Buying of titles
BUYING OF TITLES. The purchase of the rights of a person to a piece of land
when the seller is disseised.
2. When a deed is made by one who, though having a legal right to land, is at the time of the conveyance disseised, as a general rule of the common law, the sale is void; the law will not permit any person to sell a quarrel, or, as it is commonly termed, a pretended title. Such a conveyance is an offence at common law, and by a statute of Hen. VIII. This rule has been generally adopted in the United States, and is affirmed by express statute. In some of the states, it has been modified or abolished. It has been recognized in Massachusetts and Indiana. 1 Ind. R. 127. In Massacbusetts, there is no statute on the subject, but the act has always been unlawful. 5 Pick. R. 356. In Connecticut the seller and the buyer forfeit, each one half the value of the land. 4 Conn. 575. In New York, a person disseised cannot convey, except by way of mortgage. But the statute does not apply to judicial sales. 6 Wend. 224; see 4 Wend. 474; 2 John. Cas. 58; 3 Cow. 89; 5 Wend. 532; 5 Cow. 74; 13 John. 466; 8 Wend. 629; 7 Wend. 53, 152 11 Wend. 442; 13 John. 289. In North Carolina and South Carolina, a conveyance by a disseisee is illegal; the seller forfeits the land, and the buyer its value. In Kentucky such sale is void. 1 Dana, R. 566. But when the deeds were made since the passage of the statute of 1798, the grantee might, under that act, sue for land conveyed to him, which was adversely possessed by another, as the grantor might have done before. The statute rendered transfers valid to pass the title. 2 Litt. 393; 1 Wheat. 292; 2 Litt. 225; 3 Dana, 309. The statute of 1824, " to revive and amend the champerty and maintenance law," forbids the buying ot titles where there is an adverse possession. See 3 J. J. Marsh. 549; 2 Dana, 374; 6 J. J. Marsh. 490, 584. In Ohio, the purchase of land from one against whom a suit is pending for it, is void, except against himself, if he prevails. Walk. Intr. 297, 351, 352. In Pennsylvania. 2 Watts, R. 272 Illinois, 111. Rev. L. 130; Missouri, Misso. St. 119, a deed is valid, though there be an adverse possession. 2 Hill, Ab. c. 33, Sec. 42 to 52.
3. The Roman law forbade the sale of a right or thing in litigation. Code, 8. 37, 2.