GIBSONV. MEMPHIS & C.·R. CO.
& C. R. Co.
w: D. Tenne886e.
RECOVER-r' OF LESS THAN FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS -
Tb.e rule of Revised Statutes, 968, that the pre7ailing party shall not be allowed costs when the recovery 1S less than $500, is imperative, and the court has n,O discretion to allow costs in any case whatever,. where the judgment is less than .the sum limited. But it will not adjudge costs against the. prevailing party if there be a reasonable expectation of recovering more than that
The:plaintiffs bronght this action originally in this court, for damages in the alleged sum of $4,950, for the unlawful expulsion from defendant's (jars of the plaintiff Mrs. Gibson and her two children, as passengers. The case was tried by jury, resulting in a verdict for the pHtintiffs for $100, whereupon plaintiffs moved the court for jUdgment 'ttpan'the verdict, and for costs. The motion for costs was resisted by the defendant on the ground that the court had no jurisdiction to award costs upon a verdict of less than $500; in a case like this; citing section 968 of the llilvised Statutes, which provides that in a circuit court,- a plaintiff, in an action at law originally brought there, or a petitioner ill equity, other than the United States, recovers less than the sum or value of tive hundred dollars, exclusive of costs, in a case which ciuInofbe brought there unless the amount in dispute, exclusive of costs, exceedS said sum or value, or a libelant, upon his own appeal, recovers less than the sum or value of three hundred dolllU's, exclusive of costs, he shall not be allowed, but, at the discretion of the court, ll''ly be adjudged to pay, costs." The defendant also entered its motion, under this section of the statute, upon the facfs of the case for a judgment against the plaintiffs for costs. The two motions were heard and argued together. Young & Martin, for plaintiffs. Poston & Poston, for defendant.
,J. The statute does not leave the court any discretion in disallowing the plaintiffs' costs in this case. The authorities cited are not applicable,.and need not be considered in this connection. At common law each party paid bis Own expenses of litigation, and costs were not known. The court had no discretion about it, to allow them or disallow them. The statute of Gloucester first enacted that the prevailing llarty sh()uld recover his expenses as costs from his adversary, and, as a -matter of law, judgment for the costs followed a jUdgment in his favor. But this act of-congress changes that rule, and says that, where therecovery is less than $500,00 costs shall be aUowed,and, in effect, restores the cotnm6n law in' such' caseS. Some 'statutes enacted for the same purpose as this-to prevent frauds upon the jurisdiction of the court -do give the court a discretion to allow or disallow the prevailing party
his costs, and each case then depends upon its own circumstances; and the rule of judgment would be to allow costs where the party had a fair or reasonable expectation' of recovering more' than the limited that there amount, and to disallow them where it was plainly to was no reasonable expectation. . But this section is imperative, and only confers a ,discretion to go further than the statute goes, by permitting the court, in flagrant cases, to impose anadditional penalty for the fraudulent trespass on itsjurisdiction by condemning the prevailing 'party to pay his adversary's COitS. So imperativeis this statute that even that discretion as to costs which always did belong to a court of equity. but Dot to a court of law, is taken away in the class of cases denounced by this section. forbids the operation of the rule The argument that the statute allowing costs to a Erevailing party as a matter of QOurse, and only prevents a taxation by the clerk in the ordinary course of business, but does not interfere with the power of the court to allow the cC),sts,presupposes the existence of power in the courts to allow costs,. which is erroneous. Costs are entirely the creature of statute, in cases at law, at least, and courts cannot grant them inherently. The argument Plight have some plausibility in an equity court and proceeding, but not in one of law. and the restriction of this statute upon even the powers of a gourt of equity in that regard is only an indication of its mandatory.and rigid rule of exclusion. Theplaintitfs'.motion to be allowed costs is oyerruled. So, also, is the defendant's motion to compel them to pay its costs. The nature of the cause is quite conelusive: of her fair and reasonable expectation of recovering 'more than the limit of the statute. So ordered.
(Olrcuit (Jourt, W.
Texa8. February. 188'7.)
: Neither the statutes, nor the orders in bankruptcy, nor the rules of the cir· cuit court·. specific delay within which an application for a review :must bemada.but the adjudgedcas6s declare that the delay must Dot be unof the parties in interest. reasonable, 1;1pr pperate to the
On Petition for Review inJ3ankruptcy. PARDEE, J. October 13, 188l., Be,* filed his petitiop for a discharge, and a hearing was ordered. Opposition wasmada on .the twenty-fourth of the Sltme Ootober, to which opposition a demurrer and exceptions were filed January:28, 1882. Two years after this, January 28,1884. the
lRepo.r$el111yJ'oseph P. Hornor. FBq., of the New Orlea1lll bar.