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HALSTED V. BUSTER, 119 U. S. 341 (1886)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Halsted v. Buster, 119 U.S. 341 (1886)

Halsted v. Buster

Argued November 23, 1886

Decided December 13, 1886

119 U.S. 341


When the jurisdiction of a circuit court of the United States in an action at law depends upon the citizenship of the parties to the suit, the declaration must show the necessary relative citizenship.

When the judgment of the court below is reversed by reason of failure of the pleadings to show the citizenship necessary to give jurisdiction, it is within the discretion of that court, on the case's coming back, to allow amendments to cure the defect.

This was an action at law to try title to real estate. The

declaration was as follows:

"John Halsted, a citizen of the City of New York and of the State of New York, complains of William B. Buster and Eldridge Barren for that heretofore, to-wit, on the first day of February, 1873, the said plaintiff was possessed in fee of a certain tract or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Fayette and State of West Virginia, which land was conveyed by Robert Coulter, trustee, to John Halsted on the 6th of June, 1864, but which land is more particularly described in a deed from William K. Smith and Anderson G. Grinnan to the Forest Hill Mining and Manufacturing Company, dated on the 15th day of June, 1867, as follows, to-wit [here follows a description by metes and bounds]; also a certain parcel

Page 119 U. S. 342

of land bounded on the south by the foregoing boundary, on the north by the Great Kanawha River, being the westerly part of the Huddleston survey by a line running from the northerly to the southerly side of the same, containing about one hundred acres, being a part of the tract known as the Huddleston tract. And, being possessed of the whole of the foregoing described land, the defendants afterwards, to-wit, on the 10th day of February, 1873, entered into said premises and unlawfully withheld from said plaintiff the possession thereof, to his damage of $5,000."

Defendants pleaded not guilty. A trial was had, resulting in a verdict for defendants, and judgment was entered on the verdict, to review which this writ of error was sued out.

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