186 F.2d 16 (5th Cir. 1951), 13265, Welsh v. American Sur. Co. of New York

Docket Nº:13265.
Citation:186 F.2d 16
Party Name:WELSH v. AMERICAN SURETY CO. OF NEW YORK et al.
Case Date:January 17, 1951
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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Page 16

186 F.2d 16 (5th Cir. 1951)

WELSH

v.

AMERICAN SURETY CO. OF NEW YORK et al.

No. 13265.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

January 17, 1951

Page 17

H. O. Williams, San Angelo, Tex., for appellant.

Dorsey B. Hardeman, San Angelo, Tex., for appellees.

Before HUTCHESON, Chief Judge, and McCORD, and BORAH, Circuit Judges.

BORAH, Circuit Judge.

Steve Welsh sued V. O. Earnest, sheriff of Crockett County, Texas, and American Surety Company of New York, surety on the sheriff's official bond, to recover damages for personal injuries inflicted on Welsh during the course of and following his arrest. The action was dismissed on defendants' motion and plaintiff has appealed.

The only question here is whether the District Court had jurisdiction to hear and determine the complaint. Plaintiff relied upon diversity of citizenship and the requisite amount in controversy as the basis of jurisdiction. The narrow and specific point in issue is whether at the time of the commencement of this suit plaintiff was a bona fide citizen of the State of New Mexico, within the meaning of Title 28 U.S.C.A. § 1332(a)(1). The suit was brought on March 6, 1950, and it was alleged in the complaint that plaintiff was a resident and citizen of the State of New Mexico; and that defendant Earnest was a citizen of the State of Texas; and that defendant American Surety Company of New York was a New York corporation licensed to do business and doing business in Texas. In response to the complaint the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the action on the ground that the court was without jurisdiction because plaintiff is and has been for many years a bona fide citizen of the State of Texas. The court heard evidence on the motion and in its order dismissing the complaint for want of jurisdiction found, 'that although plaintiff resides in the State of New Mexico * * * it has not been established by reasonably satisfactory evidence that plaintiff intends to reside permanently in New Mexico and that the evidence of diversity of citizenship of the plaintiff and defendant, V. O. Earnest, is insufficient to establish a ground for jurisdiction * * * .' The findings are challenged on the ground that they are against the evidence and are clearly wrong.

Plaintiff had been a resident of Texas. He contends that he ended his residence and citizenship there and established residence...

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