1875.] ANN BERTA LODGE V. LEVERTON. 33
Opinion of the court.
To say if the court should go into the evidence of the
verbal contract for any purpose, it may do so to enforce
it, seems to us to savor more of a pretext for enlarging its
jurisdiction than its exercise within the scope of its acknowledged
limits. The propriety of the enforcement of
such contracts by courts of equity, under any circumstances,
has always been a mooted question. And while it is not
to be denied by us that it may be done in such cases as
have heretofore been held by the court as authorizing it,
we are unwilling to extend its limits beyond the boundaries
defined by them.
We must therefore say that defendants did not show
themselves entitled to a decree for the performance of their
alleged verbal contract, and their defense upon this ground
failed. If it had appeared that defendants would not have
purchased a part of the lot unless they believed they would
get the entire lot, and this was known to Mrs. Chambers,
or her agents and attorneys, and on the faith and confidence
that the verbal contract for her half of itwould be
consummated, they were induced to purchase the other
half, their equitable claim to enforce the contract would
have been greatly strengthened. But if such was the fact,
it has not been shown so that we can notice it.
3. The defendants ask for damages, because plaintiff's
deed casts a cloud upon their title, and also claim pay for
their improvements. But as they failed to show title, and
the improvements were paid for out of the rents, they are
entitled to nothing on either ground.
The application for a continuance was properly overruled.
The testimony of tile absent witness was immaterial, if it
was only desired to prove the verbal contract and delivery
of possession of the lot to defendants, and could in no manner
have affected the result of the case.
There was no error in the refusal of the court to arrest
the judgment. Though the verdict is not as clear and definite
as it might have been, there is no reasonable doubt
Texas. Supreme Court. Cases argued and decided in the Supreme Court of Texas, during the latter part of the Tyler term, 1874, and the first part of the Galveston term, 1875. Volume 42.. St. Louis, Mo.. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth28531/. Accessed March 31, 2015.