King Bridge Co. v. Otoe County
120 U.S. 225 (1887)

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U.S. Supreme Court

King Bridge Co. v. Otoe County, 120 U.S. 225 (1887)

King Bridge Company v. Otoe County

Submitted January 7, 1887

Decided January 31, 1887

120 U.S. 225


An order drawn upon a county treasurer by county officials in favor of A or order unendorsed, and a like order in favor of A, both assigned by A to B for a valuable consideration, constitute no cause of action in B's favor on which B can maintain an action in a circuit court of the United States on the ground of citizenship if A could not maintain the action there on the same ground, and if, in such action in B's favor, A's necessary qualification of citizenship does not affirmatively appear in the record in this Court, the judgment below will be reversed whether the question of jurisdiction be made or not, and plaintiff in error adjudged to pay costs in this Court.

This action was brought November 10, 1885, by the King Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Company, a corporation of Ohio, against Otoe County, in the State of Nebraska, to recover the amount of two county warrants or orders, each signed by the chairman of the county commissioners of the county, and countersigned by the county clerk. One was dated October 9, 1878, and directed the "Treasurer of Otoe County to pay to Z. King or order sixteen hundred and five dollars, and charge to account of special bridge funds," and the other dated January 9, 1879, directed the "Treasurer of Otoe County to pay to Z. King sixteen hundred and five dollars, and charge to account of special bridge fund." The first one being presented for payment on the 23d of October, 1878, was endorsed by the treasurer, "Presented, and not paid for want of funds." The other was presented on the 15th of January, 1879, and received a like endorsement. The petition states in respect of each warrant that it had been, for a valuable consideration, "sold, transferred, and delivered" by Z. King to the plaintiff, who sues as the holder and owner thereof.

Judgment was asked for $3,210, with ten percent interest on $1,605 thereof from October 23, 1878, and for $1,605, with like interest from January 15, 1879.

Page 120 U. S. 226

The defense was the limitation of five years prescribed by the local law for an action "upon a specialty, or any agreement, contract, or promise in writing, or foreign judgment." The court below overruled a demurrer to the answer and dismissed the action.

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