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Opinion of the Court.

jurisdiction of their persons to the State, or to the courts of the State, and where the most urgent public policy and justice require that the State and its courts should assume jurisdiction over such property? Power of this kind has already been exercised, not only in Kansas, but in all the other States. Lands of non-resident owners, as well as of resident owners, are taxed and sold for taxes; and the owners thereby may totally be deprived of such lands, although no notice is ever given to such owners, except a notice by publication, or some other notice of no greater value, force or efficacy. Beebe v. Doster, 36 Kansas, 666, 675, 677; S. C. 14 Pac. Rep. 150. Mortgage liens, mechanic's liens, material men's liens, and other liens are foreclosed against non-resident defendants upon service by publication only. Lands of non-resident defendants are attached and sold to pay their debts; and, indeed, almost any kind of action may be instituted and maintained against non-residents to the extent of any interest in property they may have in Kansas, and the jurisdiction to hear and determine in this kind of cases may be obtained wholly and entirely by publication. Gillespie v. Thomas, 23 Kansas, 138; Walkenhorst v. Lewis, 24 Kansas, 420; Rowe v. Palmer, 29 Kansas, 337; Venable v. Dutch, 37 Kansas, 515, 519. All the States by proper statutes authorize actions against non-residents, and service of summons therein by publication only, or service in some other form no better; and, in the nature of things, such must be done in every jurisdiction, in order that full and complete justice may be done where some of the parties are nonresidents. We think a sovereign State has the power to do just such a thing. All things within the territorial boundaries of a sovereignty are within its jurisdiction; and, generally, within its own boundaries a sovereignty is supreme. Kansas is supreme, except so far as its power and authority are limited by the Constitution and laws of the United States; and within the Constitution and laws of the United States the courts of Kansas may have all the jurisdiction over all per sons and things within the State which the constitution and laws of Kansas may give to them; and the mode of obtaining

1 this jurisdiction may be prescribed wholly, entirely and exclu


Opinion of the Court.

sively by the statutes of Kansas. To obtain jurisdiction of everything within the State of Kansas, the statutes of Kansas may make service by publication as good as any other kind of service."

Turning now to the decisions of this court: In Boswell's Lessee v. Otis, 9 How. 336, 348, was presented a case of a bill for a specific performance and an accounting, and in which was a decree for specific performance and accounting; and an adjudication that the amount due on such accounting should operate as a judgment at law. Service was had by publication, the defendants being non-residents. The validity of a sale under such judgment was in question; the court held that portion of the decree, and the sale made under it, void; but with reference to jurisdiction in a case for specific performance alone, made these observations: “Jurisdiction is acquired in one of two modes: first, as against the person of the defendant, by the service of process; or, secondly, by a procedure against the property of the defendant within the jurisdiction of the court. In the latter case the defendant is not personally bound by the judgment, beyond the property in question. And it is immaterial whether the proceeding against the property be by an attachment or bill in chancery. It must be substantially a proceeding in 'rem. A bill. for the specific execution of a contract to convey real estate is not strictly a proceeding in rem, in ordinary cases; but where such a procedure is authorized by statute, on publication, without personal service or process, it is substantially of that character."

In the case of Parker v. Overman, 18 How. 137, 140, the question was presented under an Arkansas statute, a statute authorizing service by publication. While the decision on the merits was adverse, the court thus states the statute, the case and the law applicable to the proceedings under it: “It had its origin in the state court of Dallas County, Arkansas, sitting in chancery. It is a proceeding under a statute of Arkansas, prescribing a special remedy for the confirmation of sales of land by a sheriff or other public officer. Its object is to quiet the title. The purchaser at such sales is authorized to

Opinion of the Court.


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institute proceedings by a public notice in some newspaper, . describing the land, stating the authority under which it was sold, and calling on all persons who can set up any right to the lands so purchased, in consequence of any informality, or any irregularity or illegality connected with the sale, to show cause why the sale so made should not be confirmed. In case no one appears to contest the regularity of the sale, the court is required to confirm it, on finding certain facts to exist. But if opposition be made, and it should appear that the sale was made 'contrary to law,' it became the duty of the court to annul it. The judgment or decree, in favor of the grantee in the deed, operates as a complete bar against any and all persons who may thereafter claim such land, in consequence of any informality or illegality in the proceedings. It is a very great evil in any community to have titles to land insecure and uncertain; and especially in new States, where its result is to retard the settlement and improvement of their vacant lands. Where such lands have been sold for taxes there is a cloud on the title of both claimants, which deters the settler from purchasing from either. A prudent man will not purchase a law suit, or risk the loss of his money and labor upon a litigious title. The act now under consideration was intended to remedy this evil. It is in substance a bill of peace. The jurisdiction of the court over the controversy is founded on the presence of the property; and, like a proceeding in rem, it becomes conclusive against the absent claimant, as well as the present contestant. As was said by the court in Clark v. Smith, 13 Pet. 195, 203, with regard to a similar law of Kentucky : ‘A State has an undoubted power to regulate and protect individual rights to her soil, and declare what shall form a cloud over titles; and, having so declared, the courts of the United States, by removing such clouds, are only applying an old practice to a new equity created by the legislature, having its origin in the peculiar condition of the country. The state legislatures have no authority to prescribe forms and modes of proceeding to the courts of the United States; yet having created a right, and at the same time prescribed the remedy to enforce it, if the remedy prescribed be substantially consistent with the ordinary modes

Opinion of the Court.


of proceeding on the chancery side of the federal courts, zu reason exists why it should not be pursued in the same form as in the state court. In the case before us the proceeding, though special in its form, is in its nature but the application of a well-known chancery remedy; it acts upon the land, and may be conclusive as to the title of a citizen of another State."

In the case of Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U. S. 714, 727, 734, in which the question of jurisdiction in cases of service by publication was considered at length, the court, by Mr. Justice Field, thus stated the law: “Such service may also be sufficient in cases where the object of the action is to reach and dispose of property in the State, or of some interest therein, by enforcing a contract or lien respecting the same, or to partition it among different owners, or, when the public is a party, to condemn and appropriate it for a public purpose. In other words, such service may answer in all actions which are substantially proceedings in rem.

It is true that, in a strict sense, a proceeding in rem is one taken directly against property, and has for its object the disposition of the property, without reference to the title of individual claimants; .but, in a larger and more general sense, the terms are applied to actions between parties, where the direct object is to reach and dispose of property owned by them, or of some interest therein. Such are cases commenced by attachment against the property of debtors, or instituted to partition real estate, foreclose a mortgage, or enforce a lien. So far as they affect property in the State, they are substantially proceedings in rem in the broader sense which we have mentioned." These cases were all before the decision of Hart v. Sansom.

Passing to a case later than that, Huling v. Kaw Valley Railway, 130 U. S. 559, 563, it was héld that, in proceedings commenced under a statute for the condemnation of lands for railroad purposes, publication was sufficient notice to a non-resident. In the opinion, Mr. Justice Miller, speaking for the court, says: “Of course, the statute goes upon the presumption that, since all the parties cannot be served personally with such notice, the publication, which is designed

Opinion of the Court.

to meet the eyes of everybody, is to stand for such notice. The publication itself is sufficient if it had been in the form of a personal service upon the party himself within the county. Nor have we any doubt that this form of warning owners of property to appear and defend their interests, where it is subject to demands for public use when authorized by statute, is sufficient to subject the property to the action of the tribunals appointed by proper authority to determine those matters. The owner of real estate, who is a non-resident of the State within which the property lies, cannot evade the duties and obligations, which the law imposes upon him in regard to such property, by his absence from the State. Because he cannot be reached by some process of the courts of the State, which, of course, have no efficacy beyond their own borders, he cannot, therefore, hold his property exempt from the liabilities, duties and obligations which the State has a right to impose upon such property; and in such cases, some substituted form of notice has always been held to be a sufficient warning to the owner, of the proceedings which are being taken under the authority of the State to subject his property to those demands, and obligations. Otherwise the burdens of taxation and the liability of such property to be taken under the power of eminent domain, would be useless in regard to a very large amount of property in every State of the Union." In this connection, it is well to bear in mind, that by the statutes of the United States, in proceedings to enforce any legal or equitable lien, or to remove a cloud upon the title of real estate, non-resident holders of real estate may be brought in by publication, 18 Stat. 472; and the validity of this statute, and the jurisdiction conferred by publication, has been sustained by this court. Mellen v. Moline Iron Works, 131 U. S. 352.

These various decisions of this court establish that, in its judgment, a State has power by statute to provide for the adjudication of titles to real estate within its limits as against non-residents who are brought into court only by publication ; and that is all that is necessary to sustain the validity of the decree in question in this case.

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