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Riggs v. Palmer

Court of Appeals of New York
116 N.Y. 506, 22 N.E. 188 (N.Y. 1889), 115 N.Y. 506, 22 N.E. 188 (1889), 115 N.Y. 506. (1889)

Riggs v. Palmer


On August 13, 1880, Francis Palmer created a will dividing his estate among his daughters, Mrs. Riggs and Mrs. Preston (plaintiffs), and his grandson, Elmer Palmer (defendant). Elmer knew the terms of the will. In 1882, Elmer murdered his grandfather by poisoning him. Elmer was convicted of murder and began serving his sentence. The plaintiffs brought suit to annul the parts of the will under which Elmer inherited, alleging that Elmer’s crime rendered his inheritance void. The trial court dismissed the plaintiffs’ suit. The plaintiffs appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Earl, J.)

Dissent (Gray, J.)

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