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HUNTINGTON V. LAIDLEY, 176 U. S. 668 (1900)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Huntington v. Laidley, 176 U.S. 668 (1900)

Huntington v. Laidley

No. 105

Argued January 18-19, 1900

Decided March 19, 1900

176 U.S. 668


In order to maintain a direct appeal to this Court from the Circuit Court of the United States under the Act of March 3, 1891, c. 517, § 5, as to the jurisdiction of the court below, the record must distinctly and unequivocally show that that court sends up for consideration a single and definite question of its jurisdiction; but this may appear either by the terms of the decree appealed from and of the order allowing the appeal, or by a separate certificate of that court.

A certificate of a question of jurisdiction of the Circuit Court of the United States, under the Act of March 3, 1891, c. 517, § 5, may be made by the district judge, even if the decree was rendered by the circuit judge.

The question whether proceedings concerning the legal or equitable title to land, begun and concluded in the courts of a state, before the commencement of a suit in the circuit court of the United States to charge the land with a trust, afford a defense to this suit, is not a question affecting the jurisdiction of that court, but a question affecting the merits of the cause, and as such to be tried and determined by that court in the exercise of its jurisdiction, and if that court, of its own motion, and without hearing the parties on the question of its jurisdiction, enters a final decree dismissing the suit under the Act of March 3, 1875, c. 137, § 5, upon the ground that, by reason of the proceedings in the courts of the state, the suit does not really and substantially involve a dispute or controversy properly within its jurisdiction, and an appeal is taken to this Court upon the question of jurisdiction only, under the Act of March 3, 1891, c. 517, § 5, the decree must be reversed and the cause remanded for further proceedings

The statement of the case will be found in the opinion of

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Page 176 U. S. 669

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