OpenJurist

122 US 519 Texas Transp Co v. Seeligson

122 U.S. 519

7 S.Ct. 1261

30 L.Ed. 1150

TEXAS TRANSP. CO. and others
v.
SEELIGSON, Adm'r, etc.

May 27, 1887.

T. N. Waul, for appellants. [520]

Wm. E. Earle and W. W. Boyce, for appellee.

WAITE, C. J.

1

This is an appeal under section 5 of the act of March 3, 1875, c. 137, (18 St. 470,) from an order of the circuit court remanding a suit which had been removed from a state court. The suit was begun December 18, 1883, in the circuit court of Harris county, Texas, by Henry Seeligson, a citizen of that state, and the owner of 20 shares of the capital stock of the Texas Transportation Company, a Texas corporation, against that company, and A. C. Hutchinson, Charles Fowler, E. W. Cave, and L. Megget, its directors and principal officers, for an account of the affairs of the company; and to annul and set aside a note of the company for $335,000 to Charles Morgan, together with a deed of trust given for its security. Hutchinson is a citizen of Louisiana, but all the rest of the defendants are citizens of Texas. On the ninth of February, 1884, a supplemental petition was filed in the suit, alleging that C. P. Huntington had become the owner of the note given to Morgan, and bringing him in as a defendant. Citation was served on him March 13, 1884, and, on the thirty-first of the same month, he, being a citizen of New York, presented his petition for the removal of the suit to the circuit court of the United States for the Eastern district of Texas, on the ground 'that there is a controversy in said suit which is wholly between citizens of different states, and which can be fully determined as between them, to-wit, a controversy between said Seeligson, plaintiff, and your petitioner, and a controversy between your petitioner on one side, and in which the interests of the said Seeligson, the Texas Transportation Company, and the other defendants, officers of said company, are on the other side.' Upon this petition an order of removal was made, and the suit entered in the circuit court on the sixteenth of October, 1884, when the defendants appeared, and, on the first of December, filed a joint and several demurrer to the bill. On the fifth of January, 1885, this demurrer was sustained as to Huntington, but overruled as to the rest of the defendants. The bill was then amended, and afterwards, on the ninth of March, it was ordered that the 'complainant do recast and amend his bill so as to conform to the equity rules of the supreme court, and that, in so amending and recasting his pleadings, he have leave to bring in two or more bills, as counsel may advise, so as to save to complainant all the causes of action contained in his original bill;' and that, 'if this order is not complied with by the rule-day in May next, the complainant's bill shall stand dismissed, with costs.' On the second of May, Seeligson made a motion to remand the suit; and, this being overruled, on the fourth of May he filed an amended bill, to which the defendants demurred June 1st. This demurrer was set down for argument on the first Monday in November. Other motions were filed by the defendants, but, before any of them were disposed of, Seeligson, on the nineteenth of November, dismissed the suit as to Huntington, and at once moved to remand. This motion was granted January 9, 1886, and from thato rder this appeal was taken.

2

As the suit could only have been removed because of the alleged separate cause of action against Huntington, it was right to remand it as soon as the discontinuance was entered as to him. The express provision of section 5 of the act of 1875 is that if 'it shall appear to the satisfaction of said circuit court, at any time after such suit has been * * * removed thereto, that such suit does not really and substantially involve a dispute or controversy properly within the jurisdiction of said circuit court, * * * the said circuit court shall proceed no further therein, but shall dismiss the suit or remand it to the court from which it was removed, as justice may require.' The court was not required to keep the suit after the discontinuance, simply because it might have been removed when Huntington was a party. As soon as he was out of the case, it did appear that 'the suit did not really and substantially involve a dispute or controversy properly within' its jurisdiction.

3

The order to remand is affirmed.