Louisiana v. Jack
244 U.S. 397 (1917)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Louisiana v. Jack, 244 U.S. 397 (1917)

Louisiana v. Jack

No. 264

Argued May 3, 1917

Decided June 4, 1917

244 U.S. 397

Syllabus

The decision of the Supreme Court of Louisiana in State v. Tensas Delta Land Co., 126 La. 59, that the state had no interest or authority entitling it to intervene in a suit brought by the Tensas Basin Levee Board for the recovery of lands which the Board had conveyed after receiving title from the state, is conclusive on this Court in the absence of any later state decision or statute modifying its effect.

The Act of Louisiana of August 19, 1910, making it the duty of the Attorney General, upon the request of the Governor, to represent the state, or any political agency or subdivision thereof, in suits involving land belonging to the state or any such agency or subdivision, etc., did not operate to divest the Levee Board of its authority over suits to recover land and confer it, through the Governor, upon the Attorney General; as concerns the Board, its effect was merely to authorize the Attorney General, at request of the Governor, to represent the Board in the litigation.

This construction of the Act of August 19, 1910, agrees with the practical, contemporary construction placed upon it by two Attorneys General of the state, which the Court regards as persuasive authority as to its true meaning.

Generally speaking, the authority of a court to make new parties to a suit, especially after decree, rests in its sound discretion, which, except for abuse, cannot be reviewed upon appeal or error or indirectly by mandamus.

With exceptions not here applicable, no person may review a judgment by appeal or writ of error who is not a party or privy to the record.

Article 571 of the Code of Practice of Louisiana, providing:

"The right of appeal is given not only to those who are parties to a cause in

Page 244 U. S. 398

which a judgment has been rendered against them, but also to third persons not parties to said suit when such third persons allege that they have been aggrieved by the judgment,"

can have no application to an equity suit in the federal courts.

217 F. 757 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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