It having been found in the district court that a person
proceeded against in involuntary bankruptcy was "engaged chiefly in
farming," and the petition having been dismissed accordingly,
that no appeal lies to this Court from that
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER delivered the opinion of the Court.
The Bankrupt Act. Act of July 1, 1898, c. 541, 30 Stat. 544,
"Any natural person, except a wage earner or a person
Page 186 U. S. 203
engaged chiefly in farming or the tillage of the soil, any
unincorporated company, and any corporation engaged principally in
manufacturing, trading, printing, publishing, or mercantile
pursuits, owing debts to the amount of one thousand dollars or
over, may be adjudged an involuntary bankrupt upon default or an
impartial trial, and shall be subject to the provisions and
entitled to the benefits of this act."
In this proceeding by petition in involuntary bankruptcy filed
against John P. Klug, a trial before a jury was had on the issue
whether Klug was "engaged chiefly in farming" within the meaning of
the act. The district court, upon the evidence, directed the jury
to find that Klug was a farmer and engaged chiefly in farming,
within the meaning of the act, and, the jury having found
accordingly, entered judgment dismissing the petition with costs.
Petitioners prayed an appeal directly to this Court, which was
allowed, and the district court thereupon made and filed its
findings of fact and conclusions of law in pursuance of the third
subdivision of General Order in Bankruptcy, XXXVI.
Section 24 of the Bankrupt Act provides:
. The Supreme Court of the United States, the circuit
courts of appeals of the United States, and the supreme courts of
the territories, in vacation in chambers and during their
respective terms, as now or as they may be hereafter held, are
hereby invested with appellate jurisdiction of controversies
arising in bankruptcy proceedings from the courts of bankruptcy
from which they have appellate jurisdiction in other cases. The
Supreme Court of the United States shall exercise a like
jurisdiction from courts of bankruptcy not within any organized
circuit of the United States and from the Supreme Court of the
District of Columbia."
. The several circuit courts of appeal shall have
jurisdiction in equity, either interlocutory or final, to
superintend and revise in matter of law the proceedings of the
several inferior courts of bankruptcy within their jurisdiction.
Such power shall be exercised on due notice and petition by any
Our jurisdiction of this appeal depends on the Act of March
Page 186 U. S. 204
1891, by the fifth section of which an appeal or writ of error
from or to the circuit or district courts will lie directly "in any
case where the jurisdiction of the court is in issue," and in such
cases "the question of jurisdiction alone shall be certified to the
supreme court from the court below for decision." In this case,
there is no such certificate, and, moreover, the district court had
and exercised jurisdiction. The conclusion was, it is true, that
Klug could not be adjudged a bankrupt, but the court had
jurisdiction to so determine, and its jurisdiction over the subject
matter was not and could not be questioned. Mueller v.
Nugent, 184 U. S. 15
Louisville Trust Company v. Comingor, 184 U.
; Smith v. McKay, 161 U.
It is not contended that the case falls within either of the
other classes of cases mentioned in section five.
Section 25 provides:
. That appeals, as in equity cases, may be taken in
bankruptcy proceedings from the courts of bankruptcy to the circuit
court of appeals of the United States, and to the supreme court of
the territories, in the following cases, to-wit, (1) from a
judgment adjudging or refusing to adjudge the defendant a bankrupt;
(2) from a judgment granting or denying a discharge, and (3) from a
judgment allowing or rejecting a debt or claim of five hundred
dollars or over. Such appeal shall be taken within ten days after
the judgment appealed from has been rendered, and may be heard and
determined by the appellate court in term or vacation, as the case
. From any final decision of a court of appeals,
allowing or rejecting a claim under this act, an appeal may be had
under such rules and within such time as may be prescribed by the
Supreme Court of the United States, in the following cases and no
"1. Where the amount in controversy exceeds the sum of two
thousand dollars, and the question involved is one which might have
been taken on appeal or writ of error from the highest court of a
state to the Supreme Court of the United States, or"
"2. Where some Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
shall certify that, in his opinion, the determination of
Page 186 U. S. 205
the question or questions involved in the allowance or rejection
of such claim is essential to a uniform construction of this act
throughout the United States."
This appeal does not come within those provisions.
of the same section is:
"Controversies may be certified to the Supreme Court of the
United States from other courts of the United States, and the
former court may exercise jurisdiction thereof and issue writs of
certiorari pursuant to the provisions of the United States laws now
in force or such as may be hereafter enacted."
The words "bankruptcy proceedings" are used in this section in
contradistinction to controversies arising out of the settlement of
the estates of bankrupts, as they are also so used in sections 23
and 24. The certification referred to is that provided for in
sections 5 and 6 of the Act of March 3, 1891, and this case in that
particular does not fall within those sections.
Apart from section 25, the circuit courts of appeals have
jurisdiction on petition to superintend and revise any matter of
law in bankruptcy proceedings, and also jurisdiction of
controversies over which they would have appellate jurisdiction in
other cases. The decisions of those courts might be reviewed here
on certiorari, or in certain cases by appeal, under section 6 of
the act of 1891. Mueller v. Nugent, 184 U. S.
; Huntington v. Saunders, 163 U.
; Aztec Mining Company v. Ripley,
151 U. S. 79
151 U. S. 81
But the question before us is whether this appeal was properly
brought, and we do not think it was.