« PreviousContinue »
United States follow the practice of the courts : The words of this section, "as near as may of the state in regard to the form and order be,” were intended to qualify what would of pleading, including the manner in which otherwise bave been a mandatory provision, objections may be taken to the jurisdiction, and have the effect to leave the Federal courts and the question whether objections to the some degree of discretion in conforming enjurisdiction and defenses on the merits shall tirely to the state procedure. These words be pleaded successively or together. Dela- imply that, in certain cases, it would not be ware County Comrs. v. Diebold Safe & L. Co. practicable, without injustice or inconven. 133 V. S. 473, 488 [33 : 674, 680] ; Roberts v. ience, to conform literally to the entire pracLeiris, 144 U. S. 653 (36:579). But the juris. tice prescribed for its own courts by a state diction of the circuit courts of the United in which Federal courts might be sitting. States has been deiined and limited by the This qualification is indicated in Indianacts of Congress, and can be neither restricted apolis & St. L. R. Co. v. Horst, 93 U. S. 291, nor enlarged by the statutes of a state. To- 300, 301 (23: 898, 901). lanul v. Sprague, 37 U. S. 12 Pet. 300, 328 But aside from this view, there are other [!: 1093, 1104); Coules v. Mercer County, 74 provisions of the statutes which clearly man. V. S. 7 Wall. 118 [19: 86); Chicago & N. ifest an intention on the part of Congress not W. R. Co. v. Whitton, 80 U. S. 18 Wall. to leave the jurisdiction of the inferior Fed. 270, 286 [20: 571, 576); Phelps v. Oaks, 117 eral courts to the regulation and control of U. S. 236, 239 [29: 888, 889]. And when- state legislation. Thus by section 1011, Reever Congress has legislated upon any mat. vised Statutes, as corrected by the Act of Febter of practice, and prescribed a definite rule ruary 18, 1875, chap. 80, it is provided that for the government of its own courts, it is to "there shall be no reversal in the Supreme that extent exclusive of the legislation of the Court, or in a circuit court upon a writ of state upon the same matter. Ex parte Fisk, error, for error in ruling any plea in abate. 113 U. S. 713, 721 [28: 1117, 1120]; Whit ment, other than a plea to the jurisdiction of ford v. Clark County, 119 U. Š. 522 (30: 500). the court.” (18 Stat. at L. 318.) *This [208
* The acts of Congress, prescribing in what entirely preserves to this court the right and districts suits between citizens or corpora- duty to pass upon the jurisdiction of the tions of different states shall be brought, lower court. manifest the intention of Congress that such So, too, by the Act of February 25, 1889 suits shall be brought and tried in such a dis. (25 Stat. at L. 693) it is provided that in trict only, and that no person or corporation all cases where a final judgment or decree shall be compelled to answer to such a suit shall be rendered in a circuit court of the in any other district. Congress cannot have United States in which there shall have been intended that it should be within the power a question involving the jurisdiction of the of a state by its statutcs to prevent a defend court, the party against whom the judgment ant, sued in a circuit court of the United or decree is rendered shall be entitled to an States in a district in which Congress has said appeal or writ of error to the Supreme Court that he shall not be compelled to answer, of the United States to review such judgment from obtaining a determination of that mat- or decree, without reference to the amount of ter by that court in the first instance, and by the same; but in cases where the decree or this court on writ of error. To conform to judgment does not exceed the sum of five such statutes of a state would 'unwisely en- thousand dollars, the Supreme Court shall not cumber the administration of the law' as well review any question raised upon the record 207] *as 'tend to defeat the ends of justice' except such question of jurisdiction ;" and it in the national tribunals. The necessary con- is further provided that " such writ of error clusion is that the provisions referred to, in or appeal shall be taken and allowed under the practice act of the state of Texas, have no the same provisions of law as apply to other application to actions in the courts of the writs of error or appeals." United States."
By the first clause of section 5 of the Act While the decision in Southern Pac. Co. v. of March 3, 1891 (26 Stat. at L. 826, 827) Denton, 146 U. S. 202 (36: 943], does not it is provided that appeals or writs of error fully cover the case at bar, still the reason- may be taken from the district courts, or from ing on which the court reached its conclusion the existing circuit courts, direct to the Sutherein lias a bearing upon the question under preme Court :: in any case in which consideration, which occupies rather a mid- the jurisdiction of the court is in issue; in dle ground between the question presented in such cases the question of jurisdiction alone Jurk v. Texas, 137 U. S. 15 [34 : 604), and shall be certified to the Supreme Court from that presented in Southern Pac. Co. v. Denton, the court below for decision." and is not directly or authoritatively con These provisions of the Federal statutes trolled by either of those decisions. In the which confer upon litigants in the Federal present case, the precise question is whether courts the right to have the jurisdiction of the provisions of the Texas statutes which such courts reviewed by this court by appeal give to a special appearance, made to chal, or writ of error would be practically delenge the court's jurisdiction, the force and stroyed or rendered inoperative and of no effect of a general appearance, so as to confer effect if state statutes, such as those of Tes. jurisdiction over the person of a defendant, as, could make an appearance to question the are binding upon the Federal courts sitting in jurisdiction of a Federal court a general arthat state, under the rule of procedure pre-pearance, so as to bind the person of the de. scribed by the fifth section of the Art of June fendant. It would be an idle ceremony to 1, 1872, as reproduced in S 914 of the Revised bring to this court for review the question of Statutes.
the circuit court's jurisdiction, arising out
of a failure to serve the defendant with pro- 12 The United States, proceeding in one of their cess, if the defendant's special appearance
own courts, in the collection of a tax, admitted before the lower court to challenge its juris
to be legitimate, cannot be tb warted by the plea diction should, under state laws, amount to
of a state statute prescribing that such a tax & general appearance which conferred such
must be recorded under state regulation, and
bimiting the time within wbich such tax shall be 209]*jurisdiction. The effect of the statutes
a lien. of a state giving such an operation to an ap- 8. The states cannot by legislation interfere with pearance for the sole purpose of objecting to the assessment of Federal taxes, or set up a limthe jurisdiction of the court, would be practi. itation of time within which they must be col. cally to defeat the provisions of the Federal lected. statutes which entitle a party to the right to
(No. 229.) have this court review the question of the Submitted Apr. 20, 1893. Decided May 1, 1893. jurisdiction of the circuit court. Under well Bett)od principles this could not and should APPEAL from a decree of the Circuit
Court legislated on, or in reference to, a particular trict of Louisiana, dismissing a suit brought subject involving practice or procedure, the by the United States as against the Internastate statutes are never held to be controlling. tional Cotton Press Company, defendant, but In Harkness v. Hyde, 98 U. S. 476 (25: 237 decreeing a judgment against Charles A. Sny. it was held by this court that illegality in der for the amount of taxes due to plaintiir. the service of process by which jurisdiction Reversed, as to that part of the decree which is to be obtained is not waived by the special dismissed the suit as to the International Cotappearance of the defendant to move that the ton Press Company, and case remanded with service be set aside ; nor after such motion is directions to proceed in conformity with tho denied by his answering to the merits. Such opinion. illegality is considered as waived only when
The facts are stated in the opinion. he, without having insisted upon it, pleads Mr. William A. Maury, Assistant Atty. in the first instance to the merits. We are of Gen., for appellants. opinion that under the statutes of the United Mr. B. F. Jonas for appellee. States the jurisdiction of the Federal courts, sitting in Texas, is not to be controlled by of the court:
Mr. Justice Shiras delivered the opinion the statutes of that state above referred to. Jurisdiction is acquired as against the person record, are undisputed, and are as follows:
The facts of this case, as appearing by the by service of process; but as against property Charles A. Snyder was, during the year 1878, within the jurisdiction of the court, personal service is not required. Boswell v. Otis, 50 engaged in the business of the manufacture U. S. 9 How. 336 (13: 164] ; Pennoyer v.
of tobacco in the city of New Orleans, and, Neff, 95 U. 8. 714 [24: 565]."'But it is weli while so engaged, became indebted to the settled that no court can exercise, at common United States for internal revenue taxes in law, jurisdiction over a party unless he is the sum of several thousand dollars; and served with the process within the territorial these taxes were duly assessed and certified jurisdiction of the court, or voluntarily ap. to the collector of internal revenue, who pears. Kendall v. United States, 37 U. S. 12 made demand for payment. Pet. 524 [9: 1181] ; Harris v. Hardeman, 55 time of such indebtedness and demand for
On the 20th day of November, 1879, at the U. S. 14 How. 334 [14: 444).
In the present case, when it was established payment, and for more than a year prior and by the facts stated in the plea in abatement, subsequent to said date, the said Charles A. and admitted by the demurrer thereto, that Snyder was the owner of certain pieces and the plaintiff in error was never brought be of New Orleans, to wit, nine several lots des
parcelsof *real estate situated in the city [211 fore the court by any proper or legal process, ignated as Nog. 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and proceed in the case ; and in so doing, and in 14. with the buildings and improvements assuming jurisdiction and proceeding to trial thereon, in the square bounded by Peters, on the merits, its action was erroneous.
Erato, Gaiennie, and Tchoupitoulas streets : Our conclusion, therefore, is that the judg.
and by act of sale passed before Theodore ment of the lower court be reverscd ; that the Guyol, notary, on February 5, 1881. Charles 210) cause be remanded to the *Circuit Court A. Snyder sold, conveyed, and delivered, for for the Western District of Texas, with direc- a valuable consideration, the said lots of tions to set aside the verdict and judgment, ground to the International Cotton Press Com. and to overrule the demurrer to the plea in pany, which has been ever since in the conabatement; and it is accordingly so ordered. tinuous use and occupation of the same.
On April 15, 1885, à bill of complaint was UNITED STATES, Appts.,
filed in the Circuit Court of the United States
for the Eastern District of Louisiana against CHARLES A. SNYDER ET AL.
Charles A. Snyder for the collection of said
taxes. Nannie Mary Torian, wife of said (See S. C. Reporter's ed. 210-215.) Snyder, and the International Cotton Press United States tar-state statute--power of states. him, it being alleged in said bill that they
Company were named as codefendants with 1. The tax system of the United States is not sub-claimed to have liens and interests in the ject to the recording laws of the states.
said pieces or lots of ground. NOTE.-As to dir:et taxes, see note to Scholey v. As to power of states to tar, see note to Dobbins Rew, 23: 99.
v. Erie Cuuuty, 10: 1022.
Mrs. Snyder was not served with process, United States for tax upon any real estate, nor was any appearance entered for her. The or to subject any real estate owned by the cause was put at issue, and so proceeded in delinquent, or in which he has any right, that a personal judgment was entered against title, or interest, to the payment of such Charles A. Snyder and in favor of the United tax. All persons having liens upon or claimStates in the sum of $3643.29, but the billing any interest in the real estate sought to was dismissed as to the International Cotton be subjected as aforesaid shall be made par. Press Company, and from this decree an ap- ties to such proceedings, and be brought into peal was taken to this court.
court as provided in other suits in chancery The assessment on which the lien for taxes therein. “And the said court shall was claimed in behalf of the United States proceed to adjudicate all matters involved was never filed or inscribed in the mortgage therein, and finally determine the merits of office of the parish of New Orleans, as re- all claims to and *liens upon the real [213 quired by the laws of the state of Louisiana, estate in question, and, in all cases where a in order to affect third persons; and the In- claim or interest of the United States therein ternational Cotton Press Company purchased shall be established, shall decrec a sale of such the property on which said tax lien was real estate by the proper officer of the court, claimed to exist for full value, in good faith, and a distribution of the proceeds of such and in ignorance of the said alleged assess sale, according to the findings of the court ment.
in respect to the interest of the parties and Section 3371 of the Revised Statutes, as of the United States." amended by section 14 of the Act of March The record discloses, in the present case 1, 1879, under which the taxes in question that the Commissioner of Internal Revenue were assessed, is in the following terms : did, within two years after sale and removal
"Whenever any manufacturer of tobacco, by Snyder of tobacco without the proper snuff, or cigars sells, or removes for sale or stamps, in the mode authorized and directed consumption, any tobaccco, snuff, or cigars by law, estimate the amount of the tax upon which a tax is required to be paid by omitted to be paid, make an assessment 212] stamps, *without the use of the proper thereof, and certify the same to the collector. stamps, it shall be the duty of the Commis The bill of complaint was in the form presioner of Internal Revenue, within a period scribed by law, and, upon the facts admitted, of not more than two years after such sale or the government was entitled to a decree for removal, upon satisfactory proof, to estimate a sale of Snyder's real estate in satisfaction the amount of tax which has been omitted of the sum found due by him, unless, indeed, to be paid and to make an assessment therefor the defense set up on behalf of the Internaand certify the same to the collector. The tional Cotton Press Company was valid. tax so assessed shall be in addition to the That defense was founded in the provisions penalties imposed by law for such sale or re- of Article 176 of the Louisiana constitution moval: Provided, however, That no such as of 1879, in these terms: “No mortgage or sessment shall be made until and after notice privilege on immovable property shall affect to the manufacturer of the alleged sale and third persons, unless recorded or registered removal to show cause against said assess in the parish where the property is situated, ment; and the Commissioner of Internal in the manner and within the time as is now Revenue shall, upon a full hearing of all the or may be prescribed by law, except privi. evi-nnce, determine what assessment, if any, leges for expenses of last illness, and privi. should be made."
leges for taxes, state, parish, or municipal : Section 3186 of the Revised Statutes, as Provided, Such privileges shall lapse in three amended by section 3 of the Act of March 1, years.” 1879, is as follows:
That the lien or assessment of the taxes in “If any person liable to pay any tax neg. question was not recorded or filed in the lects or refuse to pay the same after demand, mortgage office of the parish of New Orleans, the amount shall be a lien in favor of the within which Snyder's real estate was sitUnited States from the time when the assess. uated, and that no proceedings to enforce the inent list was received by the collector, ex. lien were brought within three years, are ad. cept when otherwise provided, until paid, mitted facts. with the interest, penalties and costs that The single question thus presented for our may accrue in addition thereto, upon all consideration is whether the tax system of property and rights to property belonging
to the United States is subject to the recording such person."
laws of the states. The method of remedy is provided by sec The court below answered this question in tion 3207, Revised Statutes, as follows: the affirmative, but filed no opinion. Nor
"In any case where there has been a refusal have the counsel of the appellees sustained the or neglect to pay any tax, and it has become proposition on which they rely by the citation necessary to seize and sell real estate to sat. *of any authorities. It is true that, [214 isfy the same, the Commissioner of Internal on the other hand, the attorney of the gov. Revenue may direct a bill in chancery to be ernment has not referred us to any decision filed in a district or circuit court of the of this court which can be said to be directly United States, to enforce the lien of the ' in point. This absence of authority is doubt
A8 to when an injunction to restrain the collection | back, see note to Erskine v. Van Arsdale, 21: 68 of a tax will be granted, see note to Dows v. Chicago, A8 to mandamus to compel city, town, or county to 20: 65.
levy tax to pay bonds or interest on bonds, see note to As to when taxes llegally assessed can be recovered | Davenport v. United States, 19: 704.
less attributable to the fact that the subject such means should be forbidden in some other
to recover moneys alleged to have been il. The power of taxation has always been re- legally exacted by the collector for custom garded as a necessary and indispensable in- duties. The circuit court applied the state cident of sovereignty. A government that statute of limitations, and directed a verdict cannot by self-administered methods, collect in favor of the defendant. This court held from its subjects the means necessary to sup- that the limitation laws of the state in which port and maintain itself in the execution of the cause of action arose, or in which the its functions is a government merely in name. suit was brought, did not furnish the rule If the United States, proceeding in one of of decision, and that it was error in the cir. their own courts, in the collection of a tax cuit court to apply, as a bar to the action, admitted to be legitimate, can be thwarted the limitation prescribed by the state statute. by the plea of a state statute prescribing that The conclusion reached is that that part of such a tax must be assessed and recorded un- the decree of the court below which dismissed der state regulation, and limiting the time the bill as to the International Cotton Press within such tax shall be a lien, it would Company must be reversed, and that the follow that the potential existence of the cause be remanded with directions to the government of the United States is at the court below to proceed therein in conformmercy of state legislation.
ity with this opinion. Moreover, it scarcely seems necessary to Reversed. look beyond the Constitution itself for å decisive reply to the question we are now considering. The 8th section of the 1st article declares that “the Congress shall have power A. ADGATE DUER, Appt.. to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, but all duties, imposts, and CORBIN CABINET LOCK COMPANY. excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.” The power to impose and collect the public burthens is here given in terms as
(See 8. C. Reporter's ed. 216-224.) absolute as the language affords. The provision exacting uniformity throughout the Patent for improvement in locks—popularity of United States itself imports a system of as
the article. sessment and collection under the exclusive control of the general government. And both 1. The patent No. 262,977, issued August 22, 1882, to the grant of the power and its limitation are Morris L. Orum, for an improvement in locks for wholly inconsistent with the proposition
that furniture, bas no patentable novelty. the states can by legislation interfere with the 2. Where the question of patentability is one of assessment of Federal taxes, or set up a limit doubt, the popularity of the article may turn the ation of time within which they must be
scale in favor of the patentee; but where such collected.
popularity is not due to any pateatable feature,
it is an unsafe criterion. Although decisions of this court upon the precise question before us cannot be cited, Submitted March 28, 1895. Decided May 1,
[No. 191.] 215] there are some analogous *subjects
As to patentability of inventions, see notes to
A8 to abandonment of invention,see note to Pen-
Asto distinction between inventions of mechanism, of a state statute prescribing a special form patented, see note to Corning v. Burden, 14: 683. of remedy for the assessment and collection
As to including process and product in same of taxes due by banks.
patent; separate patents therefor, see note to Evans In Den v. Hoboken Land & Imp. Co., 59 v. Eaton, 4: 433. U. S. 18 How. 281 [15: 376], it was said : As to what reissue may cover, see note to O'Reilly “ Among the legislative powers of Congress v. Morse, 14: 601. are the powers 'to lay and collect taxes, 48 to assignment, before issuing and reissuing patduties, imposts, and excises,
and ent; recording; when assignment transfers extended to make all laws which may be necessary terms, see note to Gayler v. Wilder, 13: 504. and proper for carrying into execution these A8 to when assignee may sue for infringement; powers.
The power to collect and when patentee must, when they must join, see note to disburse revenue, and to make all laws which Wilson v. Rousseau, 11: 1141. shall be necessary and proper for carrying damages, see note to Hogg v. Emerson, 13: 824.
A8 to damages for infringement of patent; treble that power into effect, includes all known
A8 to notes given for patent rights: purchaser beand appropriate means of effectually collect. fore maturity, see note to Mandeville v. Welch, ing and disbursing that revenue, unless some 5: 87.
of the United States for the District of to the superiority of the finished job, by ren
a , Connecticut, dismissing a suit in equity for son of the fact that the lock plate is counthe infringement of letters patent No. 263,977. tersunk in the wood, instead of lying upon issued August 22, 1882, to Morris L. Orum for its surface. This result has never heretofore an improvement in locks for furniture. Af. been attained, except by hand chiseling, firmed.
which is a slow and tedious process. See same case below, 37 Fed. Rep. 338. “I am aware that locks arranged to dovetail Statement by Mr. Justice Brown:
into their mortises are not broadly new, and This was a bill in equity for the infringe such. I do not claim.” ment of letters patent No. 262,977, issued
His claim, and there was but a single one, August 22, 1882, to Morris L. Orum for an
was as follows: improvement in locks for furniture, such as
"The lock herein described, having a doveare used on bureau
or desk drawers, or the tail cap and top plate, and a front plate pro doors of wardrobes, washstands, etc., and jecting, laterally and below the cap and as stated by the patentee in his specification : rounded at the bottom, whereby the lock
is "It has for its object to provide a lock of such adapted for insertion in a mortise formed by shape as to adapt it for insertion in a mortise sustained by a countersunk front platē, as set
a laterally cutting bit, and when in place is of peculiar form, whereby a pair of the secur.
forth." ing screws or nails is dispensed with, and the case of the lock is held laterally in the vices owned by the defendant, and the case
The answer set up certain anticipating demortise by reason of its conformity thereto was heard in the court below upon the plead. in shape.
The following drawings illustrate the lockings and proofs, and the bill dismissed. 37 and mortise in which it is held.
Fed. Rep. 338. Plaintiff thereupon appealed
to this court. Frg2
Messrs. Benj. Price and W. H. Thurston for appellant.
Messrs, John P. Bartlet and Chas. E. Mitehell for appellees.
Mr. Justice Brown delivered the opinion of the court :
The old and familiar style of furniture lock in use from time out of mind was enclosed in a shell or case, square or nearly so, and attached to a rectangular plate turned over at the top to form what is termed a selvedge, through which the bolt passed. A key post also projected some distance beyond the back plate of the shell toward the front of the drawer. The lock so constructed was inserted in a rectangular mortise cut out to receive it, and secured to the drawer by four screws through the four corners of the broad front plate.
The peculiar shape of the cavity required the mortising to be done by hand, which took considerable time, and added largely to the expense of the furniture. Indeed, the lock itself in some instances cost less than the expense of mortising the recess to receive it. The need had been felt for a long time of a lock of such shape that it could be received into a rounded cavity, which was capable of being excavated by machinery:
This want was first met by a lock invented by one Gory, for which a patent was issued to him April 22, 1873, numbered 138, 148. This patent consisted of such a construction of the shell or frame of the lock that it is adapted to fasten itself within a routed cav. ity in the wood, and thus dispense with mor. tising and fastening screws.” “The shell A,” said the patentee,“ is so constructed that upon each side of the rear face (and by the
rear face is understood the face nearest the 217] *The patentee further said in his front of the drawer) an extension projection specification :
or wing, a, is formed, which, when snugly "The lock costs no more than an ordinary fitted into a corresponding depression, b, at one of equal quality, and to attach it one each side of the routed cavity, B, serves to tack is used, instead of four screws, as usual ; retain the lock securely in the routed cavity. but the main advantage is due to the saving. In this way the recess for the reception of the