Seaboard Air Line Ry. v. Duvall
225 U.S. 477 (1912)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Seaboard Air Line Ry. v. Duvall, 225 U.S. 477 (1912)

Seaboard Air Line Railway v. Duvall

No. 304

Argued April 30, 1912

Decided June 10, 1912

225 U.S. 477

Syllabus

To give this Court jurisdiction under § 709, Rev.Stat., it must appear upon the record, and not by certificate of the judge, that a right under the Constitution or laws of the United States was set up and denied. While such a certificate may make more certain the fact that the federal right was asserted and denied, it is insufficient to confer jurisdiction if the record itself does not show the fact. Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Smith,204 U. S. 551.

The fact that a case in the state court asserts a claim based on a federal statute does not give this Court jurisdiction to review the judgment under § 709, Rev.Stat., if none of the exceptions are based on the refusal of the court to make a definite construction of the act as requested by the plaintiff in error.

Where the case comes up under § 709, Rev.Stat., this Court is not one of general review. It can reexamine only those rulings which denied federal rights specially set up.

It is the duty of counsel asking in the state court for a particular construction of a federal statute involved in the case to put the request in such definite terms that the record will show that it was a claim of federal right especially set up, as required by § 709, in order to give this Court jurisdiction.

The trial court is not under obligation to give special charges based on only a part of the evidence.

Where the only defense to an action for personal injuries by an employee of an interstate railway carrier is contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff in going into a car in violation of a rule requiring him to remain in another car, no construction of the provision of the Employers' Liability Act that the employee can only recover if injured while employed by the carrier is involved which is reviewable by this Court, unless the request is definitely set up as a federal right specially asserted and denied.

Excepting to a part of the charge by saying that an employee's going from the baggage car into the express car of a train is such an act that a reasonably prudent man would not have done under the circumstances

Page 225 U. S. 478

does not raise specific questions as to the construction of the Employers' Liability Act under which the action was brought, and give this Court jurisdiction to review under § 709, Rev.Stat.

Writ of error to review 152 N.C. 524 dismissed.

The facts, which involve the jurisdiction of this Court under § 709, Rev.Stat., to review the judgment of a state court in a case brought under the Federal Employers' Liability Act, are stated in the opinion.

Page 225 U. S. 481

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