263 U.S. 413 (1923), 295, Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Company

Docket Nº:No. 295
Citation:263 U.S. 413, 44 S.Ct. 149, 68 L.Ed. 362
Party Name:Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Company
Case Date:December 10, 1923
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 413

263 U.S. 413 (1923)

44 S.Ct. 149, 68 L.Ed. 362



Fidelity Trust Company

No. 295

United States Supreme Court

Dec. 10, 1923

Motion to dismiss or affirm submitted November 26, 1923




1. Where a judgment has been rendered, after due hearing, by a state trial court, with jurisdiction of the subject matter and parties, and affirmed by the state supreme court, the only resort under the

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legislation of Congress for correction of errors in deciding questions involving the Constitution is to the appellate jurisdiction of this Court. P. 415.

2. The district court has no jurisdiction of a suit brought there by the party who was defeated in the state court against his successful opponent, all citizens of the same state, to set aside the judgment a void because of errors alleged to have been committed by the state courts in deciding constitutional questions. P. 416.

3. A judge is not disqualified to sit in a case involving the duties of a corporation under a conventional trust merely because of being one of the executors and trustees to whom shares of stock in corporations holding property under like trusts have passed for administration and disposal under a will. P. 417.


Appeal from a decree of the district court which dismissed a bill for want of jurisdiction.

VANDEVANTER, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE VAN DEVANTER delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is a bill in equity to have a judgment of a circuit court in Indiana, which was affirmed by the supreme court of the state, declared null and void, and to obtain other relief dependent on that outcome. An effort to have the judgment reviewed by this Court on writ of error had failed because the record [44 S.Ct. 150] did not disclose the presence of any question constituting a basis for such a review. Rooker v Fidelity Trust Co., 261 U.S. 114. The parties to the bill are the same as in the litigation in the state court, but with an addition of two defendants whose presence does not need special notice. All are citizens of the same state. The grounds advanced for resorting to the district court are that the judgment

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was rendered and affirmed in contravention of the contract clause of the Constitution of the United States and the due process of law and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment in that it gave effect to a state statute alleged to be in conflict with those clauses and did not give effect to a prior decision in the same cause by the supreme court of the state which is alleged to have become the "law of the case." The district court was of opinion that the suit was not within its jurisdiction as defined by Congress, and, on that ground, dismissed the bill. The plaintiffs have appealed directly to this Court under § 238 of the Judicial Code.

The appellees move that the appeal be dismissed, or, in the alternative, that the decree be affirmed.

The appeal is within the first clause of § 238, so the motion to dismiss must be overruled. But the suit is so plainly not within the district court's jurisdiction as...

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