Cases argued and decided in the Supreme Court of the State of Texas, during the latter part of the Austin term, 1884, and the Tyler term, 1884. Volume 62. Page: 18
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18 H. & T. C. R'Y Co. v. TRAVIS COUNTY. [Austin Term,
Opinion of the court.
adopted the view expressed in that of Rowans' Ex'rs v. Town of
Portland, 8 B. Mon., 259, and quoted from it the principle, in effect,
that the maxim nullum ternpus occturrit regi has no application as
an exemption in favor of towns or cities, in the case of a dedication
made of the property in question to the town and public for common
use; the opinion cited using the following language: "That
the public right, as growing out of the dedication in this case, was
subject to be divested and defeated by such possession, admits, as we
think, of no doubt. The dedication was not to the use of the commonwealth
as a corporate being, and invested no title or interest in
it. The maxim, nutlltm6 temnzps occurrit regi, is, therefore, inapplicable.
And there is nothing to exempt the right, which vested really
in the town and its citizens, to be upheld by them for the public,
from the operation of the statute of limitations, or from the presumptions
arising from adverse claim and possession, as they would
apply in ordinary cases of private rights or public easements."
The privilege of the maxim, nuell6e'um tempos, etc., has been extended,
in England, to the lessees of the Crown. Ang. on Lim., sec.
38; Lee v. Norris, Cro. Eliz., 331. And in Alabama and Kentucky;
it has been held that the statute does not run against the grantee of
the state while the state has title. Kennedy v. Townsley, 16 Ala.,
239; Hartley v. Hartley, 3 Mete. (Ky.), 56. In Illinois, it was
adjudged to extend to the state bank. By the act creating that
institution, it was declared that it should belong to the state of Illinois,
and, therefore, a debt due to the bank was due to the state,
and, consequently, not barred by the statute. Ang. on Lim., sec.
38; State Bank of Illinois v. Brown, 1 Scam. (I11.), 106; Mahone v.
Central Bank, 17 Ga., 111. But it was held in North Carolina that,
though no laches are imputed to the state, yet it is not the case as
to those bodies to whom the execution of a public trust is committed;
and, therefore, where the county court brought an action
of assumrpsit against a treasurer of public buildings, the statute was
a bar. Aug. on Lim., sec. 38; Armstrong v. Dalton, 4 Dev. (N. C.),
568. The principle upon which the extension of the benefits of the
maxim is made seems to rest upon the idea that the statute will not
run where the sovereignty is substantially interested in, and vested
with, the right and ownership of the subject-matter in litigation and
which is sought to be subjected to the operation of the statutes of
It was to this qualification in the application of the maxim,
nullum temrnus, etc., that Justice Bonner doubtless referred in the
opinion in Coleman v. Thurmond, 56 Tex., 519, where, in reviewing
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Texas. Supreme Court. Cases argued and decided in the Supreme Court of the State of Texas, during the latter part of the Austin term, 1884, and the Tyler term, 1884. Volume 62., book, 1885; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth28512/m1/40/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .