tlNl'J:ED SU'J:ES V. ATCHESON, 1. & S. F. RY. CO.
ex rel. D. & N. O. Ry. Co. v. S. F. Ry. Co.-
(Ci1;CUie Court, D. Oolorado. June 22, 1883.)
CONTEMPT IN UNITED STATES COURT.
The power Of the United 8tates court in matters of contempt is limited, by Hev. St. § 725, to punishment by fine and imprisonment, It has no power to impose any punishment by way of damages or compensation to the plaintiJI in the original action.
Proceedings for Contempt. J. Upon the questions reserved for my consideration by the order herein of June 1st, I have reached the following conclusions: 1. This is a proceeding in its nature criminal, and which .must be governed by the strict rules of construction applied in criminal cases. Its purpose is not to afford a remedy to the ;larty complaining, and who may have been injured by the acts complained of. That remedy must be sought in another way. Its pu·pose is to vindicate the. authority and dignity of the cQurt. In such a proceeding the court has no jurisdiction to make any order in the Ilature of further directions for the enforcement of the decree. Van Zandt v. Argentine Mining Co. 2 McCrary, :l42; [8. C. 8 FED. REP. 'I25;J Haight v. Lucia, 36 Wis. 355; In re Chiles, 22 Wall. 163; Durant ."". Sup'rs, 1 Woolw. 377; New Orleans v. Steam-ship Co. 20 Wall. 392. J. The power of the court is limited to the punishment,Of the party charged with oontempt, and, under the provisions of section 725 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, such punishment must be by fine. or imprisonment. That section provides that cir.cuit courts shall have power "to punish by fine or imprisonment, at the discretion of the court, contempts of their. 8:uthority." This enactment, says the supreme court, is "a limitation upcm the manner in which the power may be exercised, and must be held to be a negation of all other modes of punishment." Ex parte Robills;n, 19 Wall. 512. . , 3. Tojustify the punishment prescribed by statute the faot of the guilt of the acoused must be cleariyand explioitly tablished to the satisfaction of the court. If the terms of the deoree are ambiguous, or if men of might honestly d'ifII'J).' as to their meaning oroonstruction. the defendant is entitled to the
*From the Denver .Law Journal
benefit of the presumption of innocence until the court has, by further directions, made the meaning more plain, aftei which disobedience must be punished. 4. I am of the opinion that the defendant nas violated the decree 17 its refusal to check baggage beyond its own line but I agree with the district judge in the opinion that, as this refusal was under the advice of cotlllsel, no punishment should be inflicted for past offenses in this regard. 5. So much of the order of June 1st as required defendant to pay complainanG certain sums, and directs an accounting, is not a proper order in this proceeding, being in the nature of further relief to the complainant, and not in the nature of punishment for contempt by either fioe or imprisonment. 6. The decree does not, either by its terms or by necessary implication,forbid the change in the di\7ision of freights and fares now complained Of; and there is, therefore, no case for the punishment by fine or Imprisonment of the defendant for assenting to such change and acting thereon. 7. It IS not necessary to say more upon the subject of the change of the division of freights and fares, but inasmuch as that subject has been exhaustively argued by counsel, I think it proper to state briefly my conclusions upon the merits of the controversy respecting it. In my opinion the courts ought not to interfere for the purpose of pre. venting any reduction of rates which results from competition between rival railway lines. If, as a result of the struggle fo:'" business between such competing companies, they voluntarily offer to carry, either for the public generally or for connecting lines, at less than a remu-. nerative rate, it is their own business. They are not obliged to carry for less than a fair and' reasonable rate; and if they voluntarily do so for the purpose of outstripping a rival, they cannot complain of those who avail themflelves of the low rates offered. It follows that if the defendant has done nothing mere than to avail itself of the low rates offered to it, as It result of the struggle for business between complainant and the Denver & Rio Grande Company, then there is nil ca.use for relief against ·defendant because of its aotion in this re· gard, either in this proceeding or in any other. icting, doubtles§., upon this view of the subject,the complainant, Ill· the affidavits filed as the basis of this proceeding, charged' that the change in the division of freights and fares was, as between' the defendant and the Rio Grande Company, It fltlse pretense,-a mere
UNITED STATES V. ATCHESON, T. & S. F. BY. CO.
sbam,-no change in fact having Leep made in the division, as it was before April 1st, when the pretended change took effect. If this allegation was Bustained by the proof, the court would not hesitate to hold it to be a flagrant violation of the decree, and to punishit accordingly. But I am bound to say it is not sustained by, the proof. Numerous affidllovits are\filed by defendant, in which the deponents swear that the reduction was voluntarily made by the Denver & Rio Grande Company, and that the defendant had nothing whatever to do with it. These witnesses all affirm that the Rio Grande Company has no arrangement whatever with the defendant whereby it is to receive any other or better terms than those accorded to the plaintiff. The answers under oath, filed by the officers of the defendant company, to interrogatories propounded by complainant, are to the same effect. On the other hand, t4ere is nothing but probabilities and circumstances. It is impossible, upon this proof, for. to say that the collusion and conspiracy charged have been established. In my judgment, the complainant must, in order to beeriti· tIed to relief on account of the change in the division of freights and fares" complained of, establish by satisfactory proof that the other two companies have combillild against it, and made. the change complained of for the purpose of defeating the operation of the decree, and of depriving. the complainant of the benefits thereof. This esta.blished, the complainant might, either, in a pI'oceeding fot contempt or an application to the court for further orders, or in aJ:l original proceeding, obtain the necessary relief.; but from the consl:lquences resulting from a war of rates· merely, and from a struggle with a rival company to secure bnsilless; .the courts canriot relieve.
See U. 8. v. 8owles, ante, 536; In re Cary,
to FJID. REP. 622.
May 14, 1883.)
(Circuit Court, E. D. P6nn8ylfJania.
Where letters patent were granted under the act of 1861 for the term of 17 years from their date, and the i'nvention had been patented abroad by the inventors more than six months before tIle TIling of the American application, held, that the letters patent of the United States are limited to a term of 17 years from the date or publication of the foreign letters patent. De F'lorez v. Rallnold8, 17 Blatchf. 436, (S. C. 8 FED. REP. 434,] followed.
2. SUm-REGENERATOR FURNACES.
Reissued letters patent of the United States, No. 3,265, for improved regenerator furnace, and English letters patent of 1861, No. 167, held to be for the, same invention, .
PATENT. Oll' DmEC'rORB' Oll' CORPORATION I'OR INFRINGEMENT 011' LETTERS'
Whether the directors 'of a corporation are individually liable for infringement of letters patent by the corporation of which they are directors, not decided.
Hearing on Bill, Answer, and Proofs. Bill in equity by Charles and Frederick Siemens against William Sellers, Edward W. Clark, John Sellers, Jr., Joseph F. Tobias, and James A. Wright, an injunction and an account for an alleged infringement of reissued letters patent No. 3,265, dated January 12, 1869, granted to complainants for an improved regenerator furnace formetaHurgists and others. Tbe answer denied infringement, but contained, inter alia:
"We bf.lieve that the Midvale Steel Works, a corporation organized undel the laws of thtJ state of Peimsylvania, and doing business in the city of Philadelphia, has, since July 22, 1878, used a furnace embodying substantially the construction and mode of operation specified and claimed in the said reissued letters patent; and we admit that we have been directors of the said corporation since July 22,1878, but we are informed and believe that such user by such corporation, of which we have been, as aforesaid, directors, even if it constituted a violation by said corporation of the rights of the complainanttl in said letttJrs, is not a violation of said rights for which we are, or either 01 of us iS,in any way liable or accountable."
The answer further averred that "English letters patent No. 167, of 1861, dated January 21, 1861, and sealed July 19, 1861, were granted to the complainants for · improvement in furnaces,''' and that "the said invention so patented by said letters patent is sub·Reported by Frederick F. Hallowell, Esq., of the Philadelphia bar. Affirmed. See 8 SuP. Ct. Rep. 117, Bub nom. Guarantee Ins., T, & S. D. Co. v. Sellers.