ana others -!'.'MANCHESTER & K. R. R.
(Circuit VoU'I't, D. N6'IJJ HamjJ8hi'r6.
February 14, 1884.)
.l.UOURTB 011' CONCURRENT JURISDICTION-JURISDICTION ACTUALLY ACQUIRED.
Of two courts having concurrent of any matter, the One whose jurisdiction first attaches acquires exclusive control of all controversies respecting it involving SUbstantially the same interests.
SAME-FoRECLOSURE OF MOR'rGAGE 01'1' HAILROAD.
Accordingly, where the supreme court of New Hampshire decreed the foreclosure of a deed of trust and mortgage of a railroad, and the property was actually sold, hef,d, that the circuit court of the United States could not entertain a biU to enforce the operation of the road by trustees for the benefit of its stockholders, although the bill was flIed before the sale, and the sale when made was declared to be subject to the result of the suit in the circuit court. The pO!lSession of a receiver is the possession of the court appointing him, and cannot be divested by a court of co"ordino.te jurisdiction.
RECEIVER-POSSESSION OF THE COURT.
The admissibility of copies of a recor(1 in evidence does not render the record itself inadmissib,le.
In Equity. F. A. Brooks, for cotnplaiuants. S. N. Bell, Briggs & Hull_Wm. E. Ohandler, and Wm. L. FOBter, for defendants. CLARK, J. The Manchester & Keene Railroad was incorporated by the legislature of New Hampsbire,July 16, 1864. On the twentyninth of May, 1878, it issued its bonds to the amount of $500,000, bearing date July 1,1876, and payable July 1, 1896, with 6 per cent. interest, semi-annually. 'fa- secure the paymeQ.t and interest of these bonds, it mortgaged its road and franchises, and all the property connected therewith, to CorneliusV. Dearborn, J. Wilson White, and FarnuI1l F.' Lane, trustees. By t:Qis mortgage it was stipulated that if said railroad failed for a period of six months to pay the interest of said bonds, upon a request of a majority of the holders, the trustees might declare the principal of the bonds to be payable forthwith, and make demand therefor, and for arrears of interest, and uponfailnre of payment of the same, within 10' days after demand, might sell the railroad, property, and franchise- by public auction, and make due conveyance of the same. The railroad made default in the payment of its interest, and on the twenty-ninth day of April, 1880, Samuel W. Hale, Henry Colony, John Y. Scruton, and William P. Frye filed a bill of complaint in equity in the supreme court of New Hampshire against the Nashua & Lowell Railroad, the Manchester & Keene Railroad, and Dearborn, White, and Lane, trustees. The bill alleged that the complainants were bondholders of the Manchester & Keene road, and, among otber things, that by reason of tbe want of care and proper management of the directors and trustees, the interest of said bonds had become overdue, and been unpaid for more than two years, though demanded, and the road itself was unused, neglected_ and rapidly go-
.. E. B. B.
ing to ruin. It prayed, among .other things, that a M: appointed for the protection and preservation of theroad: that tWQ of the trustees, Dearborn and White, might be removed, and others ap; pointed in their places: .and that a foreclosure of the mortgage might be made. Of this bill of complaint the supreme court of New Hampand appointed a receiver to take posshire took immediate session of the road. On the eighteenth day of August, thereafter, it removed two of its trustees, Dearbprn and White, and appointed James A. Weston, George A. Ramsdell, and John Kimball in their places, and that of Lane, who had resigned, and they afterwards became parties to the bill. The bill was then amended so as to allow, other bondholders to come in and constitute the same a proceeding of .8111 the bondholders who should desire to become parties thereto : and they did socome in, among others the Nashua & Lowell Railroad, which trial had been made party defendant in the bill. At the term of the court, 1880, a hearing was had upon the bill, arid the pleadings connected therewith, and ce.rtainquestions of law were reserved and transferred to the full bench of the supreme court. These, questions were heard at the March term, 1881, decided, and the case remanded for a decree in accordance therewith; and at the May trial term next following, a default and breach of the condition was adjudged to have taken place, and a decree entered that a foreclol;lt,re be made by a sale at auction of the road, its franchise and property,. and that notice be given by publication for the presentation by bondholders of their bonds before August 5, 1881. , At the September term, (September 2, 1881,) an order was made allowing the bondholders to hold a melilting for the choice of trustees, if they desired; and that if no such meeting was held within 10 days, the trustees which had been by the court should proceed to foreclose the mortgage by a sale according to..the decree of the court at the preceding May term. No: such meeting of the bondholders was held, and on the twentieth. day. of September, 1881, in accordance with the order of the court, the trustees advertised said road, its franchises and property, for sale itt public auction, Wednesday October 26th, at 12 o'clock noon, at which time the p.roperty was sold subject to the result in this suit. November 21st the trustees made report of the sale to the court, and the sale was ratified and approved. On the twenty-fourth of October, 1881, two days before the sale of the road under the order.of the court was to take place, and with full knowledge of the proceedings in the supreme court of. New Hampshire, either by themselves or their. a.ttorney, the complainants in this case filed their bill against all the parties. complainant in the New Hampshire court: and Charles, H. Campt, bell, who was advertised as auctioneer to sell the road, alleging that they were bondholders of said road; that the road was in default of the payment of its interest, and the condition of the mortgage broken: and asking this court to order an account to be taken of what is due
and owing to all the holders of said bond secured by the mortgage of May 29, 1878, and now payable; and that said Manchester & Keene Railroad may be ordered to pay and satisfy the same at some short day, to be fixed by the court, together with the costs of suit, and in default thereof that the said Lane, White, and Dearborn, as trustees under said mortgage, or that such other persons, if any there be, who mayor shall have succeeded to the office of trustees under said deed of trust, in pursuance of the terms of said deed, in the place and stead of said Lane, White, and Dearborn, by lawful right may be required by order of this court to take possession of said Manchester & Keene Railroad, and of all the property embraced in said mortgage, and either operate the same pel'Bonally, and take the earnings thereof, or else to lease said railroad to be operated by others, at a rental, for the benefit of said bondholders, as is provided in and by said deed of. trust, and that the said Hale and Colony and Prye and Scruton and Campbell, and any other person or persons who may become the pretended purchasers of said railroad at Buch pretended sale, may be restrained from resisting the said Lane, White, and Dearborn in discharge of their duties under said mortgage pursuant to the order of this court. To this bill of complaint the Manchester & Keene Railroad has made answer, setting forth the proceedings of the supreme court of New Hampshire, its orders and decrees in relation thereto, the sale of tpe road, and the foreclosure of the mortgage. Other parties defendant have made answer, but as no relief is claimed against them, those answers are not material to the decision of this case. The Boston & Lowell Railroad have withdrawn as complainants, and the remaining complainants make no denial or question of the jurisdiction of the supreme court of New Hampshire in the premises. The question then comes distinctly, whether, upon the bill and answer as thus stated, this court shouldgrant the relief prayed for, and the answer must be that it should not. The subject-matter of the two suitsthe one in the New Hamphire supreme court and the one in this court-is substantially the same: the Manchester & Keene Railroad, and its default in the payment of the interest on its bonds secured by the mortgage of May 29, 1878, and the relief of its bondholders. The relief asked was somewhat different, but the subject-matter the same. Over this matter the two courts have concurrent jurisdiction, and the rule haB been established, by a long line of almost unbroken decisions, that in all cases of concurrent jurisdiction the court which first has pOBsession of the subject-matter must decide it. Chief Justice MARSHALL thus announced the rule in Smith v. McIver, 9 Wheat. 532, and it has been followed in many cases since. Mallett v. Dexter, 1 Curt. 178; The Robert Fulton, 1 Paine, 621; Ex parte Robinson, 6 McLean, 355; Board of F. Missions v. McMasters, 4 Amer. Law Rev. 526; Ex parte Sifford, 5 Amer. Law Rev. 659; Parsons v. Lyman, 5 Blatchf. C. C. 170; U. S. v. Wells, 20 Amer.
BRUCE 11. BANCHESTE8 & E. B. B.
Law Rev. 424; Crane v. McCoy, 1 Bond. 422; Blake v. Railroad, 6 N. B. R. 331; Levi v. Life Ins. Co. 1 FED. REP. 206; Hamilton v. Chouteau, 6 REP. 339; Ins. Co. v. University of Chicago, ld. 443; Walker v. Flint, 7 FED. REP. 435; Wire Co. v. Wheeler, 11 FED. REP. 206; Ins. Co. v. Railroad, 13 FED. REP. 857; The J. W. French, ld. 916; Stout v. Lye, 103 U. S. 66. The jurisdiction of the supreme court of New Hampshire fir8t attached, and it had the right to proceed to the final determination of the cause, to the exclusion of this court upon the Bame subject-matter. In Peck v. Jenness, 7 How. 612, Mr. Justice GRIER, delivering the opinion of the court, sayl!: "It is a doctrine too long established to require a citation of authorities, that when a court has jurisdiction it has a right to decide every question which occurs in the cause, whether its decisions be correct or otherwise; its judgment, till reversed, is regarded as binding on every other court; and that where the jurisdiction of a court, and the right of the plaintiff to prosecute his suit in it, have once attached, that right cannot be arrested or taken away by proceedings in another court." "This rule," says the court, "ie. founded not only in comity, but in necessity. If one could adjudge and the other reverse, the contest might go on until parties tired, justice was delayed, and the courts were in contempt." Again, when the bill of complaint was filed in this case, the Manchester & Keene road was in the hands of a receiver appointed by the supreme court of New Hampshire. The possession of that receiver was the possession of that court, and this court could not divest or disturb that possession, as it must do if it granted the relief prayed for. Taylor v. Carryl, 20 How. 583; Hagan v. Lucas, 10 Pet. 100; Freeman v. Howe, 24 Row. 450; Buck v. Colbath, 3 Wall. 334; Walker v. Flint, 7 FED. REP. 435. It is contended by the complainants that the sale of the road by the trustees under the order of the court of New Hampshire was made subject to the result in this suit, and therefore the relief prayed for should be granted; but that contention cannot be assented to. The decree of the court of New Hampshire was absolute, and without condition, that a foreclosure of the mortgage should be made by a sale of the road. That decree this court cannot reverse or set aside, as it practically must do if it now grants the relief prayed for by the complainants. The court of New Hampshire ordered the trustees to sell the road; this court is asked to order the trustees to run or lease the road for the benefit of the complainants. The one is inconsistent with the other. The sale of the road was operative to foreclose the mortgage, and transfer the road t() the. purchaser, divested of that incumbrance; and if so, this court cannot treat the mortgage as still subsisting, and take the road out of the possession of the purchaser or of its present owner. An objection was made at the hearing that the original records of the court of New Hampshire, produced by the clerk, were not com-
petent evidence; tha.t copies s'hould have been produced. This objection the court overruled. Copies of record are from necessity, becaustdhe originals cannot be produced. The originals are the best evidence, and the admission of copies does not exclude the originals when they can be produced. In Gatev. Nutte,', 24 N. H. 108, it was held that where a copy of a record is admisflible in evidence, the record itself is equally admissible. So, in Jones v. French, 22,N. H. 64. The papers admitted as evidence were not an extended record; none had been made, but various orders and decrees of the court, and in such case; in proceedings in equity, the original papers and docket entl'ies will be deemed the record. U. S. Bank v.Benning, 4 Cranch, C. C. 81. On oODsiderationthe ruling of the court was correct, and the bill in this case should be dismissed.
and others v. HI!,! IMPERIAL MAJESTY TURKEY' and others.
WircuU Court, $. D.New YO'l'k. February 25,1884.)
.PluCTlpll::-8Ell.VlQE OF PROCESS ONATToRNEY-SO'IT FOR INJuNCTION.
Ina 8uitto enjoin the prosecution of im action at law, if the defendant cant'ioi be found in the district, process may be served upon his attorneys in the legalaction.' .
In Equity. GoodJrieh, Deady £t Platt, for plaintiffs. Tracy, Olmstead £t Tracy, for American National Bank, for the purposes of this motion only. WALLAOE, J. The theory of this bill is that the complainants, as warehousemen, having been sued by the defendants severally in actions ,at law, to recover the possession of personal property in the custody of complainants aS8uch warehousemen, are entitled to compel the defendants to interplead and relieve complainants from the burden of the several litigations at law. As part of the relief prayed for; the complainants seek to enjoin the defendants from ,their proceedings at law. For reasons which it is not now necessary to state, it may be doubtful whether the complainants can maintain their bill. The question now is, however, not whether the bill is good upon demurrer, but whether the complainants are entitled to secure the appearance of the defendants who caunot be served with process, because they cannot be found within the district by service of prO\\eBS upon the attorneys for the d,efendants in the suits at law in this district. Thisha.s long been recognized as good practice whellthe suit