Imágenes de páginas

Opinion of the Court.

permitted to sue in equity in his own name, and there would be as much reason to exclude him from the Federal courts as to exclude the same person when the assignee of a particular note. The term 'other chose in action’ is broad enough to comprehend either case, and the word 'contents' is too ambiguous in its import to restrain that general term. The contents of a note are the sums it shows to be due, and the same, without much violence to the language, can be said of an account.”

And the same construction was put upon the language of the act of August 13, 1888, c. 866, 25 Stat. 433. Mexican National Railroad v. Davidson, 157 U. S. 201.

We do not think that it was competent for the plaintiff to add to his own cause of action, in order to obtain jurisdiction in the Circuit Court, claims assigned by those whose citizenship and residence did not appear either in the complaint or in the petition for removal. As, however, the plaintiff brought his action in the state court, where he was entitled to join the assigned claims with his own, and as the case was removed into the Federal court at the instance of the defendant company, whose motion to remand the case we are now obliged to sustain, we impose the costs in the Circuit Court and in this court on the North American Transportation and Trading Company, the plaintiff in error.

These views render it needless to answer severally the questions certified Accordingly the judgment of the Circuit Court is reversed,

and the cause is remanded to that court, with directions to remand the cause to the state court.

Opinion of the Court.




No. 260. Argued April 24, 25, 1900. – Decided May 21, 1900.

For the reasons set forth in the opinion of the court, the case was dismissed

for want of jurisdiction.

The case is stated in the opinion of the court.

Mr. F. 0. Clark for plaintiff in error. was on his brief.

Mr. Alfred Russell

Mr. Benton Hanchett and Mr. James H. Hoyt for defendants in error.

Mr. A. C. Dustin and Mr. George Hayden were on their briefs.

MR. JUSTICE McKenna delivered the opinion of the court.

The plaintiff in error and the defendants in error were respectively plaintiff and defendant in the court below, and we will so designate them. They were riparian owners on a body of water called Lake Angeline, in the State of Michigan, and this suit is to determine the extent of their respective ownerships to the bed of the lake. They all derived title through United States patents, and the controversy is claimed by plaintiff to arise from their construction and effect.

The trial court dismissed plaintiff's bill, and its action was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the State, 76 N. W. Rep. 395, and this writ of error was then sued out.

A motion is made to dismiss for want of jurisdiction in this court, on the ground that no Federal question was raised in the state court, or, if one was raised, the decision of the state court was rested on a question not Federal, which was sufficient to sustain the judgment.

Under the circumstances of this case it will be more orderly

Opinion of the Couit.

to consider the latter ground first, and its proper determination requires a consideration of the opinion of the Supreme Court, of its statement of facts (which we condense) and of its conclusions from those facts:

“ Lake Angeline was situated on sections 10, 11, and 15, T. 47 N., R. 27 W., and was within the corporate limits of the city of Ishpeming, in Marquette County. It contained 148.61 acres within the government meander lines. It was a mile in length east and west, and 1690 feet in width on the centre line of section 10, which is its widest point.


The three parties to this litigation own all the lands surrounding this lake; the complainant owning that part of section 15 bordering upon the lake; the defendant Cleveland Iron Mining Company owning that part of sections 10 and 11 bordering on the lake east of the centre line of section 10; and the defendant Lake Superior Iron Company owning that part west of said centre line. These three mining corporations have owned this land about thirty years and have been engaged in mining upon their respective properties for more than twenty years. For the sake of brevity, these companies will be designated by their initial letters."

No ore was known to exist in the bed of the lake until the winter of 1886 and 1887, when it was discovered on territory not owned by plaintiff, but plaintiff was informed of the discovery. Afterwards ore was discovered on its territory. The extent and locality of the ore beds were not exactly known, and negotiations were entered into for pumping out the lake, and ended in a contract between the parties.

It recited the discovery of the ore and the necessity of pumping out the lake, in order to “economically mine such ore as lies under such portions of said bed as each of said parties is respectively entitled to.”

It provided for the purchase of a pumping apparatus which one B. C. Howell had, and, in consideration of the “mutual considerations received each from each, the receipt of which is hereby respectively acknowledged.”

The agreement then provided what proportion of the cost of

Opinion of the Court.

the pumping apparatus and plant should be respectively borne by the parties both for its purchase and maintenance, and the expenses of the work. And it was found by the Supreme Court that the agreement was formally executed. The acknowledgment by plaintiff recited that it was done by its president and secretary, and also that it was done on behalf of the corporation.

The total cost of draining and keeping water out of the lake until January 1, 1897, was $76,488.38. “Of this the C. I. M. Co. paid $44,149.68; the L. S. I. Co. $17,147.18; and the complainant $7801.38. The water under the southeast arm of the lake was comparatively shallow. A vast body of mud was found in the bottom of the lake, and the two defendants incurred an expense, in attempting to remove it, of $20,227.53."

“After the execution of this contract, each party worked upon its own property as defined thereby. The complainant mined out all the valuable ore under the southeast arm, and afterwards filled its opening with the waste rock. The L. S. I. made explorations at considerable expense, and the C. M. I. Co. made the five drill holes above referred to from the complainant's mine, and ran a drift through the rock underneath the lake nearly to the south line of section 10, and, after reaching ore, ran drifts and cross cuts with a view to determining the value of the ore and ascertaining if there was sufficient to open and equip a mine. All this involved large expense.

“The section line was regarded as the line dividing these properties. Nails were driven in the timbers underground to indicate the line. In 1894 complainant made an innocent trespass north of the line, for which an amicable settlement was made. In 1896 the C. I. M. Co. trespassed upon complainant's property south of the line, and amicably settled for it. Maps were frequently exchanged with each other. Complainant asked and obtained permission from the C. I. M. Co. for the construction of a railroad track north of the section line, which was constructed and has ever since been in operation by complainant. On March 21, 1894, the C. I. M. Co.executed a lease to complainant, granting it the right to use land north of the section line for stock-pit grounds and the erection of temporary

Opinion of the Court.

structures for mining purposes. Other acts also were done by the respective parties in recognition of the fact that the south line of section 10 was the boundary line as stated in the above agreement. This state of affairs continued until November, 1896, when complainant served a notice upon the defendants that it claimed title to certain lands north of the section line.

* * * * * * * * “Complainant commenced mining on lots four and five in 1863. The hill was very near the shore of the lake, and complainant dumped its waste rock into the lake and filled in several acres north of the section line. Upon this made land 'north of the line it erected some buildings, the most of which it removed to the south of the line in 1887. Complainant filed its bill of complaint November 23, 1896.”

Chief Justice Grant, delivering the opinion of the court, stated the theory of the plaintiff's bill to be

“That the territory formerly covered by the waters of this lake should be divided among the shore owners in proportion to the amount of shore frontage owned by each; that such ownership extends to the center of the lake to be equitably established by the court; and that such territory should be partitioned by convergent lines drawn from the outside limit of each frontage to a convergent point called the equitable centre. To the bill is attached a map purporting to contain such equitable division.”

And after stating in what apportionment of the bed of the lake this would result, stated the claims of the defendants as follows:

“(1) The patent under which the defendant, the Cleveland Iron Mining Company, claims title gave it title to the whole east half of section ten (10) to the south line thereof, and complainant is barred from objecting to this claim because it has treated a body of water covering a portion of that territory as of no value, and joined in the draining of the water as if the land was merely swampy ground valuable only when reclaimed and made dry land.

“(2) Because it has title by adverse possession for more than fifteen (15) years.


« AnteriorContinuar »