Laurel Oil & Gas Co. v. Morrison - 212 U.S. 291 (1909)


U.S. Supreme Court

Laurel Oil & Gas Co. v. Morrison, 212 U.S. 291 (1909)

Laurel Oil and Gas Company v. Morrison

No. 198

Argued October 14, 1908

Decided February 23, 1909

212 U.S. 291

Syllabus

Where a statute provides for an appeal or a writ of error to a specific court, it must be regarded as a repeal of any previous statute providing for an appeal or a writ of error to another court. Brown v. United States, 171 U. S. 631.

Decisions of the Court of Appeals of the United States for the Indian Territory are final except as made subject to review by some express statutory provision.

The provisions in § 12 of the Act of March 3, 1905, c. 1479, 33 Stat. 1081, for appeals and writ of error from the United States Court in Indian

Page 212 U. S. 292

Territory to the United States Court of Appeals in the Indian Territory, and from that court to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, are exclusive, and there is now no appeal or writ of error in such cases from the Circuit Court of Appeals of the Eighth Circuit to this Court.

Appeal from 154 F. 617 dismissed.

This case, on the merits is reported in 154 F. 617. The able opinion of Sanborn, J., speaking for the circuit court of appeals, is preceded by the following statement, which correctly sets forth the facts:

"Pursuant to an order of the United States Court in the Western District of Indian Territory, which has the jurisdiction of a probate court, a lease of 160 acres of mineral land which had been allotted to Edith Durant, a minor Indian, was advertised for sale on sealed bids by Monday Durant, her guardian, and, on the day of sale, March 5, 1906, the highest bonus bid for it was $3,490, and this bid was made by Robert W. Morrison, Charles W. S. Cobb, John E. McKinney, William J. Breene, and Frank M. Breene, who are now the appellants in this case, and will hereafter be so styled. The Laurel Oil & Gas Company, a corporation, one of the appellees, bid at the same time at this sale $2,850 for this lease. On March 7, 1906, the appellants deposited the $3,490 with the court, and on March 9, 1906, the guardian executed the lease of the land to the appellants, and they applied to the court for the confirmation of the sale and the approval of the lease. After notice to all parties in interest and a hearing, the court, on June 11, 1906,"

"ordered, adjudged, and decreed that the lease executed by Monday Durant, guardian of Edith Durant, minor, on the ninth day of March, 1906 [to the appellants] be, and the same is hereby, in all things approved, ratified, and confirmed."

"On the next day the Laurel Company, the unsuccessful bidder at the former sale, made a motion for leave to bid again for the lease of this land, and offered to bid a bonus of $8,000. Thereupon the court set aside the order of June 11, 1906, for the sole reason that a higher bonus could be obtained, and on June 14,

Page 212 U. S. 293

1906, it sold a lease of 80 acres of this land on the same terms as the former to the Galbraith Oil and Gas Company for a bonus of $16,800 and a lease of the other 80 acres on the same terms to the Laurel Oil & Gas Company for $2,000. The leases to these parties were subsequently made by the guardian, and the court confirmed these sales and approved these leases. The appellants then sued out a writ of error from the court of appeals of the Indian Territory to reverse the order which set aside the decree of confirmation of the sale and of approval of the lease to them, and they also appealed from that order. The Court of Appeals of the Indian Territory consolidated the two cases, heard them as an appeal in equity, and affirmed the order below because the court was evenly divided in opinion. The appellants have brought the latter judgment here by writ of error and also by appeal."

"Since the case came to this Court, the controversy over the 80 acres leased to the Galbraith Oil & Gas Company has been settled, and the only dispute remaining relates to the 80 acres leased to the Laurel Oil & Gas Company under the second lease."

The question in the case was whether a court of equity, during the term at which the confirmation is made, may lawfully avoid an executed judicial sale which it has confirmed on the sole ground that a larger price may be obtained by a second sale, and was answered in the negative, and the decree was that the decree of the United States Court of Appeals in the Indian Territory and the decree of the United States court for the Western District of the Indian Territory be reversed, and that

"this cause be, and the same is hereby, remanded to the United States Court for the Western District of the Indian Territory, with directions to confirm and enforce its order and decree which confirmed the sale and approved the lease to the appellants [appellees here], and to take any further proceedings necessary to that end."

This decree was made and entered July 10, 1907. An appeal was thereupon allowed to this Court, where the record was filed October 31 of that year.

Page 212 U. S. 294



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