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Opinion of the Court.
versy? 2. If so, was that title a sufficient basis for an action at law for the recovery of the possession of the land? 3. Should questions 1 and 2 be answered in the affirmative, then the inquiry was whether the petition contained a sufficient statement of facts to justify the relief sought and obtained?
The court answered the first question upon the authority of Laughlin v. Farris, 7 Okla. 1, 6, in which it was held that "when a homestead entryman has complied with all the requirements of the Federal statutes applicable to the disposal of the tract of land occupied by him, and has made his final proof, paid the amount of money required and received final certificate therefor, he has a complete equitable title to said land, with the naked legal title only remaining in the Government."
In answering the second question in the affirmative, the court referred to section 614 of the territorial Code of Civil Procedure which provides: "In an action for the recovery of real property, it shall be sufficient if the plaintiff state in his petition that he has a legal or equitable estate therein, and is entitled to the possession thereof, describing the same, as required by section 127, and that the defendant unlawfully keeps him out of possession. It shall not be necessary to state how the plaintiff's estate or ownership is derived." Stats. Okla. (1893) 864, Title Procedure - Civil. Section 127 here referred to provides that "in any action for the recovery of real property, it shall be described with such convenient certainty as will enable an officer holding an execution to identify it." The Supreme Court of the Territory said, 7 Okla. 6: “It would seem that the language of this section is too plain to need the support of authority to show that an equitable title or estate in land is a sufficient basis for an action in the nature of ejectment, but if such were necessary it can be found in abundance by consulting the decisions of the Supreme Court of the State from which the statute was taken "-citing Simpson v. Boring, 16 Kan. 248; Kansas Pac. Ry. Co. v. McBratney, 12 Kan. 9; Duffey v. Rafferty, 15 Kan. 9; State v. Stringfellow, 2 Kan. 263; Atchison, Topeka &c. Railroad v. Pracht, 1 Pac. Rep. 319. The court added: "It is also apparent that the allega
Opinion of the Court.
tions contained in plaintiff's petition regarding his title and right of possession are amply sufficient to entitle him to maintain an action of forcible detainer for the possession of said tract of land. Price v. Olds, 9 Kan. 66; Conaway v. Gore, 27 Kan. 122."
The third question was answered in the negative, the court reaffirming the principle announced in Richardson v. Penney, 6 Okla. 328, in which it was said: "We still hold to the well, if not universally, established doctrine that, when a party has a plain and adequate remedy at law he cannot invoke the powers of a court of equity to issue its writ of injunction."
In the course of its opinion the court having stated that it was conceded that the action of forcible entry and detainer would lie in a case like the one then before it, said: "This remedy by injunction, both mandatory and prohibitive in character, may and does sometimes become a very far-reaching and oppressive, as well as a speedy and effective one, and should only be granted by courts of equity in cases where the applicants therefor bring themselves clearly within the well-defined and established rules authorizing the issuance of same; hence, such courts rarely deem it necessary or advisable to interfere in this manner, to aid a person endeavoring to recover the possession of real property"-citing High on Injunctions, 2d ed. §§ 354, 355 and 360, and Lacassagne v. Chapuis, 144 U. S. 119, 124. The rule, the court observed, was clearly and concisely stated by this court in Lacassagne v. Chapuis, in which it was said : "The plaintiff was out of possession when he instituted this suit, and by the prayer of this bill he attempts to regain possession by means of the injunction asked for. In other words, the effort is to restore the plaintiff by injunction to rights of which he had been deprived. The function of an injunction is to afford preventive relief, not to redress alleged wrongs which had been committed already. An injunction will not be used to take property out of the possession of one party and put it into that of another. The plaintiff has a full, adequate and complete remedy at law, and the case is not one for the jurisdiction of a court of equity."
The Supreme Court of the Territory thus concluded its opin
Opinion of the Court.
ion in Laughlin v. Fariss: "We hold that the action of injunction will not lie to adjust possessory rights to a tract of land after the equitable title thereto has passed from the Government of the United States and become vested in an individual, unless in a case which presents some recognized special ground therefor, which must be one other than that one party claims that he is the owner and entitled to the immediate possession thereof and that the other party unlawfully and without any right whatever holds and retains such possession. We therefore conclude that the facts, stated by the plaintiff below in his amended petition, are not sufficient to entitle him to the interference of a court of equity."
In the decision in Laughlin v. Fariss all the justices of the Supreme Court of the Territory concurred, including those who constituted the majority when the present case was decided. And we cannot find that that court has in any case withdrawn or qualified the ruling that an entryman, out of possession and having a decision by the Land Office in his favor, may proceed against his adversary in possession by an action of forcible detainer and thus obtain possession without resorting to the extraordinary remedies used by courts of equity. According to the decisions of that court, Black, as between himself and his successful adversary, was in possession without color of title. Now, by the statutes of the Territory, in the Article relating to forcible entry and detainer, if it be found that lands and tenements after a lawful entry "are held unlawfully," then the justice "shall cause the party complaining to have restitution thereof;" and it is provided that proceedings under that Article may be had in all cases "where the defendant is a settler or occupier of lands and tenements, without color of title, and to which the complainant has the right of possession." Stats. Okla. 1893, 919, 920, 4805, 4806.
In the opinion in the present case the Supreme Court of the Territory said nothing about defendant's contention that he was entitled to a trial by jury. Speaking by the same justice who in the court below delivered the opinion in the present case, the Supreme Court of the Territory in Barnes v. Newton, 5 Okla. 428, 432, conceded that in a case between contesting entrymen
Opinion of the Court.
the one who obtained the decision of the Land Office might avail himself of the statutory provisions relating to forcible entry and detainer, but that such a remedy was not sufficiently efficacious, for the reason that "by delays and appeals a party in possession of a homestead could keep his adversary out of possession of the land for years." But the same reason could be urged to justify the extraordinary remedy of a mandatory injunction in order to put a defendant out of possession, even where the plaintiff was entitled to maintain ejectment or an action in the nature of ejectment. The suggestion referred to leaves out of view the distinction made by the Constitution of the United States between cases in law and cases in equity. Robinson v. Campbell, 3 Wheat. 212, 223; Payne v. Hook, 7 Wall. 425; Van Norden v. Morton, 99 U. S. 378; Smyth v. Ames, 169 U. S. 466, 516. And it also fails to recognize the provisions of the Seventh Amendment securing the right of trial by jury in "suits at common law" where the value in controversy exceeds twenty dollars. That Amendment, so far as it secures the right of trial by jury, applies to judicial proceedings in the Territories of the United States. Webster v. Reid, 11 How. 437, 460; American Publishing Co. v. Fisher, 166 U. S. 464, 466; Springville v. Thomas, 166 U. S. 707. So that a court of a Territory authorized as Oklahoma was to pass laws not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States, 26 Stat. 81, 84, c. 182, § 6, could not proceed in a "common law" action as if it were a suit in equity and determine by mandatory injunction rights for the protection or enforcement of which there was a plain and adequate remedy at law according to the established distinctions between law and equity. And this evidently is in accordance with the statutes of Oklahoma providing that while the court must try issues of law, unless referred in the mode prescribed, "issues of fact arising in actions for the recovery of money or of specific real or personal property, shall be tried by a jury, unless a jury trial is waived or a reference be ordered." Stat. Okla. 1893, 809, § 4156.
In the case before us no special grounds are disclosed that would authorize the court to issue a mandatory injunction and determine without a jury the issue as to the right of possession.
Opinion of the Court.
If it be said that the plaintiff's residence upon the land for a given time is necessary in order that he may earn a patent, the answer is that the defendant is not alleged to be in the actual possession of the entire land embraced by the plaintiff's entry. Nor does it appear that the plaintiff may not, without interference by the defendant, maintain a residence upon that part of the land which is not in the actual possession of the defendant and do all that may be requisite in order to earn a patent. We may also observe that it is not alleged that the defendant is doing any actual injury to the part of the land remaining in his possession. It does not appear that he has done anything except to continue in possession of that part. If Black prevents Jackson from taking possession of the 80 acres in question, he is entitled to bring his action of forcible detainer and to recover possession unless it appears that the Land Office erred, as matter of law, in deciding for him. It is not meant by this that an action of forcible detainer is the only remedy that can be adopted by the plaintiff.
As in Oklahoma the distinction between actions at law and suits in equity is abolished—each action being called a civil action, whatever the nature of the relief asked, Okla. Stat. 1893, 764, § 3882—we perceive no reason why the case may not proceed in the trial court under the pleadings as they have been framed, with the right of the defendant to a trial by jury in respect of all issues which, according to the recognized distinctions between actions at common law and suits in equity, are determinable in that mode.
3. One of the defenses made by Black is that the plaintiff entered upon the land in violation of the act of March 1, 1889, 24 Stat. 759, c. 317, and of the act of March 2, 1889, 25 Stat. 980, 1005, c. 412, as well as of the proclamation of the President of March 25, 1889, 26 Stat. 1544, 1546. The acts and proclamation referred to related to the lands obtained by the United States under the agreement with the Muscogee or Creek Nation of Indians in the Indian Territory. The contention of the defendant is that the plaintiff by his conduct disqualified himself from acquiring any interest in the tract of land here in dispute which was part of the lands obtained from the Muscogee or