820 at least twenty issues, or profits thence accruing, and exceptthousand dollars; and to this time at least thiring a piece of land twenty-five feet in width, ty thousand dollars. In order to keep down extending from the rear of lot 62 in the said the "annual income," the church has given bill mentioned, seventy-five feet along the rear leases for long terms at a low rent, and then of lots 41, 42, and 43, and excepting the two sold such terms for large sums, and used the pieces of land, the one extending along the money to buy other lands for other purposes. southwesterly side of lot No. 68, and the rears

The church has always held those lots under of lots 77, 78, 79, and 80; the other extending claim of title subordinate to the title of the com- along the northeasterly side of lot 66, and the plainants and their ancestor; it was always in rears of lots, 32, 33, 34, and 35, from Nassau capable, in law, of acquiring or holding a valid Street to the rear of the said lots; and during title thereto by adverse possession; and was at all that time these defendants have by them. the time of Haberdinck's death incapable, in selves and their tenants holding under them, law, of acquiring and holding the lands by de actually occupied and possessed all and singular vise. If it should appear that the lands were the said lands, claiming and enjoying the same, actually devised to the church by the will, yet during all the time aforesaid, as being seized such devise will appear to have been made on thereof in their demesne as of fee, in severalty, the "express condition” that the lands were to and in their own sole and exclusive right as the be held by the church for the payment and sat. sole and exclusive owners thereof in their own isfying the yearly stipend, salary, or mainte. right in fee-simple, and to their own sole and nance of the respective minister or ministers *exclusive use and not otherwise; and (*461 which should be from time to time duly and during all that time these defendants have been lawfully called to the ministry of the said in the sole and exclusive receipt and enjoyment church, and to no other use whatever; and on of the rents, issues, profits, avails, and prothe express condition, that it should not be law.ceeds thereof, to the sole and exclusive use of ful for the ministers, elders and deacons, to sell the said corporation claiming the right to reor dispose of any part of the property, or to ap-ceive and enjoy the same to their own use and ply any of the profits, revenues, etc., to any not otherwise. use whatever, other than those mentioned. The following points, relating to the matters

At the time of the making of his will by Ha- decided by the court, were submitted by the berdinck, the only church was in Garden Street. counsel for the appellants: They have since built two others, and aban- 1. The plea is defective in regard to the allega. doned that as a place of worship. The income tions in the bill, as to the defendants entering of the church from these lands has annually, and holding under leases from Haberdinck. for fifty years, greatly exceeded the yearly sal. 2. The plea does not make out a complete aries paid or which could be paid to their min. and absolute title in the defendants to the isters, and they have used the large surplus an- premises in question; and it is therefore no nually for other purposes, etc.

defense, either to the discovery or the relief 460*) *The bill prays for a discovery, whethsought by the bill. er the church holds under the will of Haber- 1. The defendant were incapable of taking dinck; and if so, a full account of the same, and lands by devise; and they are chargeable in law of all matters relating to the property; and for with a knowledge of this incapacity. an account, etc.

2. The devise to the defendants by the will The defendants, after various exceptions to of John Haberdinck was absolutely void; and the bill of the complainants, and to the relief the defendants knew of its nullity. sought in the same, and the denial of many of 3. The entry of the defendants was made, the allegations in the bill, and disclaiming the and their possession commenced under the void ownerships of certain lots described in the bill, devise to them in the will of John Haberdinck, and in the answer filed, say:

and was continued and held under that devise These defendants do plead in bar, and by way to the time of filing the bill in this cause. of plea say, that for all the time commencing 4. The possession and claim of the defend. forty years prior to the filing of the bill of com- ants were not, in their inception, hostile to the plaint, namely, commencing on the twenty. title of the heir-at-law, but were consistent fifth day of March, in the year of our Lord one therewith and in subordination thereto.

8. The plea does not show when or by what leases, which were as often met by other vor means the possession then commenced, and responding legislation on the part of the Britisk held, was changed into an adverse holding. Parliament. Uses and trusts had been placed And, although it sets up a claim of title in sev. upon the same footing as devises, and made eralty from 1799 down, it does not show on subject to the laws of mortmain by statute of what title, or color of title, that claim was 15 Rich. II. ch. 15. Leases for a longer founded. On the contrary, by not negating the period than twenty years were forbidden also charges in the bill in respect to their claiming by the British Parliament. Statute 23 Hen. under the will, it admitted that since 1799, as VIII. ch. 10; 1 Vesey, Jun. 218; 6 Vesey, 404; 9 well as before, their claim has been founded Ves. 535. on the void devise in the will of Haberdinck. The statutes referred to were in force in the

6. The defendants' possession and claim of colony of New York to the year 1788. 4 title, from the time of their first entry to the Paige Ch. Rep. 198. Being in force, as the filing of the bill, having been at all times ex. authority shows, a colonial act of legislation clusively under and by virtue of a void devise, was incapable to repeal, alter, or change them. known to them to be such, are unavailing for Not even the British Parliament could change any purpose.

them, so as to affect a right which had become They do not, therefore, show an adverse pos- vested before. It is not a prerogative right of session.

the king to make dispensation of an express 7. The views taken of the defendants' pos- statute. He cannot do it. The king cannot do 462*] session, are more *especially applicable any act forbidden by law. to this case, as otherwise the policy of the pro The charter of incorporation under which hibition contained in the statute of wills will be the defendants allege a right to take the estate defeated, and the defendants allowed to do in- in question can be of no avail whatever; be. directly what they are expressly prohibited by cause it was not in the power of the sovereign law from doing directly.

to permit that to be done which the laws of The decree of the Circuit Court should be the kingdom prohibited.

As the laws proreversed, and the plea overruled.

hibited a devise of real estate to religious The case was argued by Mr. Eaton and Mr. houses, no sanction on the part of the king Coxe for the appellants, and by Mr. D. Lord, could legalize any such bequest, to the prej. Jun., and Mr. Wood for the defendants. udice of the rights of third persons; such was

Mr. Eaton explained in detail the various not a regalia privilege. statements and facts presented on the record, Against the right of the complainants to reand the grounds upon which the matter was to cover, a plea in bar is interposed, setting forth be considered by the court; contrasting the nu. that this church, for a period of forty years merous circumstances set forth in the bill, an. before the filing of the present bill, had en. swer and plea, in the review.

joyed quiet and undisturbed possession; that it That the complainant's ancestor, as tenant in had received to its own use the rents and prof. common, was seized of a tract of land called its. An answer in support of the plea is also Shoemakers' Field, at present situated in the offered, with a disclaimer as to a part of the most populous part of the city of New York; property claimed. of which, partition having been made, he had A plea may be good in part and bad in part. seisin in severalty, and continued in undis. That which is good is only to be regarded, turbed possession till his death, in 1723. That the rest is to be set aside; but an established he devised this portion of his estate in trust, rule of equity practice is, that a plea to be good etc., to this church, the defendant. That it was must be clear, definite, precise, and full, as to i religious corporation. That complainants are all the matter which is offered as a bar to the the heirs-at-law, and have never parted with relief sought. 4 Paige Ch. Rep. 195. any portion of this estate. That in pursuance The plea under consideration was not of of the trust created in favor of the church, the that description and character. The admisminister, elders, deacons, etc., entered into the sions made upon the record are that the de. possession, and have ever since retained that fendant's first entry was under, and in pur. possession.

suance of a devise of claimant's ancestor, None of these special averments contained which at the time was void, as being adverse in the bill were denied; and hence, by the ac. *to existing laws; and they fail to show [*464 knowledged rules of law, they are to be taken either by the plea or answer, that their pos. as confessed. He argued, that by the rules of session ever assumed anything of adverse equity proceedings every material allegation character; then it was nothing more than a contained in a bill which failed to be contro permissive, silent, acquiesced in possession, subverted by the plea and answer, in support of ordinate to, and not adverse to the title of it, was to be taken as true. Mitford's Plead. complainants. ings, 299, 300; Story's Eq. Pleading, sec. 38, He who enters upon lands by permission of 694; 4 Paige's Ch. Rep. 195.

another is estopped to urge an outstanding title By the laws which from time to time had in another person, for the reason that the been enacted, usually termed the statutes of possession of the tenant is the possession of mortmain, of wills, etc., and which being in the lessor; and that cannot be called in ques. force in England, were alike in force within the tion until some act of ouster or of open discolonies, no devise of real property to a religious claimer be made. 4 Wheat. 213; 5 Wheat. 124; corporation could be available to pass an e87 Wheat. 59; 9 Wheat. 288. tate; such devise was void. Various stratagems In these decisions, made by the Supreme at different times had been resorted to by the Court, the principle is asserted and maintained 463*) clergy to defeat "these enactments, by a that to make the statute of limitations avail. resort to the creating of woes, trusts, and long able the possession must be adversary; not per:


missive, or subordinate to the title of complain. lapse of more than a century, the matter ought ants. The pleadings admit that from 1723, the to be weighed as though it were to be consid. time of the first entry under this void devise, ered apart from the long intervening time. to the year 1799, a period of more than seventy The statute of limitations, under such circum. years, the possession by the church was under stances, should not afford protection. The and in pursuance of this very devise about possession of this church was merely a trust which we are inquiring, and hence was in for the benefit of the cestui que trust—the subordination to it; and as such, not being heirs-at-law; and by legal interpretation should adverse, the statute of limitations is wholly in no otherwise be understood. insufficient to cure the deficiencies of the title. Judicially, it had been pronounced that the The authorities referred to refuse such a privi. statute of limitations was a plea that ought lege.

favorably to be received. It would not be Under the devise made to the deacons and proper to controvert the correctness of that elders of this church possession was taken. It opinion; but the present case did not fall un.

a void devise, being contrary to the der the reason of that decision-cessante restatutes of mortmain. Their possession was tione cessat et ipsa lex. With innocent buyers that of the complainants; the church merely without notice, the rule might apply; but here holding in trust, not in fee. From lapse of the original wrong-doers *and violators ["466 time a perfect title may be created by presump- of the law were still the holders of the proption. The law will, after a possession of erty, in controversy, the use and benefit of twenty years, presume the existence of a deed; which they have enjoyed for a century without but if the facts adduced are found to be insuffi- having any legal title whatever. It was not for cient to warrant a belief of title, then the pre- them to talk of hardships, after that they had sumption fails of its effect. A tenant who has held for so long a period possession of a large lived on his farm for twenty years may defend estate, for which not a cent of consideration himself on the presumption of a deed; but if was ever paid. It was & wrong originally he produce an insufficient and void deed or practiced, and that wrong was insisted to be title, then the force of the presumption is carried out upon no better pretext than a taken from him; and for this most obvious reliance on the statute of limitations, which reason, that the weight and force of presump was wholly inapplicable under all the circumtion ever fails where facts interpose to put stances that belonged to the case under considaside the presumption.

eration. The rule of law is, that the title relied on Statutes of limitations were intended for the must be of such a description and character guiltless—the weak, and the helpless--for im. that in view of legal consideration it must ap- perfect colorable titles, and not for the protecpear to be prima facie a good title; and hence tion of a corporation; which, as this record 465*) arises the difference between a void shows, has thrown itself into open rebellion and voidable title. In the one, not the other, against all the mortmain laws which were then the statute of limitations may be relied on. in force in the country. The church can sus. Authorities are wanted to show that upon tain no injury, never having paid anything for an admitted void title, or upon a trust, any this past property, and hence cannot justly benefit can be derived from a resort to lapse complain. It was received into their possession of time. Ten Eyck v. Frost, 5 Conn. 346; 6 | under a devise which the laws, as the defendWheat. 497; 1 Peters C. C. Rep. 361.

ants well knew, did not authorize; and hence No authority could be found to give sanc-is void; and being thus void, a mere trust, the tion to so pretended a defense as the present. statute of limitations is incapable to perfect it The title relied upon was void at its incipiency, into a title. The elders of the church entered and no circumstance has since arisen to into the possession of this estate in their own change its original defective character. Even wrong, which the law holds shall never consti. the stale idea of innocent purchasers did not tute a right; and in violation of the existing come to its aid. An old man, led away by su- statutes of the country; and when at last the perstitious apprehensions, gave his all away heir comes to demand his right he is told, from his relations, to propitiate his hopes as the plea sets forth, "We have had tho through the church. The wardens and elders, property of your ancestor so long that we can. well knowing that his indulged feelings were not surrender it.”. at war with what the laws of the country au The policy of the English statutes of mort. thorized, encouraged him to the act, and re- main, of uses and trusts, was to prevent received this bequest. They entered into the ligious corporations from holding real estate. possession under that devise, and in that way to argue that the statute of limitations may still hold it. Nothing, then, of innocent pur- give title to that which positively the law chaser could interpose in their favor; the forbade to be holden, is to affect an object in. wrong originally practiced is the wrong which directly which could not be done directly; it still remains, and for which the successors of would be a solecism in terms. The devise be. this church should be answerable, precisely as ing repugnant to law, was a nullity-was void. if they were now brought back to the year Theirs is to be considered exclusively as the 1723 when this will was introduced for probate possession of the heirs. and registration. Then it was a void devise; The statutes of New York now in force in and remaining 80 to this time under un- that State, after a lapse of twenty-five years, changed circumstances, it is void still as re- gives title to a mere possessio pedis right; it gards the heirs-at-law. With this religious was passed in 1830. This statute could only corporation the wrong commenced, and with it have a prospective bearing, it could not act ret. the wrong has continued. No change of the rospectively. It changed the law as it had be. original parties having taken place after the fore been, and consequently should have no


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