Pacific Live Stock Co. v. Lewis,
241 U.S. 440 (1916)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Pacific Live Stock Co. v. Lewis, 241 U.S. 440 (1916)

Pacific Live Stock Co. v. Lewis

No. 300

Argued March 16, 1916

Decided June 5, 1916

241 U.S. 440


Nothing is accomplished by an unsuccessful attempt to remove an administrative proceeding into the federal court where the district court has by its remanding order adjudged that the removal is not authorized.

Under § 28, Judicial Code, the order of the district court remanding a proceeding to the state court is final and conclusive; it is not subject to review either directly or indirectly.

The rule of retention of a cause by the first of two courts of concurrent jurisdiction to the exclusion of other courts and the protection of its

Page 241 U. S. 411

jurisdiction by injunction, applies only where there is substantial identity in the rights asserted and purposes sought in the several suits; the rule does not apply where the earlier suit is a mere private effort to restrain encroachments on plaintiff's individual rights and the later suit is a quasi-public proceeding set in motion by a public agency to determine the rights of all parties in interest.

Where the decision by the state court, that a statutory proceeding before a state board is preliminary and administrative and not judicial, is the necessary result of that court's construction of the statute, this Court accepts it as correct.

A state may, without violating due process of law, require all claimants to the same water to submit their claims to an administrative board and to pay a reasonable fee for the expenses of such board in determining the relative rights of the various claimants, and an opportunity to be heard is not denied by accepting ex parte sworn statements if all testimony is to be subsequently reviewed by the court in a proceeding wherein testimony may be taken; nor is it a denial of due process of law to make the preliminary order of such a board effective pending final determination by the court, where provision is made for a stay on giving suitable bond for damages that may accrue; such requirements are not arbitrary, and are a proper exercise of governmental protection of the water which in its absence might pass on and be lost.

The statutes of Oregon, 3 Lord's Laws, chap. 6 and chaps. 82, 86 and 97 of Laws of 1913, establishing proceedings before the state Water Board for ascertainment and adjudication of the relative rights of various claimants to the same water, do not deny due process of law because they require a claimant to assert his right and to pay fees for its consideration, or because they allow the board to accept and consider sworn statements taken ex parte without opportunity for cross-examination, or because they allow administrative orders to be followed and given effect before final action of the courts thereon.

The facts, which involve the Constitutionality, under the Fourteenth Amendment, of the statute of Oregon relating to appropriation and distribution of water, and the validity of proceedings thereunder, are stated in the opinion.

Page 241 U. S. 442

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