Chase v. Wetzlar
225 U.S. 79 (1912)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Chase v. Wetzlar, 225 U.S. 79 (1912)

Chase v. Wetzlar

No. 1045

Submitted April 22, 1912

Decided May 27, 1912

225 U.S. 79

Syllabus

Where the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court is dependent, under § 8 of the Act of 1875, upon property affected being within the jurisdiction, the defendants not being therein, the fact that the bill was dismissed because complainants failed to prove the existence of any property within the jurisdiction does not affect the right of a direct appeal to this Court under § 5 of the Act of 1891.

The burden of proof as to the existence of property to be affected by the decree within the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court in order to give it jurisdiction under § 8 of the Act of March 3, 1875, c. 137, 18 Stat. 472, is on the complainant.

While averments of some jurisdictional facts may prima facie be taken as true where the questions do not address themselves to want of all foundation of jurisdiction, and in such cases the burden is on the one assailing sufficiency or verity, the burden of proving an averment of a fact absolutely necessary to the exertion of the power of the court to render a binding decree is on the party pleading.

The jurisdiction conferred by § 8 of the Act of 1875 rests upon a real, and not an imaginary or constructive, basis.

The circuit court does not have jurisdiction of a suit against an absent executor in the state where the will was probated unless the property to be affected by the decree is actually within the jurisdiction of the court.

The fact that the state court might, by virtue of its authority in a particular contingency, exert jurisdiction over an absent executor

Page 225 U. S. 80

of a will probated in the courts of that state as to the disposition of property beyond its territorial jurisdiction does not clothe a circuit court of the United States with jurisdiction under § 8 of the Act of 1875.

The facts, which involve the jurisdiction of this Court under § 5 of the Act of 1891 and of the Circuit Court under § 8 of the Act of 1875, are stated in the opinion.

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