Joshua Maxwell and Henry Walker, Plaintiffs In Error v. Alexander Newbold and Others

Decision Date01 December 1855
Citation18 How. 511,59 U.S. 511,15 L.Ed. 506
CourtU.S. Supreme Court

THIS case was brought up from the supreme court of the State of Michigan, by a writ of error issued under the 25th section of the judiciary act.

The facts are fully set forth in the opinion of the court.

It was argued by Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Haven, for the plaintiffs in error, and Mr. Cushing, (attorney general,) for the defendants.

Mr. Chief Justice TANEY delivered the opinion of the court.

This case comes before the court upon a writ of error to the supreme court of the State of Michigan.

The facts in the case, so far as they are material to the decision of this court, are as follows:——

The steamboat Globe was built in the State of Michigan, and by the laws of that State the persons who furnish materials for her construction had a lien upon her, and had a right to enforce their claims by a proceeding in rem against the vessel. Before these claims were discharged she was removed to Cleveland, in the State of Ohio, where she received her machinery and was fitted out; and for the debts thus incurred the Ohio creditors, like those in Michigan, had a lien on the vessel, and were authorized to proceed against her by attachment and seizure.

Afterwards, when the steamboat was in the port of Cleveland, the Ohio creditors obtained process against her, and she was seized, condemned, and sold, according to the laws of that State, to satisfy these liens. A certain E. S. Sterling became the purchaser at this sale, and afterwards sold her to Maxwell, one of the plaintiffs in error.

After these proceedings, the steamboat returned to Michigan, and was there seized by virtue of the prior lien created by the laws of that State, as above mentioned. The party at whose instance and for whose benefit the proceeding was instituted under the Michigan lien, had filed his claim in the previous proceedings in Ohio, but was permitted by the court to withdraw it without prejudice.

The plaintiffs in error, who were the owners, or had an interest in the steamboat, appeared in the Michigan court to defend her against this claim. And the principal ground of defence appears to have been, that the sale in Ohio was not made subject to the prior liens in Michigan; that it was an absolute and unconditional sale, made by competent judicial authority, and vested the property in the purchaser, free and discharged from all previous liens and incumbrances.

The record contains the pleadings, evidence, and admissions of the parties in relation to these transactions, and the proceedings in the state courts. But it is unnecessary to state them at large, at the above summary is sufficient to show the matter in controversy in the state courts, and how the questions raised in the state courts were brought before them.

At the trial in the circuit court of Michigan, the defendants in error, who were plaintiffs in that court, prayed the court to give the following instructions to the jury:——

'1. That if the jury should find, from the evidence adduced in this cause, that the steamboat Globe, mentioned in the declaration, has been constructed and built in this State, and was used in navigating the waters thereof, and that the debt, claim, or demand, for which she was attached by the plaintiff, has been contracted in this State by the owners, joint owner, or agent thereof, on account of supplies furnished by said plaintiff for the use of said boat, or on account of work done, or materials furnished by said plaintiffs in or about the building, fitting, furnishing, or equipping of said boat in said State; that then said plaintiff acquired and had a lien on said boat for said debt, claim, or demand, under and by virtue of the law of this State.

'2. That if the jury should be of the opinion, from said evidence, that said claim or demand of said plaintiff constituted a lien on said boat, which had been acquired as aforesaid, and that the contracting paties were then citizens of this State, then that such lien had not been displaced or affected by the legal proceedings resorted to in the court of Ohio, exemplifications of which were introduced in evidence by the defendants; that if any title was acquired under the same, or the laws of Ohio, such title is subordinate to the lien acquired by the plaintiff in this State, by virtue of the laws thereof; that such proceedings do not constitute a valid defence to this action, and that said boat, on coming within the jurisdiction of this court, was subject to be attached for said claim.'

And the plaintiffs in error asked for the following instructions on their part:——

'1. That the facts contained in the notice of defendants, and which are admitted as true by the plaintiffs, constitute in law a defence to the plaintiffs' action. 2. That the sale under the laws of Ohio, if fair and bon a fide, constitutes a defence to a purchaser under such laws to a prosecution by a creditor under the laws of this State, such as the plaintiffs in this case have shown themselves to be. 3. That defendant Maxwell's title is good against the lien or claim of the plaintiff Wight in this cause, even if that of Sterling was not. 4. That the filing of the plaintiff's claim in the Ohio court precludes him from raising the objection that such court had no jurisdiction of his rights so as to devest his lien by a sale in that State. 5. That a lien under the statutes of this State, though valid in its inception, cannot be enforced against a purchaser in good faith under a sale under the laws of the State of Ohio, so given in evidence.'

Whereupon the court gave the instructions asked for by the defendants in error, and refused those requested by the plaintiffs, who, thereupon, excepted to these opinions, and the verdict and judgment in that court being against them, they removed the case to the supreme court of the State, and assigned there the following errors, for which they prayed that the judgment of the circuit court might be reversed:——

'1. The court erred in charging the jury, as requested by the plaintiffs below, and upon the points and to the effect stated more fully in the bill of exceptions filed herein, and to which reference is hereby had.

'2. The court erred in refusing to charge the jury as requested by the defendants below, upon the points and to the effect stated in the bill of exceptions filed herein, and to which, for fuller particularity, reference is hereby had.

'3. The charge of the court, the verdict of the jury, and the judgment below, are each against and in conflict with the constitution and laws of the United States, and therefore...

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13 cases
  • Magwire v. Tyler
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • 31 October 1870
    ...v. Buckingham's Ex'rs, 5 How. 317; McKinney v. Carroll, 12 Pet. 66; Curtis' Com., § 224; Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch, 137; Maxwell v. Newbold, 18 How. 511; Crowell v. Randall, 10 Pet. 368.) The extent of power conferred by the constitution on the Supreme Court over land cases is “to all ca......
  • Herndon v. State of Georgia
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • 20 May 1935
    ...intent to the denial thereof, when the same is manifested, or intended to be manifested, by acts of violence.' 2 Maxwell v. Newbold et al., 18 How. 511, 516, 15 L.Ed. 506; Messenger v. Mason, 10 Wall. 507, 509, 19 L.Ed. 1028; Capital City Dairy Co. v. Ohio, 183 U.S. 238, 248, 22 S.Ct. 120, ......
  • State v. Schuman
    • United States
    • Oregon Supreme Court
    • 23 October 1899 review the judgment for errors committed there, and we can do no more." To the same effect see Hoyt v. Shelden, 1 Black, 518; Maxwell v. Newbold, 18 How. 511; Texas & P. Co. v. Southern P. Co., 137 U.S. 48, 11 Sup.Ct. 10; Caldwell v. Texas, 137 U.S. 692, 11 Sup.Ct. 224; Sayward v. Denny,......
  • J. G. Hutchinson & Co. v. Morris Bros.
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • 25 October 1905
    ...130 Mo. 89, 31 S. W. 928; Lang v. Callaway, 134 Mo. 491, 35 S. W. 1138; Hoyt v. Shelden, 1 Black, 518, 17 L. Ed. 65; Maxwell v. Newbold, 18 How. 511, 15 L. Ed. 506; Sayward v. Denny, 158 U. loc. cit. 184, 15 Sup. Ct. 777, 39 L. Ed. 941. To the same effect is Kirkwood v. Meramec Highlands Co......
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