Alexandria Canal Co. v. Swann,
Annotate this Case
46 U.S. 83 (1847)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Alexandria Canal Co. v. Swann, 46 U.S. 5 How. 83 83 (1847)
Alexandria Canal Co. v. Swann
46 U.S. (5 How.) 83
Where a case is removed from Alexandria County to Washington County, in the District of Columbia, whatever defenses might have been made in Alexandria County, either as to the form of the action or upon any other ground, or whatever would have been a bar to the action, may all be relied upon in the new forum.
But the mode of proceeding, by which the rights of the parties are determined, must be regulated by the law of the court to which the suit is transferred.
A reference to arbitrators, therefore, which is sanctioned by the laws of Maryland, governing Washington County, is not to be overthrown because it is not sanctioned by the laws of Virginia, governing Alexandria County.
The validity of the reference, and of the proceedings and judgment upon it, must be tested by the laws of Maryland.
Although the charter of a company does not, in terms, give the power to refer, yet a power to sue and be sued includes a power of reference, that being one of the modes of prosecuting a suit to judgment.
So also, a power to agree with a proprietor for the purchase or use of land includes a power to agree to pay a specified sum or such sum as arbitrators may fix upon.
It is immaterial whether the power of reference is lodged in the resident and directors or in the stockholders assembled in general meeting, for the entire corporation is represented in court by its counsel, whose acts, in conducting the suit, are presumed to be authorized by the party.
Where the order of reference provides for the appointment of an umpire, it is no error if he is appointed before the referees had heard the evidence and discovered that they could not agree.
Where the agreement for reference contained a clause, providing that upon payment of damages to the owner of the land he should convey it to the other party, it was proper for the umpire to omit all notice of this. It was not put in issue by the pleadings, nor referred to the arbitrators.
The circumstances of the case are so fully set forth in the opinion of the court, that it is unnecessary to do more than refer to it for a statement of the facts.