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Statement of the Case.

same was thereby, extended to the second Monday in November following. The record contains no such bill of exceptions.

consideration expressed on the face of the said deed of $490: which said deed was filed and recorded in the county clerk's office of Lancaster County, Nebraska, on the 10th day of August, 1867.

34th. That on the 9th day of January, 1875, said Samuel W. Little, by a deed of quit-claim, pursuant to an arrangement made between Jane Y. Irwin and one George Smith and said Samuel W. Little, made, executed and delivered, for the consideration of $100, a part of the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 24, township 10, range 6 east; that said S. W. Little had consented to the entry of said George Smith upon the said parcel of land under the contract for the purchase of the same from Messrs. Scott, Boyd and La Master.

35th. That in the year 1873 ope Hickman entered upon the northeast quarter of the south vest quarter of section 24, township 10, range 6 east, under a lease from Charles T. Boggs, and erected thereon stables for a milk ranch and paid rent thereon for said premises at the rate of $12 per annum, and continued to occupy the said premises for such purposes and for feeding and herding his stock thereon for a period of about two years.

36th. That from May 31, 1874, continuously down to the time of the commencement of this suit, June 14, 1884, Charles T. Boggs and Samuel W. Little and his and their lessees and grantees, under claim of title thereto, held mixed possession of all of the north half of the southwest quarter of section 24, township 10, range 6 east, and that no other person occupied the same or entered thereon under claim of title to any part thereof.

37th. That on the 25th day of September, 1883, Samuel W. Little and Mary D. Little, by their deed of general warranty and for the consideration of the sum of $10,500, sold and conveyed to the defendant, John C. Deputron, all that part of the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 24, township 10, range 6 east, described as follows, and being the premises in dispute: Beginning at a point in the centre of R Street, in said city, 150 feet east of the east line of 17th Street; thence east along the centre of R Street 600 feet to the centre of 19th Street; thence north, at right angles with R Street, 1400 feet; thence west, parallel with R Street, 750 feet, to the east line of 17th Street extended north through R Street; thence south along said east line of 17th Street 790 feet; thence east, parallel with R Street, 94 feet; thence south, parallel with 17th Street, 247 feet; thence east, parallel with R Street, 38 feet; thence south, parallel with 17th Street, 163 feet; thence east along Leighton's north line 18 feet; thence south along Leighton's line 200 feet to the place of beginning, containing 22.15 acres of land; also part of the said northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 24, township 10, range 6 east, described as follows: For a starting point begin at a point 400 feet east of Grand Avenue and 200 feet north of R Street, at C. M. Leighton's northwest corner, running thence north 410 feet; thence east 94 feet; thence south 247 feet; thence east

Statement of the Case.

On the 9th day of November, 1887, Deputron filed his petition, alleging that Rowena Young was not the real party in interest, and that the title of the property in controversy was collusively and fraudulently transferred to her for the sole purpose of vesting apparent jurisdiction in the federal court; that the case did not really and substantially involve a dispute or controversy properly within its jurisdiction; and that Rowena Young had been improperly and collusively made a plaintiff for the purpose of creating a case cognizable under the laws of the United States; and praying that the cause be dismissed ; to which the plaintiff answered, denying any fraud and collusion, and averring that she was the real party interested. On the 16th day of November, 1888, the following order was entered :

“This cause coming on for hearing on the petition and application of the defendant to dismiss for want of jurisdiction, was tried by the court, Messrs. Hall and Webster appearing for the plaintiff, and Messrs. Lamb, Ricketts, and Wilson and Harwood, Ames and Kelly for the defendant; whereupon, after hearing the evidence and argument of counsel, and being fully. advised in the premises, it is now, on this day,

38 feet; thence south 163 feet; thence west along Leightou's north line to the place of beginning, the north and south limits to be parallel with Grand Avenue and the east and west limits to be parallel with R Street; which said deed was recorded on the 6th day of September, 1883, in the county clerk's office of Lancaster County, Nebraska.

38th. That said Samuel W. Little delivered to the said John C. Deputron the mixed possession of the said premises at the date of the execution of the said deed, and that the said John C. Deputron thence and hitherto has held the mixed possession of the same.

39th. That the value of the said premises at the present time is the sum of forty thousand dollars.

40th. We find that John C. Deputron, defendant, is a brother-in-law of S. W. Little, his grantor, and that there is no proof of any consideration paid by Deputron to Little for such conveyance.

41st. That the value of the land claimed by John C. Deputron, defendant, being 22.15 acres was worth (40,000) forty thousand dollars.

January 29, 1875, S. W. Little was holding said premises as purchaser at tax sale under certificate of purchase May 26, 1874, for tax of 1872.

If the court is of the opinion that on these facts the plaintiff is entitled to possession of the property in dispute, then we find for the plaintiff.


Opinion of the Court.

ordered and adjudged by the court that said petition and application be, and the same are hereby, denied; to which ruling and order of the court, said defendant, by his attorneys, then and there duly excepted."

An opinion on the merits was given by the circuit judge, December 17, 1888, 37 Fed. Rep. 46, and, thereupon, the motion of the defendant for judgment was overruled, the motion of the plaintiff for judgment sustained, and judgment entered that the plaintiff recover from the defendant the real property described in the petition and the costs of the action. A bill of exceptions containing the petitions, answers and proceedings, and evidence adduced upon the question of jurisdiction, was signed and filed in due time. The pending writ of error was then sued out from this court.

Mr. Walter J. Lamb, Mr. Arnott C. Ricketts and Mr. Henry H. Wilson for plaintiff in error.

Mr. John F. Dillon, Mr. Samuel Shellabarger, Mr. R. S. Hall and Mr. Joseph R. Webster for defendant in error.

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the court.

It is contended that the Circuit Court erred in entering judgment on the special verdict because the citizenship of the parties was not found by the jury. But that fact stood admitted on the record. The plaintiff averred in her petition that she was 66 a citizen and resident of the State of Ohio," and that the defendant was "a citizen and resident of the State of Nebraska." The answer set up three defences: (1) An affirmative claim of title under a tax deed; (2) Ten years' adverse possession; (3) "And this defendant, further answering, denies that the said plaintiff is the owner of the premises described in her petition; and this defendant also denies that the plaintiff is entitled to the possession of the said premises, and prays to be hence dismissed with his costs, to be taxed." The averment of diverse citizenship was not controverted by the answer,

Opinion of the Court.

and as the petition would have been insufficient without that allegation, the averment must be taken as true under the practice in the courts of record in Nebraska. Neb. Code Civ. Proc. SS 134, 135; Comp. Stat. 1885, p. 645.

Clearly, .where the jurisdictional allegation is not traversed, no question involving the capacity of the parties in the cause to litigate in the Circuit Court can be raised before the jury, Railroad Co. v. Quigley, 21 How. 202, 214; or treated as within the issues they might be mpanelled to determine. The Circuit Court properly proceeded to judgment, although the special verdict contained no finding upon this point.

After the case had been twice tried on its merits, and stood on the special verdict upon motions by the parties for judgment in their favor respectively, the defendant assailed the jurisdiction of the court by petition, upon the ground that the. title bad been placed in the plaintiff collusively and with the view of enabling suit to be brought in the United States Court, when in fact the plaintiff did not own the property and had accepted the title only for the collusive purpose aforesaid. Prior to the passage of the act of 1875, such a question could only be raised by a plea in abatement in the nature of a plea to the jurisdiction; but the fifth section of that act provided that if “it shall appear to the satisfaction of said Circuit Court at any time after such suit has been brought that such suit does not really and substantially involve a dispute or controversy properly within the jurisdiction of said Circuit Court, or that the parties to said suit have been improperly or collusively made or joined, either as plaintiffs or defendants, for the purpose of creating a case cognizable under this act, the said Circuit Court shall proceed no further therein, but shall dismiss the suit ; but its order dismissing the cause shall be rex viewable by the Supreme Court on writ of error or appeal, as' the case may be.” 18 Stat. 472. The application here was made more than a year and a half after the second trial, and although the petitioner avers that he did not have knowledge of the above facts before the trial of this cause," we remark in passing that such an objection ought to be raised at the first opportunity, and delay in its presentation should be consid

Opinion of the Court.

ered in examining into the grounds upon which it is alleged to rest.

The issue of fact raised upon this petition was tried by the Circuit Court without a jury, and the application denied. No question of law was reserved by the defendant during the hearing, but he entered an exception to the final order, and now asks us to hold that it was the duty of the Circuit Court to dismiss the case because collusively brought. We do not care to enter upon a discussion as to how far in an action at law, where there are no special findings upon an issue of fact such as this, a party has the right to demand a review of the final order of the Circuit Court on the merits, as, upon the evidence in this record, we are content with the conclusion arrived at. In Barry v. Edmunds, 116 U. S. 550, it was held that a suit cannot properly be dismissed by a Circuit Court of the United States, as not involving a controversy within the jurisdiction of the court, unless the facts when made to appear on the record create a legal certainty of that conclusion. “Nothing less than this,” said Mr. Justice Matthews, “is meant by the statute when it provides that the failure of iis jurisdiction, on this account, “shall appear to the satisfaction of said Circuit Court.""

The question was whether the conveyance by Jane Y. Irwin to Rowena Young was colorable merely. The plaintiff testi

. fied positively that she was the real owner of the land, and that it was conveyed to her by her sister, Mrs. Irwin, partly in consideration of what Mrs. Irwin owed her, and partly because she herself had a share in it; that “the land was entered with money coming out of my father's estate belong. ing in part to me, being the joint fund of Jane and myself.” And her testimony is corroborated by that of her brother, William P. Young.

We have carefully examined the evidence and especially the matters urged as constituting badges of colorable transfer, but do not find any substantial ground for overthrowing the deed, or questioning the passing of the title. Such conflict as exists has been determined by the Circuit Court, and it would subserve no useful purpose to restate the circumstances

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