The Lawyer's Corner: 1898 #7


Responses to Questions Of General Public Interest in the Year 1898

"A Law Student" refers the following:

In a jurisdiction where a third party may sue upon a contract made for his benefit, would that principle be carried so far as to give A a defense in the following case should B sue: A and B are already under contractual obligations when C offers B a consideration if he will not enforce such contract with A and B accepts.

The principle you refer to relates only to the substantial provisions of a contract, in the making thereof. It would not extend, I judge, to a mere forbearance agreement.

"E.O.H." asks the following:

I believe the law states that real estate for which the taxes have not been paid three years in succession are reported to the County Treasurer to be sold for taxes. In case the purchaser of such tracts sold at tax sales holds the same in undisputed possession and pays the taxes yearly for twenty years is the tax title considered valid against all claimants? Or, in case a person purchases such a tract and within five years after purchase the original owner brings an action against the purchaser for the recovery of the property (which action fails by reason of the purchaser having the suit thrown out of court), is such purchaser's tax title good and valid at the end of twenty years, provided, of course, that the purchaser keeps the taxes paid and no other suits are brought to a successful issue by the original owner?

Tax sales are held in this state in almost every county every year and the county treasurer gives a tax deed tot he purchaser of such tracts at the end of three years, unless such tracts are redeemed by the original owner. I have heard that twenty years' undisputed possession of such tax lands is valid and unassailable: consequently, I would be pleased to learn a true statement of the facts of law in regard to such cases. Lands on which taxes are delinquent, in whole or in part, one year after February 1 following the year in which the tax is levied, are liable to sale. Within one year after the last day of sale any land sold for taxes may be redeemed. If not redeemed, the purchaser is entitled to a deed. The statute of limitations then begins to run; and if it runs twenty years, it will bar any action for the recovery of the land. An unsuccessful suit is no break in an adverse possession, which, if it continues, for twenty years, gives an unassailable title.

"T.R.M." says: I have several hundred uncancelled two cent bank check stamps, such as were used twenty years ago. Will you kindly inform me if the government redeems stamps of that kind and to whom I should apply for their redemption?

There has never been any provision for such redemption that I am aware of.

"Mrs. J.M." states the following:
If a husband makes his will, leaving everything to his wife, so that she will not even need a bondsman, and makes her his executor and guardian of their children, the will being drawn up by a first class lawyer and signed, can those children claim anything only what the mother gives them after the father's death." Or any one else belonging to him, such as his father or mother, or brothers or sisters, make any trouble for the wife after her husband's death?

According to this statement, the property is absolutely hers, by the provisions of the will, and no one has a right to meddle with it, children, or others.

"E.S." asks:
Whether an alien, who can prove by receipts for store and house rents, that he has resided for nearly seven consecutive years in Queens County, but who, through a misapprehension, only declared his intention to become a citizen two years ago, can now take out his final papers and vote at the next gubernatorial election.


"B.F.L." presents the following:
1. A man dies intestate, leaving a widow, brothers and sisters, but no children. How is his estate divided?

2. A woman dies intestate, leaving a husband, brothers and sisters, but no children. How is her estate divided?

1. In such case one-half of the surplus of personal property goes tot he widow; and if the intestate leaves a father the other half goes to him. If he has no father living, but has a mother, she takes the other half. If no widow is left, the property all goes to the father or mother as stated. There is no representation among collaterals further than brother's and sister's children.

2. In this case, the distribution proceeds in like order.

3. As to real estate, the husband has courtesy of one-third in the wife's estate, and the wife dower in the estate of her husband. The rest goes to the father of the intestate, if living; otherwise, to the mother for life; then, to brothers and sisters. But if the real estate came to the intestate on the part of the mother, then she has the precedence.

The parents take before the brothers and sisters.

"M.D.P." asks:

1. Can a man born in England and naturalized in this country inherit an entailed estate in England?

2. Can he inherit real estate of any kind in England?

3. Can he inherit property of any kind whatever in England?

4. When the English government advertises for missing heirs, to whom or which department of the government are interested persons to apply?

1. A naturalized Englishman loses all his native born rights of inheriting real estate in any way.

2. No.

3. By statute he can inherit personal property.

4. The State Department.


Website: The History
Article Name: The Lawyer's Corner: 1898 #7
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


The Brooklyn Daily Eagle February 27, 1898
Time & Date Stamp: