Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

in good faith within the true intendment of the Act of 1885. With this conclusion.we agree.

In Cameron v. United States, supra, we said: “The Act of Congress (approved Feb. 25, 1885] which forms the basis of this proceeding was passed in view of a practice which had become common in the Western Territories of enclosing large areas of lands of the United States by associations of cattle raisers, who were mere trespassers, without shadow of title to such lands, and surrounding them by barbed wire fences, by which persons desiring to become settlers upon such lands were driven or frightened away, in some cases by threats or violence. The law was, however, never intended to operate upon persons who had taken possession under a bona fide claim or color of title; nor was it intended that, in a proceeding to abate a fence erected in good faith, the legal validity of the defendant's title to the land should be put in issue. It is a sufficient defence to such a proceeding to show that the lands enclosed were not public lands of the United States, or that defendant had claim or color of title, made or acquired in good faith, or an asserted right thereto, by or under claim made in good faith, with a view to entry thereof at the proper land office under the general laws of the United States. As the question whether the lands enclosed by the defendant in this case were public lands of the United States depends upon the question whether he had claim or color of title to them, the two questions may be properly considered together.”

Without doubt Reinhart and his predecessors were upon the lands for more than fifteen years; and it is admitted that prior to entry of the decree of the Court of Private Land Claims in 1903 their occupancy was under color of title and in good faith. We cannot conclude that further occupancy by those then in possession under bona fide claims or their vendees was rendered unlawfulcriminal indeed-by the Act of 1885. They were not mere

[blocks in formation]

naked trespassers dishonestly seeking to appropriate public property, and they did not belong to that class of offenders intended to be hit by the act. Their claim deserved consideration as plainly appears from the circumstances above narrated. This is further shown by “An Act to Quiet Title to Certain Land in Dona Ana County, New Mexico,” approved February 3, 1911, 36 Stat. 896, through which Congress granted them the right to make entries of and receive patents to lands in their possession and empowered the General Land Office to assist them at public expense in making proofs necessary to that end.

Affirmed.

MISSOURI PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY v. Mc

GREW COAL COMPANY.1

ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI.

No. 222. Argued April 26, 1917.-Decided May 21, 1917.

The court is not called upon to consider state statutes passed for the

enforcement of a provision in the state constitution, when the latter as construed and applied in the case by the state supreme court is

self-executing and covers the judgment in question. As applied to a company engaged in both interstate and intrastate

traffic, a state regulation, in respect of the latter only, which forbids any railroad company in general terms from charging more for a shorter haul than for a longer haul for the same class of freight over

i No. 223. Missouri Pacific Railway Company v. McGrew et al., Executors of McGrew. Error to the Supreme Court of the State of Missouri. May 21, 1917. McReynolds, J. A stipulation of counsel for the respective parties that this cause abide the decision in case No. 222 having been filed, the judgment in this case is

Affirmed.

[blocks in formation]

any portion of its lines within the State without regard to direction, circumstances or condition, and which allows the shipper an absolute right to recover any overcharges collected from him in violation of the prohibition, is consistent with the Fourteenth Amendment, the Commerce Clause, and the Interstate Commerce Acts, in the absence of special facts and circumstances warranting a different conclusion in the particular case. Louisville & Nashville R. R. Co. v. Kentucky,

183 U. S. 503. To claim exemption from such regulations under the Contract Clause,

the existence of a special protecting contract must be shown by the

record. 178 S. W. Rep. 1179, affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Mr. James F. Green, with whom Mr. Edward J. White was on the briefs, for plaintiff in error.

Mr. Edwin A. Krauthoff, with whom Mr. Alexander Graves, Mr. William S. McClintock, Mr. Arthur L. Quant and Mr. Maurice McNeill were on the briefs, for defendant in error.

MR. JUSTICE McREYNOLDS delivered the opinion of the court.

Defendant in error filed a petition containing fortyseven counts in the Lafayette Circuit Court seeking to recover what it paid in excess of alleged lawful freight rates upon as many shipments of coal from Myrick, Missouri, to other points in that State. The first count follows. It is identical in substance with all others except as to dates, amount of coal shipped, charges paid, destination and comparative rates.

"Plaintiff avers that on April, 1908, it was and still is a coal mining company incorporated under the law of the State of Missouri.

“Plaintiff for 1st cause of action avers that on October,

[blocks in formation]

1879, the defendant was and has been ever since a railroad corporation duly organized under the law of said state and a common carrier for hire of freight and passengers between its stations hereinafter named in said state.

“That within five years last past and on the dates hereinafter named plaintiff produced and sold bituminous coal from its own mines near Myrick, one of defendant's stations in said county, and that on the various dates named in exhibit No. 1 and in the cars therein described by number and initial, it shipped by defendant's road from said Myrick in the aggregate 867,000 pounds of its said coal in car load lots to the consignee named in said exhibit at Strasburg, Mo., another station on defendant's road.

“Plaintiff avers that for the said carriage of said coal defendant fixed, charged and demanded and received of the plaintiff 80 cents per ton, an illegal freight rate, being 30 cents per ton more than defendant was by law entitled to fix, demand, charge and receive, in this, that during all said times and dates herein named defendant had fixed, charged, demanded and received for the carriage for the same class of coal over its said line and over another part of said road from its station of Liberal, Mo., and to another of its said stations, viz., Granby in said State, a distance of 77.14 miles, 50 cents per ton by the car load while the distance from said Myrick to said Strasburg was only 61.95 miles for which said rate of 80 cents per ton for said carriage fixed, charged, demanded and received of plaintiff as aforesaid; and the same was illegal and exceeded the amount the defendant was entitled to fix, charge, demand and receive for said shipments by the sum of $130.05.

“And the plaintiff avers that it is damaged and aggrieved by reason of said illegal freight charge in the sum of $130.05; wherefore it prays judgment for the same and for damages not exceeding $1000.00 and for all other and general relief, according to the statutes in such case made and provided.”

[blocks in formation]

.

The answer to count one identical in effect with answers to all others-formal and some presently unimportant parts being omitted, follows:

“Comes now the defendant and for its answer to the 1st count of plaintiff's petition, states that the same is founded upon the Session Laws of Missouri, 1872, page 69, now Sections 3173 and 3211 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, 1909, and section 12 of Article 12 of the Constitution of Missouri, 1875, and that said sections are null and void and of no legal force and effect for the following reasons:

“(a). Because said sections 3173 and 3211 of the Re vised Statutes of Missouri, 1909, when enacted by the Legislature were passed in violation of Section 32 of Article 4 of the Constitution of Missouri, 1865, in this:

“(b). Because said Sections 3173 and 3211 are repugnant to and in violation of Section 14 of Article 12 of the Constitution of Missouri, 1875, in this:

(c). Because said Sections 3173 and 3211 Revised Statutes of Missouri, 1909, when re-enacted by the Legislature in 1879, were not legally re-enacted but were enacted in violation of Section 28 of Article 4 of the Constitution of Missouri, 1875, in this:

(d). Because said Sections 3173 and 3211 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, 1909, were repealed by an Act of the Legislature passed in 1887 entitled, 'An Act to Regulate Railroad Corporations,' passed at the extra session of 1887, same being found in the Session Laws of 1887 at page 15, now Sections 3185 and 3193 of the Revised Statutes, 1909.

“For further answer to said count, the defendant says that Section 12 of Article 12 of the Constitution of Missouri, 1875, and Sections 3173 and 3211 and Sections 3185 and 3193 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, 1909, are in violation of Section 1 of Article 14 of the Amendments to the Constitution of the United States in this: That said

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »