Northwestern Fuel Co. v. Brock
139 U.S. 216 (1891)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Northwestern Fuel Co. v. Brock, 139 U.S. 216 (1891)

Northwestern Fuel Company v. Brock

No. 1159

Submitted March 2, 1891

Decided March 16, 1891

139 U.S. 216

ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED

STATES FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF IOWA

Syllabus

The judgment in this case was reversed in this Court for want of jurisdiction in the circuit court, 130 U. S. 130 U.S. 341. The reversal was accompanied by an order that the defendants recover their costs in this Court and have execution therefor, and the cause was remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings. Upon filing the mandate in the Circuit Court, the defendants moved that they have judgment against the plaintiff for their costs in this Court, and for the costs of the transcript from the circuit court, and that execution issue therefor. The defendants, alleging in their motion that certain sums had been collected on the judgment, also moved for a summary inquiry as to the amount, and that they have judgment for the same, with interest, and they having proved that there was collected by the plaintiff upon the judgment, by supplementary proceedings in aid of the execution thereon, the sum of $629.23, the court rendered judgment that the defendants recover that sum with interest and costs, and that the action be dismissed for want of jurisdiction as to the subject matter of the suit. Held that the circuit court had jurisdiction to correct by its own order that which, according to the judgment of this Court, it had no authority to do in the first instance, and that the judgment should be affirmed.

The case, as stated by the Court, was as follows:

The Northwestern Fuel Company, a corporation of Minnesota, brought an action in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of Iowa against the defendants, citizens of that state, to recover the sum of $1,309.50, claimed upon a contract made in July, 1881, between them and the What Cheer Land and Coal Company, alleged to be doing business in that state, and by that company assigned to the plaintiff. Judgment was recovered upon it for $1,402.47, and the defendants brought the case on a writ of error to this Court, where it was reversed upon the ground that the record did not show affirmatively that an action could have been brought upon it in the federal court if no assignment had been

Page 139 U. S. 217

made, the act of 1875 declaring that no circuit or district court should

"have cognizance of any suit founded on contract in favor of an assignee unless a suit might have been prosecuted in such court to recover thereon if no assignment had been made, except in cases of promissory notes negotiable by the law merchant and bills of exchange."

18 Stat. 470; Brock v. Northwestern Fuel Co.,130 U. S. 341.

The reversal was accompanied by an order that the defendants recover their costs in this Court, and have execution therefor, and the cause was remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings.

Upon filing the mandate in the circuit court, the defendants moved that they have judgment against the plaintiff for their costs in this Court, and for the costs of the transcript from the circuit court, and that execution issue therefor. The defendants, alleging in their motion that certain sums had been collected on the judgment, also moved for a summary inquiry as to the amount, and that they have judgment for the same, with interest, and further, that the suit be dismissed with costs unless the plaintiff should forthwith, by amendment, show a cause of action of which the court had jurisdiction. The court ordered that the defendants have execution against the plaintiff for the costs mentioned, and afterwards gave the plaintiff leave on or before September 1, 1889, to file amendments to the petition as to the jurisdiction of the court. It also gave judgment for the amount paid for the transcript of the record for this Court.

The plaintiff failed to amend its petition within the time designated showing jurisdiction in the court, and the defendants moved that the action be dismissed, and they having proved that there was collected by the plaintiff upon the judgment, by supplementary proceedings in aid of the execution thereon, the sum of $639.23, the court rendered judgment as follows:

"Now, this 4th day of December, A.D. 1889, this cause again coming before the court, upon the motion by defendants for a judgment in restitution for money collected by the plaintiff on the original judgment herein, which original judgment was

Page 139 U. S. 218

reversed by the Supreme Court, as it appears from its mandate as filed herein, and plaintiff appearing by Messrs. Henderson, Hurd, Daniels & Kiesel, its attorneys, and the defendants appearing by Charles A. Clark, their attorney, and the plaintiff having failed to amend its pleadings so as to show jurisdiction of this court as to the subject matter of the action, and the court finding that the plaintiff has collected from the defendants on the original judgment herein in favor of plaintiff and against defendants the sum of six hundred twenty-nine and 23/100 dollars on the first day of May, 1884, which said sum, with interest thereon at six percentum per annum from said date, the defendants are entitled to recover back from plaintiff, because said original judgment herein has been and is reversed and set aside:"

"It is therefore ordered and adjudged by the court that the defendants, R. G. Brock and T. G. McKenzie, do have and recover of and from the plaintiff, the Northwestern Fuel Company, the sum of eight hundred and forty dollars ($840), with interest thereon at six percent per annum until paid, together with the costs of this action, taxed at $22.70, with judgment for said costs against C. W. Eaton, surety on the cost bond filed herein, and that said plaintiff pay said

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