Fletcher v. Peck

PETITIONER: Robert Fletcher
RESPONDENT: John Peck
LOCATION:

DOCKET NO.: None
DECIDED BY: Marshall Court (1807-1810)
LOWER COURT:

ARGUED: Feb 15, 1810 / Mar 01, 1809 / Mar 02, 1809 / Mar 03, 1809 / Mar 04, 1809
DECIDED: Mar 16, 1810

Facts of the case

In 1795, the Georgia state legislature passed a land grant awarding territory to four companies. The following year, however, the legislature voided the law and declared all rights and claims under it to be invalid. In 1800, John Peck acquired land that was part of the original legislative grant. He then sold the land to Robert Fletcher three years later, claiming that past sales of the land had been legitimate. Fletcher argued that since the original sale of the land had been declared invalid, Peck had no legal right to sell the land and thus committed a breach of contract.

Question

Could the contract between Fletcher and Peck be invalidated by an act of the Georgia legislature?