Lovell v. Newman & Son - 227 U.S. 412 (1913)
U.S. Supreme Court
Lovell v. Newman & Son, 227 U.S. 412 (1913)
Lovell v. Newman & Son
Submitted January 13, 1913
Decided February 24, 1913
227 U.S. 412
Where the jurisdiction of the federal court of a suit brought by a trustee in bankruptcy rests upon diverse citizenship alone, the judgment of the circuit court of appeals is final; if, however, the petition also discloses as an additional ground of jurisdiction that the case arises under the laws of the United States, the judgment of the circuit court of appeals is not final, but can be reviewed by this Court.
Whether the case is one arising under the laws of the United States must be determined upon the statements in the petition itself, and not upon questions subsequently arising in the progress of the case. Macfadden v. United States, 213 U. S. 288.
Section 23 of the Bankruptcy Act, as amended by the Act of February 5, 103, conferring jurisdiction on the circuit courts of certain classes of cases, was not intended to increase the jurisdiction of those courts in bankruptcy matters, but rather to limit it to the classes of cases over which those courts are given jurisdiction by the acts creating them.
Whether the federal court had jurisdiction on grounds other than diverse citizenship must be determined from complainants' own statement as set forth in the bill affirmatively and distinctly, regardless of questions subsequently arising; grounds of jurisdiction may not be inferred argumentatively.
A suit to enforce a right which takes its origin in the laws of the United States is not necessarily, or for that reason alone, one arising under those laws. There must be a controversy respecting the validity, construction, or effect of such a law upon the determination of which the result depends.
Where a trustee in bankruptcy sues in the federal court on the ground that the property, or bond representing the value thereof, belonged to the bankrupt, and diverse citizenship exists, the suit does not depend upon the validity, construction, or effect of any law of the United States, and the judgment of the circuit court of appeals is final.
Where a trustee permits a bond to be given for value of goods and sues on the bond as merely representing the goods, and not as required by any statute, the case is not one arising under the laws of the United States, and jurisdiction is not conferred on the federal court by reason of the existence of such a bond.
Where diversity of citizenship exists, the trustee can sue in the federal court without consent of defendant, and if consent be given, it does not, where such diversity exists, create an independent ground of jurisdiction.
Writ of error to review 192 F. 753 dismissed.
The facts, which involve the jurisdiction of this Court on appeals from and error to the circuit court of appeals in cases brought by trustees in bankruptcy, are stated in the opinion.