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having a claim to any trust, charge, or encumbrance, may file his complaint to enforce the same, the circuit court making the United States attorney for this District defendant thereto, and there shall be such proceedings thereon as there might have been between the complainant and the heirs of the party whose title has escheated, had he left heirs. The circuit court shall have power to authorize and direct the district attorney to convey, when necessary, such real estate to the parties equitably entitled thereto, according to their respective rights.
SEC. 4. If any tenant in dower, tenant by the curtesy, or tenant for term of life or years, shall commit or suffer any waste on the premises, the person having the next immediate estate of inheritance therein may have an action against such tenant, wherein he shall recover the amount of damage he shall have suffered by reason of the waste complained of.
SEC. 5. Such an action may also be maintained by one who has the remainder or reversion, in fee-simple, or fee-tail, after an intervening estate for life, and also by one who has a remainder, or reversion for life, or years only, and each of them shall recover such damages as it shall appear he has suffered by the waste complained of.
SEC. 6. If one joint tenant, or tenant in common, shall commit watse of the estate held in joint tenancy or in common, he shall be subject to an action as aforesaid, at the suit of his co-tenant.
SEC. 7. Whenever it shall be found by the jury that any waste was committed wantonly, judgment shall be given for twice the amount of damages assessed therefor, but in no case shall there be a forfeiture of the place wasted.
SEC. 8. When any person shall recover possession of real estate he shall also be entitled to recover in the same action damages against the tenant for the rents and profits of the premises, from the time when the demandant's title accrued, subject to the limitations hereinafter contained; and he shall also recover damages for any destruction or waste of the same, for which the tenant is chargeable.
SEC. 9. If the plaintiff recover, the jury shall at the same time assess his damages, unless it shall be otherwise ordered by the court, as hereinafter provided.
SEC. 10. The rents and profits for which the occupant shall be liable, shall be the clear annual value of the premises, for the time
during which he was in possession thereof, after deducting all lawful taxes and assessments on the premises that shall have been paid by the defendant, and all necessary and ordinary expenses of cultivating the land, or otherwise collecting the rents, profits, or income, of the premises.
SEC. 11. In estimating the rents and profits, the value of the use by the defendant of any improvements made by himself or those under whom he claims, shall not be computed nor allowed to the demandant.
SEC. 12. The defendant shall never be liable for the rents and profits for any longer term than six years, nor for any waste or other damage committed before that time, except when the rents and profits are allowed by way of set-off to his claim for improvements, as hereinafter provided.
SEC. 13. When an occupant of land has color of title thereto, and in good faith has erected buildings or made improvements thereon, and is afterwards in the proper action found not to be the rightful owner thereof, he shall be entitled to compensation for the same in the manner hereinafter provided.
SEC. 14. The purchaser in good faith at any judicial or tax sale, made by the proper person or officer, shall be deemed to have color of title, whether such person or officer had sufficient authority to sell or not, unless the want of authority was known to the purchaser at the time of the sale.
SEC. 15. Any occupant of land who can show a connected title in law or equity, derived from the records of any public office, or who holds the same by purchase or descent from any person claiming title derived as aforesaid, or by deed duly recorded, shall be deemed to have color of title.
SEC. 16. The occupant may recover the value of such improvements made by the party under whom he claims as well as those made by himself; and any person holding the premises as purchaser from the party having color of title shall have this remedy also.
SEC. 17. When the defendant in any action claims allowance for any such improvements, he shall enter on the record his claim, stating the amount thereof as accurately as practicable, with a request that the value of the same may be ascertained and allowed to him, in conformity with the provisions of this chapter.
SEC. 18. The claim shall be entered at the same time with the defendant's answer, if any, unless the court shall, for sufficient reasons, allow it to be made afterwards.
SEC. 19. In the trial of any such cause, if the finding be for the plaintiff, the court or jury, as the case may be, shall at the same time determine the sum to be allowed the defendant for such improvements, unless it shall be otherwise ordered by the court, as provided in the following section.
SEC. 20. If it shall appear to the court, on the motion of either party, that it would be more convenient to postpone the assessment of the sums due, respectively, to the plaintiff for the rents and profits and damages, or the defendant for improvements, until after the trial of the title and verdict thereon, the court may make an order for that purpose at any time before the verdict is rendered.
SEC. 21. If the assessment of the sums due to either party is so postponed, the same shall be assessed by the court, unless either party shall move to have them assessed by a jury, or unless the court shall think proper to have them so assessed, in which cases a jury shall be empanneled to assess the same.
SEC. 22. The sum due for rents and profits, or other damages, or for improvements, may, in all cases, with the consent of parties, be assessed by arbitrators or assessors appointed by the court.
SEC. 23. The sum to be allowed for improvements shall never exceed the amount actually expended by the defendant and those under whom he claims, nor shall it exceed the amount to which the value of the premises is actually increased thereby at the time of the assessment.
SEC. 24. In all cases where any sum is allowed the defendant for improvements, it shall be set-off against the sum found due from him for rents and profits and other damages; and if there is a balance due from him, the plaintiff shall have judgment and execution therefor, as well as for the possession of the demanded premises.
SEC. 25. If the sum found due to the defendant for improvements exceed the sum due from him for the rents and profits and damages accrued within the six years, he shall be chargeable with the rents and profits and damages accrued before that time, and while he was in possession, so far as may be necessary to balance his claim for improvements; but in such case he shall not be liable to repay the excess, if any, of the rents and profits and damages, beyond the value of the improvements.
SEC. 26. If there is any sum due to the defendant for improvements after deducting the rents and profits and other damages for which he may be found chargeable, the plaintiff shall pay the same before he shall take out his execution for possession of the premises, and the money may be paid to the defendant himself, or to the clerk of the court for his use; and the plaintiff shall not be entitled to recover against the defendant, or any person claiming under him, any rents and profits that shall accrue after the judgment and before he shall have paid the sum so due the defendant.
SEC. 27. Nothing contained in this chapter shall prevent the plaintiff from maintaining an action for mesne profits, or damages done to the premises, against any other person than the defendant, who may have had possession of the premises, or may be otherwise liable to such action.
SEC. 28. When the defendant shall claim allowance for improvements, as before provided, the plaintiff may, by a like entry on the record, require that the value of his estate in the demanded premises, without the improvements, shall also be determined.
SEC. 29. The value of the premises in such case shall be estimated as it would have been at the time of the inquiry, if no such buildings or improvements had been made or erected on the premises by the defendant, or any person under whom he claims; and this sum shall be ascertained either by the court or jury, or by arbitrators or assessors, in the same manner as is provided for assessing the sums due for rents and profits, and for improvements.
SEC. 30. The plaintiff in such case, if judgment is rendered for him, may, at any time during the same term, or before judgment is rendered on the assessment of the value of the improvements, in person, or by his attorney in the cause, enter on the record his election to relinquish his estate in the premises to the defendant, at the value so ascertained, and the defendant shall thenceforth hold all the estate that the plaintiff had therein at the commencement of the action, provided he pay therefor the said value, with interest, in the manner in which the court may order it to be paid.
SEC. 31. The payments shall be made to the plaintiff, or to the clerk of the court for his use, and the land shall be bound therefor. If the defendant fail to make such payments within or at the times limited therefor, respectively, the court may order the land to be sold,
and the proceeds applied to the payment of said value and interest, and the surplus, if any, to be paid to the defendant; but if the net proceeds be insufficient to satisfy the said value and interest, the defendant shall not be bound for the deficiency.
SEC. 32. If the party by or for whom the land is claimed in the action, be a married woman, minor, or insane, such value shall be deemed to be real estate, and shall be so invested, under the direction of the court, as to secure to all parties interested therein, the same interest they would have had in the real estate.
SEC. 33. If the defendant, or his heirs or assigns, shall, after the premises are so relinquished to him, be evicted thereof by force of any better title than that of the original plaintiff, the person so evicted may recover from such plaintiff, or his executors, administrators, heirs, or devisees, as the case may be, the amount so paid for the premises, as so much money had and received by such plaintiff in his lifetime for the use of such person, with interest thereon from the time of such payment.
SEC. 34. If the person impleaded in such second action for the recovery of the premises shall give notice thereof to the party who is so liable to refund the purchase money, and shall permit him to defend the action, judgment, if rendered against such person, shall be conclusive as to his right to recover the amount so paid for the premises.
SEC. 35. If the person impleaded does not give notice as aforesaid to the other party and permit him to defend the action, the latter shall then be permitted, in the action afterwards brought against him for the price of the premises, to deny the title upon which the second recovery was had, and the party so evicted shall not recover the said price, unless he shall prove that he was evicted by force of a better title than that of the original demandant.
SEC. 36. If the plaintiff claim only an estate for life in the premises recovered, and pay any sum allowed to the defendant for improvements, he, or his executors or administrators, may recover at the determination of his estate, from the remainder man or reversioner, the value of the said improvements as they then exist, not exceeding the amount so paid by him, and shall have a lien therefor on the premises in like manner as if they had been mortgaged for the payment thereof, and he or they may keep possession of said premises until it be paid.