Morgan V. Hamlet - Judgment


In Arkansas, it appears that there is a special statute of limitations governing claims against estates of deceased persons, commonly called the "Statute of Nonclaim." It is as follows:

"All demands not exhibited to the executor or administrator, as required by this act, before the end of two years from the granting of letters, shall be forever barred."

It has been decided that the statute runs against all creditors, whether resident or nonresident. Erwin v. Turner, 6 Ark. 14.

And that all claims fall within the provisions of the statute that are capable of being asserted in a court of law or equity existing at the death of the deceased or coming into existence within two years after the grant of administration, whether due or not, if running to a certain maturity.

And the effect of a failure to present the claim as prescribed in the statute is not to let it in against the heirs or devisees, but it is to bar is forever as against all persons. Bennett v. Dawson, 18 Ark. 334; Brearly v. Norris, 23 Ark. 771.

In 84 U. S. 530, in a like case, it was held by this Court that the failure to present the claim is, in the absence of circumstances constituting an excuse, fatal to the bill for relief in equity.

It is sought in argument on behalf of the appellants to distinguish their case—at least the case of the two infant children of Samuel D. Morgan—from any case within the statute of nonclaim on the ground that at the death of their father, his title to the real estate, which constituted the plantation, descended to them as his heirs at law, and thereafter, as to the operations conducted by John Morgan in 1864 and 1865, having no guardian, the latter was in equity their representative and guardian de son tort and trustee, so that upon his death and until they arrived at age, there was no one competent to make a demand against his administrator, within the terms of the statute.

But we are unable to appreciate the force of this supposed distinction. The statute in question contains no exception in favor of claimants under disability of nonage or otherwise; the claim of the complainants against John G. Morgan was adverse to his administrator, although it may have originated in consequence of a relation of trust, and there is no ground that we are able to understand on which it can be excepted out of the operation of the statute in question. Their claim was equally against the administrator of John G. Morgan whether the latter be considered as the defaulting partner of themselves or of their father. Whatever its description, it was a claim against the estate of John G. Morgan, and for which his personal representative was in the first instance liable, and the statute is a bar to every such claim unless presented within the time prescribed.

On this ground the decree of the circuit court was affirmed.

Read more about this topic:  Morgan V. Hamlet

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  • Informal - Opinions expressed as facts.
  • Informal and psychological – used in reference to the quality of cognitive faculties and adjudicational capabilities of particular individuals, typically called wisdom or discernment.
  • Legal – used in the context of legal trial, to refer to a final finding, statement, or ruling, based on a considered weighing of evidence, called "adjudication". See spelling note for further explanation.
  • Religious – used in the concept of salvation to refer to the adjudication of God in determining Heaven or Hell for each and all human beings.

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