Pope v. Louisville, N.A. & C. Ry. Co.
173 U.S. 573 (1899)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Pope v. Louisville, N.A. & C. Ry. Co., 173 U.S. 573 (1899)

Pope v. Louisville, New Albany & Chicago Railway Company

No. 808

Submitted January 30, 1899

Decided April 8, 1899

173 U.S. 573

Syllabus

When the jurisdiction of a Circuit Court of the United States depends on diverse citizenship, its decree is made final by the Act of March 3, 1891, c. 517, 26 Stat. 826.

When an action or suit is commenced by a receiver, appointed by a circuit court to accomplish the ends sought and directed by the suit in which the appointment was made, such action or suit is regarded as ancillary, so far as the jurisdiction of the circuit court, as a court of the United States, is concerned, and where the jurisdiction of the main suit is predicated on diversity of citizenship and the decree therein in the circuit court of appeals therefore becomes final, the judgment and decrees in the ancillary litigation are also final.

The suits in which this receiver was appointed were in the nature of creditors' bills, and the only ground of federal jurisdiction set up in them was diversity of citizenship, and as, if the decrees therein had been passed upon by the circuit court of appeals, its decision would have been final, the same finality attaches to the decree of the circuit court of appeals in this suit.

Ball and Pettit filed their bill in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of Illinois alleging that Ball was a citizen of Indiana and that Pettit was a citizen of Wisconsin, and that defendants were citizens of Indiana and Illinois, which suit was discontinued as to Ball, leaving Pettit, a citizen of Wisconsin, the sole complainant. Pope was appointed, in substitution for one Fish, receiver of the

Page 173 U. S. 574

Chicago & South Atlantic Railroad Company of Illinois, the order containing, among other things, the following:

"And it is further ordered that the defendant, the said Chicago & South Atlantic Railroad Company or whoever may have possession thereof, do assign, transfer, and deliver over to such receiver, under the direction of Henry W. Bishop, a master in chancery of this court, all the property, real and personal, wheresoever found in this district, and all contracts for the purchase of land, and all other equitable interests, things in action, and other effects which belonged to or were held in trust for said defendant railroad company or in which it had any beneficial interest, including the stock books of said railroad company, in the same condition they were at the time of exhibiting the said bill of complaint in this cause except as far as necessarily changed in the proper management of said road or in which it now has any such interest, and that said defendant, Chicago & South Atlantic Railroad Company deliver over in like manner all books, vouchers, bills, notes, contracts, and other evidences relating thereto, and also the stock books of said railroad company."

"And it is further ordered that the said receiver have full power and authority to inquire after, receive, and take possession of all such property, debts, equitable interests, things in action, and other effects, and for that purpose to examine said defendant, its officers, and such other persons as he may deem necessary, on oath, before said master, from time to time."

Afterwards a further order was entered nunc pro tunc as follows:

"And now comes the receiver, Charles E. Pope, of said Chicago & South Atlantic Railroad Company, and on his application it is ordered and directed that said receiver have full power and authority to bring and prosecute any and all necessary suits for the collection of any claims, choses in action, and enforcement of any and every kind and nature, and to defend all suits and actions touching the rights or interests of the property or effects of any kind in his possession or under his control as receiver. This order to be entered now as of the date of his appointment and qualification as receiver. "

Page 173 U. S. 575

Soon after, Pettit filed his bill in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Indiana, averring that he was a citizen of the State of Wisconsin, against

"the said Chicago & South Atlantic Railroad Company, a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Indiana and State of Illinois, by the consolidation of an Illinois corporation of the same name of defendant herein and an Indiana corporation known as the Chicago & South Atlantic Railroad Company of Indiana."

Pope was appointed receiver on that bill, the order being similar in its terms to that entered in the Circuit Court for the Northern District of Illinois. After such appointment, and on July 12, 1881, Pope, as receiver, filed his bill of complaint in the Circuit Court for the District of Indiana seeking to recover certain property and property rights held and claimed by certain of the defendants, which appellant claimed belonged to the Chicago & South Atlantic Railroad Company, and to the ownership of or right to which he had succeeded as such receiver.

The amended bill on which the cause was heard stated that,

"Your orator, Charles E. Pope, who is receiver of the Chicago & South Atlantic Railroad Company, and who is a citizen of the State of Illinois, brings this, his amended bill of complaint, leave therefor having been granted by this honorable court, against"

certain companies and individuals, severally citizens of the states of Indiana, Ohio, New York, and Kentucky; that he was appointed receiver of the Atlantic Company by the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of Illinois, and also receiver by the circuit court of Indiana, and that he was authorized by the express orders of both courts appointing him receiver, "to bring all suits necessary and proper to be brought to recover possession of said estate and effects and to enforce all claims," etc.

The cause went to hearing, and a money decree was rendered by the circuit court in favor of Pope, receiver, against appellee, which appellee was adjudged by that decree to pay. An appeal having been prosecuted to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, a motion was made to dismiss the appeal for want of jurisdiction, and the motion overruled.

Page 173 U. S. 576

On final hearing, the decree of the circuit court was reversed by the circuit court of appeals with instructions to dismiss the amended bill. The opinion of the circuit court of appeals was filed June 12, 1897. 80 F. 745. Thereafter a petition for a rehearing was filed and denied. Subsequently, Pope, receiver, applied to this Court for a writ of certiorari, which application was denied March 7, 1898. 169 U.S. 737. On March 23, Pope moved the circuit court of appeals for leave to file a second petition for rehearing, and the motion was overruled. Pope then applied to the circuit court of appeals for an appeal to this Court, which was granted, and, the appeal's having been docketed, this motion to dismiss was made, and duly submitted.

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