York v. Texas
137 U.S. 15 (1890)

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U.S. Supreme Court

York v. Texas, 137 U.S. 15 (1890)

York v. Texas

No. 999

Submitted October 21, 1890

Decided November 3, 1890

137 U.S. 15

ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT

OF THE STATE OF TEXAS

Syllabus

The provisions in the Revised Statutes of Texas, Articles 1242-1245, which, as construed by the highest court of the state, convert an appearance by a defendant for the sole purpose of questioning the jurisdiction of the court into a general appearance and submission to the jurisdiction of the court do not violate the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution which forbids a state to deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

On the 14th day of November, 1888, a personal judgment was rendered in the district court of Travis County, Texas,

Page 137 U. S. 16

against the plaintiff in error, which judgment was subsequently affirmed by the supreme court of the state. Error is now alleged in this, that the district court had no jurisdiction of the person of the defendant. The record discloses that on October 20, 1885, the defendant leased from the state certain school lands at a stipulated rental. The lease provided that in all suits thereunder, the venue should be laid in Travis County, Texas. The state filed its petition on February 15, 1888, alleging nonpayment of the rent due in 1886 and 1887. The defendant being a nonresident, a citizen of St. Louis, Missouri, a notice in accordance with the provisions of the statute was served upon him personally in that city. No question is made but that the service was in strict conformity with the letter of the statute. On March 9, 1888, the defendant appeared by his counsel and filed a special plea challenging the jurisdiction of the court on the ground that he was a nonresident and had not been served personally with process within the limits of the state. This plea was overruled. Thereafter, and on the 5th day of October, 1888, the defendant appeared by his attorneys in open court, demanded a jury, paid the jury fee, and had the cause transferred to the jury docket. On the 6th day of October, he again filed a plea to the jurisdiction on the same ground, which was also overruled. On the 14th day of November, when the cause was reached and called for trial, he again appeared by his attorneys, waived his right of trial by a jury and his demand of a jury, and declined to further answer to the cause, relying solely upon his plea to the jurisdiction. The court thereupon proceeded to render judgment against him, which, as heretofore stated, was affirmed by the supreme court.

Page 137 U. S. 19

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