PLATT V. MANNING.
(OVrcuit Court, S. D. New York.
May 7, 1888.)·
CoURTS-JURISDICTION BY CONSENT-AMOUNT IN CONTROVERSY.
Defendant in a suit involving less than $2,000 was served with summonl!' February 2, 18:37, by an unauthorized person. He appeared generally on February 23, 1887, and answered. Held, that the appearance cured the defect in service, and gave the court jurisdiction, and therefore the case was riot affected by act 'Cone:. March 3, 1887, increasing the jurisdictional amonnt to $2,000.
At Law. Motion by defendant for a new trial. This is an action by Jonas H. Platt against Jerome F. ,Manning upon a promissory note given to the plaintiff for services rendered, and also to recover a small balance due upon a check drawn by ,the defendant. On the 24th of January, 1887 ,the clerk ofthis court issued aSUQlmons in the usual form. On the 2d of February, 1887, the summons and complaint were served on the defendant by an individual .who was neither the marshal nor the marshal's deputy. On the 23d of February, 1887 I the defendant appeared generally in the action by an attorney, and obtainedan extension of time to answer. The answer was served by the same attorney on or about the 12th of March, 1887. The action was tried at the. ,February circuit, 1888. The defendant having failed tOo prove a defense upon the merits, the court directed a verdict for the plaintiff in the sum of $650. The defendant thereupon moved for a new trial upon ,the minutes of the court, and upon exceptions. Pending this motion a stay was granted. D. Hotchki88 and William S. Maddox, for plaintiff. Jerome F. Manning, pj'O se.
COXE, J. As the defendant does not move upon a bill of exceptions, or even upon the minutes of the stenographer, nothing is bofore the court but the pleadings and a statement of fact relating to the question of jurisdiction. The defendant is not in a position, therefore, to review the proceedings upon the trial. But, as the arguments there presented are again asserted in the brief, it may be proper to say that, as the evidence is now recalled, the defendant entirely failed to establish a defense. The testimony was overwhelming, and hardly disputed, that the plaintiff rendered BeI'vices for the defendant, or at his request, for which the agreed to pay; that a note was given for these services, the note in suit being a renewal, with interest added. The plaintiff never knew anyone but the defendant in thetransaction; and the fact that the latter expected to collect the money from his clients' is, of course, immaterial. The theory that the note was an accoIllmodation note was wholly against the weight of evidence. As there was no material question of fact in. the dispute, and as the plaintiff was entitled to recover when the 'rested, it was the duty of the court to direct a verdict in his
The only question which can properly be examined is the question of jurisdiction. It is urged by the defendant that because the amount involved is less than $2,000 the court should dismiss the cause under the provision of the act of Mat-ch3, 1887. Section 6 provides "that this act shall not affectthejurisdiction over or disposition of any suit * * * <Jommenced iuany coJirt of the United States before thepassnge thereof." The defendant argues that the suit was not to the act, servke by a person than the marshal, or his deputy, W8.S,j:rreguhtr and void.. plaintiff concedes that the was irregular, but insists that the defect was cured by the general appearance of the defendant on the 23d of February, nine days prior to the passage of the act. .In this contention the plaintiff is clearly correct. Knox v. Summers,' 3Cmnch,,496; Eldred v. Bank, 17 Wall. .545, 551; Farrar v. U. 3 Pet.; 459j Attot"'ltey: General v. lnaurance 00., 77 N.Y. 272; Gmcie v. 'Palmer,8 Wheat. 699jPollard'v:. Dwight, 4 Cranch, 421; Segee v. T/wm.aSj 881a1ohf.11. 'The office of a summons is to bring the defendant ibtocOul't. He may come in voluntarily if he chooses, and, having done so, 'and ha\Ting pleaded to the merits, he is not atliberty to dispute thejurisdiotion'bfthecourt because not regularly served with process. The defendartt consented to try his cause in this court at a time when the court had ,jurisdiction, and he cannot now be permitted to withdraw thait, 'The court is clearly of the opinion that the suit; being in existeMe prior to the act,of March 3, 1887, is in no way affected by its terms, "snd"ll1so· thl!t no error was committed on thetrial in' directing a verdict for'the plaintiff. ' The motion for a new trial is denied. Aflidavit:ahave beeIr'Submittedwhich seem to suggest that othtlr testimony might have been produced at the trial. These have not been sidered, becaus'e nOnlQtion for a new trial on the ground of newly-discovered evidence is before the court.
, GORMULLY& JEFFREY MANUF'Q
'V. POPE MANUF'Q
Oourt, N. D. lUinoil. May 1., 1888.)
Co11RTS..,..FEDERAL COURTS-VENUE-AcTIONS AGAINST CORPORATIONS.
Act Cong. March 3, 1S87, § l,provides that, except "wh,en the jurisdiction is founded only on 'the tact that the action is between citizens of different states, " "no civil suit: sh,all be brought * * * against any persOn by original process or proceeding in any other district than that whereof he is an in· habitant."" Held," tll,at circuit court sitting in l11inois had no jurisdiction of'a suit for the infringem,ent of letters patent brought by a corporation of that state against acorPQratillO of Connecticut, having its prmcipal office in Massaand doing b1;lsiness in l11inois; a corporatioll. under the act of 1887, being an Inhabitant 'of the place where it has its principal place of business, where 'its corporatedfflees and records are kept, and ,its corporate meetings are )leld,aoq no statute in Illinois mll.kingit a condition of foreign corporations doing business in the state that they appoint agents upon whom process may be served.