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declaring "the lands" in which minerals are found open to purchase,. and section 2325 authorizing a patent for "any land" located for minerals, indicating that the patent is a grant of the land, with the rights. incident to common land ownership.
Appeal from the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Montana.
Toole & Bach, for appellants.
W. E. Cullen, E. C. Day, and W. E. Cullen, Jr., for appellee.
GILBERT, Circuit Judge. The St. Louis Mining & Milling Company is the owner of the St. Louis lode mining claim, and the Montana Mining Company, Limited, the appellee, is the owner of the Nine Hour lode mining claim, which adjoins the St. Louis claim on the east. The appellants were proceeding to drift a tunnel 260 feet underground horizontally from the St. Louis claim eastward, and into the Nine Hour claim, for the purpose of reaching and mining a lode which had its apex in the St. Louis claim, and which they had the right to pursue on its downward course, as it passed with its dip to the eastward out of their side line into the Nine Hour claim. It was stipulated that the tunnel, if projected in the course in which it was being drifted, would reach the vein or lode which had its apex within the St. Louis claim, and that in the course of its progress there would be encountered no other vein, lode, or ledge. At the suit of the owner of the Nine Hour claim, the circuit court. enjoined the appellants from proceeding further with said tunnel. From that decree the present appeal is taken.
The case involves the interesting question whether the owner of a mining claim who has the right to pursue beyond the side lines. of his claim a vein or lode which has its apex within his own claim is confined in his right to operations within or upon the vein itself, and is without authority to otherwise enter the adjoining claim. The appellants contend that a patent for a mining claim by its terms conveys only the surface of the claim, together with all veins, lodes, or ledges having their tops or apices within the surface boundaries thereof, and that the granting words of the appellee's patent circumscribe the right of the grantee thereof to the precise estate granted, and that since the mining law confers the general right to explore and purchase the mineral lands of the United States the appellants, in this instance, have the right to explore within the Nine Hour claim, and thereby to reach their own property, so long as they interfere with no right granted to the owners of the latter claim. It is true that the statute (section 2322, Rev. St.), and the patents thereupon issued, confer upon the locators of mining claims in terms. only "the exclusive right of possession and enjoyment of all the surface included within the lines of their locations, and of all veins,. lodes, and ledges throughout their entire depth, the top or apex of which lies inside of such surface lines extended downward vertically, although such veins, lodes, or ledges may so far depart from a perpendicular in their course downward as to extend outside the
vertical side lines of such surface locations"; and that the statute further specifies that such locators, notwithstanding their extralateral rights, shall have no authority to enter upon the surface of a claim owned or possessed by another. But the appellants must find in the same statute the full measure of their own right. What are the rights that are given by the patent to the owners of the St. Louis claim? They are given the right of possession of the surface and of everything within their own claim, except the veins or lodes therein, which may have their apices in the surface of another claim, so as to give the owner of the latter extralateral rights, and they are given the right to follow outside of their side lines and into adjoining claims all veins or lodes which have their apices in their own claims, so as to confer extralateral rights. This is their right, and no more. There is no warrant for saying that they have any general right of exploration within land of an adjoining patented claim, whether upon or below the surface. The right of exploration is given for the purpose of making discovery of mineral. Of what avail would be the right of exploration if no benefit could be obtained from discovery made thereby? The ground covered by a subsisting, valid mineral location is open to exploration only by the owner thereof. The statute gives the appellants the right to follow the vein which they were seeking to reach by the tunnel, but it confers upon them no right to approach it from any point other than from the vein or lode itself. The mining laws, as we construe them, grant to a mineral locator more than the mere right to the surface of his claim and to the veins or lodes which have their apices therein. The statute (section 2319) declares "the lands" in which valuable mineral deposits are found to be open to occupation and purchase; and section 2325 provides that "a patent for any land claimed and located for valuable deposits may be obtained in the following manner." These provisions tend to indicate that the pattent when issued is a grant of land with all the rights incident to common-law ownership. The reason for specifying in the description of the grant the "veins, lodes, and ledges" is for the purpose of defining what is granted in addition to the land, namely, the right to pursue such veins, lodes, and ledges extralaterally in case they depart from the perpendicular and extend beyond the side lines of the claim. This view is in accord with the trend of all the decisions to which our attention has been directed. In Copper Co. v. Heinze, 64 Pac. 326, 53 L. R. A. 491, the supreme court of Montana held, in substance, that the owner of a mining claim is prima facie the owner of a vein or lode found at a depth of 1,300 feet within the vertical planes of the lines of his own claim, and that that presumption would prevail until it was shown that the vein had its outcrop in the surface of some other located claim in such a way as to give to the owners of the latter the right to pursue it on its downward course. The court said:
"Upon a valid location of a definite portion of land is founded the right of possession. The patent grants the fee, not to the surface and ledge only, but to the land containing the apex of the ledge. The right to follow the ledge upon its dip between the vertical planes of the parallel end lines ex
tending in their own direction, when it departs beyond the vertical planes of the side lines, is an expansion of the rights which would be conferred by a common-law grant."
Of similar import is State v. District Court of Second Judicial Dist. of Silver Bow Co. (Mont.) 65 Pac. 1020.
In Doe v. Waterloo Min. Co. (C. C.) 54 Fed. 935, Judge Ross said:
"Except as modified by the statute, no reason is perceived why one who acquires the ownership or possession of such lands should not hold them with and subject to the incidents of ownership and possession at common law."
In Consolidated Wyoming Gold Min. Co. v. Champion Min. Co. (C. C.) 63 Fed. 540, Judge Hawley said:
"Hands off of any and every thing within my surface lines, extending vertically downward, until you prove that you are working upon and following a vein which has its apex within your surface claim."
We find no error in the decree of the circuit court. The decree is affirmed.
(113 Fed. 903.)
UNITED STATES v. VAN WINKLE.
(Circuit Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. February 3, 1902.)
1. MINERAL LANDS-CUTTING TIMBER-CHARACTER OF LAND-DETERMINATION
On an issue whether public land on which timber was cut by defendant was mineral land, within Act Cong. June 3, 1878, authorizing residents of certain mineral districts to cut timber on mineral lands, a geological map of the territory in which the lands were located, issued by authority of interior department, was admissible for use in connection with the evidence of witnesses, and to show the general nature of the land described, its elevation and surroundings, and its situation with relation to lands proven to be mineral, where not in any way purporting to show the nature of the land in controversy, or to indicate that it was mineral.
2. SAME PUBLIC RECORDS-HARMLESS ERROR.
The admission of a certified copy of the "general description of the survey" of the township in which the land in controversy was situated, containing no reference to the particular land, but referring in general terms to the township, stating that it was mountainous, and that considerable placer mining had been done along a certain creek, and expressing the opinion that undeveloped quartz ledges existed in the ridges, even if error, could not have prejudiced plaintiff.
8. SAME DIRECTION OF VERDICT.
There being evidence that in cutting the timber defendant acted under what he believed to be the lawful authority of the United States, a request that the court direct a verdict for the United States for the full amount prayed for, on the ground that it had been proven that the lands were public lands, and that defendant had cut the timber without authority, was properly refused, because ignoring defendant's good faith. 4. SAME MEASURE OF DAMAGES.
In case defendant cut the timber in good faith, he was only liable for the value of the timber as cut, and not as manufactured.
In Error to the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Idaho.
The United States brought an. action against Isaac Van Winkle, the defendant in error, to recover the value of 90,000 feet of lumber, of the manu
factured value of $7 per thousand feet, which lumber and logs were alleged to have been wrongfully and unlawfully cut from the public domain of the United States in the land district of Boise, Idaho. The defendant in error set up the defense that the lands from which said lumber and sawlogs were cut was mineral land of the United States, within the meaning of the act of Congress approved June 3, 1878, entitled "An act authorizing the citizens of Colorado, Nevada and the territories to fell and remove timber on the public domain for mining and domestic purposes," section 1 of which provides as follows: "That all citizens of the United States and other persons, bona fide residents of the states of Colorado or Nevada or either of the territories of New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming. Dakota, Idaho or Montana, and all other mineral districts of the United States, shall be and are hereby authorized and permitted to fell and remove for building, agricultural, mining or other domestic purposes any timber or other trees growing or being on the publie lands, said lands being mineral, and not subject to entry under the existing laws of the United States except for mineral entry, in either of said states, territories or districts of which such citizens or persons may be at the time bona fide residents, subject to such rules and regulations as the secretary of the interior may prescribe for the protection of the timber and of the undergrowth growing upon such lands, and for other purposes: provided, the provisions of this act shall not extend to railroad corporations." The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff in error for the sum of $35.
R. V. Cozier, for the United States.
Fremont Wood and S. H. Hays, for defendant in error.
GILBERT, Circuit Judge, after stating the case as above, delivered the opinion of the court.
We are precluded from considering the interesting and important question principally discussed in the brief of the plaintiff in error, whether the circuit court erred in the instructions given and refused to the jury concerning the meaning of the words "mineral lands," as used in the statute of June 3, 1878, for the reason that it appears from the record that no exception was taken to the instructions so given or refused. There remain, therefore, for our consideration, only the rulings of the court in admitting certain documentary evidence, and in denying the request of the plaintiff in error for peremptory instruction to the jury to find a verdict in its favor. The defendant in error, to support his defense, offered in evidence a geological map of Boise Basin, in which were located the lands from which the timber was cut, the map having been issued by the authority of the department of the interior as "Part III., P. 1, XCVI., 16th Annual Report of the Director of Geological Survey.' It was admitted in evidence, over the objection of the plaintiff in error, that it was incompetent and hearsay. The map was identified, and shown to be substantially correct, so far as it represented the location of mines thereon. It was used in connection with the evidence of several witnesses. We think it was admissible for that purpose, as well as for the purpose of showing the general nature of the land described in the complaint, its elevation and surroundings, and its situation with relation to lands which were proven to be mineral. It does not in any way purport to show the nature of the precise land in controversy, or to indicate that it was mineral land. We are unable to perceive how its admission in evidence could have been harmful or prejudicial to the plaintiff in error.
Error is assigned to the admission of the certified copy made by the surveyor general of Idaho of the "General Description of the Survey" of the township in which the lands are situated. The general description so admitted in evidence contains no reference to the particular land which is the subject of the suit. It refers in general terms to the township in which the land is situated, states that it is mountainous, etc., and that there has been a great deal of placer mining done along Grimes creek, and expresses the opinion that undeveloped quartz ledges exist in the ridges. We are inclined to the opinion that in an action such as this, where the nature of the land in controversy was a question in issue involved, reference might properly be had to the records of the land office as prima facie evidence, at least, of their character; but, in any view of this particular evidence, the plaintiff in error could not have been injured by its admission.
(113 Fed. 905.)
Nor was the plaintiff in error entitled to a peremptory instruction to the jury to find a verdict as requested. The request was that direct a verdict for the plaintiff for the full amount prayed for in the complaint, upon the ground that it had been proven that the lands were public lands, and that the defendant had not only entered and cut timber of the quantity and value manufactured, as charged in the complaint, but that he had done so without authority from the plaintiff in error, and without effort or attempt to comply with the rules and regulations of the secretary of the interior governing the cutting of timber from the public lands. This instruction, as asked for, ignores the right of the jury to take into consideration the question of the good faith of the defendant in error in cutting the timber as he did upon the public lands. There was evidence that in cutting the timber he acted under what he believed to be the lawful authority of the United States. Such being the case, it was the province of the jury to determine whether his action was in good faith, and to measure the damages accordingly. If he acted in good faith, the law required the verdict of the jury to be for the value of the timber as cut, and not as manufactured. Gentry v. U. S., 41 C. C. A. 185, 101 Fed. 51. In the charge which was given by the court, the jury was instructed that in fact the defendant had not complied with the rules and regulations of the secretary of the interior concerning the cutting of timber upon government lands. From the amount of the verdict, which was $35, it is evident that the jury found that the timber was cut in good faith.
We find no error for which the judgment should be reversed. It is accordingly affirmed.
RABE v. CONSOLIDATED ICE CO.
(Circuit Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. February 25, 1902.)
1. MASTER AND SERVANT-GUARDING MACHINERY-FACTORY-WHAT CONSTITUTES-COMMERCIAL ICE HOUSE.
A commercial ice house, which is extensively equipped with machinery, and in which numerous operators are employed, is a "factory," within Laws N. Y. 1897, c. 415, providing that "shafting, set screws and machinery of every description shall be properly guarded" by the owners