Sutton v. English - 246 U.S. 199 (1918)
U.S. Supreme Court
Sutton v. English, 246 U.S. 199 (1918)
Sutton v. English
Argued April 10, 1917
Decided March 4, 1918
246 U.S. 199
In a suit in the district court to set aside testamentary dispositions and adjudge the property to the plaintiffs and partition it among them as heirs, a defendant who, being also an heir, would share in the relief if obtained should not be aligned as a plaintiff for the purpose of testing jurisdiction by diversity of citizenship if such defendant be adversely interested as legatee.
Under Constitution and statutes of Texas, the county court has no equitable jurisdiction of a suit inter partes to annul a disposition in a will and partition the property among the plaintiffs as heirs where title to land is involved and the amount in controversy exceeds $1,000.
Under the Constitution of Texas, the district courts of the state have no jurisdiction to annul by an original proceeding the action of a county court in probating a will, and a suit under Stats. Art. 5699 to contest the validity of a will so probated must be brought in the county court, and calls for an exercise of original probate jurisdiction.
A suit which in an essential feature is a suit to annul a will, and which, under the state law, is in character merely supplemental to proceedings for probate and cognizable only by the probate court, is not within the jurisdiction of the district court of the United States, though diversity of citizenship exist and the requisite jurisdictional amount be in controversy.
The case is stated in the opinion.