August 10th, 2010


LOL my ancestors

While doing some digging on my ancestors using Google Books, I came across a record of a court case that cracked me up. The background is as follows: Mr. and Mrs. Ancestor decided to trade some of Mrs. Ancestor's land for a farm that was rented to a tenant. Landlord agreed, but tenant had already planted some wheat on the farm. So it was agreed that tenant would harvest the wheat when it came time and give 1/4 to the Ancestors. In return, tenant would leave the land immediately instead of when the lease was up and the Ancestors would get the farm. Mr. Ancestor signed the contract agreeing to this. All is good, right?


Mrs. Ancestor decides that she wants all the wheat. But... it belongs to tenant. She decides to file a suit, claiming the contract is null because it was her husband who signed it despite the fact that the deal was to trade some of her land for the farm. Therefore, the contract was void and since the wheat was on her new land, it was hers. The judge's argument basically boiled down to this:

Judge: So you are saying the contract isn't in effect?
Mrs. Ancestor: That's correct.
Judge: Then you don't own the farm the wheat is on.
Mrs. Ancestor: No, I own the farm.
Judge: Okay, then you don't own the wheat because that was part of the trade to get the farm.
Mrs. Ancestor: No, I own that as well.
Judge: ...
Mrs. Ancestor: What?
Judge: You do realize you don't get to pick and choose what parts of the contract you abide by. Either it's in effect or not. You can't profit by the contract on one hand and say it's void on the other. Give tenant his wheat.
Mrs. Ancestor: D:

Strangely enough, not to long after that (< 3yrs) I find evidence that Mr. and Mrs. Ancestor moved to another city. I guess they learned rather quickly that it doesn't pay to piss off your neighbors.