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Riggs v Palmer

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/29/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 261 times Debate No: 66019
Debate Rounds (3)
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1.On August 13 1880 Francis B Palmer made his last will and testament to give his two daughters his small legacies and the remaining of his estates to his grandson, Elmer E Palmer. (1.1 )
2.When Elmer turned 16 years of age he poisoned his grandfather because he knew of the estate granted to him in the will and wanted immediate possession. (1.5 )
3.The purpose of a will is to disperse the testator's possessions in the way he wants and have their dying wishes fulfilled once they have perished. (3.1 )
4.It is however not part of the testator's intent to be murdered for the benefits of the will. (3.3 )
5.A standard rule in construction of documents such as these; it is a unwritten rule that certain things that are implied or intended upon in a statute are to be accepted as if they were actually in the statute, as well as if certain things are actually in the statute they are not to be over read or misinterpreted unless it is the makers intent. (3.5 )
6.Since there is no way to truly know what the makers intent is, you must assume him a upright and reasonable man and imagine what he would have done. Doing this does not mean you are going against the will it simply means you are doing no more than the maker would have done. (4.6 )
7. Circumstances were found unreasonable the judges state that no man should determine his own quarrel therefore the will is void. (4.11 )
8.No man shall profit by his own fraud (7.2 )
9. You cannot delegate yourself with entitlement by wrongdoing or law breaking. (11.6 )
10. "Aequitas est correctio legis generaliter latae qua parti deficit." (4.10)
11.Elmer E. Palmer will not be granted any benefits from the testament of his grandfather. (15.1 )

Non-Controversial: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

Controversial: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11

6, 7, 8, and 9. It is judicious to assume that any upright and reasonable person would modify their will and eradicate the person who attempted to murder them from the will and any of its benefits. The moralities of the murdered party are being secured in which a way no person shall profit from what is not lawfully and honestly theirs.

10. If the lawmakers could, as to this case, be consulted, would they say that they intended by their general language that the property of a testator or of an ancestor should pass to one who had taken his life for the express purpose of getting his property?

11. It is not realistic to assume that any sound person would leave their will unaltered upon learning the fatal intentions of someone whom he bestowed with property.


1.Elmer Palmer, a boy of sixteen years of age, knowing of the standards in his grandfather's will, which constituted him the residuary legatee of the testator's estate, killed him by poison in 1882 (1.17.1)
2.For this crime he was convicted of murder in the second degree, and at the time of the commencement of this action he was serving out his sentence in the state reformatory. (1.17.2)
3.This action was made by two of the children of the Mr. Palmer for the purpose of having those provisions of the will in the respondent's favor canceled and annulled (1.17.3)
4.The appellants' argument for a reversal of the judgment, which dismissed their complaint, is that the person in the will unlawfully prevented a revocation of the existing will, or a new will from being made, by his crime, and that he ended the enjoyment by the testator of his property and effected his own succession to it by the same crime. (1. 18. 1)
5.They say that to permit the respondent to take the property willed to him would be to permit him to take advantage of his own wrong (1.18.3)
6.We are bound by the rigid rules of law, which have been established by the legislature, and within the limits of which the determination [*516] of this question is confined. (1.19.2)
7.The question we are dealing with is, whether a testamentary disposition can be altered, or a will revoked, after the testator's death, through an appeal to the courts, when the legislature has, by its enactments, prescribed exactly when and how wills may be made, altered and revoked, and, apparently, as it seems to me, when they have been fully complied with, has left no room for the exercise of an equitable jurisdiction by courts over such matters. (1.19.3)
8.Complete freedom of testamentary disposition of one's property has not been and is not the universal rule; as we see from the provisions of the Napoleonic Code, from those systems of jurisprudence in other countries which are modeled upon the Roman law, and from the statutes of many of our states. (1.19.5)
9.To the statutory restraints, which are imposed upon the disposition of one's property by will, are added strict and systematic statutory rules for the execution, alteration and revocation of the will; which must be, at least, substantially, if not exactly, followed to insure validity and performance. (1. 19. 6)
10.That freedom, which is permitted to be exercised in the testamentary disposition of one's estate by the laws of the state, is subject to its being exercised in conformity with the regulations of the statutes. (1.19.8)
11.The capacity and the power of the individual to dispose of his property after death, and the mode by which that power can be exercised, are matters of which the legislature has assumed the entire control, and has undertaken to regulate with comprehensive particularity. (1. 19.9)
12.Therefore, in the trial and punishment of the respondent the law has [*520] vindicated itself for the outrage which he committed, and further judicial utterance upon the subject of punishment or deprivation of rights is barred. (1.25.3)

Controversial arguments: 5, 6, 8, 9,10, 11.

5: Permitting the respondent to take the property willed to him is not taking advantage of his wrong, because the respondent served their dues.

6: The rules of the law do not state that respondent is taking advantage of his wrong when he or she receives the property of will. A will can only be revoked by another will, writing that indicates to revoke the will, or physical damage to the will (1).

8: Complete freedom is indeed the universal rule, especially when dealing with last testaments.

9: Execution, revocation, and alteration of will can only be done when the will is compromised physically or by another will (1).

10, 11: The regulations of statutes state that regulating the making, proof and effect of wills, and the devolution of property can in no way and under no circumstances be controlled or modified
Debate Round No. 1


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Debate Round No. 2


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Debate Round No. 3
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