« AnteriorContinuar »
We are of opinion that the circuit court and paid for, a compliance with that condiof appeals erred in holding that the charter tion would have been necessary before the of the W. L. Wells Company made it a con- company would have become a corporation dition of its becoming a corporation that entitled to sue and be sued in the courts of $10,000 of capital stock should be subscribed the United States. But, as we have seen, and paid for. The question was not as to the charter in question prescribed no such the good faith of the incorporators, nor condition. If the legislature had intended whether the company was organized in fraud to withhold corporate existence until a given of the law. Those were not matters to be amount of capital stock was subscribed and inquired into in ordinary suits between the paid for, that intention, we may assume, company and individuals or corporations. would have been manifested by clear lanIf the organization of the company as a cor-guage. We do not feel at liberty, by mere poration was tainted with fraud, it was for construction, to qualify the explicit declarathe state, by some appropriate proceeding, to tion in the 1st section of plaintiff's charter annul its charter. The question before the as to the corporate existence thereby creatcourt below was whether the company was, ed. We therefore hold that under the stattechnically, a corporation, and that depend- utes of Mississippi the only conditions preceed upon the legal effect of the words of its dent to the existence of the corporation was charter. The 1st section of that charter ex- the approval by the governor of the state of pressly declares that the incorporators, their its proposed charter, and the certification of associates and assigns, "are hereby created a that approval under the great seal of the body politic and corporate, under the name state. and style of W. L. Wells Company, and by It is said that the interpretation we have that name shall have succession for fifty given to the charter of the W. L. Wells years, shall have power to sue and be sued, Company is not in harmony with the princontract and be contracted with, may have a ciples announced by the supreme court of corporate seal, and break and alter the same Mississippi. We are referred in support of at pleasure.” These words can have but one this view to Perkins v. Sanders, 56 Miss. meaning. They manifest the purpose of the 733, 738, 739, which was a suit by a creditor legislature to create a corporation. Sub- to enforce the personal liability of stockstantially the same words in a charter holders for the debts of a certain company. granted by Congress were held to create a But there is nothing in that case clearly incorporation. Minor v. Mechanics' Bank, 1 dicating that the supreme court of MissisPet. 47, 63, 7 L. ed. 47, 54. The 2d section sippi would, if this question were before it, of the company's charter did not modify the hold the requirement of the subscription of provisions of the 1st section. It did not re- $10,000 of stock, and its payment before quire the payment of a given amount of commencing business, to have been a condistock subscriptions before the company tion precedent to the plaintiff's becoming a should be considered in esse as a corporation. corporation. That court, in the case cited, It did nothing more than confer the privi- referred to a section of the charter of the lege or power of commencing business when company there in question, providing that a specified amount, less than the whole, of the persons named in it, and all others who its authorized capital stock was subscribed then were or might thereafter become assoand paid for. The company was created a ciated with them, and their successors and corporation by the previous section, with assigns, “be and they are hereby created a power in its corporate name to sue and be body politic and corporate, under the name," sued, contract and be contracted with; and, etc.—a provision like that found in the under the general statutes of the state, it plaintiff's charter. The court said: “This came into existence as a corporation imme- was no proposition to create a corporation diately upon its charter being approved by upon the performance of precedent condithe governor of Mississippi, and such ap- tions, but it was itself the creation of a corproval certified by the secretary of state, un- poration, requiring no other act to be perder the great seal of the state. If the com- formed by the corporators than their acceptmencing of the business for which it was in ance of the charter, and this even was uncorporated before a certain amount of capi- necessary, if, as it is probable, the corporatal stock was subscribed and paid for was in tors had applied for the grant of the charviolation of the company's charter, that was ter, and thus accepted it in advance. a matter for which it could be called to ac- The distinction between the two classes of count by the state, and did not affect the charters is thus seen to be that in the first existence in law of the company as a corpo-class the charter is mere permission on the ration. Of course, if the charter of the part of the legislature for the formation of company had made it a condition precedent a corporation upon the doing of certain acts to its becoming a corporation that a certain prescribed in the charter as precedent condi. amount of capital stock should be subscribed ' tions, and, as a necessary result, no corpo
rate act can be done until those conditions affirmed on appeal by the Secretary of Com. have been performed, except such as may be
merce and Labor.
2. The decision of the Secretary of Commerce expressly permitted by the charter; and, as
and Labor, affirming the denial by the immito those acts, it would be considered that the
gration officers, after examination, of the corporation had an existence before its full
right of a person of Chinese descent to enter investiture with its corporate franchises. In the United States, is no less conclusive on the latter class, in which is this company,
the Federal courts under the act of August the corporation is in existence for all the
18, 1894 (28 Stat. at L. 372, 390, chap. 301,
U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 1303), § 1, in purposes of its creation from the beginning,
habeas corpus proceedings when citizenship except so far as there may be restraints
is the ground on which the right of entry is placed on it by the charter, either expressly claimed than when the ground is domicil and or by plain implication.”
the belonging to a class excepted from the It thus appears that the supreme court of
exclusion acts. Mississippi, in the case referred to, decided 3. The constitutional guaranty of due process
of law is not infringed by the provision of the that where acts are required to be performed
act of August 18, 1894 (28 Stat. at L. 372, before the corporation comes into existence,
390, chap. 301, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, no corporation is created or can exist until p. 1303), § 1, making the decision of the those acts are performed. In this general appropriate department on the right of a view we entirely concur. But the question
person of Chinese descent to enter the United
States conclusive on the Federal courts in remains whether the particular charter here
habeas corpus proceedings, in the absence of in question made it a condition precedent to any abuse of authority, even where citizen. the existence of the W. L. Wells Company as ship is the ground on which the right of a corporation, that a certain amount of its entry is claimed. capital stock should be subscribed and paid for. As already indicated, we are of opin
[No. 535.] ion that no such condition precedent was prescribed, and that under the statutes of Argued April 3, 1905. Decided May 8, Mississippi, and independently of the sub
1905. scription of a certain amount of stock and its payment, the plaintiff became, in law, a N A CERTIFICATE from the United corporation when the governor approved its States Circuit Court of Appeals for the charter, and the fact of such approval was Ninth Circuit presenting the question certified by the secretary of state under the whether habeas corpus should be granted in great seal of Mississippi. It could not behalf of a person of Chinese descent whose thereafter dispute its liability for acts done right to enter the United States has been deby it in its corporate name, nor be denied nied by the immigration officers and affirmed the right to sue in that name.
on appeal by the Secretary of Commerce and As the Circuit Court of Appeals proceed. Labor, and citizenship is the only ground ed on different grounds as to the jurisdic- alleged as making the detention unlawful, tion of the Circuit Court, its judgment must and whether, under such circumstances, the be reversed, and the case remanded, with di- writ should be dismissed or a further hearrections to that court to set aside its own ing be granted, and whether the decision of judgment, and for such further proceedings the Secretary of Commerce and Labor is contouching the merits of the case as may be clusive, in the absence of abuse of authority. consistent with this opinion and with law. The first question answered in the negative, Reversed.
the third in the affirmative, and the second
by stating that the writ should be dismissed. (198 U. S. 253)
The facts are stated in the opinion.
Assistant Attorney General McRey
nolds for the United States. JU TOY.
Messrs. Hayden Johnson, Oliver Dibble,
and Henry C. Dibble for Ju Toy. Habeas corpus in Chinese exclusion casesconclusiveness of decision of Secretary of of the court:
Mr. Justice Holmes delivered the opinion Commerce and Labor-due process of law.
This case come here on a certificate from 1. Habeas corpus should not be granted in the circuit court of appeals presenting cer
favor of a person of Chinese descent, de tain questions of law. It appears that the tained for return to China by the steamship appellee, being detained by the master of the company which brought him to an American steamship Doric for return to China, preport, where his petition alleges nothing but sented a petition for habeas corpus to the citizenship as making his detention unlawful, district court, alleging that he was a nativeand he has been denied admission to the United States by the immigration officers born citizen of the United States, returning after examination, and such denial has been 'after a temporary departure, and was denied
permission to land by the collector of the in the United States, that his application port of San Francisco. It also appears for admission was considered and denied from the petition that he took an appeal by such officers, and that the denial was affrom the denial, and that the decision was firmed upon appeal to the Secretary of Comaffirmed by the Secretary of Commerce and merce and Labor, and where nothing more Labor. No further grounds are stated. The appears to show that such executive officers writ issued, and the United States made re- failed to grant a proper hearing, abused turn, and answered, showing all the proceed their discretion, or acted in any unlawful ings before the Department, which are not or improper way upon the case presented to denied to have been in regular form, and them for determination? setting forth all of the evidence and the or- “Third. In a habeas corpus proceeding in ders made. The answer also denied the alle a district court of the United States, instigations of the petition. Motions to dismiss tuted in behalf of a person of Chinese dethe writ were made on the grounds that the scent being held for return to China by the decision of the Secretary was conclusive, steamship company which recently brought and that no abuse of authority was shown. him therefrom to a port of the United These were denied, and the district court de- States, and who applied for admission therecided, seemingly on new evidence, subject to in upon the ground that he was a nativeexceptions, that Ju Toy was a native-born born citizen thereof, but who, after a hearcitizen of the United States. An appeal ing, the lawfully designated immigration ofwas taken to the circuit court of appeals, ficers found was not born therein, and to alleging errors the nature of which has whom they denied admission, which finding been indicated. Thereupon the latter court and denial, upon appeal to the Secretary of certified the following questions:
Commerce and Labor, was affirmed, --should "First. Should a district court of the the court treat the finding and action of United States grant a writ of habeas cor- such executive officers upon the question of pus in behalf of a person of Chinese de citizenship and other questions of fact as scent being held for return to China by the having been made by a tribunal authorized steamship company which brought him to decide the same, and as final and conclutherefrom, who, having recently arrived at sive unless it be made affirmatively to apa port of the United States, made applica- pear that such officers, in the case submittion to land as a native-born citizen there- ted to them, abused the discretion vested in of, and who, after examination by the duly them, or, in some other way, in hearing and authorized immigration officers, was found determining the same, committed prejudiby them not to have been born in the Unitedcial error ?” States, was denied admission, and ordered We assume in what we have to say, as deported, which finding and action upon ap- the questions assume, that no abuse of aupeal was affirmed by the Secretary of Com- thority of any kind is alleged. That being merce and Labor, when the foregoing facts out of the case, the first of them is answered appear to the court, and the petition for by the case of United States v. Sing Tuck, the writ alleges unlawful detention on the 194 U. S. 161, 170, 48 L. ed. 917, 921, 24 sole ground that petitioner does not come Sup. Ct. Rep. 621: “A petition for habeas within the restrictions of the Chinese ex- corpus ought not to be entertained unless clusion acts, because born in and a citi- the court is satisfied that the petitioner zen of the United States, and does not al- can make out at least a prima facie case.” lege or show in any other way unlawful This petition should have been denied on action or abuse of their discretion or pow. this ground, irrespective of what more we ers by the immigration officers who exclud- have to say, because it alleged nothing exed him?
cept citizenship. It disclosed neither abuse "Second. In a habeas corpus proceeding of authority nor the existence of evidence should a district court of the United States not laid before the Secretary. It did not dismiss the writ, or should it direct a new even set forth that evidence, or allege its or further hearing upon evidence to be pre-effect. But, as it was entertained, and the sented where the writ had been granted in district court found for the petitioner, it behalf of a person of Chinese descent being would be a severe measure to order the peheld by the steamship company for return tition to be dismissed on that ground now, to China, from whence it brought him, who and we pass on to further considerations. recently arrived from that country, and The broad question is presented whether asked permission to land, upon the ground or not the decision of the Secretary of Comthat he was born in and was a citizen of merce and Labor is conclusive. It was held the United States, when the uncontradicted in United States v. Sing Tuck, 194 U. S. return and answer show that such person | 161, 167, 48 L. ed. 917, 920, 24 Sup. Ct. was granted a hearing by the proper immi- Rep. 621, that the act of August 18, 1894 gration officers, who found he was not born' (28 Stat. at L. 372, 390, chap. 301, § 1, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 1303), purported 167, 48 L. ed. 917, 920, 24 Sup. Ct. Rep. to make it so, but whether the statute could 621; Lem Moon Sing v. United States, 158 have that effect constitutionally was left U. S. 538, 546, 547, 39 L. ed. 1082, 15 Sup. untouched, except by a reference to cases Ct. Rep. 967. It also is established by the where an opinion already had been ex- former case and others which it cites that pressed. To quote the latest first, in Japan- the relevant portion of the act of August ese Immigrant Case (Yamataya v. Fisher), 18, 1894 [28 Stat. at L. 372] chap. 301, 189 U. S. 86, 97, 47 L. ed. 721, 724, 23 Sup. ) is not void as a whole.
is not void as a whole. The statute has Ct. Rep. 611, 613, it was said: “That Con- been upheld and enforced. But the relegress may exclude aliens of a particular vant portion being a single section, accomrace from the United States, prescribe the plishing all its results by the same general terms and conditions upon which certain words, must be valid as to all that it emclasses of aliens may come to this country, braces, or altogether void. An exception of establish regulations for sending out of the a class constitutionally exempted cannot be country such aliens as come here in viola- read into those general words merely for tion of law, and commit the enforcement of the purpose of saving what remains. That such provisions, conditions, and regulations has been decided over and over again. Unitexclusively to executive officers, without ju-ed States v. Reese, 92 U. S. 214, 221, 23 L. dicial intervention, are principles firmly es- ed. 563, 565; Trade-Mark Cases, 100 U. S. tablished by the decisions of this court." 82, 98, 99, 25 L. ed. 550, 553, 554; Allen v. See also. United States ex rel. Turner v. Louisiana, 103 U. S. 80, 84, 26 L. ed. 318, Williams, 194 U. S. 279, 290, 291, 48 L. ed. 319; United States v. Harris, 106 U. S. 629, 979, 983, 984, 24 Sup. Ct. Rep. 719; Chin 641, 642, 27 L. ed. 290, 294, 295, 1 Sup. Bak Kan v. United States, 186 U. S. 193, Ct. Rep. 601; Poindexter v. Greenhow, 200, 46 L. ed. 1121, 1125, 22 Sup. Ct. Rep. 114 U. S. 269, 305, 29 L. ed. 185, 197, 5 891. In Fok Young Yo v. United States, Sup. Ct. Rep. 903, 962; Baldwin v. Franks, 185 U. S. 296, 304, 305, 46 L. ed. 917, 921, 120 U. S. 678, 685-689, 30 L. ed. 766, 768, 22 Sup. Ct. Rep. 686, it was held that the 769, 7 Sup. Ct. Rep. 656, 763; Smiley v. decision of the collector of customs on the Kansas, 196 U. S. 447, 455, ante, 289, 25 right of transit across the territory of the Sup. Ct. Rep. 289. It necessarily follows United States was conclusive, and, still that when such words are sustained, they more to the point, in Lem Moon Sing v. are sustained to their full extent. United States, 158 U. S. 538, 39 L. ed. 1082, In view of the cases which we have cited 15 Sup. Ct. Rep. 967, where the petitioner it seems no longer open to discuss the quesfor habeas corpus alleged facts which, if tion propounded as a new one. Therefore true, gave him a right to enter and remain we do not analyze the nature of the right in the country, it was held that the deci- of a person presenting himself at the fronsion of the collector was final as to wheth- tier for admission. Re Ross (Ross v. Mcer or not he belonged to the privileged class. Intyre), 140 U. S. 453, 464, 35 L. ed. 581,
It is true that it may be argued that 586, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 897. But it is not these cases are not directly conclusive of improper to add a few words. The petitionthe point now under decision. It may be er, although physically within our boundsaid that the parties concerned were aliens, aries, is to be regarded as if he had been and that although they alleged absolute stopped at the limit of our jurisdiction, and rights, and facts which it was contended kept there while his right to enter was unwent to the jurisdiction of the officer mak- der debate. If, for the purpose of arguing the decision, still their rights were only ment, we assume that the 5th Amendment treaty or statutory rights, and therefore applies to him, and that to deny entrance to were subject to the implied qualification im- a citizen is to deprive him of liberty, we posed by the later statute, which made the nevertheless are of opinion that with redecision of the collector with regard to them gard to him due process of law does not refinal. The meaning of the cases, and the quire judicial trial. That is the result of language which we have quoted, is not sat the cases which we have cited, and the al. isfied by so narrow an interpretation, but most necessary result of the power of Conwe do not delay upon them. They can be gress to pass exclusion laws. That the deread.
cision may be intrusted to an executive offiIt is established, as we have said, that cer, and that his decision is due process of the act purports to make the decision of the law, was affirmed and explained in NishiDepartment final, whatever the ground on mura Ekiu v. United States, 142 U. S. 651, which the right to enter the country is 660, 35 L. ed. 1146, 1149, 12 Sup. Ct. Rep. claimed, -as well when it is citizenship as 336, and in Fong Yue Ting v. United States, when it is domicil, and the belonging to a 149 U. S. 698, 713, 37 L. ed. 905, 913, 13 class excepted from the exclusion acts. Sup. Ct. Rep. 1016, before the authorities to United States v. Sing Tuck, 194 U. S. 161,' which we already have referred. It is un. necessary to repeat the often-quoted re- | which were overruled by the court, and marks of Mr. Justice Curtis, speaking for thereupon judgment was entered that the the whole court in Den ex dem. Murray v. petitioner was illegally restrained of his libHoboken Land & Improv. Co. 18 How. 272, erty, and that he be discharged from cus280, 15 L. ed. 372, 376, to show that the tody. An appeal from this order was taken requirement of a judicial trial does not pre- to the court of appeals for the ninth cirvail in every case. Lem Moon Sing v. Unit-cuit, which court certified to us the followed States, 158 U. S. 538, 546, 547, 39 L. ing questions : ed. 1082, 1085, 15 Sup. Ct. Rep. 967; Japa- "First. Should a district court of the nese Immigrant Case (Yamataya v. Fish- United States grant a writ of habeas corpus er), 189 U. S. 86, 100, 47 L. ed. 721, 725, in behalf of a person of Chinese descent 23 Sup. Ct. Rep. 611; Public Clearing House being held for return to China by the steamv. Coyne, 194 U. S. 497, 508, 509, 48 L. ship company which brought him therefrom, ed. 1092, 1098, 24 Sup. Ct. Rep. 789. who, having recently arrived at a port of
We are of opinion that the first question the United States, made application to land should be answered, no; that the third ques as a native-born citizen thereof, and who, tion should be answered, yes, with the re- after examination by the duly authorized sult that the second question should be an immigration officers, was found by them not swered that the writ should be dismissed, as to have been born in the United States, was it should have been dismissed in this case. denied
denied admission, and ordered deported, It will be so certified.
which finding and action upon appeal was
affirmed by the Secretary of Commerce and Mr. Justice Brewer, dissenting:
Labor, when the foregoing facts appear to I am unable to concur in the views ex- the court, and the petition for the writ alpressed in the foregoing opinion, and, be- leges unlawful detention on the sole ground lieving the matter of most profound impor- that petitioner does not come within the retance, I give my reasons therefor.
the Chinese exclusion acts, Ju Toy presented his petition to the Unit- because born in and a citizen of the United States district court at San Francisco, ed States, and does not allege or show in alleging that he was a native-born citizen of any other way unlawful action or abuse of the United States; that he was a resident their discretion or powers by the immigraof the United States, temporarily absent, tion officers who excluded him ? and returning to the city and state in which "Second. In a habeas corpus proceeding he was born; that the collector of the port should a district court of the United States of San Francisco refused to permit him to dismiss the writ or should it direct a new land, and that he was detained by the gen-or further hearing upon evidence to be preeral manager of the steamship company in sented, where the writ had been granted in which he came to San Francisco, with a behalf of a person of Chinese descent being view to his return to China. A writ of held by the steamship company for return habeas corpus was issued, and thereupon the to China, from whence it brought him, who district attorney, in behalf of the United recently arrived from that country, and States, answered, setting up the application asked permission to land, upon the ground for landing, a hearing and denial thereof that he was born in and was a citizen of the by the immigration officer, an appeal to the United States, when the uncontradicted reSecretary of Commerce and Labor, and his turn and answer show that such person was action approving that of the immigration granted a hearing by the proper immigraofficer, and with the answer exhibited a copy tion officers, who found he was not born in of all the evidence offered upon the hearing, the United States, that his application for and the orders by the officer and the Sec-admission was considered and denied by retary. Thereupon a motion was made by such officers, and that the denial was afthe district attorney to dismiss the writ, firmed upon appeal to the Secretary of Comon the ground substantially that it did not merce and Labor, and where nothing more appear that the immigration officer or the appears to show that such executive offiSecretary of Commerce and Labor abused cers failed to grant a proper hearing, abused the discretion vested in them by law, or their discretion, or acted in any unlawful that their action was unlawful or that any or improper way upon the case presented to error prejudicial to the petitioner was com- them for determination ? mitted. This motion to dismiss was over- “Third. In a habeas corpus proceeding in ruled, and the cause referred to a referee a district court of the United States insti. to take evidence. Upon the testimony tak- tuted in behalf of a person of Chinese de en by him the referee reported that the pe- scent being held for return to China by the titioner was born in the United States and steamship company which recently brought a citizen thereof. Exceptions to this re- him therefrom to a port of the United port were filed by the district attorney, 'States, and who applied for admission there
strictions of the