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Ewing v. Burnet

United States Supreme Court
36 U.S. 41 (1837)


Facts

In 1824, James Ewing (plaintiff) inherited from Samuel Williams the title to a vacant lot in Cincinnati. The lot was across the street from the home of Jacob Burnet (defendant), who had claimed ownership of it since 1803. Burnet dug sand and gravel from the lot, allowed some others to dig and denied some others permission to dig, and leased the lot for the purpose of digging sand and gravel. Burnet also paid taxes on the lot from 1810 to 1834. Ewing brought an action in ejectment in federal district court to recover possession of the lot. The relevant state statute required actions in ejectment be brought within 21 years of the date that the cause of action accrued. The jury determined that Burnet had acquired the property by adverse possession. Ewing appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Baldwin, J.)

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