Beebe v. Russell - 60 U.S. 283 (1856)
U.S. Supreme Court
Beebe v. Russell, 60 U.S. 19 How. 283 283 (1856)
Beebe v. Russell
60 U.S. (19 How.) 283
The appellate jurisdiction of this Court only includes cases where the judgment or decree of the circuit court is final.
In chancery, a decree is interlocutory whenever an inquiry as to matter of law or fact is directed, preparatory to a final decision.
But when a decree finally decides and disposes of the whole merits of the cause, and reserves no further questions or directions for the future judgment of the court, so that it will not be necessary to bring the cause again before the court for its final decision, it is a final decree.
Therefore where a case was referred to a master to take an account of rents and profits &c. upon evidence and from an examination of the parties, and to make or not to make allowances affecting the rights of the parties, and to report his results to the court, this was not a final decree.
The preceding cases upon this subject examined.
The bill was filed by William Russell against Roswell Beebe, Mary W. W. Ashley, Henry C. Ashley, William E. Ashley, George C. Watkins, and Mary A. Freeman praying that they might be ordered to convey to the complainant certain pieces of property which, it was alleged, they fraudulently withheld from him, and account for the rents and profits.
The circuit court decreed that the defendants should execute certain conveyances, surrender possession, and then proceeded to refer the matter to a master, with the instructions which are stated in the opinion of the Court. The defendants appealed to this Court.