Empire State-Idaho Mining Co. v. Hanley
Annotate this Case
198 U.S. 292 (1905)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Empire State-Idaho Mining Co. v. Hanley, 198 U.S. 292 (1905)
Empire State-Idaho Mining and
Developing Company v. Hanley
Submitted May 1, 1905
Decided May 15, 1905
198 U.S. 292
Where the jurisdiction of the circuit court is invoked on the ground of diverse citizenship, it will not be held to rest also on the ground that the suit arose under the Constitution of the United States unless it really and substantially involves a dispute or controversy as to the effect or construction of the Constitution upon the determination of which the result depends, and which appears on the record by a statement in legal and logical form such as good pleading requires, and where the case is not brought within this rule, the decree of the circuit court of appeals is final. Where the jurisdiction of the circuit court has been invoked on the ground of diverse citizenship and plaintiff asserts two causes of action, only one of which involves a right under the Constitution, and the circuit court of appeals decides against him on that cause of action and in his favor on the other, the judgment of that court is final, and defendant cannot make the alleged constitutional question on which he has succeeded the basis of jurisdiction for an appeal to this Court.
Hanley brought this bill in equity in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Idaho, setting up diversity of citizenship as the ground of jurisdiction, and asserted ownership
of an undivided one-eighth interest, and of an undivided one-third interest in the Skookum mining claim, Shoshone County, Idaho. As to the one-third interest, Hanley claimed under certain proceedings in the probate court of that county, which were, without notice to him, as he said, set aside, and the interest conveyed to the Chemung Company, and by the latter to the Empire State &c. Mining Company. Hanley's title to the one-eighth interest was derived through mesne conveyances from the original grantee under a patent from the United States. This interest Hanley had conveyed to Sweeny and Clark by a deed deposited in the Exchange National Bank of Spokane, to be delivered on certain specified conditions, and he averred that Sweeny and Clark obtained possession of the deed wrongfully, and contrary to the escrow agreement, and afterwards made a pretended deed of the interest to the Empire State Company.
On hearing, the circuit court decreed against Hanley as to both interests. Hanley carried the case to the circuit court of appeals, which held that he was not entitled to relief as to the one-third interest, but that he was as to the one-eighth interest. The decree was therefore reversed, and the cause remanded for further proceedings. 109 F. 712. The case went back and was referred to a master for an accounting as to the eighth interest, who reported a large amount of money as due to Hanley. The circuit court reduced the amount by deducting the cost of working the property while Hanley was excluded from the mine, and entered a decree quieting Hanley's title to the one-eighth interest and giving him judgment against the Empire State Company for the last-named amount. Defendant appealed from this decree, and filed a supersedeas bond with the American Bonding Company of Baltimore as surety, and Hanley prosecuted a cross-appeal, questioning the deduction. The circuit court of appeals sustained the cross-appeal, and held that the circuit court erred in allowing defendants their working costs. 126 F. 97. The case was remanded with directions to modify the decree. This was
done and recovery of the original amount decreed, and also recovery on the bond of the amount it was given to secure, and another appeal was taken by the companies to the court of appeals, which affirmed the decree. The pending appeal having been subsequently allowed, was submitted on motion to dismiss.