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.
GORMULLY & JEFFREY
CO.V. POPE MANUF'O CO.
In Equity. Bill forinf'ririgement. .On motion to dismiss. The Gormully& Jeffrey Manufacturing Company,an Illinois corporation, filed its bill against the Pope Mallulacturing CotppallY, a Connee-: ticut corporation, but alleged to have its principal place of business in the city of Boston, in the state of Massachusetts, and to be a citizen of th:e:state of Massachusetts, charging the defendant with the infringement ofa>certain patent issued from the patent-office ofthe United States, and prayingfQl' an injunction and an accounting for damages by of such:-infringement. This suit was commenced in April last, and the sub· pama iSl'etul'ned served by the marshal of this distriot, by delivering a true copy toR. D. Gavin, manager of defendant. Defendant enters a special appearance, and moves to dismiss the suit for want of jurisdiction. .Thacher, for the motion. Offield &: Tawle, contra. BLODGEj1T, J., (ora71y.)· The question is whether under the act of March 3. 1887, this court has jurisdiction, or can:obtl\in jurisdiction, in a case for infringement of a patent, of a corporation created under the laws of anotherstate(ll.nd which is averred to bell. citizen of another state; although it is:allllgedthat it has a p]a:Je dfbusiness in this district, by service UpC)D a,nagent of suoh corporation in this district. The first secof the of March 3, 1887, after defining the jurisdiction of the circuit and district courts of the United States, proceeds: "And no civil suit shall be brought before either of said. courts against any person by original process or proceeding in any other district than that whereof he is an inhabitant; but when the jurisdiction is founded only on the fact that the action is between citizens of different states, suit flhall be brought only in the district of the residence of e1ther the plaintiff or defenull;nt." Now, this is a suit under the patent laws of the United States l of which the federal courts have llJllclusive jurisdiction, without regard to the chizenshipof the parties, and hence does not fall within the last clause of the excerptjustquoted from the statute; but it does seem to faU directly within the rule of the first clause quoted, that no defendant shall be sued in any other district than that ,whereof he is an inhabitant. From the judiciary act- of 1789 to 1$87 ·adefendant could be sued in the district whereof he was an inhabitant, or in which he was "found at the time of the service of the writ;" but the act of March 3,1887, requires suit to be brought in the district whereof the defendant is an inhabitant, and drops from the IJl-w the provision that he may be also sued in any district where he may be found at the time of serving the process. The obvious purpose of this change was to protect persons in certain classes orcases h:om the expense and annoyance of being sued in districts which they might be merely passing through, or where they might be temporarily tarrying. " An inhabitant of a place is OIle who ordinarily is personally present there, not merely in interne, but as a resident and dweller therein." Holme8 v.Railwruad Co., 9 Fed. Rep. 229. "Inhabitant: One who dwells or resides permanently in a place, or who has a fixed resi-
dence, as distinguished from an occasional lodger or visitor." Imperial Diet. "Inhabitant: 2. (Law.) One who has a legal settlement in a town, city, or padsh; a resident." Webster. "Inhabitant: A dweller or householder in any place." Toml. Law Diet. I am not aware that the term "inhabitant," as applicable to a corporation in a case like this, has ever been judicially defined, but it seems to mea corporation must be held to be an inhabitant of the place where it has its principal place of business, where its corporate offices and records are kept, and its corporate meetings are lawfully held. A corporation, like an individual, may have agents representing it ina district of which it is not an inhabitant; and no reason is perceived why it can be sued outside of the district where its principal ,corporate business is done by service on its agent, which would not allow an individual to be so sued. And if a natural person, charged with the infringement of a patent, can only be sued in the district of which he is an inhabitant, lean see no good reason why a corporation is not entitled to the same protection under this law. This defendant is a corporation created by the laws of the state of Connecticut. The bill also. avers that it isa citizen of the state of Massachusetts, and has its principal office in the city of Boston, in that state, and hence, by the showing of the bill, it may be an inhabitant of Boston; although I do not intend to passon that question here. Waiving the question whether a corporation can be a citizen or inhabitant of any state except that from which it has obtained its corporate rights and existence, it is quite clear to me that it cannot be a citizen or inhabitant of more than one place; and although the bill states that this defendant does business in this district, that cannot make the as its principal offices corporation an inhabitant of the district so are elsewhere. It scoms to me that, according to this bill, this corporation is either an inhabitant of Connecticut or Massachusetts, and fore it can only be sued in those states. Certain states have enacted statutes which require that corporations, like insurance companies, incorporated in other states, sllall, as a condition upon which they will be permitted to do business in the state enacting such statutes, appoint agents upon whom process may be served; but there is no such statute in this state which applies to this defendant. I am therefore of opinion that this cause should he dismissed for want of jurisdiction.