Ensminger v. Powers and Wife
108 U.S. 292 (1883)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ensminger v. Powers and Wife, 108 U.S. 292 (1883)

Ensminger v. Powers and Wife

Decided April 23, 1883

108 U.S. 292

Syllabus

A decree in a suit in equity set forth a hearing on pleadings and proofs and awarded relief, but it ordered that a bill of exceptions signed by the court be filed as a part of the record. The bill of exceptions showed that the judge who held the court refused to permit the counsel for plaintiff to argue the cause, and allowed the counsel for the defendant to determine whether the case fell within a prior decision of another judge, and refused to determine that question himself, and then directed that the decree be entered, which was in favor of the defendant. On a bill of review, filed by the plaintiff. Held that the decree must be held for naught.

A decree was made by a circuit court in December, 1873, against two plaintiffs. In January, 1874, they appealed to this Court. In December, 1875, the appeal was dismissed for the failure of the appellants to file and docket the cause in this Court. In September, 1876, a bill of review was filed for errors in law. Held that the bill was filed in time, though not within two years From the making of the decree, because the control of the circuit court over the decree was suspended during the pendency of the appeal.

A lot of land, part of the navy yard at Memphis, Tennessee, not under lease to a private party, being exempt from state and county taxation by § 9 of the Act of the Legislature of Tennessee, which took effect February 20, 1860, c. 70, Private Acts of 1859-60, 284, was, by section 13 of the Act of Congress of August 5, 1801, c. 45, 12 Stat. 297, exempt from taxation under the direct tax on land authorized by that act.

Bill in equity. The facts and the issues in controversy are fully stated in the opinion of the Court.

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