Hilton v. Dickinson,
108 U.S. 165 (1883)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hilton v. Dickinson, 108 U.S. 165 (1883)

Hilton v. Dickinson

Decided March 28, 1883

108 U.S. 165


1. Cross-appeals must be prosecuted like other appeals. When a party making a cross-appeal fails, for a period long after the time allowed by law, to perfect his cross-appeal, the court, of its own motion, will dismiss it for want of prosecution.

Page 108 U. S. 166

2. When it appears on the face of the record that the value of the matter in dispute is not sufficient to give jurisdiction, the court will, of its own motion, dismiss an appeal.

3. The sum demanded governs the question of jurisdiction until it appears that it is not the sum in dispute, but when it appears that the sum demanded is not the real sum in dispute, the sum shown, and not the sum demanded, will govern.

4. On appeal by the plaintiff, or by a defendant in case setoff or counterclaim leas been filed or affirmative relief is demanded, the jurisdiction is to be determined by the amount of the relief additional or otherwise sought to be obtained by the appeal, having reference to the judgment below.

5. On appeal by defendant, the sum of the judgment against him governs the jurisdiction when no affirmative relief is asked.

6. The amount stated in the body of the declaration, and not merely the damages alleged on the prayer for judgment at its conclusion, must to considered in determining the question of jurisdiction.

7. The previous cases bearing on this subject considered and reviewed.

Bill of interpleader filed by Charles D. Gilmore against Benjamin S. Hilton, William H. Dickinson, John Devlin, and others, to determine the ownership of $2,500, which Gilmore held as trustee. The fund was paid into court, and when the decree below was rendered had increased by investment to more than $3,000. Hilton, Dickinson, and Devlin each claimed the whole. The court at special term decreed the whole to Hilton. From this decree both Dickinson and Devlin appealed to the general term. There, the decree at special term was modified so as to direct the payment of the fund to Hilton and Dickinson in equal moieties, and to adjudge the costs against Devlin alone. Hilton took an appeal to this Court from this decree, "insofar as it modifies the decree of the court below, to-wit, the special term in equity," and citation was issued to Dickinson alone. This appeal was docketed here in due time.

An appeal was also allowed Devlin at the time the decree was rendered, but that appeal was not entered in this Court. There was no appearance of counsel or security for costs within the time required by law.

Dickinson moved to dismiss the appeal of Hilton, on the ground that the value of the matter in dispute did not exceed $2,500, and to docket and dismiss under the 9th Rule the appeal of Devlin.

Page 108 U. S. 167

Devlin also appears by counsel, and presents an assignment to him from Dickinson of all interest in the litigation, which was executed before the decree was modified at general term. He therefore insists that Dickinson has no right to move in the premises, and asks that the appearance of his own counsel be entered.

Page 108 U. S. 168

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