Northern Indiana R. Co. v. Michigan Central R. Co.
56 U.S. 233

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Northern Indiana R. Co. v. Michigan Central R. Co., 56 U.S. 15 How. 233 233 (1853)

Northern Indiana Railroad Company v.

Michigan Central Railroad Company

56 U.S. 233

Syllabus

The Michigan Central Railroad Company, established in Michigan, made an agreement with the New Albany & Salem Railroad Company, established in Indiana, that the former would build and work a road in Indiana under the charter of the latter.

Another company, also established in Indiana, called the Northern Indiana Railroad Company, claiming an exclusive right to that part of Indiana, filed a bill in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Michigan against the Michigan company, praying an injunction to prevent the construction of the road under the above agreement.

The circuit court had no jurisdiction over such a case.

The subject matter of the controversy lies beyond the limits of the district, and where the process of the court cannot reach the locus in quo.

Moreover, the rights of the New Albany Company are seriously involved in the controversy, and they are not made parties to the suit. The act of Congress, providing for the nonjoinder of parties who are not inhabitants of the district, does not apply to such a case as the present.

The appellants were complainants below. They were corporations created by and doing business in the State of Indiana, claiming a prior right to make and use a railroad running from east to west across the northern part of Indiana. The defendants were a company incorporated by Michigan, and had made a road from Detroit to Michigan City. Being desirous to continue the road round the southern end of Lake Michigan, they entered into an agreement for this purpose with a company incorporated by Indiana called the New Albany & Salem Railroad Company. The appellants filed a bill in Michigan, the domicil of the Michigan Central Railroad Company, praying for an injunction to prevent them from entering upon or using the said lands of said complainants and from grading and excavating upon the same and from hindering the complainants from completing their road and using the same exclusively and from constructing and using the railroad which the defendants have laid out or any railroad upon or near the line where the same is located and from doing anything in violation of the exclusive rights of the complainants.

To this bill the defendants demurred, and the circuit court dismissed the bill, with costs.

The complainants appealed to this Court.

Page 56 U. S. 240

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