« AnteriorContinuar »
take effect upon ratification by a majority script in this court. The following is an of the legal voters of the Nation. It was outline of the facts found: Mrs. Martin thus ratified on August 7, 1902.
was the granddaughter of an Indian woman On May 13, 1904, Harnage made appli. known as Mary Anderson, or Anson, after. cation to the Dawes Commission to have the wards Mary Thursday, and was the daughland in controversy allotted to him, and his ter of William Bob Anson, otherwise known application was granted. Thirteen days as Wild Bill. She had a brother known as later Mrs. Martin made a similar appli. Sam Bob. All these parties were Delaware cation, and this was refused on the ground Indians, adopted into the Cherokee Tribe, of the prior allotment to Harnage; there and as such were entitled to certain Delaupon she instituted a contest before the ware payments from the government. Durcommission against the Harnage allotment. ing Mrs. Martin's childhood, she and her It came to trial before the Dawes Commis. brother and their parents resided with the sioner in September, 1907, and resulted in grandmother, who the head of the a decision in favor of Mrs. Martin. Harn- family, upon an improved tract of land age appealed to the Commissioner of Indian known as the "old home place," located Affairs, who rendered a like decision, and south and west of the land in controversy. this, on appeal to the Secretary of the In. Wild Bill died in 1889, and his wife about terior, was affirmed; and deeds for the land the same time; and, after this, such pay. in contest were made to Mrs. Martin pur- ments as were due to Wild Bill as a Delasuant to the act.
ware were paid to Mary Thursday, and also Upon the trial of the equity case plaintiffs certain small payments that were due to the in error introduced a certified transcript of contestant. About the year 1891, contestall proceedings and evidence in the contest ant, then a child of about ten years, was reproceeding, and this was the only evidence moved by force or undue influence to the offered that was at all pertinent to the ques- home of a Delaware named Frenchman, and tion we have to decide. Defendants in error kept there until the Delaware payments of demurred to the evidence, and the demurrer 1891 and 1893, averaging over $500 each, was sustained and the bill of complaint dis were paid to the members of the tribe. The missed. This judgment was affirmed by payments due to contestant were collected the supreme court of Oklahoma (40 Okla. by Frenchman, who appropriated them to 341, 136 Pac. 164).
his own use, this having been his object in Harnage having admittedly filed first assuming control over the child. Later she upon the land in controversy, Mrs. Martin was sent away to school at the expense of was entitled to prevail in the contest only the government, and afterwards returned to by showing that at the time of the Harnage the vicinity of her home, where she supportfiling she was the owner of the improve ed herself by her labor. In November, 1898, ments, within the meaning of g 11 of the when she was about eighteen years of age, Agreement, and for that reason entitled, she was married to George Martin, and shortunder the provisions of the same section, ly after this she and her husband visited to take this particular land for her allot- Mary Thursday, and the latter then ascerment. It was found by the Commissioner tained that contestant had not secured any to the Five Civilized Tribes who heard the land for future allotment. (This was after contest, and by the Commissioner of Indian the establishment of the Dawes Commission, Affairs and the Secretary of the Interior and after the passage of the Curtis Act of who heard the successive appeals, that Mrs. June 28, 1898 [chap. 517, § 11, 30 Stat. at L. Martin was the owner of the improvements; 495–497], when the allotment of the Indian and the only question for our determination lands in the then territory was in contemis whether this decision was without evi. plation; Woodward v. De Graffenried, 238 U. dence to support it, or was otherwise S. 284, 291, 59 L. ed. 1310, 1317, 35 Sup. Ct. the result of some error of law on the part Rep. 764.) During contestant's absence the of those officers. Ross v. Stewart, 227 U. original home place had been added to by S. 530, 535, 57 L. ed. 626, 629, 33 Sup. Ct. the purchase in 1893 of the improvements on Rep. 345; Ross v. Day, 232 U. S. 110, 117, about 90 acres of land lying immediately 58 L. ed. 528, 530, 34 Sup. Ct. Rep. 233; north of it for $800, the purchase price havJohnson v. Riddle, 240 U. S. 467, 474, 60 ing been paid by Mary Thursday and Sam L. ed. 752, 756, 36 Sup. Ct. Rep. 393. Bob from the proceeds of the Delaware pay
Each of the departmental decisions was ments, and the bill of sale for the improve made in writing, but the findings are some ments having been made to them. The enwhat informal, each appeal having resulted tire place then comprised about 200 acres of in adding something to what had been found improvements. Mrs. Thursday, recognizing before,-a fact not surprising, since the an indebtedness to contestant on account testimony is very voluminous, occupying of having received Delaware payments due more than 500 pages of the printed tran. Ito her and to her father, and there being sufficient land for herself and Sam Bob and | The evidence is to some extent circumcontestant, gave to contestant a right to stantial, but it is sufficient. It was contraselect the land in controversy, or at least to dicted by Wallace Thursday, the husband take as an allotment some portion of the of Mary, but his unreliability was clearly home place, with the understanding that shown. she, Mary Thursday, would hold it until the It is argued that, under § 18 of the Agreetime for allotment, which was done. From ment, Mrs. Thursday's possession, after No. the time of the making of this arrangement vember 5 of that year (ninety days after Mrs. Martin was recognized by her grand date of ratification), of all lands in excess of mother and her brother as having an inter- the value of 110 acres of average allottable est in the place; that is, a right to share lands for herself and a like amount for each in the improvements to the extent necessary of her minor children, if any, was unlawful, to entitle her to an allotment out of the and that because Mrs. Martin reached the land, notwithstanding her involuntary age of twenty-one before the ratification of absence from home during her childhood. the Agreement, Mrs. Thursday could not It was contended that Mary Thursday, at lawfully hold for her any part of the surthe time of the transaction referred to, was) plus lands. This is based upon a clear of unsound mind, but this was overruled as misinterpretation of g 18, the very terms of unsupported by the evidence.
which permitted Mrs. Martin, as a member It appears that before Mrs. Martin filed of the Cherokee Tribe, to hold possession, her allotment selection Mrs. Thursday had by herself or "through another," of lands located her own allotment in the southern not exceeding in value 110 acres of average part of the home place, and Sam Bob had allottable lands, and thus authorized her to located his in the northern part, and the hold the lands by her grandmother as her land lying between these was left for Mrs. agent. Martin. This, in view of the previous agree- There is no question that the improvement of Mrs. Thursday, was found to be ments upon the allotment in question, as equivalent to a transfer to Mrs. Martin of well as upon the adjoining lands, were subthe specific improvements upon the inter- stantial in value, and were such as, under vening tract. The Department found that the tribal law, carried a right of occupancy, after the northern and southern portions of and such as were recognized in § 11 of the the farm were merged into one place there Curtis Act and 11 of the Agreement. was a recognized community of interest There is nothing inconsistent with the among the members of the family growing policy of the latter act in giving to Mrs. out of their relationship and the commin Martin, as owner of a substantial equitable gling of their funds, whereby Mrs. Martin interest in the improvements that were upon had an interest in every part of the family the tract in question when the act was holdings, and that when Sam Bob elected to passed, a preferential right to select that take his allotment in the northern part of as her allotment. The policy was to give the place and Mary Thursday to take hers recognition to the established laws and in the southern part they impliedly re-customs of the Cherokees (Const. art. I., $ linquished to the contestant as the remain-2; Laws 1892, SS 706, 761, 762), under which ing member of the family their interest in citizens of the Nation might and did inthe tract of land lying between.
close and improve portions of their common An agreement that Mrs. Martin should domain and thereby establish a prior right have a part of the Thursday place for her to the possession of those lands, transfer. allotment might fairly be held to be equiva. able to another citizen by a sale of the imlent to giving her a sufficient interest in the provements. The Agreement substituted a improvements to support a preferential system of allotments with ownership of the right to the allotment, for, by Cherokee soil in the place of a mere possessory right, law, ownership of improvements entitled and its provisions were intended to limit the the owner to possession of the land; and in quantity of land that might be held by or § 11 of the Curtis Act there was a proviso for a single citizen, but they recognized the "that whenever it shall appear that any superior equity of an owner of improvemember of a Tribe is in possession of lands, ments over that of a citizen who had no his allotment may be made out of the lands such ownership, and the precise character in his possession, including his home, if the of the ownership was of little consequence holder so desires.” The same general policy as against a party having none at all. was afterwards carried into § 11 of the Among the records that were introduced Cherokee Agreement, with more particular in evidence in the equity suit was an applirecognition of ownership of the improve-cation made in the year 1905 to the Comments as the decisive point.
missioner to the Five Civilized Tribes by The contention that the findings were un. Wallace Thursday, acting as guardian of supported by evidence cannot be sustained.' the person and estate of Sam Bob, a minor
and of Mary Thursday, an insane person, for, state, determining the domicil of an intesthe sale of the improvements upon the allot- tate and the distribution of his personal ment in controversy as surplus holdings of estate situate within that state. Affirmed. those Indians, and certain orders made in See same case below, 162 Ky. 683, L.R.A. the same year by the United States court for 19170, 171, 173 S. W. 109. the northern district of the Indian Territory The facts are stated in the opinion. upon the application of Wallace Thursday, Messrs. John A. Pitts and E. W. Rogg authorizing him in the same capacity to sell for plaintiff in error. the improvements to Harnage. But Messrs. Charles K. Wheeler, Daniel Mrs. Martin was not a party to these pro- Henry Hughes, and James Guthrie Wheeler ceedings, and they were taken long after the for defendants in error. filing of her application for allotment, they can have no effect as against her.
Mr. Justice Pitney delivered the opinion Since we are convinced that the decision of the court: of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma deprived The Federal question presented in this plaintiffs in error of no right to which they record is whether the court of appeals of were entitled under the laws of the United Kentucky gave such faith and credit to States, it results that the judgment must be certain judicial proceedings of the state and it is affirmed.
of Tennessee as were required by art. 4,
§ 1, of the Constitution, and the act of (242 U. S. 394)
Congress passed in pursuance thereof (Act JOSIE C. BAKER, Individually and as Ad of May 26, 1790, chap. 11, 1 Stat. at L.
ministratrix of Charles Baker, Deceased, 122, Rev. Stat. § 905, Comp. Stat. 1913, Plff. in Err.,
The facts are as follows: Charles Baker BAKER, ECCLES, & COMPANY and Au-died in September, 1912, the owner of cer
gusta H. Baker, Individually and as Ad- tain real and personal property in Hardin ministratrix of Charles Baker, Deceased. county, Tennessee, and of 270 shares of stock
of Baker, Eccles, & Company, a Kentucky CONSTITUTIONAL LAW On 309(1) JUDGMENT 818(2) OF SISTER STATE
corporation, of the par value of $27,000, AGAINST NONRESIDENT FULL FAITH and a claim of several thousand dollars AND CREDIT-DUE PROCESS OF LAW. against that corporation for surplus profits.
The asserted right of the mother of He left a widow, Josie C. Baker, now plainan intestate to share as distributee in the tiff in error, and a mother, Augusta H. personal property situate in the state of Baker, one of the defendants in error. He the mother's residence, such as shares of stock, in a corporation of that state, having appears to have left no children or deno situs outside of its own state, and a
scendants, nor any considerable indebted. claim of indebtedness against the same cor-ness, and the personal estate, if distributporation, cannot, consistently with due proc-able according to the laws of Tennessee, ess of law, be adjudicated adversely by would go entirely to the widow; if disdecrees of courts of another state, adjudg. tributable according to the laws of Ken. ing that the decedent was domiciled there tucky, it would go one half to the widow, and that his widow was the sole distributee, the other half to the mother. The place where those courts acquired no jurisdiction of his domicil, admittedly determinative of over the person of the mother or over the the law of distribution, was in controversy. corporation, either by service of process within the state or by appearance, and such
Shortly after his death the widow applied decrees are, therefore, not entitled, by vir- to the county court of Hardin county, Tentue of the full faith and credit provisions nessee, for letters of administration. The of U. S. Const. art. 4, § 1, and Ù. S. Rev. proceedings were ex parte, and her appliStat. § 905,1 to extraterritorial recognition cation was granted, the order of the court so far as they affect the ownership of the appointing her administratrix reciting that property in question.
at the time of his death the residence of (Ed. Notė.–For other cases, see Constitutional Law, Cent. Dig. $$_929, 130; Dec. Dig. 309(1); Charles Baker was in that county. AfterJudgment, Cent. Dig. $8 1460-1465; Dec. Dig. wards, and in December, 1912, the widow 818(2).]
presented to the same court a settlement of (No. 115.]
her accounts as administratrix, and an order
was made reciting that it appeared from Argued December 19, 1916. Decided Janu-proof that Charles Baker died intestate, ary 8, 1917.
and at the time of his death was a resi
dent of Hardin county, Tennessee, and that N ERROR to the Court of Appeals of the he left no children or descendants of such
State of Kentucky to review a judgment surviving, but left surviving his widow, the which directed the entry, of a judgment in the said Josie C. Baker, and under the laws oi Circuit Court of McCracken County, in that | Tennessee she, as widow, was entitled to For other cases see same topic & KEY-NUMBER in all Key-Numbered Digests & Indexes
1 Comp. St. 1913, & 1519.
all of the surplus personal property; where-, ters of administration to Mrs. Augusta H. upon it was ordered that she, as adminis- Baker, the mother, and she, as such adtratrix, transfer and deliver to herself, as ministratrix, filed a petition in the Mcthe widow of the deceased, all of the per- Cracken circuit court for a settlement of sonal estate in her possession, including the the estate, making the widow and Baker, stock in the Kentucky corporation, the Eccles, & Company defendants. The widow certificates for which she held. Subsequent did not appear, and a judgment was renly, and on December 28, 1912, the widow, dered that Charles Baker died a resident of individually and as administratrix, filed in McCracken county, Kentucky, and that, unthe chancery court of Hardin county, Ten- der the law of that state, the mother and nessee, her bill of complaint against Mrs. the widow were each entitled to one half of Augusta H. Baker, the mother, as a non the surplus of the personal estate. The resident of Tennessee and a resident of the corporation was directed to cancel the 270 state of Kentucky, and also against several shares of stock issued to decedent, and repersons who were residents of Tennessee, issue one half of these to the widow, the setting up her appointment as administra- other half to the mother. This judgment trix, averring that her husband died intes- has only historical importance, since the tate, resident of and domiciled in Kentucky court of appeals in the present Tennessee, leaving his widow as his sole case held it invalid as against the widow heir and distributee, and his mother and a because of failure to comply with the local brother his only heirs at law. The bill law respecting notice to her. further set up the widow's ownership of In June, 1913, the widow, individually the stock in Baker, Eccles, & Company, and and as administratrix of Charles Baker, averred that the mother was asserting an began a suit in equity in the McCracken interest in one half of the personal estate county circuit court, which resulted in the left by the intestate, upon the theory that judgment now under review. Baker, Eccles, he died a resident of Kentucky and that, & Company was made defendant. The under the laws of that state, the mother widow's petition, after setting up the or. was entitled to one-half of his surplus per- ders and judgments of the Tennessee courts sonal estate. The prayer was (inter alia) and alleging her sole ownership of the perthat the mother be brought before the court sonal estate of the deceased by virtue therein the manner provided for nonresidents and of, prayed that the corporation be required be required to assert whatever claim she to transfer to her individually the 270 might have to the estate left by the de- shares of stock adjudged to her by the Tenceased; and that it might be adjudged that nessee chancery decree, and also prayed Charles Baker died a resident of Tennessee, judgment for $11,429.17, the alleged inand that complainant, as his widow, was debtedness due from the corporation to her the sole distributee and entitled to all of husband at the time of his death. Baker, his personal estate. Upon the filing of the Eccles, & Company filed an answer putting bill an order of publication was made, cit- in issue all the averments of the petition. ing Augusta H. Baker as a nonresident to Mrs. Augusta H. Baker, the mother, camo make defense upon a day named, and, she into the suit by an intervening petition, in having failed to appear, the bill was taken which she averred that Charles Baker died for confessed against her, and eventually a a resident of the state of Kentucky, and decree was made "that the said Charles that, under the laws of that state, she was Baker at the time of his death was a citi. entitled to one half of the shares of stock zen of and had his domicil at Savannah, and of the debt sued for, invoking the McTennessee, and that the complainant, as his Cracken circuit court judgment as an adwidow, is his sole distributee, and as such judication to that effect. She further put entitled to all of the personal estate of the in issue the validity of the orders and judg. said Charles Baker, after payment of such ments in both the Tennessee courts, averring debts as were owed by him at the time of that so far as they determined that Charles his death,” and also that the title to the Baker died a resident of that state, and stock of Baker, Eccles, & Company was in that his widow was entitled to the whole complainant, and that she was entitled to of his personalty after payment of his have a new certificate or certificates in her debts, they were void, because neither of own name issued by the corporation in lieu the Tennessee courts had jurisdiction to of the certificates issued to said Charles make such orders or judgments. The pleadBaker, and was entitled to receive from the ings having been made up, evidence was corporation the amount of the accumulated taken on the issue of fact as to the domicil profits and surplus and other amounts due i of Charles Baker at the time of his death. from it to the decedent.
Upon this evidence, the records of the juMeanwhile, the county court of Mc- dicial proceedings above mentioned, and a Cracken county, Kentucky, had granted let- 'showing of the pertinent Tennessee law, the
case was submitted for hearing, and it was , deceased owner. Wilkins v. Ellett, 9 Wall. adjudged that the widow's petition be dis- 740, 19 L. ed. 586, 108 U. S. 256, 27 L. ed. missed. The widow appealed to the Ken 718, 2 Sup. Ct. Rep. 641. Conceding that tucky court of appeals, and that court, such is the general rule of law, it is so having determined the judgment of the Mc- not because of any provision of the Federal Cracken circuit court in the mother's ad- Constitution, but only because the several ministration suit to be invalid as against states, or most of them, have adopted it the widow, held that the judgments of both from the common law into their respective Tennessee courts were invalid as against the systems. And the question remains, How mother because entered without process of is the fact of decedent's domicil to be ju. law as against her; and then, passing upon dicially ascertained as a step in determin. the question of fact as to the domicil of ing what law is to govern the distribution? Charles Baker, found upon the evidence that Obviously, if fundamental principles of jushe was domiciled in the state of Kentucky tice are to be observed, the ascertainment and his personalty was distributable accord must be according to due process of law; ing to the laws of that state, and affirmed that is, either by a proceeding in rem in a the judgment, with a modification directing court having control of the estate, or by the lower court to enter a judgment that a proceeding in personam after service of Charles Baker died a resident of Kentucky, process upon the parties to be affected by that his mother and his widow were each the judgment. entitled to one half of his personal estate We have no concern with the effect of the situate in Kentucky at the time of his Tennessee judgments upon the distribution death, after the payment of his debts, that of so much of decedent's personalty as was Baker, Eccles, & Company should cancel all situate within that state. The present certificates of stock issued to Charles Baker, action affects only the ownership of shares and reissue one half of these to the widow of stock in a Kentucky corporation having and the other half to the mother, and that no situs outside of its own state, so far the lower court embody in the judgment as appears, and a claim of indebtedness such other matters as would, after the pay- against the same corporation. For the purment of debts, distribute equally between pose of founding administration, it is comthe widow and the mother all other personal monly held that simple contract debts are estate situate in Kentucky of which Charles assets at the domicil of the debtor, even Baker died possessed. 102 Ky. 683, L.R.A. where a bill of exchange or promissory note 19170, 171, 173 S. W. 109. To review this has been given as evidence. Wyman v. Hal. judgment upon the Federal question, the stead (Wyman v. United States) 109 U. S. widow brings the case here upon writ of 654, 656, 27 L. ed. 1068, 1069, 3 Sup. Ct.
Rep. 417. The state of the debtor's domicil No question is made by defendants in may impose a succession tax. Blackstone error but that the Tennessee courts had v. Miller, 188 U. S. 189, 205, 47 L. ed. 439, general jurisdiction over the subject matter, 444, 23 Sup. Ct. Rep. 277. It is equally nor that the proceedings were in conformity clear that the state which has created a with the Tennessee statutes respecting prac- corporation has such control over the transtice. The sole question is whether they fer of its shares of stock that it may adwere entitled, under the Constitution of the minister upon the shares of a deceased United States and the act of Congress, to owner and tax the succession. See Re recognition in the courts of Kentucky as Bronson, 150 N. Y. 1, 9, 34 L.R.A. 238, adjudicating adversely the mother's assert- 55 Am. St. Rep. 632, 44 N. E. 707; Re ed right to share as distributee in the per- Fitch, 160 N. Y. 87, 90, 54 N. E. 701; sonal property situate in Kentucky, or as Greves v. Shaw, 173 Mass. 205, 208, 53 N. conclusively determining the fact of the E. 372; Kingsbury v. Chapin, 196 Mass. domicil of the decedent as affecting that 533, 535, 82 N. E. 700, 13 Ann. Cas. 738; right, in view of the failure of the Tennes- Dixon v. Russell, 79 N. J. L. 490, 492, 76 see courts to acquire jurisdiction over her Atl. 982; Hopper v. Edwards, 88 N. J. L. person or the corporation, Baker, 471, 96 Atl. 667; People v. Griffith, 245 Ill. Eccles, & Company.
532, 92 N. E. 313. The rule generally adoptIt is the fundamental contention of ed throughout the states is that an adplaintiff in error that the personal estate ministrator appointed in one state has no of an intestate decedent is a legal unit, power virtute officii over property in anhaving its situs at the owner's domicil; other. No state need allow property of a that the title to the whole of it, wherever decedent to be taken without its borders situate, is vested in the duly qualified until debts due to its own citizens have domiciliary administrator, and not in the been satisfied; and there is nothing in the distributees, and that its distribution is constitution of the United States aside governed by the law of the domicil of the from the full faith and credit clause to