Vaughan v. Northup - 40 U.S. 1 (1841)
U.S. Supreme Court
Vaughan v. Northup, 40 U.S. 15 Pet. 1 1 (1841)
Vaughan v. Northup
40 U.S. (15 Pet.) 1
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE DISTRICT
OF COLUMBIA AND COUNTY OF WASHINGTON
A bill was filed on the equity side of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia stating that the complainants were the next of kin and distributees of James Moody, deceased, who resided in Kentucky at the time of his death; that the defendant, Northup, took out letters of administration on the estate of said Moody, in the proper court in Kentucky, and by virtue of said letters claimed and received from the government of the United States a large sum of money, to-wit, $5,200. The bill further stated that the complainants resided in Virginia; that Northup was in the District of Columbia at the time of filing the bill (and Northup was actually found in the District, as appeared by the marshal's return of the subpoena), and that the other defendants resided in Kentucky, and pretended to be the next of kin and distributees of said Moody. The bill prayed an account of said estate against said Northup and distribution of the assets received from the United States, &c.
Northup answered and pleaded to the jurisdiction of the court on the ground, that he was only responsible to the court in Kentucky, in which he had obtained letters of administration; he then went on and answered the bill at large, denying all its material allegations. The other defendants also came in and answered the bill. The complainants ordered the plea of Northup to the jurisdiction of the court to be set down for argument, and upon the argument the court below ordered the bill of complaint to be dismissed. The complainants appealed to the Supreme Court.
STORY, JUSTICE, delivered the opinion of the Court.