Chapin v. Freeland
Supreme Court of Massachusetts
8 N.E. 3d 128 (1886)
Chapin (plaintiff) purchased a shop building in a foreclosure sale. Freeland (defendant) removed counters from the shop after Chapin took title to the building. The counters were installed by one of Chapin’s predecessors in title to the real estate, but Freeland was the true owner of the counters at the time they were installed. Chapin initiated a replevin action seeking return of the counters. The evidence demonstrated that Massachusetts’ six year statute of limitations on replevin actions had expired before Chapin took possession of the shop and the counters. The trial court concluded that, although the statute of limitations would have barred Freeland from bringing a replevin action against Chapin’s predecessor, the expiration of the limitation period did not extinguish Freeland’s title to the counters. The trial court held that Freeland was entitled to take possession of the counters through extrajudicial means, and that Chapin’s replevin claim against Freeland must fail because Freeland held superior title. Chapin appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Holmes, J.)
Dissent (Field, J.)
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