Shulthis v. McDougal
225 U.S. 561 (1912)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Shulthis v. McDougal, 225 U.S. 561 (1912)

Shulthis v. McDougal

Nos. 156, 157

Argued January 23, 24, 1912

Decided June 7, 1912

225 U.S. 561

Syllabus

Where a petition of intervention is entertained and disposed of in virtue of jurisdiction already invoked, if the decree of the circuit court of appeals is final in respect of the original suit, it is equally so in respect of the intervention.

Whether jurisdiction depends alone on diverse citizenship or on other grounds as well must be determined from complainant's own statement in the bill of his cause of action, regardless of what may be brought into the suit by answer or in subsequent proceedings.

Jurisdiction of the federal court can only rest on grounds distinctly and affirmatively set forth; grounds of jurisdiction, other than those of diverse citizenship alleged, cannot be inferred argumentatively from statements in the bill.

A case is not one arising under the laws of the United States unless it really and substantially involves a dispute or controversy respecting the validity, construction, or effect of such a law upon the determination whereof the result depends. This rule applies peculiarly to suits respecting rights to land acquired under laws of the United States; otherwise all suits to establish title to land which had been part of the public domain would be cognizable in the federal courts.

The fact that the controversy might have arisen under the laws of the United States does not give the federal court jurisdiction if the bill does not allege the facts in that particular, and the controversy might have arisen in another way independent of those laws.

A corporation which was organized in the Indian Territory while the statutes of Arkansas were, under authority of Congress, in force in that Territory is not for that reason a federal corporation, but is to be regarded for jurisdictional purposes as one of Oklahoma. Kansas Pacific R. Co. v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. Co.,112 U. S. 414.

The action of Congress in putting the laws of Arkansas in force in the Indian Territory by the Act of February 18, 1901, 31 Stat. 794,

Page 225 U. S. 562

c. 379, was to provide a body of law for that Territory until it became a state, and the effect was the same as though those laws had been adopted by a territorial legislature.

In this case, held that as the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court depended solely upon diverse citizenship, the judgment of the circuit court of appeals was final, and, notwithstanding the case involved conflicting claim to allotted land in the Creek Nation, it was not one arising under the laws of the United States

Appeals from 170 F. 529 dismissed.

The facts, which involve the determination of the question of finality of judgments of the circuit court of appeals under the Act of 1891 in a suit brought to determine conflicting rights to a tract of land in the Creek Nation, are stated in the opinion.

Page 225 U. S. 565

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