Minnesota Company v. St. Paul Company - 69 U.S. 609 (1864)


U.S. Supreme Court

Minnesota Company v. St. Paul Company, 69 U.S. 2 Wall. 609 609 (1864)

Minnesota Company v. St. Paul Company

69 U.S. (2 Wall.) 609

Syllabus

1. Where a bill in equity is necessary to have a construction of the orders, decrees, and acts made or done by a federal court, the bill is properly filed in such federal court as distinguished from any state court, and it may be entertained in such federal court even though parties who are interested in having the construction made would not, from want of proper citizenship, be entitled to proceed by original bill of any kind in a court of the United States.

In such a case, the question will not be whether the bill filed is supplemental or original in the technical sense of equity pleading, but whether it is to be considered as supplemental or entirely new and original, in that sense which the Supreme Court has sanctioned with reference to the line that divides jurisdiction of the federal courts from that of the state courts.

2. A railroad company, owning the whole of a long railroad, and all the rolling stock upon it, may assign particular portions of such rolling stock to particular divisions -- certain cars, for example, to one division, the residue of the rolling stock to another -- and mortgage such portions with such divisions so as to attend them. Whether the company have so mortgaged their rolling stock is a question of intention. In the present case, it was decided that they had.

3. Quaere whether a marshal's sale is valid in any case unless supported by a judicial order previously made. It is not valid where made under the marshal's wrong interpretation of an order which the court did in fact make; not valid in such a case even where the court confirmed of record the marshal's sale, the court's attention not being specifically directed to the marshal's mistake nor any issue raised as to what the court really meant, nor decision made, on such issue raised, that the marshal's act should remain firm.

The La Crosse & Milwaukee Railroad Company was chartered by the Legislature of Wisconsin to build a road across that state from Milwaukee to La Crosse, and began

Page 69 U. S. 610

to build at Milwaukee, proceeding westward. The legislature also gave the company the right to mortgage, for the purpose of raising money, any particular division of their road separately. Under this provision of the statute and for the purpose apparently of mortgaging them separately, the company divided the main road into two divisions, nearly equal in length, called the Eastern Division and the Western Division; the Eastern Division extending from Milwaukee to Portage City, ninety-five miles, and the Western from Portage to La Crosse, one hundred and five miles. Upon each

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of these divisions of the road, as well also as upon the entire road, AND upon the rolling stock, either of each division, or of the entire road -- this exact matter of whether the rolling stock mortgaged did belong to the road as a whole, or to it in its divided character, being one of the questions in this suit -- it gave certain mortgages; among them these:

ON THE WESTERN DIVISION

1856, December, 31. -- A mortgage to Bronson, Soutter and Knapp, commonly called the Land Grant Mortgage. This mortgage conveyed also a road, not important to be here spoken of, from Madison &c.

The descriptive part of this mortgage was as follows:

"All and singular the several tracts, pieces, or parcels of land which now are, or may hereafter be, or constitute the site of the roadway, turnouts, engine houses, workshops, depots, and other buildings, and all the other lands and real estate which now constitute, or may hereafter constitute, or be a part of the roads of said railroad company from Madison &c., and from Portage City to La Crosse; and also all and singular the superstructure of said roads, whether now made, or to be made hereafter, and all the engine houses, workshops, depots, and other buildings, and all the other improvements on or pertaining to said roads, whether now built and made, or to be built and made hereafter; and also all and singular the locomotive engines and other rolling stock, and all other equipments of every kind and description which have already been, or may hereafter be, procured for or used on said roads, or either of them; and all the materials, tools, implements, utensils, and other personal property which have been, or may hereafter be, procured for or used in connection with said roads, or either of them; and also all and singular the rights, liberties, privileges, and franchises of said railroad company, of every kind and description, relating to said roads."

ON THE EASTERN DIVISION

1854, June 30. -- A mortgage to Palmer, sometimes called the First, and sometimes the Palmer Mortgage.

The descriptive part of the mortgage was as follows:

"All their said road, from its eastern termination, in the City of Milwaukee, to Portage City, being ninety-five miles in distance, constructed, and to be constructed, together with all and singular the railways, land procured or occupied, or so to be, for right of way within the limits aforesaid, together with bridges, fences, privileges, rights, and real estate owned by said company for the purposes of said road, or which may hereafter be acquired or owned by them within the limits aforesaid, and all the tolls, income, issues, and profits to be had from the same, and all lands used for and occupied within the limits aforesaid by depots and stations, with all buildings standing thereon, or which shall be procured therefor, together with all locomotives, engines and tenders, passenger cars and freight cars, shop tools and machinery, now owned or hereafter to be acquired by said company, and in any way belonging or appertaining to said railroad, now constructed or to be constructed within the limits aforesaid, including all its property, real and personal, pertaining to said railroad, within said limits, and all its rights, credits, and franchises thereunto appertaining."

The mortgage went on -- after the descriptive part above given -- to say:

"But nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to prevent the said company from selling, hypothecating, or otherwise disposing of any lands or other property of said

Page 69 U. S. 612

company not necessary to be retained for the roadway, depots and stations, nor required for the construction or convenient use of that part of said road, nor from collecting moneys due said company on stock subscription or otherwise; nor shall anything herein contained be so construed as to prevent the said parties of the first part from collecting and appropriating towards the construction, use and repair of the remaining parts of said road westward towards the Mississippi River, all stock subscriptions, donations, or loans of money, lands or other property which may have been, or may hereafter be, made for that purpose; but said parties of the first part shall have full right so to proceed, without let or hindrance from said party of the second part. And the remaining portion of the said railroad which, by the said parties of the first part, may be constructed, shall be held in use by the said parties of the first part, to their own benefit and behoof forever, so far as the claims of the said party of the second part, or his successor, might otherwise be construed as in conflict therewith. It being distinctly understood that the conveyance made by this indenture is only for so much of the present or hereafter to be acquired rights, interest and property, of the said company, parties of the first part, as are or shall be vested, or belong or appertain to that part of said railroad extending from Milwaukee to Portage City aforesaid, and being in distance ninety-five miles."

1857, August 17. -- A mortgage to G. C. Bronson and T. J. Soutter, commonly called the Second Mortgage. This mortgage also conveyed the Eastern Division and a road not important to be

Page 69 U. S. 613

here spoken of, from Watertown to Midland. Its language was thus:

"And also, all and singular the locomotive engines, and other rolling stock, and all the other equipments of every kind and description, which have already been or may hereafter be procured for, or used on, said railroads, or either of them; and all the materials, tools, implements, and utensils, and other personal property, which have been or may hereafter be procured for or used in connection with said railroads, or either of them; and also all and singular the rights, liberties, privileges, and franchises of said railroad company, so far as they relate to said railroads from Milwaukee to Portage City, and from Watertown, by way of Columbus, to Midland aforesaid; and it is hereby declared to be the intention of the parties to convey to and vest in said parties of the second part all the property, real and personal, of said railroad company, to be acquired hereafter, as well as that which has already been acquired, together with all the rights, liberties, privileges, and franchises of said railroad company, in respect to said railroad from Milwaukee to Portage City, and from Watertown, by the way of Columbus, to Midland, as fully and amply as the same might be conveyed if said railroads had already been fully constructed and equipped."

OVER THE WHOLE ROAD.

1858, June 1. A Mortgage to W. Barnes. -- This mortgage conveyed the whole road from Milwaukee to La Crosse, and all the rolling stock, personal property, franchises, choses in action, and property of the debtor company, real, personal, and mixed. Its descriptive part need not be more fully given.

The Barnes mortgage, though given last, was first foreclosed.

Page 69 U. S. 614

Sale under it was made in May, 1859. The purchasers organized themselves into a company, as the statutes of Wisconsin allow in like cases, and took the name of the Milwaukee & Minnesota Railroad Company; often, for brevity, styled the Minnesota Company simply, conceiving and asserting that they had succeeded to all the rights, property, and franchises of the old company -- subject, of course, to prior mortgages.

In December, 1859, Bronson, Soutter, and Knapp, the trustees in the Land Grant mortgage on the Western Division, filed a bill in the District Court of the United States for the District of Wisconsin, having circuit court powers to foreclose their mortgage, making the mortgagor company, the Minnesota Company, and others, defendants.

At the same time, that is, in December, 1859, Bronson and Soutter, trustees in the second mortgage (on the Eastern Division), proceeded, in the same court, to foreclose their mortgage, making the same defendants.

All the mortgagees in each of these mortgages, the first, or Palmer; the second, or Bronson and Soutter; and in the Land Grant, or Bronson, Soutter, and Knapp, were citizens of the State of New York, and were entitled, therefore, to sue, as they did sue, their mortgagor company in the federal courts.

In 1860, the district court, in a creditor's suit in favor of one Howard against the old company, appointed Hans Crocker receiver of the whole road and rolling stock, and he entered into possession under this appointment. In the Western Division foreclosure suit, the same person was appointed receiver of the Western Division and rolling stock pertaining thereto, and afterwards, in the Eastern Division suit, an order was made appointing him also receiver of the road from Milwaukee to La Crosse, and all the rolling stock and franchises, "subject, nevertheless, to a previous order of court appointing him to be the receiver of the western portion of said road, from Portage City to La Crosse."

The two foreclosure suits -- of the Land Grant on the Western Division, and of the second mortgage on the Eastern -- progressed in the district court to final decrees, and the

Page 69 U. S. 615

orders and proceedings were as follows, the judge who made them having delivered an opinion that the rolling stock was a fixture of the road:

ORDERS OF REFERENCE

(March 11, 1861)

"WESTERN DIVISION CAUSE"

"That the masters ascertain and report the whole amount of rolling stock on the road, and that they specify the quantity thereof that is covered by and included in this mortgage, and also in the first and second mortgages respectively."

"EASTERN DIVISION CAUSE"

"That the masters ascertain and report the whole amount of rolling stock on the whole road, and that they specify the quantity thereof that is covered by and included in the first mortgage, and also in this mortgage, and in the mortgage of Bronson, Soutter, and Knapp"

[i.e., the Land Grant mortgage, or mortgage on the Western Division].

REPORTS OF MASTERS.

(September 1, 1861)

WESTERN DIVISION CAUSE

"We have ascertained the whole amount of rolling stock on the whole road at the cost price. The amount thereof was, at the date of the filing of the bill in this cause, $569,635.78, and an additional amount of $53,600 has been purchased since the filing of this bill, making the whole amount to $623,235.78."

"And we have ascertained and report that of the said rolling stock, forty box cars, amounting, at the cost price thereof, to $31,979.64, and numbered 330 [the numbers of forty cars were here given, up to No. 408] &c., are covered by and included in the mortgage executed to the complainants [Bronson, Soutter, and Knapp] as set forth in the bill, the said cars having been purchased by the proceeds of a portion of the bonds to which this mortgage is collateral. and all the remainder of the said rolling stock is covered by and included in the first [i.e., the Palmer] mortgage upon the said railroad, and in the mortgage upon the said railroad executed to Bronson and Soutter on the 17th day of August, A.D. 1857."

EASTERN DIVISION CAUSE

"We have ascertained the whole amount of rolling stock on the whole road. The amount thereof, at the cost price, was, at the date of filing the bill of complaint in this cause, $569,635.78; and an additional amount of $53,600 has been purchased since the filing of the bill, making the whole amount now on the road $623,235.78."

"And we have ascertained, and do further report, that of the said rolling stock, forty box cars, amounting, at the cost price thereof, to $31,979.64, and numbered 330 [the numbers of forty cars were here given, the same cars as mentioned in the left hand column] &c., are covered by and included in the mortgage of Bronson, Soutter, and Knapp, and no other; and all the remainder of the said rolling stock is covered by and included in the first mortgage upon the said railroad, and in the complainants' mortgage specified in the bill of complaint."

These reports, therefore, which found the amount and cost of the rolling stock gave forty cars, designated by numbers, to the Western Division and to the Land Grant mortgage and the residue to the Eastern Division and the mortgagees of it. The complainants in both suits were apparently dissatisfied. The parties seeking to foreclose on the Eastern Division wanted not only all that the masters gave them, but the forty cars that were allowed to the Western Division; while the parties seeking to foreclose on the Western Division wanted not only the forty cars allowed them, but all the other rolling stock; with some exceptions which they stated. The respective complainants accordingly filed

EXCEPTIONS TO THE MASTERS' REPORTS

WESTERN DIVISION CAUSE

"4th. For that the masters have certified that all the rolling stock on said road (except forty box cars, which are specially named in their report) was covered by and included in the first mortgage upon the said railroad, and in the mortgage upon the said railroad executed to Bronson and Soutter, bearing date on the 17th day of August, A.D. 1857."

"Whereas, the masters ought to have certified that all the rolling stock on said road (except that purchased by the receiver since the commencement of this suit, amounting to the sum of $53,600) was covered by and included in the mortgage given to the said complainants, and described in the bill of complaint in this cause, and that said mortgage was a first and prior lien on said rolling stock, superior to all other liens, and that, as to the rolling stock purchased by said receiver above mentioned, 105-200ths thereof was covered by the mortgage described in the complaint; and that, to that extent, the complainants' said mortgage was a first lien thereon."

EASTERN DIVISION CAUSE.

"For that the masters have certified that of the rolling stock forty box cars, amounting, at the cost price thereof, to $31,999.64, and numbered 330, 332 &c., are covered by and included in the mortgage to Bronson, Soutter, and Knapp, and no other, whereas the said masters should have certified that the said rolling stock was covered by and included in the mortgage of the complainants in this action."

The court, having heard the parties, made the following

ORDERS ON THE EXCEPTIONS.

WESTERN DIVISION CAUSE

"Ordered that the fourth exception of complainants be overruled, except as to the forty box cars which are covered by this mortgage."

"And further ordered, that on said exception the said report be so modified that all the other stock that was on said road when the receiver was appointed, except the said forty box cars, is covered by and included in the First Mortgage of the road from Milwaukee to Portage City, and that all the rolling stock on said road that has been purchased or procured since the court has held possession by its receiver, costing $147,943.62, be applied to the said first mortgage and the mortgage in this bill in proportion to the net revenues on such portions of the road said mortgages respectively covered, since the appointment of the receiver."

EASTERN DIVISION CAUSE

"Ordered, that the report of the masters, allowing forty box cars to be covered by the Land Grant mortgage of said company to Bronson, Soutter, and Knapp, be confirmed."

"And that the said report be so modified that all the other rolling stock that was on said road when the receiver was appointed, except the said forty box cars, is covered by and included in the first mortgage of the said company from Milwaukee to Portgage City."

"And that all the rolling stock on said road that has been purchased or procured since the court has had possession by its receiver, be applied pro rata, in proportion to the revenues of the road, to the first said mortgage and the said Land Grant mortgage."

In January, 1862, final decrees of foreclosure and sale were made in both causes, as well the one relating to the Eastern Division as the other relating to the Western.

In the Western Division, the decree says:

"The description of the property authorized to be sold under and by virtue of this decree, so far as the same can be ascertained from the mortgage above referred to, or from the bill of complaint in this cause, is as follows, viz.:' [Here follows the

Page 69 U. S. 618

description of premises quoted from the mortgage] 'With forty box cars, numbered 330 &c. [the numbers being all set out], and such portion or share of rolling stock purchased and procured by the receiver, costing one hundred and forty-seven thousand nine hundred and forty-two dollars and sixty-three cents, as the ret revenues of the portion of road covered by this mortgage bears to the balance or other end of the road since the appointment of the receiver. The remaining rolling stock is subject to prior mortgages. [Footnote 1]"

In the Eastern Division cause, the Bronson and Soutter mortgage, the decree quoted the description of the premises from that mortgage, as given before, but added no direction to sell any rolling stock.

After the decree in the Western Division cause, the marshal advertised that division, and also all the rolling stock on the whole road, the forty box cars, and the proportion of rolling stock purchased by the receiver, mentioned in the decree, to be sold absolutely, and the remaining rolling stock "subject to prior mortgages." The sale took place as advertised -- two persons, Pratt and White, citizens of Wisconsin, becoming the nominal purchasers. The sale as made -- that is to say, with the remaining rolling stock sold, "subject to prior mortgages," was reported to the district court, and confirmed by that court as reported. Nothing, however, in the record showed specifically, that the attention of the court was called to the fact that the marshal had attempted to sell the whole rolling stock. After the confirmation of this sale, Pratt and White organized -- as under the laws of Wisconsin it was lawful for them to do -- the Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway Company; sometimes for brevity called the St. Paul Company, simply; and this company applied by petition to the district court, in the Land Grant case, showing the purchase by Pratt and White at the foreclosure sale, the organization by them of said company, and asserting that this company had acquired the right to work the

Page 69 U. S. 619

Eastern Division as well as the Western, and to exercise all the franchises of the debtor company,

"in running, operating, and controlling said railroad in its entire length, from the City of Milwaukee to the City of La Crosse, and that such right so to run, operate, manage, and control the same, is prior and superior to the rights of any of the defendants in this cause, and prior and superior to the rights of the mortgagees in the mortgage to said Bronson and Soutter, on the Eastern Division, under which said Crocker is acting as receiver, inasmuch as the said mortgage to the said complainants is prior in date and lien to the mortgage to said Bronson and Soutter."

Upon this petition, the court, May 7, 1863, made an order, directing the receiver to deliver to the St. Paul Railway Company, the Western Division of said railroad and appurtenances between Portage City and La Crosse, "and the rolling stock and property specially described in the decree," and ordered that the receiver take perfect inventory of all rolling stock other than the forty boxcars specially mentioned in the decree, and of all personal property belonging to the debtor company, and report the same to the court.

On the 12th of June, 1863, the court made orders in the two causes, as follows -- the reasons for them being stated by the judge who made them, to be a duty which the court owed alike "to the public and the parties, to secure the use of a continuous route without interruption or deviation of trade or travel between the termini," Milwaukee and La Crosse.

WESTERN DIVISION CAUSE

"On consideration of the petition of the Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway Company, it is ordered by the court that there be delivered over to the said company, all and singular the railroad between the City of La Crosse and Portgage City, its roadbed and track, with its depots, station houses, engine houses, and all other property belonging to said railroad between the said points, and the forty box cars mentioned and described in the decree."

"And also the share or proportion of the rolling stock and personal property purchased by the receiver, as mentioned in the decree."

"And also, subject to other or previous liens or claims, the possession of the rolling stock on hand when the receiver took the same under the order of the court."

"And it is further ordered by the court, that the said receiver be and hereby is discharged as such from the management and control of the said Western Division of said railroad under the appointment in this case, subject, however, to the final settlement of his accounts, and subject to the orders made or to be made in this case, and in the other cases in which he was appointed or may hereafter be appointed."

EASTERN DIVISION CAUSE

After reciting the petition of the St. Paul Co. &c. &c.,

"Ordered by the court, that the order appointing a receiver in this case be modified in the manner following, subject to any further or other order rescinding, altering, or modifying this order now here made: that the receiver let the said Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company into the possession of the Eastern Division of the La Crosse & Milwaukee Railroad from Portage City to Milwaukee, with the appurtenances and property and rolling stock thereto belonging. And that the said railway company, subject to the further order or orders of the said court, operate said Eastern Division of said railroad in connection with the said Western Division thereof, so that one continuous line of railroad between La Crosse & Milwaukee may be operated and conducted as directed in the original charter of the La Crosse & Milwaukee Railroad Co., without hindrance, interruption, or diversion, the same as if the whole line of road continued to be in one company, in pursuance of said charter, and not otherwise."

[The St. Paul Company was ordered to let the receiver see the accounts continually; keep the Eastern Division and its rolling stock in order; pay over to the receiver, at stated times, balances &c., and give bond to abide orders &c.]

Under these orders of June 12, 1863, all the rolling stock of the whole road was delivered to the St. Paul Company, who, in consequence, took a general control of all things.

The orders in the Eastern Division cause were brought before this Court, December, 1863, and declared void, as having been made after a statute had taken away from the district court the powers which in making them it exercised. [Footnote 2] Still, however, the St. Paul Company kept possession; and a new line of railroad having been made between Milwaukee and Portage City, by way of Watertown (see diagram at page <|69 U.S. 610|>610), it was obvious that it might carry business and travel through from La Crosse to Milwaukee completely well and yet ruin the Minnesota Company in the process.

Page 69 U. S. 621

This last-named company now filed a bill on the equity side of the federal court for Wisconsin, in which, or in the predecessor in law of which, the Land Grant mortgage had been foreclosed against the St. Paul Company -- White and Pratt the purchasers, and Soutter and Knapp (Bronson being dead), to have matters rectified, as it conceived, both generally and particularly.

The bill set forth the different mortgages, the foreclosure of that of Barnes, the Minnesota Company's now ownership, thereunder, of the equity of redemption of all the road, rolling stock, and franchises of the old La Crosse & Milwaukee Company, the foreclosure of the Land Grant mortgage (stating that the Minnesota Company had not answered, though made defendants therein), the marshal's sale and confirmation of it, as already mentioned. It alleged that the Land Grant mortgage left unmortgaged over half a million of dollars in value of this rolling stock, that the decree of the court did not order it to be sold, and that the district court only placed it in possession of the St. Paul Railway Company, as it did the Eastern Division of the road, for the purpose of enabling that company to run the road from Milwaukee to La Crosse as one road. That notwithstanding this, the Milwaukee & St. Paul Company were building and would soon complete a railway from Milwaukee, by way of Watertown, to Portage City (see again the diagram at page <|69 U.S. 610|>610), independent of and to be used in competition with the said Eastern Division, now owned by the Minnesota Company, complainants in the bill; that they gave out that, by the purchase of Pratt and White, and subsequent organization, they had acquired a right to separate and disconnect the said railroad from Portage City to La Crosse from the said Eastern Division from Portage City to Milwaukee, and on the completion of the road by Watertown would transfer the rolling stock from the Eastern Division to this southern connecting line; and by so connecting Milwaukee and La Crosse and diverting the rolling stock, render the roadbed of the Eastern Division wholly useless until restocked, which could be done duly at great expense, all this being in fraud

Page 69 U. S. 622

of the right of the Minnesota Company and to their great and irremediable injury.

It stated the character of these two foreclosures, that of the Land Grant on the Western Division, and of the second or Bronson and Soutter mortgage on the Eastern Division, as follows:

"Your orator shows that in the suit to foreclose the mortgage upon the Western Division, no persons or corporations were made parties defendant, except those having or claiming to have an interest in the said Western Division; and that in the suit commenced to foreclose the mortgage upon the Eastern Division, no persons or corporations were made parties, except those having or claiming to have some interest in the said Eastern Division; and that in neither of the said suits did not complainants therein pray or claim any relief as against the complainants in the other suit, but the said two foreclosure suits were in all respects, and in every particular, separate and independent suits, as the respective mortgages, which they respectively were exhibited to foreclose, were separate and distinct mortgages upon separate and distinct premises."

"Your orator further shows that neither the said mortgage upon the Western Division, nor the said mortgage upon the Eastern Division, pretended to specify or particularly describe the amount of rolling stock intended to be thereby conveyed; and that in neither of the suits commenced to foreclose said respective mortgages, did the bill of complaint pretend to enumerate or describe the precise rolling stock, or amount of rolling stock included or intended to be included in and conveyed by the mortgage which it was exhibited to foreclose, or which belonged thereto at the time said bill was exhibited. But your orator, as owner of the equity of redemption of the said Western Division, and the rolling stock and franchises pertaining thereto, was made a party defendant to the said bill of complaint, which was exhibited to foreclose the said mortgage on the Western Division; and your orator in the said Western Division mortgage foreclosure suit, and as against the complainants in that suit, was the owner of and entitled to reserve, claim and have all the railroad rolling stock and franchises which had belonged to said debtor company, except that which was included in and encumbered by the said Western Division mortgage. And your orator,

Page 69 U. S. 623

as the owner of the equity of redemption of the said Eastern Division, and rolling stock and franchises pertaining thereto, was made a party defendant to the bill of complaint in the suit commenced to foreclose the said Eastern Division, mortgage; and in that suit, and as against the complainants in that suit, your orator was the owner of and entitled to claim, reserve and have all the railroad, rolling stock and franchises, which had belonged to the said debtor company, except that which was encumbered by and included in the Eastern Division mortgage."

The bill also charged that no proceedings had ever been had in the Land Grant cause or otherwise, to ascertain the relative proportions of the net earnings of the Eastern and Western Divisions, so as to determine what proportion of the rolling stock purchased by the receiver passed under the Land Grant sale; that the St. Paul Company, being in possession of the whole road and rolling stock, claimed ownership of all the rolling stock, or nearly all, and were asserting title and employing their possession, to the great injury of the Minnesota Company.

It has been already mentioned that Bronson, Soutter, and Knapp, the mortgagees in the Land Grant mortgage (as in fact was the case with all the mortgagees), were citizens of New York; they therefore properly foreclosed their mortgage, in which corporations of Wisconsin were the parties in interest as defendants, in the federal court. The present bill, however, being filed by the Minnesota Company, a corporation of Wisconsin, against the St. Paul Railway Company, another corporation of that same state, and against White and Pratt, citizens of it, as well as against Soutter and Knapp, survivors, stood on a different ground. As an original bill, it would plainly have not lain, under the rules which regulate this subject in the federal courts.

The bill accordingly represented itself as "supplemental" to the Land Grant foreclosure bill, and claimed the benefit of the proceedings in that cause, praying that the Minnesota Company might be decreed to be the owner of all the rolling stock on the road at the time of the appointment of the receiver, except the said forty box cars; that an account

Page 69 U. S. 624

might be taken to ascertain the relative net earnings of the two divisions; and that thereupon, according to the principle of, and basis fixed by said Land Grant decree, it might be adjudged and definitely determined and declared by this Court what proportion of rolling stock purchased by the receiver really and equitably belonged to the Minnesota Company and to the St. Paul Company respectively, and that a separation of said stock purchased by the receiver might be ordered, or that it should be sold, and the avails paid over to the respective companies according to their proportions. It prayed also a proper allowance for rent for the use of their rolling stock on the Western Division, and that the avails might be applied to the interest due on the mortgage. It prayed finally an injunction on the appointment of a receiver, and for other and general relief.

To this bill the St. Paul Company demurred, assigning for cause, want of jurisdiction, want of equity &c., the fact that the bill was not supplemental, and that the parties were citizens of the same state. The court below having sustained the demurrer, two questions were now presented here:

1. Was this bill, in any sense, supplemental or ancillary, so that it could attach itself to the original proceeding, and thus, according to the practice of the federal court, be entertained; though in itself and independently -- from want of proper and differing citizenship in the parties -- not capable of being thus treated.

2. If it was, did the complainant present any case calling for equitable relief?

Page 69 U. S. 631



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