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Opinion of the Court.
As to the first class, he reduced the claim for business losses, increased expenses, etc., etc., from $18,921.90 to.....
As to the amount claimed as due because of the professional services of Waters & Waters in the state court the sum claimed was allowed in full...
As to the items for professional services rendered in the Supreme Court of the United States, including hotel bill, etc., the amount was reduced from about $75,000 to....
Under the third class three small items were allowed relating to the expenses of the parties in Kansas and concerning the reference to the Commissioner...
234 U. S.
Both parties excepted to the report of the Commissioner on various grounds and after a hearing the Supreme Court sustained his action, and affirmed his report. 85 Kansas, 214.
Mr. B. P. Waggener for plaintiff in error.
Mr. Charles Blood Smith and Mr. Joseph G. Waters, with whom Mr. John C. Waters and Mr. John F. Switzer were on the bricf, for defendant in error.
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WHITE, after making the foregoing statement, delivered the opinion of the court.
Both before the Commissioner and to the court where the report of the Commissioner was acted on the propositions under the Constitution and laws of the United States upon which the railway company relied, were pressed and overruled and the rightfulness of having so done is the
Opinion of the Court.
question here for decision. But first we notice a motion to dismiss for want of jurisdiction. It is difficult to grasp the ground upon which it rests. In one aspect it would seem to assert that there is no jurisdiction because the Federal rights which were passed upon below were correctly decided. But this obviously goes to the merits. In the only other possible aspect it would seem that the motion proceeds upon the theory that the Federal rights which were decided below were so obviously rightly decided that the contention of error concerning them is too frivolous to sustain jurisdiction, a view which is supported by a statement in the argument for the motion that of course there would be jurisdiction if it appeared that the judgment below "under the color and sanctity of the law inflicted exceptional and unjust exactions." But taking the most favorable view for the motion and assuming that it proceeds upon the only ground upon which it can possibly be said to rest, that is, the frivolousness of the errors relied upon, we pass from its consideration since upon such hypothesis we think on the face of the record the contention is so clearly unsound as to require no further notice.
The Federal errors relied upon concern three subjects: The allowance of business losses, etc.; the award of a sum for attorneys' fees in the state court up to and including the writ of error from this court and the supersedeas; and the grant of an amount for attorneys' fees agreed or supposedly agreed to be paid for professional services rendered in this court on the writ of error and traveling expenses and hotel bills allowed for the same purpose. The three involve different considerations and hence we consider them separately. We come first to test the question as to attorneys' fees in this court, as it is the most important and far reaching since it involves considerations of the gravest importance going to the entire structure of our system of government, based as it is upon an absolute
Opinion of the Court.
denial of any power whatever in the court below to deal with the subject while the other two contentions at best challenge power but relatively or partially.
First. The question of the power of the court to make the allowance for professional services rendered in this court on the former writ of error.
There can be no doubt that tested by the general principles of law controlling in this court, by the statutes of the United States relating to the subject or the rules of this court concerning the same, the award for the attorneys' fees in question was absolutely unwarranted. We do not stop to review and expound the settled line of authority demonstrating this result because it would be wholly superfluous to do so as the principles have been so long the settled rule of conduct in this court and are so elementary as to require not even a reference to the cases. Some of the cases, nevertheless, we cite: Arcambel v. Wiseman, 3 Dall. 306; Day v. Woodworth, 13 How. 363, 372; Oelrichs v. Spain, 15 Wall. 211, 230-231; Tullock v. Mulvane, 184 U. S. 497, 511, et seq. Indeed, this view is not disputed in the argument at bar and was not questioned in the court below, since the court placed its action in making the allowances in question, not upon the supposed authority of any act of Congress nor of any practise of this court or rule thereof sustaining the same nor upon any principle of general law, but solely upon the theory that a state statute gave the power to make the allowances. Nothing could make this view clearer than does the following statement taken from the opinion of the court below (Syllabus-5): "The damages in mandamus proceedings comprehended by Section 723 of the Code (Gen'l. Stat. 1909, Sec. 6319) are the injuries sustained as the natural and probable consequences of the wrongful refusal to comply and the expense reasonably and necessarily incurred in compelling compliance with the alternative writ, including reasonable attorneys' fees in this court and in the Supreme
Court of the United States." And in addition the view of the court below is aptly illustrated by the following passage from the report of the Commissioner answering the claim of the Railway Company as to the effect of the writ of error from this court and the giving of the supersedeas and the resulting authority of this court over the cause under the statutes of the United States-a passage which the court below expressly adopted and made a part of its opinion (p. 221):
"Upon this objection I conclude:
"1. That the jurisdiction of this court in mandamus is the creation of the constitution and the statutes of the State of Kansas.
"2. That this court is the sole judge of what that constitution and those statutes provide.
"3. That the jurisdiction of this court in mandamus over persons within its jurisdiction cannot be affected by act of Congress.
"4. That the Judiciary Act does not and was not intended to affect the jurisdiction of this court.
“5. That the jurisdiction of this court in mandamus attaches upon the issuance of the alternative writ, and the subject-matter of the proceeding being the awarding a peremptory mandamus, that jurisdiction continues unabated, not only until the writ is awarded, but also until the writ is issued and obedience to it enforced.
"6. That the alternative writ is a command of the performance of specified and prescribed duties; and return to the writ is a refusal to perform the duties prescribed; the judgment awarding a peremptory mandamus is a conclusive adjudication that such refusal was wrongful, and the act of the court compelling compliance with the command of the alternative writ.
"7. That the damages comprehended by the Kansas statute are the injuries sustained as the natural and probable consequences of the wrongful refusal to comply
Opinion of the Court.
234 U. S.
and the expenses reasonably and necessarily incurred in compelling compliance with the command of the alternative writ.
"8. That the allowance of the writ of error did not operate to remove the suit from the Supreme Court of the State into the Supreme Court of the United States; its only effect was to bring up the record for purposes of review.
"9. The allowance of the writ of error did not operate as a supersedeas; the taking the supersedeas bond brought about the supersedeas. The taking the bond, and the supersedeas itself, in so far as it can be conceived of as a substantial act, was the action of the Supreme Court of Kansas."
We observe in passing, that the views concerning the Judiciary Act and the effect of the writ of error from this court and the relevant statutes of the United States which were expounded in this passage are not required to be reviewed because they are not necessarily involved in the decision below since that decision did not rest upon them but was based upon the operative effect of the state statute, and hence the views expressed as to the United States statutes in the passage quoted must have been adopted simply because they were considered to be illustrative of the principle by which the state statute was made to control. We, therefore, without in the slightest degree admitting their correctness even for argument's sake, pass the conclusions as to the statutes of the United States expressed in the passages of the report and shall not recur to them except in so far as under the principle of noscitur a sociis we may find it convenient to do so as illustrating the fundamental and destructive error embodied in the conclusion of the court as to the operative power of the state statute.
The question is then, Was the court below right in holding that it had the power because the Kansas statute so authorized to assess as against one party to a suit in the