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A basic contention of plaintiff appellant, seeking injunction against enforcement of state drainage statute, which assumes that the statute has a significance which Supreme Court of state has expressly decided it has not, also that tive power which same court has expressly held 2. COURTS 107- CONSTRUCTION OF DECILegislature possesses, cannot be sustained.

In Error to the Court of Appeals of the Constitution of state forbids exertion of legislaState of Kentucky.

Action by Frank Nicoulin against John J. O'Brien, a Justice of the Peace, to restrain him from enforcing a judgment. From judgment denying writ of prohibition, plaintiff appealed to the Supreme Court of Kentucky, which affirmed (172 Ky. 473, 189 S. W. 724), and plaintiff brings error. Affirmed.


A basic contention of plaintiff appellant, seeking to restrain enforcement of state drainage statute, which disregards line of conclusive decisions of Supreme Court of the United States by separating expressions in opinions from their context in order to give them a meaning which the opinions do not sanction, and which it has with decided cases, cannot be sustained.

Mr. Augustus E. Willson, of Louisville, Ky., been repeatedly declared would be inconsistent for plaintiff in error.

Mr. David A. Sachs, of Louisville, Ky., for defendant in error.

*Memorandum opinion by Mr. Justice MCREYNOLDS.

Plaintiff in error was adjudged guilty of violating the prohibition of a Kentucky statute by seining for fish in the Ohio river

south of low-water mark on the Indiana side. 172 Ky. 473, 189 S. W. 724. We are asked to hold that by reason of the Virginia Compact (13 Hening's St. at Large, c. 14, pp. 17, 19) Kentucky had no power to regulate fishing in the river at that point without Indiana's concurrence. The provision relied upon is


"Seventh, that the use and navigation of the river Ohio, so far as the territory of the proposed state, or the territory which shall remain within the limits of this commonwealth lies thereon, shall be free and common to the citizens of the United States, and the respective jurisdictions of this commonwealth and of the proposed state on the river as aforesaid, shall be concurrent only with the states which may possess the opposite shores of the said river."

Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of Ohio.

Suit by Louis H. Orr against Henry M. Allen and others. From judgment of the District Court refusing writ of injunction (245 Fed. 486), plaintiff appeals. Affirmed. Mr. Robert J. Smith, of Piqua, Ohio, for appellant.

Mr. Oren Britt Brown, of Dayton, Ohio for appellees.

Memorandum opinion by the CHIEF JUS


The "Conservancy Act of Ohio" is the name given the statute by its first section. Its seventy-nine sections are thus epitomized in the title:

"To prevent floods, to protect cities, villages, farms and highways from inundation, and to authorize the organization of drainage and conservation districts." Ohio Gen. Code, §§ 68281 to 6828-79; Laws of Ohio, vol. 104, p. 13.

The statute was admittedly designed to [1, 2] The territorial limits of Kentucky prevent the recurrence of the unprecedented extend across the river to low-water mark and disastrous flood which invaded the Mion the northerly shore. Indiana v. Kentucky, ami Valley in 1913. Briefly, there was pro136 U. S. 479, 519, 10 Sup. Ct. 1051, 34 L. Ed. vision for drainage districts, for boards to 329. And we think it clear that no limita-plan, construct and maintain the works contion upon the power of that commonwealth templated, with the right to exert eminent to protect fish within her own boundaries domain, and to raise money by taxation, by by proper legislation resulted from the mere assessments for benefits, and, in some cases, establishment of concurrent jurisdiction by the Virginia Compact. See Wedding v. Meyler, 192 U. S. 573, 24 Sup. Ct. 322, 48 L. Ed. 570, 66 L. R. A. 833; Central R. R. Co. v. Jersey City, 209 U. S. 473, 28 Sup. Ct. 592, 52 L. Ed. 896; Nielsen v. Oregon, 212 U. S.

by issue of bonds. Every person affected who was aggrieved was undoubtedly given ample means by the statute to test judicially his grievance.

A district was organized embracing land along each side of the Miami river which had

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been flooded in 1913 or which was required 2. COURTS 391(1) — SUPREME COURT OF for reservoir sites or for furnishing material.


UNITED STATES DUTY WAIVER OF FEDERAL RIGHT. It is the duty of the Supreme Court of the United States to examine for itself whether there is any basis in the admitted facts, or in the evidence, when the facts are in dispute, for finding that the federal right involved has been waived by the party complaining of the judgment of a state court.

The appellant, a citizen of California owning property within this district, filed his 1 bill to enjoin the enforcement of the statute on the ground that it was repugnant to both the Constitution of the state and that of the United States. The court, organized under section 266 of the Judicial Code (Act March 3, 1911, c. 231, 36 Stat. 1162 [Comp. St. 1916, 1243]), in a careful and clear opinion disposed adversely of every proposition upon which the contention was based. The in junction was refused. This direct appealing with interstate commerce, held made under


was taken.

[1, 2] All the contentions rest upon one or the other, or both of two propositions: (1) That the statute is unconstitutional because of some particular provision relied upon; and (2) because of the inherent want of constitutional authority by government to exert the powers which the statute gave. The first assumes that the statute has a significance which the Supreme Court of Ohio has expressly decided it has not, and, in addition, that the Constitution of the state forbids the exertion of a legislative power which the same court has expressly held the Legislature possessed. The second disregards a line of conclusive decisions of this court which leave nothing open for controversy, or, which is tantamount thereto, separates expressions in opinions of this court from their context in order to give to them a meaning which the opinions do not sanction and which it has been repeatedly declared would be inconsistent with the decided cases.

Thus concluding, we think nothing is required to dis*pose of the controversy but to cite the two lines of cases referred to. (1) Snyder v. Deeds, 91 Ohio St. 407, 110 N. E. 1068; Miami Co. v. Dayton et al., 92 Ohio St. 215, 110 N. E. 726; Com'rs v. Gates, 83 Ohio St. 20, 34, 93 N. E. 255; State ex rel. Franklin Co. Conservancy District v. Valentine, 94 Ohio St. 440, 114 N. E. 947; (2) Houck v. Little River District, 239 U. S. 254, 262, 36 Sup. Ct. 58, 60 L. Ed. 266, and

cases cited. Affirmed.

(248 U. S. 67)


(Argued Nov. 19 and 20, 1918. Decided
Dec. 9, 1918.)
No. 65.


A fee based on a percentage of total bond issue in accordance with Missouri statute, exacted by Public Service Commission of Missouri for certificate authorizing railroad bond issue of $31,848,900, only $3,000,000 worth of railroad's total property of $281,000,000, and six-tenths of one mile of main track out of 3,500 miles, being in Missouri, was an unlawful interference with commerce among states.

3. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 43(2)—RIGHT TO RAISE QUESTION-ESTOPPEL-DURESS. Commission of Missouri for certificate authorApplication by railroad to Public Service izing bond issue, and acceptance of certificate, for which fee was charged unlawfully interferduress, so that railroad was not estopped to attack statute of Missouri, if applicable, purporting to impose penalties for failure to procure certificate and to recover fee; certificate of commission being a commercial necessity for issue of bonds.

In Error to the Supreme Court of the State of Missouri.

Company against the Public Service CommisWrit of review by the Union Pacific Railroad sion of the State of Missouri to review an order of the Commission. From an order setting aside the order and remanding the case to the Commission with directions, the Commission appealed to the Supreme Court of Missouri, which reversed and remanded, with directions (268 Mo. 641, 187 S. W. 827), and the railroad brings error. Reversed.

Messrs. N. H. Loomis, of Omaha, Neb., H. of Kansas City, Mo., for plaintiff in error. W. Clark, of New York City, and I. N. Watson, Mr. A. Z. Patterson, of Jefferson City, Mo., for defendant in error.

*Mr. Justice HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case concerns the validity of a charge made by the Public Service Commission of Missouri for a certificate authorizing the issue of bonds secured by a mortgage of the whole line of the Union Pacific road. The statutes of Missouri have general prohibitions against the issue of such bonds without the authority of the Commission, impose severe penalties for such issue and purport to invalidate the bonds if it takes place. Moreover the bonds would be unmarketable

if the certificate were refused. Upon these considerations the plaintiff in error applied, in all the States through which its line passed, for a certificate authorizing the issue of bonds to the amount of $31,848,900. The Missouri Commission granted the authority and charged a fee of $10,962.25. The Railroad Company accepted the grant as required by its terms, but protested in writing against the charge as an unconstitutional interference with interstate commerce, and gave notice that it paid under duress to escape the statutory penalties and to prevent the revocation of the certificate. It moved for a rehearing on the ground that the statutes of Missouri, if they gave the Commission jurisdiction, did not purport to authorize the charge, or, if they did purport to do so and to invalidate an issue without the Commission's assent, were in conflict with the Constitution of the United States. The rehear

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(39 Sup.Ct.)

ing was denied and thereupon the Railroad, | issue of the bonds. The statutes, if applicapursuant to State Law, applied to a local ble, purported to invalidate the bonds and Court for a certiorari to set *the Commission's threatened grave penalties if the certificate judgment aside as an interference with in- was not obtained. The Railroad Company terstate commerce and as bad under the and its officials were not bound to take the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court decided risk of these threats being verified. Of that the charge was unreasonable and that course, it was for the interest of the Comthe minimum statutory fee of $250 should pany to get the certificate. It always is for have been charged. On appeal by the Com- the interest of a party under duress to mission the Supreme Court held the Railroad choose the lesser of two evils. But the fact estopped by its application, reversed the that a choice was made according to interCourt below and upheld the charge. 268 Mo. est does not exclude duress. It is the char641, 187 S. W. 827. acteristic of duress properly so called. The Eliza Lines, 199 U. S. 119, 130, 131, 26 Sup. Ct. 8, 50 L. Ed. 115, 4 Ann. Cas. 406. If, as may be, the Supreme Court of the State regards or will regard this statute as inapplicable, Public Service Commission v. Union Pacific R. R. Co., 271 Mo. 258, 197 S. W. 39, probably the State would not wish to retain the charge, but we repeat, the Railroad Company was not bound to take the risk of the decision, and no proceeding has been pointed out to us by which it adequately could have avoided evils that made it practically impossible not to comply with the terms of the law. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fé R. R. Co. v. O'Connor, 223 U. S. 280, 286, 32 Sup. Ct. 216, 56 L. Ed. 436, Ann. Cas. 19130, 1050.

[1] The Railroad Company is a Utah corporation having a line over thirty-five hundred miles long, extending through several States, from Kansas City, Missouri, and else where, to Ogden, Utah. It has only about six-tenths of one mile of main track in Missouri, and its total property there is valued at a little more than three million dollars, out of a total valuation of over two hundred and eighty-one millions. The bonds were to reimburse the Company for expenditures of which again less than one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars had been made in Missouri. The business done by the Railroad in Missouri is wholly interstate. On these facts it is plain, on principles now established, that the charge, which in accordance with the letter of the Missouri statutes, was fixed by a percentage on the total issue contemplated, was an unlawful interference with commerce among the States. Looney v. Crane Co., 245 U. S. 178, 188, 38 Sup. Ct. 85, 62 L. Ed. 230; International Paper Co. v. Massachusetts, 246 U. S. (Argued Nov. 19, 1918. Decided Dec. 9, 1918.) 135, 38 Sup. Ct. 292, 62 L. Ed. 624, Ann. Cas. 1918C, 617.

Judgment reversed.

(248 U. S. 154) PETRIE et al. v. NAMPA & MERIDIAN IRR. DIST.

No. 47.

1. COURTS 394(10) ERROR TO STATE [2] The Supreme Court of the State avoidCOURT-FEDERAL QUESTION-DUE PROCESS. ed this question by holding that the appli- A federal question was presented in procation to the Commission was voluntary and ceeding in a state court by an irrigation dis trict for confirmation of contract for the furhence that the Railroad Company was estop-nishing of water by the United States to the ped to decline to pay the statutory compen- district, by answer and cross-complaint of ownsation. It is argued that a decision on this ers of property within the district, alleging the ground excludes the jurisdiction of this contract would oblige them to pay an assessCourt. But the later decisions show that ment for water rights which they did not require, because they had sufficient water, that such is not the law and that on the conthere was no authority under the laws of the trary it is the duty of this Court to ex- United States for the contract, and that for amine for itself whether there is any basis these reasons it, if approved, would deprive in the admitted facts, or in the evidence them of property without due process and without compensation, in contravention of the when the facts are in dispute, for a finding Fourteenth Amendment. that the federal right has been waived. Creswill v. Grand Lodge Knights of Pythias, 225 U. S. 246, 32 Sup. Ct. 822, 56 L. Ed. 1074. Were it otherwise, as conduct under duress involves a choice, it always would be possible for a State to impose an unconstitutional burden by the threat of penalties worse than it in case of a failure to accept it, and then to declare the acceptance voluntary, as was attempted in Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fé Ry. Co. v. O'Connor, 223 U. S. 280, 32 Sup. Ct. 216, 56 L. Ed. 436, Ann. Cas. 1913C, 1050.

[3] On the facts we can have no doubt that the application for a certificate and the acceptance of it were made under duress. The certificate was a commercial necessity for the


Even if the state Supreme Court decided a federal question adversely to plaintiffs in error, it will not be considered, but writ of error to that court will be dismissed; it having also decided against them on an independent ground broad enough to support the judgment, and based wholly on state statutes and procedure, that the cross-complaint presenting the federal question was premature, and immaterial to the question presented by the petition, and should have

been stricken.

In Error to the Supreme Court of the State of Idaho.

Proceeding by the Nampa & Meridian Irrigation District against James G. Petrie and others. Judgment for plaintiff was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Idaho (28 Idaho,

227, 153 Pac. 425), and defendants bring er- their property without due process of law

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and without compensation, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the ConstituA permanent injunction was prayed for, restraining the petitioners from entering into the proposed contract and from levying assessments to carry

tion of the United States.

*Mr. Justice CLARKE delivered the opinion it into effect. of the Court.

The Board of Directors of the Nampa & Meridian Irrigation District, a quasi municipal corporation, organized under the laws of Idaho (Pioneer Irrigation District v. Walker, 20 Idaho, 605, 119 Pac. 304; Colburn v. Wilson, 23 Idaho, 337, 130 Pac. 381), filed an amended petition in the district court of that state, praying for the examination, approval, and confirmation by the court of a contract which it desired to enter into with the United States government, acting through the Secretary of the Interior, which provided that the United States should sell and the irrigation district should purchase, and in the manner prescribed pay for, a supply of water to irrigate an extensive tract of arid land within the district, and to supplement an insufficient supply, for other lands, which the district had theretofore acquired from other sources. The proposed contract also provided that the United States and the district should share in the expense of constructing a system of drainage, to reclaim considerable areas of land within the district which had become "water-logged" *through seepage from both the government and the district systems of irrigation, and to prevent threatened damage to other lands from such seepage.

The District Court approved the contract, upon a full finding of facts, and its judgment was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the state in a judgment which we are asked to review upon this writ of error.

*A motion to dismiss the writ of error was postponed until the hearing upon the merits, which has now been had.

The statement which we have made of the issues presented by this record shows that the first ground of the motion-that a federal question was not presented-cannot be sustained. Tregea v. Modesto Irrigation District, 164 U. S. 179, 185, 17 Sup. Ct. 52, 41 L. Ed. 395.

[2] But the second ground of the motion to dismiss is valid, viz. that, even if it be conceded that the Supreme Court decided a federal question against the plaintiffs in error, nevertheless the court decided against them also upon an independent ground, not involving any federal question and broad enough to support the judgment, and for this reason the federal question involved will not be considered on this writ of error, under a series of decisions by this court extending at least from Klinger v. State of Missouri. 13 Wall. 257, 263, 20 L. Ed. 635, to Enterprise Irrigation District et al. v. Farmers' Mutual Canal Co., 243 U. S. 157, 164, 37 Sup. Ct. 318, 61 L. Ed. 644.

[1] The proceeding involved is prescribed by the state statutes, which provide that when While the state Supreme Court finds that such a petition is filed the court shall fix the United States, acting through the Secre a day for hearing, and shall notify the per-tary of the Interior, could lawfully enter sons interested therein by publication, for four weeks, in a newspaper published in the county. Any persons interested in the subject-matter may demur to or answer the petition, and the rules of pleading and practice prescribed in the Code of Civil Procedure of the state (Revised Codes Idaho, vol. 1, tit. 14, c. 4, §§ 2397, 2398, and 2401) are made applicable.

The required notice having been given, the plaintiffs in error, owners of lands within the irrigation district, filed an "answer and cross-complaint," in which they denied many allegations of the petition, and affirmatively

alleged: That if the contract should be entered into they would be obliged to pay an assessment of $75 upon each acre of their land for water rights which they did not require, because they had a sufficient supply from other sources; that neither the United States, nor the Secretary of the Interior, nor the irrigation district had authority under the laws of the United States to enter into the contract; and that, for these reasons, if it were approved and entered into, the plaintiffs in error would be deprived of

into the proposed contract and that the ap
proval and confirmation of it by the court
their property without due process of law
would not deprive the plaintiffs in error of
or without compensation, yet the court also
holds that the "cross-complaint," in which
these federal rights are asserted, was filed
prematurely under the statutes and practice
of the state of Idaho, and that no charge or
burden would be imposed upon the lands of
the plaintiffs in error by the approval of the
contract, assuming that it should be execut-

ed. This for the reason that the state stat-
ute provides that any assessments upon such
lands to carry into effect the purposes of
the contract must subsequently be made by
the Board of Directors of the Irrigation Dis-
trict on the basis of benefits conferred, at
a meeting of the board, to be held at a time
and place of which the owners of the lands
to be *charged must be notified by postal card-
and by newspaper publication. Revised
Codes Idaho, vol. 1, tit. 14, c. 4, § 2400.
At such meeting the landowner may object
to any proposed assessment on his land, and

if the objection is overruled by the board, and he does not consent to the assessment as finally determined, such objection shall, without further proceeding, be regarded as appealed to the district court, and shall there again be heard in proceedings to confirm the assessment. It is expressly provided that upon such hearing the court shall disregard every error, irregularity, or omission which does not affect the substantial rights of any party, and shall correct any error which may be found in such assessment, or any injustice which may result from it.

For this reason the court held that the claims stated in the "cross-complaint" were prematurely asserted, were "wholly immaterial" to the inquiry presented by the petition of the district, and "should have been stricken from the answer." We cannot doubt that this conclusion of the state Supreme Court, based as it is wholly on state statutes and procedure, is broad enough to sustain the judgment rendered, irrespective of the disposition of any federal question involved, and therefore the writ of error will be dismissed.

(248 U. S. 73)

Messrs. Edmund H. Dryer and Forney
Johnston, both of Birmingham, Ala., for pe-

Lawrence Maxwell, of Cincinnati,
Ohio, for respondent.

*Mr. Justice DAY delivered the opinion of the court.

The plaintiff, as receiver of the Alabama Trust & Savings Company, a banking corporation organized under the laws of the state of Alabama, filed his bill in the United States District Court for the Southern Dis

trict of Ohio, against the Second National Bank of Cincinnati to recover sums of money for which he alleged the Second National Bank was liable on account of certain transactions which had taken place between the National Bank and the Savings Company and its officers the details of which it is unnecessary to set forth. Upon final hearing the District Court found the defendant liable for the application of a balance of the Savings Company's deposit in the National Bank, upon paper held by it on which the Savings Company appeared as principal maker, but which was found to have been given for the benefit of certain of the Savings Company's

STERRETT v. SECOND NAT. BANK OF officers. Plaintiff's remaining claims were


rejected. Both parties appealed to the Cir

(Argued Nov. 8, 1918. Decided Dec. 9, 1918.) cuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit,



No. 378.


It is settled doctrine in federal jurisprudence that a chancery receiver has no authority to sue in the courts of a foreign jurisdiction to recover demands or property situated therein; his functions and authority being confined to the jurisdiction of his appointment, and the practice permitting application for ancillary receivership in a foreign jurisdiction where local assets may be recovered, and, if necessary, administered. 2. COURTS 96(1)—FEDERAL RULE-CHANGE. The contrary rule having become the settled law of the federal courts, if the powers of chancery receivers are to be enlarged to give them authority to sue beyond the jurisdiction of the appointing court, such extension of authority must come from legislation, not from judicial



In view of Code Ala. 1907, §§ 3509, 3511, 3512, 3560, Alabama receiver of a banking corporation held not vested with title to its assets

as assignee or statutory successor so as to authorize him to sue for their recovery in a foreign federal jurisdiction.

Writ of Certiorari to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Suit by W. C. Sterrett, as receiver of the Alabama Trust & Savings Company, against the Second National Bank of Cincinnati, Ohio. From the decree of the District Court, both parties appealed to the Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed (246 Fed. 753, 159 C. C. A. 55), and plaintiff petitions for certiorari. Decree of the Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.

which reversed the decree of the District Court, upon the ground that the receiver had no authority to bring the suit (246 Fed. 753, 159 C. C. A. 55), and the case is here on writ of certiorari to the Circuit Court of Appeals.

In the year 1911 certain creditors of the Savings Company, an Alabama corporation, filed a bill against it in a chancery court of Alabama alleging its insolvency.

The chancery court on April 27, 1911, rendered a final administration decree wherein it found that the defendant Savings Company was insolvent; that its assets constituted a trust fund for the payment of its creditors, and the same should be marshaled and administered in that court; that the defendant was a corporation organized under the General Laws of Alabama; that upon final settlement it should be dissolved; that' it had suspended business and was not about to resume the same, and could not do so with safety to the public; that, therefore, W. C. Sterrett be appointed receiver of defendant, and empowered and directed to demand and take into his possession all of the defendant's assets and property to which it was entitled and to recover the same and reduce it to money, and administer the same under the further order of the court. And the court further authorized the receiver to employ counsel and to bring such actions at law or in equity as he might be advised and to incur such expenses as might be necessary. Later, on March 8, 1912, the Alabama chan

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