254 F. 239 (8th Cir. 1918), 5032, Glen Inv Co. v. Romero

Docket Nº:5032.
Citation:254 F. 239
Party Name:GLEN INV. CO. v. ROMERO, County Treasurer.
Case Date:October 14, 1918
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Page 239

254 F. 239 (8th Cir. 1918)



ROMERO, County Treasurer.

No. 5032.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

October 14, 1918

Edwin H. Park, of Denver, Colo. (Thomas H. Gibson, of Denver, Colo., on the brief), for appellant.

Chester A. Hunker, of Las Vegas, N.M. (S. B. Davis, Jr., of East Las Vegas, N.M., on the brief), for appellee.

Before HOOK, CARLAND, and STONE, Circuit Judges.

STONE, Circuit Judge.

Appellant is purchaser from the county and holder of tax sale certificates issued by the proper authorities of

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the county of San Miguel, N.M. These certificates had been originally issued to the county at the time it bought in the land for nonpayment of taxes. Under a state statute, when the county had bought in land for two or more successive years, it might under certain circumstances here present, sell such sale certificates at public auction to the highest cash bidder for not less than the minimum sum fixed by the county commissioners. At such an auction sale appellant bought a large number of such sale certificates held by the county. The appellee is the treasurer and ex officio collector of that county. Under the statutes of New Mexico the land covered by the above sale certificates is subject to redemption by the owner. At the time of redemption the county treasurer, to whom the redemption money is paid for the use of the sale certificate holder, is required to issue to the owner a redemption certificate, which is made conclusive proof of such redemption. The appellee treasurer was threatening to issue redemption certificates against the above several sale certificates upon payment by the respective owners of the amount paid by appellant for each of such sale certificates, plus interest at the rate of 12 per centum annually since the date of purchase. Appellant contended that the amount required for such redemption was the amount of taxes originally levied upon each of the several parcels of property, together with penalties, costs, and interest as set forth in the several sale certificates. To prevent the issue of the redemption certificates as threatened, appellant sought an injunction.

After answer, the jurisdiction of the court below was there successfully assailed by motion upon two grounds: First, that, although a diversity of citizenship, the controversial amount was less than $3,000; and, second, that no federal question was involved. Plaintiff claimed the right to receive, at redemption of the certificates held by him, the original amount of the taxes, costs, penalties, and interest from the date of the certificate. Defendant claimed that such recovery should be confined to the purchase price paid by plaintiff for the certificates, with interest thereon from date of purchase. The purchase price equaled the original tax. Therefore the amount in dispute was the costs (in connection with the taxation), penalties, and interest which had accrued to date of purchase. The costs here intended are not the costs of this present suit, but such as arose in connection with the tax sale proceedings. The interest is not merely that incidental or auxiliary to the amount in dispute, but is one of the main elements or items making up that amount. Such costs and interest are not within the meaning of those terms as used in the section (Judicial Code, Sec. 24; Comp. St. 1916, Sec. 991) which excludes...

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