Credits Commutation Co. v. United States
177 U.S. 311 (1900)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Credits Commutation Co. v. United States, 177 U.S. 311 (1900)

Credits Commutation Company v. United States

Nos. 233-235

Submitted February 26, 1900

Decided April 9, 1900

177 U.S. 311

Syllabus

When leave to intervene in an equity case is asked and refused, the order denying leave is not regarded as a final determination of the merits of the claim on which the intervention is based, but leaves the petitioner at full liberty to assert his rights in any other appropriate form of proceeding. The action of the court below, in denying the petitions to intervene, was an exercise of purely discretionary power, and was not final in its character.

On October 9, 1893, Oliver Ames, 2d and Samuel Carr, executors of Frederick L. Ames, deceased, and Peter B. Wyckoff and Edwin F. Atkins, filed in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eighth Circuit a bill of complaint against the Union Pacific Railway Company and a number of other companies in which the Union Pacific Railway Company had interests praying for the appointment of receivers, the enforcement of certain alleged liens, and the administration of the properties of the Union Pacific Railway Company. On October 13, 1893, S. H. H. Clark, Oliver W. Mink, Ellery Anderson were appointed receivers, and on November 13, 1893, upon petition of the Attorney General of the United States, John W. Doane and Frederick R. Coudert were appointed additional receivers.

On January 21, 1895, a bill of complaint was filed in the said circuit court by F. Gordon Dexter and Oliver Ames, 2d as trustees of the first mortgage of the Union Pacific Railway Company, to foreclose that mortgage.

Page 177 U. S. 312

At the May term, 1897, the United States filed, in a Circuit Court of the United States for the Eighth Judicial Circuit, a bill of complaint against the Union Pacific Railway Company, and against S. H. H. Clark, Oliver W. Mink, Ellery Anderson, John W. Doane, and Frederick R. Coudert, who had theretofore, on October 13, 1893, in the suit brought in said court by Oliver Ames, Samuel Carr, and others against the said Union Pacific Railway Company, been appointed receivers therefor, and against F. Gordon Dexter and Oliver Ames, as trustees, the Union Trust Company of New York, as trustee, J. Pierpont Morgan and Edwin F. Atkins, trustees, the Central Trust Company of New York, as trustee. The object of this bill was to secure a decree of foreclosure of the subsidy lien of the United States upon the property of the Union Pacific Railway Company between Council Bluffs, Iowa, and a point five miles west of Ogden, Utah.

On April 28, 1897, the Credits Commutation Company, a corporation of the State of Iowa, filed a petition in each of said three cases praying for leave to intervene therein as a party, and to be heard to assert certain alleged rights and interests. On May 22, 1897, the Combination Bridge Company, a corporation of the State of Iowa, also filed petitions in said cases for leave to intervene therein for the same reasons set forth at length in the petitions of the Credits Commutation Company. On May 24, 1897, after hearing the counsel of the respective parties, an order was entered by the circuit denying the prayers for leave to intervene, and on the same day an appeal was allowed to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. On December 7, 1898, motions by the appellees to dismiss said appeals were sustained, and said appeals were accordingly dismissed, and thereupon the appellants in open court prayed an appeal to this Court, which was allowed. Credits Commutation Co. v. Ames, 91 F. 570. Motion to dismiss or affirm was submitted.

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