Ricaud v. American Metal Co., Ltd.,
246 U.S. 304 (1918)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ricaud v. American Metal Co., Ltd., 246 U.S. 304 (1918)

Ricaud v. American Metal Company, Limited

No. 119

Submitted January 3, 1918

Decided March 11, 1918

246 U.S. 304


The requirement that a certificate from the circuit court of appeals shall contain a "proper statement of the facts on which the questions and propositions of law arise" (Rule 37) is not complied with by a statement of what is "alleged and denied" by the parties in their pleadings, supplemented by a statement that there was evidence tending to establish the facts a claimed by each party; nor should the question be based upon an "assumed" statement of facts.

Page 246 U. S. 305

Facts supplied by judicial notice may enable the court to answer questions from the court of appeals where otherwise the insufficiency of the certificate would necessitate its return to that court.

A bill in the District Court for the Western District of Texas, besides showing diverse citizenship, alleged that certain personal property of the plaintiff had been forcibly taken from its possession in Mexico by unknown persons, was consigned to one of the defendants at El Paso, and was in a bonded warehouse there in the possession of another defendant, as Collector of Customs, who, unless restrained as prayed, would deliver it to the other defendants. Held that the case as thus stated was within the jurisdiction of the district court, and that the facts, not mentioned in the bill, that the property had been seized, condemned, and sold for war purposes by the Constitutionalist forces in revolution in Mexico, acting under authority of General Carranza, whose government was later recognized by the United States, did not deprive the courts of jurisdiction to adjudicate upon the validity of the title thus acquired, though, in exercising the jurisdiction, the action of the Mexican authorities must necessarily be accepted as a rule of decision. Oetjen v. Central Leather Co., ante, 246 U. S. 297.

The fact that property seized and sold by the authorities of a foreign government belonged to an American citizen, not residing in the foreign country at the time, does not empower a court of this country to reexamine and modify their action.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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