253 U.S. 345 (1920), 728, Porto Rico Railway, Light & Power Company v. Mor

Docket Nº:No. 728
Citation:253 U.S. 345, 40 S.Ct. 516, 64 L.Ed. 944
Party Name:Porto Rico Railway, Light & Power Company v. Mor
Case Date:June 01, 1920
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 345

253 U.S. 345 (1920)

40 S.Ct. 516, 64 L.Ed. 944

Porto Rico Railway, Light & Power Company

v.

Mor

No. 728

United States Supreme Court

June 1, 1920

Argued April 23, 1920

CERTIFICATE FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE FIRST CIRCUIT

Syllabus

In the provision of the Act of March 2, 1917, c. 145, 39 Stat. 965, which gives the United States District Court for Porto Rico jurisdiction

where all the parties on either side of the controversy are citizens or subjects of a foreign state or states, or citizens of a state, territory, or district of the United States not domiciled in Porto Rico,

etc., the clause "not domiciled in Porto Rico" relates to both preceding clauses, so that jurisdiction is not conferred over an action by an alien domiciled in Porto Rico against a local corporation. P. 346.

When several words are followed by a clause which is applicable as much to the first and other words as to the last, the clause should be read as applicable to all. P. 348.

The case is stated in the opinion.

BRANDEIS, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE BRANDEIS delivered the opinion of the Court.

Mor, a subject of the King of Spain, domiciled in Porto Rico, brought in the United States District Court for

Page 346

Porto Rico this action at law for an amount exceeding $3,000, exclusive of interest and costs, against the Porto Rico Railway, Light & Power Company, a Porto Rico corporation having its principal place of business there. Objection to the jurisdiction of the trial court was overruled, and the plaintiff recovered judgment. The case came before the Circuit Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on writ of error, and that court has presented to us by certificate the question whether the district court had jurisdiction. The answer depends upon the construction to be given to the following provision contained in § 41 of the so-called Jones Act of March 2, 1917, c. 145, 39 Stat. 951, 965, which provides a civil government for Porto Rico:

Said district court shall have jurisdiction of all controversies where all of the parties on either side of the controversy are citizens or subjects of a foreign state or states, or citizens of a state, territory, or district of the United States not domiciled in Porto Rico, wherein the matter in dispute exceeds, exclusive of interest or cost, the sum or value of $3,000. . . .

It is...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP