after stating the case. A question of jurisdiction meets us at the very outset of this case. The plain*331tiff alleges that the deed under which 'the defendants claims and against which he seeks relief, is absolutely void' for uncertainty upon its faee. Ought then a court of equity to-.take cognizance of the cause and undertake to quiet the-plaintiff’s fears, when upon- his own- showing they are utterly groundless and idle ?-
The courts of equity in the exercise of what is called “'preventive or protective justice,”’have been long accustomed to relieve against deeds or other instruments, which-it is feared may be used vexatiously and injuriously at some-future day, when the evidence to impeach then* may be lost, and against such as may presently operate as clouds upon-the title of others, and cause their true- interests- to be- suspected.
But to justify the interposition of the court for any such-purpose, the difficulty com-plained of m-ust appear to exist,, and the cloud sought to be removed,, present, at least, some semblance of validity. Otherwise the court will not interpose, since to do so-, would be to engage in the vain effort of giving relief to one who cannot possibly be injured. Accordingly we find it said in 1 Story’s Eq. Jur. § 700 a., that when the illegality of the instrument complained of appears upon its face, so that its nullity can admit of no doubt,, it is the established rule of the court not to use its authority to order its cancellation, for in such a case there can be no danger that the lapse of time may deprive-the party of hi& full means of defence, nor can it in any «just sense be said that a paper can cast a cloud upon- h-is title or diminish its security. To the same effect are the decisions of courts in, the follow cases: Scott v. Onderdonk; 14 N. Y. 9; Cox v. Clift, 2 Comstock (N. Y.) 118; Pierrott v. Elliott, 6 Peters 95; Gamble v. Loop, 14 Wis. 466; Head v. James, 13 Wis. 641; and Farnham v. Campbell, 34 N. Y. 480.
These cases all go upon, the idea that the court will not. engage in a,w;or.k of supererogation, by declaring that tube; *332:a void deed, which upon its face, is no deed, and of no greater •consequence than ,a blank piece of paper./
So it is .in this ease. The plaintiff’s own allegations furnish a complete answer to his demand for .relief, for if they be true., be has ,a perfect defence, manifested by the very •deed under which his adversaries claim the land, and as lasting in its nature as that deed itself.; and a decree of this •court, declaring that deed to be void, can render it no more ánoperative than it now is, according to the statement made in the complaint.
We are of the-oplnion, therefore., that the plaintiffs action nahst be dismissed, and accordingly do so adjudge.
But .as the defendants seem to insist .upon the validity of the deed, lest we may mislead them, o.r prejudice the plaintiff, we declare our judgment to be founded solely upon a •consideration of the complaint, and not of the cause upon its merits.
Let the plaintiff’s action be dismissed.
Per .GuriaM. Action dismissed.