Breithaupt v. Bank of Georgia
Annotate this Case
26 U.S. 238 (1828)
U.S. Supreme Court
Breithaupt v. Bank of Georgia, 26 U.S. 1 Pet. 238 238 (1828)
Breithaupt v. Bank of Georgia
26 U.S. (1 Pet.) 238
ON CERTIFICATE OF
DIVISION OF OPINION
The complainants are stated in the bill to be citizens of the State of South Carolina. The defendant, the Bank of Georgia, is a body corporate, existing under an act of the legislature, but the citizenship of the individual corporators is not stated. The averment in the original bill is that William B. Bullock and Samuel Hale are citizens of Georgia and residents therein; William B. Bullock is afterwards designated in the bill as "President of the Mother Bank, and Samuel Hale, as the President of the Branch Bank at Augusta, in the State of Georgia." The courts of the United States have no jurisdiction
of the case. The record does not show that the defendants were citizens of Georgia, nor are there any distinct allegations that the stockholders of the Bank, were citizens of that state.
This was a bill filed in the Circuit Court for the District of Georgia, and the case came up, on a certificate of a division of opinion which the judges ordered to be entered upon these points:
First, whether the complainants are entitled to relief?
Secondly, what relief should be decreed to them?
The only question presented for the decision of this Court was whether the circuit court had jurisdiction of the cause. It was alleged there is no sufficient averment on the record of the citizenship of the parties.
The complainants, Henry Shultz, and Christian Breithaupt, are stated to be citizens of the State of South Carolina. The defendant, The Bank of the State of Georgia, is a body corporate but the citizenship of the individual corporators is not stated. The averment in the original bill is that "William B. Bullock and Samuel Hale are citizens of Georgia, residents therein." William B. Bullock is subsequently designated, as "President of the Mother Bank, and Samuel Hale, as President of the Branch Bank at Augusta, in the State of Georgia." There are three amendments to the bill, but there is in none of them any further averments. The answer denies the jurisdiction.
The defendant's counsel insisted that the citizenship of the individual corporators should have been alleged, and that the want of jurisdiction is apparent upon the face of the record.
BY THE COURT.
This is not a case within the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States. The record does not show that the defendants were citizens of Georgia, nor are there any distinct allegations or averments that the same was the fact, as to the stockholders in the bank.
This cause came on, &c., on consideration whereof this Court is of opinion that as the bill does not aver that the corporators of the Bank of the State of Georgia, which bank is defendant in the suit, are citizens of the State of Georgia, the circuit court has no jurisdiction of the cause, and can grant no relief. It is therefore ordered to be certified to the circuit court as the opinion of this Court that in the present state of the pleadings, it not appearing that the defendants are citizens of the State of Georgia, the complainants are not entitled to relief in that court.
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