KVOS, Inc. v. United Press
299 U.S. 269 (1936)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

KVOS, Inc. v. United Press, 299 U.S. 269 (1936)

KVOS, Inc. v. United Press

No. 28

Argued November 11, 1936

Decided December 14, 1936

299 U.S. 269

Syllabus

1. In a suit in the District Court, where the plaintiff's allegations as to the amount in controversy are challenged by the defendant in an appropriate manner, the plaintiff must support them by competent proof. P. 299 U. S. 277.

2. Allegations of the bill as to jurisdictional amount may be appropriately challenged by motion to dismiss for want of jurisdiction, made when plaintiff moves for a preliminary injunction, and before time for answer. P. 299 U. S. 278.

3. A motion to dismiss a bill of complaint for want of jurisdiction, made before time for answer, which traverses the allegations in the bill as to the amount in controversy, and in support of the denial alleges facts dehors the bill, does not operate merely as a demurrer admitting the plaintiff's allegations, but requires the trial court to inquire as to its jurisdiction before considering the merits of the prayer for preliminary injunction. P. 299 U. S. 278.

4. In a suit by an incorporated association to enjoin alleged pirating and broadcasting by radio of the news it furnished to newspapers of its membership which were published and circulated to subscribers in the area covered by the broadcasted messages, held that proof on the part of the plaintiff that payments much larger than the jurisdictional amount were made to it each month by those newspapers did not serve to establish that the jurisdictional amount was in controversy, it being conceded by the plaintiff that it took no profit from furnishing news to its members, but divided the expenses equitably among them, and it being evident that asserted danger of loss of members due to the acts complained of was a mere conclusion, no threat of withdrawal being even suggested; nor was any showing made of what damage would result from withdrawal. P. 299 U. S. 278.

5. It is the damage threatened to a business, by the acts sought to be enjoined, and not the value of the business, that constitutes the value in controversy. P. 299 U. S. 279.

6. Adjudication of the merits in a case where jurisdiction was not challenged does not constitute the case a precedent for upholding jurisdiction in a similar case in which jurisdiction is in issue.

Page 299 U. S. 270

Cf. International News Service v. Associated Press,248 U. S. 215. P. 299 U. S. 279.

7. The plaintiff's allegation of the amount in controversy in this suit having been suitably challenged, and no sufficient evidence to support it having been offered, the bill should have been dismissed. P. 299 U. S. 280.

80 F.2d 575, reversed.

Certiorari, 298 U.S. 650, to review the reversal of a decree of the District Court (9 F.Supp. 279) which dismissed, for want of equity, a bill to enjoin the appropriation and broadcasting by radio of news furnished by the plaintiff press association to newspapers circulating in the area affected.

Page 299 U. S. 271

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