MAltSHALL "tI.· 'rURti'·BULI..
The bulk of the bill is made up of charges that the defendants claim under a pretended and fictitious Frencllgrant,; which the land department at Washington has recognized; that this recbgnitionhinders the complainant in the exercise of his rights; that the government officers in the land departnlent are usurping jurisdiotion, and that iheiracts are void. And it is said by his counsel, "The main: source of equity jurisdiction herein-the backbone of equity jurisdiction-is that land-officers are of aspeoial quaBijudicialcharacter."The bill shows the action of the land, department to be against the complainant in rafusi1'lg to issue the usual patents to the state of Louisiana, and in favor or the defendants by deciding that the grant under which they claim is valid. The bill does not ask that these rulings shall be reversed or annulled,but does ask that they shall be and held for naught. These rulings take nothing away from thecomplaiuant's title, and add nothing to the" defendants', if,ns charged, the government officials in the land department have nojurisdiction, and sU<Jh rulings may be disregarded.at law as well as in equity. And the rule is the same whether the land-officers are of quam; or particular judicial character. or even were fully recognized coutts. In the case of Wright v. Roseherry; supra, the land department had gone so far as to issue to the defendants regular patents from the United States, and yet the !lupreme court of the United States saw in those void patents no hinderal'lCe to the plaintiffs fully recovering. the land in an action at law. And see Smelting Co. v. Kemp, 104U. S. 640, 641. We have examined many cited authorities in this case,and have made some investigation of text-books Md cases not cited, and we can reach no other conclusion than that for all the matters charged in the bill thecomplainant has a plain, complete. and adequate remedy at law, and has no right to invoke the aid of equity.
et al. l
(O£rcuit Oourt, E. D. Nf/U) YO'I'k.
April 16, 1888.'
mJUNCTloN-JUlUsDICTION -PROPERTY CLAIMED THROUGH ACTS 01' A FonEIGN GoVERNMEJIi'l'. ' While this court. havingjnrisdiction of the person of &. defendant, may no
doubt enjoin him from wasting or interfering with property, or asserting title thereto,' though the property be situated in a foreign country, it will not grant such injunction. asked for on the sole ground that certain acts of the of· ficials of. a foreign government. creating defendant's title to the property. are alleged to be void. A bill askiug sitch relief on such ground is properly de· murrable. . A bill of complaint which does not set torth a copy of au instrument vital to complainant's .claim, or contain any averment setting forth the terms thereof, is demurrable. . ,
'Reported by Edward G. Benedict, Esq., ofthe New York bar.
In Equity. On demurrer. William M. Safford, for complainant. Sila8 M. Stillwell, for defendant.
LACOMBE. J. The demurrer to the amended and supplemental complaint is filed only by the defendant Turnbull and the Pedernales Company. The sufficiency of the bill as against them only is to be determined. Upon the hearing of the motion for preliminary injunction herein, (32- Fed. Rep. 124,) the question of jurisdiction was considered solely in respect to the case made out, or sought to be made out, at that time, by the complainant. His claim, as shown by the bill and affidavits, then was that the relations of the defendant Turnbull to the Manoa Company (the mortgagor) were of a fiduciary charact and that any title r, which he might in his own name acquire to its property inured to the benefit of the company and its creditors. In the words of complainant's brief on that motion, his "suit was one to enforce a trust, * * * [in which] the trustee can be decreed to convey the title." Jurisdiction of the court to compel a faithless trustee to disgorge property obtained contrary to the obligations of his trust, to require from him an account of all profits derived therefrom, and to exact the execution of such instruments of conveyance as might be necessary to the protection of his ceBtui que trust, no doubt exists, although the land concerned is situated in It foreign country, when the court obtains jurisdiction of the person and conscience of the defendant. The court may also, in a proper case, and as ancillary to such relief, enjoin the trustee from wasting or interfering with the property, or from asserting title to it. Such,however, as the:t case is now presented, is not the theory of this bill. It contains some averments as to a lease of the property to defendant Stone, in which lease it is claimed that Turnbull was interested. It also alleges that Turnbull subsequently took (or pretended to take) title to the property. but it does not seek to secure It transfer of his title. or a decree that whatever he took inured to the benefit of the Manoa Company. A naked injunction is asked for, against him on, the ground that his title is void because Venezuelan officials acted iUlproperly in creating it. In other words, he, it is claimed.l1Qlds nothing, not because what, he took passed (equitably) through him to theManoa Company, but because the Venegovernmeut could give nothing. Turnbull's position under this bill is no different from that of some stranger to whom the Venezuelan government might have conveyed the rights originally conceded to Fitzgerald; and the court is asked to enjoin waste upon, or interference with, property in a foreign country. because, as it is alleged, certain official acts. of the of that country (annulling one concession and making II. new one) are void. Such relief cannot be administered on such ground. 'l'he bill is also demurrable for the reason that it neither sets forth copies of the instruments by which the mortgage under which complainant claims was created, nor contains any averment setting forth the terms thereof. '1'he demurrer is sustained, with leave to amend.