Graver v. Faurot - 162 U.S. 435 (1896)


U.S. Supreme Court

Graver v. Faurot, 162 U.S. 435 (1896)

Graver v. Faurot

No. 779

Submitted February 4, 1896

Decided April 18, 1896

162 U.S. 435

Syllabus

A circuit court of appeals has no power under the Judiciary Act of 1891 to certify the whole case to this Court, but can only certify distinct points or propositions of law, unmixed with questions of fact or of mixed law and fact.

The question propounded in this case amounts to no more than an inquiry whether, in the opinion of this Court, there is an irreconcilable conflict between two of its previous judgments and a request, if that is held to be so, that an end be put to that conflict, and this is not a question or a proposition of law in a particular case on which this Court is required to give instructions.

This case coming on to be heard on appeal from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of Illinois, in the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, that court ordered that a statement of facts and a question be certified to this Court for its opinion and instruction.

It appears from the statement of facts that William Graver filed a bill in the Superior Court of the County of Cook, in the State of Illinois, to impeach for fraud a decree in equity rendered by that court July 6, 1889, in a certain suit therein depending, wherein William Graver was complainant and Benjamin C. Faurot and A. O. Bailey were defendants, by which decree complainant's bill was dismissed for want of equity, and that the suit was duly and properly removed into the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of Illinois.

The bill thus filed was set forth in haec verba, together with a demurrer thereto, the decree of the circuit court sustaining the demurrer and dismissing the bill, and the opinion rendered by the circuit court on entering that decree.

The certificate then proceeded thus:

"In view of the decisions

Page 162 U. S. 436

of the Supreme Court of the United States in the cases of United States v. Throckmorton, 98 U. S. 61, and Marshall v. Holmes, 141 U. S. 589, this Court is in doubt touching the case in hand, and desires advice and instruction upon the following question: whether (assuming the bill of complaint to be in other respects sufficient) the alleged false swearing and perjury in the respective answers of defendants in the original suit in the Superior Court of the County of Cook, State of Illinois, are in the law available in this suit as ground for a decree setting aside and declaring void the decree so rendered in the Superior Court of the County of Cook."



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