Ortega v. Lara
202 U.S. 339 (1906)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ortega v. Lara, 202 U.S. 339 (1906)

Ortega v. Lara

No. 230

Argued April 17, 18, 1906

Decided May 21, 1906

202 U.S. 339

Syllabus

Where jurisdiction of a writ of error to review a judgment of the District Court of the United States for Porto Rico depends on amount, the judgment itself is the test, and it is insufficient if for $5,000 and costs although it carries interest.

Whenever political and legislative power over territory are transferred from another nation to the United States, the laws of the country transferred, unless inconsistent with provisions of the Constitution and laws of the United States applicable thereto, continue in force until abrogated or changed by or under the authority of the United States, and this general rule of law was applied to Porto Rico by the Foraker Act of April 12, 1900, and that act also provided how such laws should be altered or repealed by the Legislature of Porto Rico.

Article 44 of the Code of Porto Rico limiting recovery in cases of breach of promise to the expenses of injured party incurred by reason of the promised marriage was a law of Porto Rico, and not of the United States and was subject to repeal by the legislature of Porto Rico, and, having been so repealed prior to the breach alleged in this case, a writ of error from this Court cannot be maintained on the ground that the ruling of the district court that the recovery was not limited to such expenses was a denial of a right claimed under a law of the United States.

The District Court of the United States for Porto Rico has jurisdiction when the parties on both sides are subjects of the King of Spain.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 202 U. S. 341

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