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Since the New York Code of 1848 abolished the distinctions, between
actions at law and suits in equity and the forms of all such actions
and suits, the title of this paper may seem somewhat paradoxical.
Nevertheless, a few dicta to the contrary, one who sues for.the possession
of realty is still objectionable if he has only an "equitable" title,
because, it is said, so slight an interest will not support "ejectment."
In view of the courts' use of the words, we have ventured to combine
them here as a general description of the plight of the so-called equitable
owner as he sues for his land in so-called ejectment.
In some jurisdictions statutes expressly provide that he may sue.
Where this legislation is not in effect, most courts answer him as crisply
as did a New York judge thirty-five years ago: "The rule given by
Chitty prevails in this state. 'The lessor of the plaintiff must also have
a strict legal right; a mere equitable and beneficial interest, without the
legal title, will not suffice. The same statement was made by the
Court of Appeals so recently as last May in Trembarth v. Berner.
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