137 U.S. 48 (1890), Texas & P. Ry. Co. v. Southern Pac. Ry. Co.

Citation:137 U.S. 48, 11 S.Ct. 10, 34 L.Ed. 614
Party Name:TEXAS & P. RY. CO. v. SOUTHERN PAC. RY. CO.
Case Date:November 03, 1890
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 48

137 U.S. 48 (1890)

11 S.Ct. 10, 34 L.Ed. 614

TEXAS & P. RY. CO.

v.

SOUTHERN PAC. RY. CO.

United States Supreme Court.

November 3, 1890

In error to the supreme court of the state of Louisiana.

The Texas & Pacific Railway Company, represented by its receiver, filed its petition against the Southern Pacific Company in the civil district court for the parish of Orleans on the 11th of April, 1888. The receiver was subsequently discharged, and afterwards died, and the cause was ordered to be proceeded with in the name of the railway company as sole plaintiff. By the petition, the company described itself as a corporation created by and under the laws of the United States, namely, certain enumerated acts of congress. After stating that the plaintiff had offices in Texas and at New Orleans, and that its lines of railway extended or reached, by track-running arrangements or connections, from El Paso, Tex., to New Orleans, and to Galveston, Tex., the petition set up an agreement entered into on the 26th of November, 1881, by Huntington, of New York, on behalf of himself and his associates and certain railway corporations, with Gould, of New York, on behalf of himself and his associates and certain railway corporations, a copy of which agreement was annexed; and further alleged that thereafter, on or about February 18, 1885, this agreement was amended by a modification, a copy of which was also annexed. The object of the contract, as expressed, may be briefly described as, in substance, the settlement of pending litigation in the courts of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, the release and relinquishment of certain disputed rights and franchises of plaintiff west of El Paso, and the construction of plaintiff's track to make a junction with the other railroads at a certain point east of El Paso. The petition further averred that the agreement and its modification had been duly adopted and ratified by the several corporations mentioned, and that it had been in all things complied with by the plaintiff, as well as by the other parties of the second part. The petition also averred 'that in pursuance of said agreement the same was duly made a decree of the court in the said litigation herein referred to, and in said courts of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, as by duly certified copies of said decrees will appear, and in the form shown by the copy hereto annexed as part hereof and marked 'Exhibit C,' which decrees conformed with and carried out said agreement.' Article 6 of the agreement and the modification were then set forth, and related to the disposition of business and division of earnings between points in respect to which the lines of plaintiff and defendant were competing, as subsequently determined. The petition then alleged that the defendant, a corporation created and organized under the laws of Kentucky, but doing business in Louisiana, and having its principal place of business in the city of New Orleans, with a general manager there authorized to receive service of process, and which company was controlled by Huntington and his associates, took possession and control about November, 1884, of the railroad companies mentioned in the agreement as represented by Huntington, etc., and adopted as its own, and assumed the rights and obligations of, the agreement and its modification, and since had been and was now liable as party of the first part for all the obligations of the parties thereto of the first part; that it rendered accounts of the business done by it, under the agreement and modification, down to March 31, 1887, and the defendant up to that time recognized the plaintiff as the party to whom accounting should be made; that by article 15 of the agreement it was provided that either or any of the several railroad companies, parties thereto, might maintain any action, either at law or in equity, against either, any, or all of the other railroad companies, to protect any rights secured by the agreement, or to specifically enforce the same, or to recover damages for a breach of the same affecting its interest; that plaintiff was entitled to an accounting and to a decree against the defendant for the amount which would then appear to be due under said agreement, and demanded judgment against the defendant for the sum of $352,717.78, alleged to be due up to March 31, 1887, and for the further sum of $200,000 and over from March 31, 1887, and a small additional claim for an excess of earnings in its favor in the operation of certain lines of railroad in New Mexico and Arizona, and for such additional claims as might be discovered and ascertained on trial. Exhibit C purported to be a copy of the decree of the district court of the third judicial district of New Mexico, which contained the following clause: 'The aforesaid decree is made to carry out...

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