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U.S. Supreme Court

McNutt v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., 298 U.S. 178 (1936)

McNutt v. General Motors Acceptance Corp.

No. 709

Argued April 1, 1936

Decided May 18, 1936

298 U.S. 178


1. In a suit in the District Court to enjoin, as unconstitutional, the enforcement of a state statute requiring the plaintiff to obtain a license for his business and otherwise subjecting the business to regulation, the value in controversy, in the absence of a showing that the plaintiff cannot obtain the license or is prevented by the statute from prosecuting the business, is not the value or net worth of the business, but the value of the right to be free from the regulation, and this may be measured by the loss, if any, that would follow the enforcement of the rules prescribed. P. 298 U. S. 181.

2. Under § 5 of the Act of March 3, 1875, Jud.Code, § 37, 28 U.S.C. 80, a plaintiff in the District Court must plead the essential jurisdictional facts and must carry throughout the litigation the burden of showing that he is properly in court; if his allegations of jurisdictional facts are challenged by his adversary in any appropriate manner, he must support them by competent proof, and, even where they are not so challenged, the court may insist that the jurisdictional facts be established by a preponderance of evidence, or the case be dismissed. Pp. 298 U. S. 182, 298 U. S. 189.

3. In a suit for an injunction in the District Court, the allegation of the jurisdictional amount may be traversed by answer. P. 298 U. S. 189.

4. In a case in the District Court, the allegation of jurisdictional amount had been traversed, yet no adequate finding on the issue of fact was made by the court, and no evidence to support the allegation was introduced. Held that the bill should be dismissed for want of jurisdiction. P. 298 U. S. 190.


Appeal from a decree of the District Court of three judges which enjoined the enforcement of a statute regulating the business of purchasing contracts arising out of retail installment sales. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 298 U. S. 179

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