18 D.C. 27 (D.C.D.C. 1888), 8989, Reynolds v. Smith

Docket Nº:In Equity. 8989.
Citation:18 D.C. 27
Opinion Judge:Mr. Justice MERRICK:
Party Name:JOSEPH J. REYNOLDS v. FRANCIS H. SMITH ET AL.
Attorney:Messrs. WATSON J. NEWTON and FLEMING J. LAVENDER for appellants (defendants). Mr. FRANKLIN H. MACKEY for appellee (plaintiff):
Case Date:November 19, 1888
Court:Supreme Court of District of Columbia
 
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Page 27

18 D.C. 27 (D.C.D.C. 1888)

JOSEPH J. REYNOLDS

v.

FRANCIS H. SMITH ET AL.

In Equity. No. 8989.

Supreme Court, District of Columbia.

November 19, 1888

1. By Equity Rule 82 an attachment and garnishment may issue upon a money decree of this court.

2. That rule is valid, and was passed under the authority of section 770 of the Revised Statutes relating to the District.

3. While a court cannot vest itself with jurisdiction by its rules, yet it may regulate its process, for that is a matter of practice.

4. A writ of attachment intended to be had against the Columbia National Bank of Washington City was returned by the Marshal indorsed " Attached credits in the hands of the Columbia National Bank by service on E. J. Parker, cashier." The bank thereupon appeared and answered. On a motion by the judgment-debtor to quash the writ it was Held , that the absence in the return of the words " of Washington City" was immaterial.

5. Where funds are deposited in bank in the name and to the credit of the judgment-debtor he will not, when they are attached, be allowed to set up as a defense to the attachment that he only holds such funds as agent or trustee; such a defense can only be made by the intervention in the cause of the principle or cestui que trust .

APPEAL from an order overruling a motion to quash an attachment issued upon a money decree.

THE FACTS are sufficiently stated in the opinion.

Messrs. WATSON J. NEWTON and FLEMING J. LAVENDER for appellants (defendants).

It is submitted that the judgment of condemnation was erroneous for the following reasons:

First. That the court had no jurisdiction to issue the writ in this case.

The writ of attachment was issued under the 82d equity rule.

This rule was made by this court, it is assumed, by virtue of the authority conferred under the act of Congress, of March 3d, 1863. Sec. 870, R. S.D. C.

By Section 760, R. S.D. C., this Supreme Court possesses the same powers and exercises the same jurisdiction as the circuit courts of the United States. And by Section 92, R. S.D. C., the laws of the State of Maryland, not inconsistent with the title of the act as the same existed on the 27th day of February, 1801, except as since modified or repealed by Congress or by authority thereof, or until so modified or repealed, continue in force within the District.

These two sections are to be read together. (See U. S. vs. Schurz, 102 U.S. 393). From these restrictions it is evident that this court possesses the same powers and jurisdiction as the circuit courts of the United States, and in addition thereto the common law jurisdiction as derived from, and as limited by , the laws of the State of Maryland as they existed at the time of cession, except as since modified or repealed by Congress or by authority thereof.

" Section 917, R. S. U.S. provides that the Supreme Court of the United States shall have power to prescribe from time to time, and in any manner not inconsistent with any law of the United States , the forms of writs and other process, the modes of framing and filing proceedings and pleading, of taking and obtaining evidence, of obtaining discovery, of proceedings to obtain relief, of drawing up and enrolling decrees, and of proceedings before trustees appointed by the court; and generally to regulate the whole practice to be used in suits in equity or admiralty, by the circuit and district courts."

By Sec. 918, the several circuit and district courts may, from time to time, and in any manner not inconsistent with any law of the United States , or with any rule prescribed by the Supreme Court under the preceding section, make rules and orders directing the returning of writs and processes, and otherwise regulate their own practice as may be necessary or convenient for the advancement of justice and the prevention of delays in proceedings.

From the foregoing, it appears that, while both the Supreme and circuit courts have the power to make rules of court to regulate their own practice, yet, neither have the power to make any rule inconsistent with any law of the United States, and the circuit courts cannot make a rule inconsistent with a law of the United States, nor with a rule of the Supreme Court of the United States. It follows, then, that the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, having no more power in this regard than the circuit courts, cannot make a rule of court inconsistent with any law of the United States, or with a rule of the Supreme Court of the United States, or with the laws of Maryland as adopted by act of Congress at the time of the cession.

It is submitted that the power to issue an attachment instead of an execution on a decree in equity is not obtained from any rule of practice for the circuit courts sitting as courts of equity. (See Rule 8, Mitford & Tyler, 689.) It is further submitted that this court has no power to issue such an attachment under the laws of Maryland. On the contrary, Equity Rule 82 is inconsistent with the laws of Maryland as adopted by Congress at the time of the cession.

It...

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