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U.S. Supreme Court

Clinton v. Missouri Pacific Ry., 122 U.S. 469 (1887)

Clinton v. Missouri Pacific Railway

Submitted May 11, 1887

Decided May 27, 1887

122 U.S. 469


The assignment of error in this case is precise and specific, and complies with the requirements of the rule in that respect.

No exceptions were necessary to bring before this Court the judgment of the circuit court below dismissing the appeal from the Cass County Court to the district court of that county.

When a cause is removed from a state court to a circuit court of the United States, the transcript from the state court forms part of the record in the circuit court, and in any writ of error from this Court necessarily becomes a part of the record here.

The sixty days during which a right of appeal is given by the statutes of Nebraska from the assessment of damages by commissioners appointed chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 122 U. S. 470

under proceedings for the condemnation of land for the use of a railroad begin to run when the commissioners' report is filed.

When the transcript from a court below, filed in an appellate court in due time, is imperfect, and the imperfection can be cured by a writ of certiorari, the appeal is valid.

The following is the statement of the case as made by the Court.

This case is in many respects anomalous and bristles with points, but it is otherwise not very important. It commenced in a proceeding instituted by the Missouri Pacific Railway Company of Nebraska under a statute of that state providing for the condemnation of land for the use of railroads. It was begun in the County Court of Cass County, Nebraska, by which a commission was appointed to make the assessment of damages. From this assessment, after it was returned to the county court, Samuel Clinton, some of whose land was taken, appealed to the district court of said county. In that court, he made a motion, which was successful, to remove the case into the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Nebraska. In this latter court, a motion was made to remand the case to the District Court of Cass County which seems never to have been acted upon, but on a motion made by the railway company to dismiss the appeal -- meaning thereby the appeal from the county court to the District Court of Cass County -- the circuit court granted the motion and dismissed the appeal. The matter therefore not being remanded to the state court, the circuit court of the United States deciding that no valid appeal had been taken from the county to the District Court of Cass County, the dismissal of the appeal was, of course, an end of the case.

To this judgment of dismissal the present writ of error is prosecuted.

The only error assigned by the plaintiff here is in the following language:

"The court below sustained the motion to dismiss solely upon the ground that the appeal had not been taken within the statutory time of sixty days after the assessment, deciding that the time commenced to run from the day when the commissioners

Page 122 U. S. 471

met and viewed the land, and not from the date of the return of their assessment. This is the only error relied upon by plaintiff in error. "

Page 122 U. S. 473

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