« ПретходнаНастави »
their debtor, the United States claiming priority, although the State has provided a procedure in such cases under a peculiar process of law.2 The receiver of a national bank under the national banking laws is an officer of the United States and may sue without regard to citizenship or the amount involved under section 629, clause 3, where the United States, or any officer thereof, are plaintiffs. The circuit courts have jurisdiction in suits brought by the United States to set aside and cancel patents for inventions, for frauds committed by the parties to whom they were issued. 4
1 United States v. Kentucky River Mills, 45 Fed. Rep. 273; Fales v. Railway Co, 32 Fed. Rep. 673; United States v. Shaw, 39 Fed. Rep. 433; See, however, United States v. Huffmaster, 13 Sawy. 283.
2 United States v. Howland, 4 Wheat. 108.
$ 73 n. Claims against the government. The word “claims,” in the Act of March 3, 1887, giving juris. diction to the circuit courts of suits against the government of the United States, embraces claims of title to lands.' Jurisdiction where the matter in dispute exceeds $1,000, and is less than $10,000, applies to clainıs in equity as well as to claims at law. The Act of March 3, 1887, to provide for the bringing of suits against the government of the United States (24 U. S. Stats. 505), does not authorize suits for equitable relief, by specific performance, to compel the issue and delivery of a patent for land. 3 The disallowance of an account by the first comptroller of the treasury is not a rejection of a claim “by any court, department, or commission,” so as to deprive a circuit or district court of jurisdiction of the claim, under the Act of 1887.4
1 Southern Pac. R. Co. v. United States, 38 Fed. Rep. 55. 2 Southern Pac. R. Co. v. United States, 39 Fed. Rep. 55
3 Harmon v. United States, 43 Fed. Rep. 560; citing Stanton v. U.S., 37 Fed. Rep. 252; Erwin v. U.S., 37 Fed. Rep. 470; Hoyne v. U.S., 38 Fed. Rep. 542. But the opposite view was held in Bliss v. U. S., 34 Fed. Pep. 781; Rand v. U. S., 36 Fed. Rep. 671; Preston v. U. S., 37 Fed. Rep. 417.
§ 73 o. In land suits. - A suit in which the plaintiff claims to have acquired a vested right to land by full compliance with the United States homestead law as
against a patent issued to another, is a case arising under the laws of the United States.' Where plaintiff in ejectment claims title under a patent from the United States, the validity of which is denied by defendant, a Federal question is involved.? Where a patent contains a reservation that it shall not affect the rights of third parties, the reservation allows a judicial inquiry into the merits of opposing claims to the land.3 Where plaintiff in a suit for injunction claims a right to land under acts of Congress for disposing of the public lands, a Federal question is presented within the jurisdiction of the circuit court. 4 The power of a court to pass title to real property by decree, under Connecticut statutes, may be exercised by a Federal court in that State. An issue of fact as to fraud, in a suit to set
aside a United States patent for land, does not present a Federal question. Where the State courts of general civil jurisdiction are authorized collaterally to determine the validity of a will and its probate, in a suit involving the title to real property, the United States cir. cuit courts may have like jurisdiction of such a suit by reason of the citizenship of the parties.?
1 Carr v. Fife, 44 Fed. Rep. 713.
§ 73 p. Matter in dispute.-Jurisdiction does not depend on the amount of any contingent loss which one of the parties may sustain by a decision against him, but upon the amount in dispute between them. The matter in dispute must exceed $2,000. (Act of Congress, March 3, 1887.) The rule is an arbitrary one, and excludes jurisdiction in cases which involve rights that, because they are priceless, have no measure in money. The matter in dispute upon a bill filed solely for an accounting is the amount of the disputed items of the account. In a suit for an injunction the value of the object to be gained by the bill, not the amount of plaintiff's damages, is the test of jurisdiction. In a suit to enjoin the use of a trade
mark and to compel an account of profits the amount in dispute is not limited to the amount of profits; the value of the trade-mark may be considered.5. In a suit to restrain the use of property by a party other than the owner, the right to use the property is the matter in dispute; and the value of such right must determine the question of jurisdiction of a circuit court. In a suit by a tax-payer to enjoin the passage of an ordinance creating an indebtedness against the town, on account of its alleged illegality, the matter in dispute is the sum of the taxes which the plaintiff would probably have to pay in the discharge of said indebtedness, and that must amount to $2,000.7 A stockholder, and others who choose to come in for the benefit of the corporation, to restrain the directors from paying out the assets to the amount of $100,000, though the complainant holds less than $1,000, is within the jurisdiction, the matter in dispute in such case being the wrong done.: Where a number of plaintiffs claiming under the same title and having a common interest in the relief sought unite in a suit, their .united interests constitute the matter in dispute. Where the controversy is not respecting the amount or value in dispute, such amount or value, when necessary to the jurisdiction, may be shown by the evidence produced in the case, or by affidavits filed when the question of jurisdiction is raised. 10 The pleadings should show that the matter in dispute exceeds the jurisdictional amount. 11
1 Ross v. Prentiss, 44 U. S. 3 How. 771. 2 Lee v. Lee, 33 U. S. 8 Peters, 44; Barry v. Mercein, 46 U. S. 5 How. 123; Pratt v. Fitzhugh, 66 U. S. 1 Black, 271; Sparrow v. Strong, 70 U. S. 3 Wall. 97.
3 McCormick v. Gray, 54 U. S. 13 How. 26.
4 Miss. & M. R. Co. v. Ward, 67 U.S. 2 Black, 485; Washington Market Co. v. Hoffman, 101 U.S. 112; Whitman v. Hubbell, 30 Fed. Rep. 81.
5 Symonds v. Greene, 28 Fed. Rep. 831.
9 Shields v. Thomas, 58 U. S. 17 How. 3; Washington Market Co. v. Hoffman, 101 U. S. 112; Davies v. Corbin, 112 U. S. 36; Estes v. Gunter, 121 U. S. 183; but see King v. Wilson, 1 Dill. 555; Woodman v. Latimer, 2 Fed. Rep. 842.
11 U. S. v Pratt Coal & Oil Co., 18 Fed. Rep. 708.
§ 73 q. Amount in controversy.--The amount in dispute must exceed five hundred dollars. By matter in dispute is meant the subject of litigation, and for which suit is brought. The value of the matter in dispute is to be determined by reference to the amount claimed in the declaration, petition, or complaiut; and the whole pleadiog will be examined, and not merely the prayer for relief;4 in a case of detinue; in an action on a money demand; in an action on contract;' in an action of ejectment, the value of the interest claimed;' in an action of covenant on a bond ;9 in an action sounding in damages ;10 in an action for a penalty;ll or on penal bonds;12 in an action to recover back taxes illegally exacted;13 but the amount due to each of several bringing suit must exceed five hundred dollars. 14 Where the nature of the action does not require the value of the thing demanded to be stated in the declaration, evidence may be given of the value of the matter in dispute at the trial. 15
If there are separate counts upon separate causes of action, the amount claimed is the aggregate of the sums claimed. 16 A bill to abate a nuisance may be maintained, although the damage sustained does not amount to five hundred dollars, as the value of the object to be removed governs. 17 The amount actually due at the time the action is commenced is the amount in controversy for the purpose of determining the jurisdiction of a Federal court. Since the Act of Congress of 1875, whatever may have been the case before, suits on United States marshals' bonds are only within the jurisdiction of the circuit courts when the sum involved exceeds the jurisdictional amount. 19 In an action of trespass or assault and battery, where the law prescribes no limitation as to the amount to be recovered, the plaintiff has a right to estimate his damages at any sum; and the damage stated in the complaint is the demand and presents the only criterion to which the court can resort in settling the question of jurisdiction. 20 The amount due each of several suitors must be equal to the amount required to
give diction. 21
An action to set aside an award against insurance companies, where the insurance by each was
for more than $2,000, is not defeated by the fact that the interest of some of the companies might be for less where it is not shown that there was any pro rata clause in the
Bills by some creditors to compel payment of unpaid stock subscription", where the claim of the original plaintiff amounts to more than $2,000, is within the juris. diction of the circuit court. 23
1 Walker v. United States, 4 Wall. 163; West. U. Tel. Co. v. Levi, 47 Ind, 552. See Lee v. Watson, 1 Wall. 337.
2 Culver v. Crawford, 4 Dill. 239.
3 Gordon v. Longest, 16 Peters, 97; Kanouse v. Martin, 15 How. 198; Muns v. Dupont, 2 Wash. C. C. 463; Ladd v. Tudor, 3 Wood. & M. 325.
4 Culver v. Crawford, 4 Dill. 239.
8 Hartshorn v. Wright, Peters 0. C. 64; Crawford v. Burnham, 4 Am. L. T. 228; West. U. Tel. Co. v. Levi, 47 Ind. 552; Sherman v. Clark, 3 McLean, 91; Lanning v. Dolph, 4 Wash. C. C. 624; Green v. Liter, 8 Cranch, 229.
9 Victor S. M. Co. v. Mingos, 25 Pitts. L. J. 125.
12 United States v. McDowell, 4 Cranch, 316; Postmaster-Gen. v. Cross, 4 Wash. C. C. 326.
13 King v. Wilson, 1 Dill. 555.
14 King v. Wilson, 1 Dill. 555; Woodman v. Latimer, 2 Fed. Rep. 842; Adams v. Board, McCahon, 235.
15 Ex-parte Bradstreet, 7 Peters, 631. 16 Anderson v. Gerding, 3 Wood, 487; Judson v. Macon Co., 2 Dill.'213. 17 Mississippi & Mo. R. R. Co. v. Ward, 2 Black, 485. 18 Fuller v. Metropolitan L. Ins. Co., 37 Fed. Rep. 163. 19 Pierson v. Philips, 36 Fed. Rep. 837.
20 Wilson v. Daniel, 3 U. S. 3 Dall. 401; Barry v. Edmunds, 116 U. S. 550.
12 Woodman v. Latimer, 2 Fed. Rep. 842; Adams v. Douglas Co., McCahon, 235.
22 Hartford F. Ins. Co. v. Bonner Mercantile Co., 44 Fed. Rep. 151; 20 L. J. 232.
23 Handley v. Stutz, 137 U.S. 366.
§ 73 r. Value of property involved.—The value of the property involved in a suit is to govern in determining the amount in controversy so as to confer jurisdiction. The value of all the lots owned by the plaintiffs is the amount in dispute, where they unite in a suit against a common adversary to determine a disputed claim to the land. The proper criterion for finding the value of property to determine the jurisdiction of a court