Western Elec. Supply Co. v. Abbeville Elec. Co. - 197 U.S. 299 (1905)
U.S. Supreme Court
Western Elec. Supply Co. v. Abbeville Elec. Co., 197 U.S. 299 (1905)
Western Electrical Supply Company v.
Abbeville Electric Light & Power Company
Argued March 14, 1905
Decided April 3, 1905
197 U.S. 299
A foreign corporation sued in a state court appeared specially and objected to the jurisdiction on the sole ground that the person served was not its agent within the meaning of the state statute; the lower court sustained the objection, but on plaintiff's appeal, the highest court of the state held the service good; defendant then demurred on the ground that the statute as to service on foreign corporations was violative of the federal Constitution; on second appeal after the demurrer had been overruled and there had been judgment for plaintiff on the merits, the highest court of the state declined to consider the constitutionality of the statute on the ground that the question of jurisdiction had been settled on the first appeal. Held that the writ of error must be dismissed. Had the objection been raised in the first instance and disposed of on plaintiff's
appeal, the adherence by the state court on defendant's appeal to its prior adjudication might not have cut off consideration of the federal question, but as it was not so raised, and a the state court could in its discretion consider it as coming too late and refuse to pass upon it, the jurisdiction of this Court cannot be maintained.
The facts are stated in the opinion.