Rice v. Houston
Annotate this Case
80 U.S. 66 (1871)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Rice v. Houston, 80 U.S. 13 Wall. 66 66 (1871)
Rice v. Houston
80 U.S. 66
A citizen of one state getting letters of administration on the estate of a decedent there, its citizen also, and afterwards removing to another state, and becoming a citizen of it, may sue in the circuit court of the first state, there being nothing in the laws of that state forbidding an administrator to remove from the state.
A. W. Vanleer, a citizen of Tennessee, having died at Nashville, letters of administration were granted by the proper authority there to one Houston, on his estate. It seemed to be admitted by counsel that at this time Houston was a citizen of Tennessee. But he afterwards, it was equally admitted, was in Kentucky and domiciled there. Thus domiciled, he brought two suits in the court below, the Circuit Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, to recover from Rice on certain notes given to his decedent, Vanleer. In these suits, he described himself in his narr. as "a citizen of the State of Kentucky and administrator of the estate of A. W. Vanleer, deceased." The defendant craved oyer of the letters. This disclosing that the letters were granted in Tennessee, the defendant pleaded that
"by the said letters of administration it appears that the administrator of the estate of the said A. W. Vanleer is the creature of the law of Tennessee, and has no existence as such outside of the State of Tennessee."
To this plea the plaintiff demurred, and the demurrer being held good and judgment given for the plaintiff, the defendant brought the case here. The point involved was of course the jurisdiction of the circuit court.