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U.S. Supreme Court

Ex Parte Indiana Transportation Co., 244 U.S. 456 (1917)

Ex Parte Indiana Transportation Company

No. 25, Original

Argued May 21, 1917

Decided June 11, 1917

244 U.S. 456


The foundation of jurisdiction is physical power.

Appearance in answer to a citation issued upon a libel in personam does not empower the court to introduce new claims of new claimants into the suit without service on the defendant and against his will.

After defendant had appeared in a suit against it for causing the death of one person, the court allowed to be filed an amended libel introducing 373 new libellants, each alleging a distinct cause of action based on as many other deaths due to the same accident. Defendant excepted to the amended libel upon the ground that it was contrary to law (1) because it joined 373 new libellants who had separate causes of action, and (2) because it could not "in law, in this case, be called upon to answer the said amended libel as to 373 additional libellants." Held that this was not a general appearance, and that want of service upon the defendant was sufficiently set up by the second ground of exception.

Quaere whether the principles of waiver and appearance are not modified in a case where the defendant is already in court and the objection to jurisdiction relates to the introduction of new complainants?

When objections to the jurisdiction have been overruled, the defendant does not waive them by pleading to the merits.

Prohibition granted.

The case is stated in the opinion. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 244 U. S. 457

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