Levering Garrigues Co v. Morrin, No. 423

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtSUTHERLAND
Citation77 L.Ed. 1062,53 S.Ct. 549,289 U.S. 103
PartiesLEVERING & GARRIGUES CO. et al. v. MORRIN et al
Decision Date10 April 1933
Docket NumberNo. 423

289 U.S. 103
53 S.Ct. 549
77 L.Ed. 1062
LEVERING & GARRIGUES CO. et al.

v.

MORRIN et al.

No. 423.
Argued Feb. 17, 1933.
Decided April 10, 1933.

Mr. Merritt Lane, of Newark, N.J., for petitioners.

Mr. Frank P. Walsh, of New York City, for respondents.

Page 104

Mr. Justice SUTHERLAND delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is a suit brought by petitioners against respondents in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York to enjoin respondents from combining or conspiring to compel petitioners to employ, in their work of fabricating and erecting structural iron and steel, only members of a labor union, and to refrain from employing nonmembers; from conducting, inducing, or advising a boycott of petitioners; and from other enumerated acts. The bill invoked the jurisdiction of the federal court upon the ground of diversity of citizenship, and also upon the ground that acts complained of unlawfully interfered with interstate commerce and constituted a violation of the federal anti-trust acts. The case was sent to a referee, who, after a hearing, made a report and decision sustaining the charge of boycotting, but holding that the interference occasioned thereby was local in character and did not constitute an interference with interstate commerce. The report and decision were confirmed by the District Court, and the bill dismissed as to certain of the respondents, and an injunction issued against others, the particulars of which, in the view we take of the case, it is not necessary to state.

The Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decree of the District Court holding that the allegations of the bill were insufficient to establish jurisdiction on the ground of diversity of citizenship, and that the case having failed on the federal question, the court was without power to consider the nonfederal question because it was asserted in an independent cause of action. While resting its decision upon these considerations, that court expressed the further view that the allegations of the bill in respect of the claim of federal jurisdiction under the anti-trust acts were probably so unsubstantial as to disclose, on the face

Page 105

of the bill, a lack of federal jurisdiction. The District Court was directed to dismiss the bill without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction unless amendments could be made to correct the defect in respect of diversity of citizenship. 61 F.(2d) 115. This court granted certiorari limited to the question of federal jurisdiction other than questions relating to diversity of citizenship, 287 U.S. 590, 53 S.Ct. 118, 77 L.Ed. —-.

The question of jurisdiction as thus limited is to be determined by the allegations of the bill, and not upon the facts as they may turn out, or by a decision of the merits. Mosher v. Phoenix, 287 U.S. 29, 30, 53 S.Ct. 67, 77 L.Ed. 148, and cases cited. Whether an objection that a bill or a complaint fails to state a case under a federal statute raises a question of jurisdiction or of merits is to be determined by the application of a well settled rule. If the bill or the complaint sets forth a substantial claim, a case is presented within the federal jurisdiction, however the court, upon consideration, may decide as to the legal sufficiency of the facts alleged to support the claim. But jurisdiction, as distinguished from merits, is wanting where the claim set forth in the pleading is plainly unsubstantial. The cases have stated the rule in a variety of ways, but all to that effect. See, for example, Mosher v. Phoenix, supra; Hull v. Burr, 234 U.S. 712, 720, 34 S.Ct. 892, 58 L.Ed. 1557; Western Union Tel. Co. v. Ann Arbor R. Co., 178 U.S. 239, 244, 20 S.Ct. 867, 44 L.Ed. 1052; Binderup v. Pathe Exchange, 263 U.S. 291, 305 et seq., 44 S.Ct. 96, 68 L.Ed. 308; South Covington Ry. Co. v. Newport, 259 U.S. 97, 99, 42 S.Ct. 418, 66 L.Ed. 842; Niles-Bement-Pond Co. v. Iron Moulders' Union, 254 U.S. 77, 82, 41 S.Ct. 39, 65 L.Ed. 145; Montana Catholic Missions v. Missoula...

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315 practice notes
  • Marozsan v. U.S., No. 86-1954
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • July 25, 1988
    ...suit is apparent from the pleadings, the suit does not even invoke federal jurisdiction, see, e.g., Levering & Garrigues v. Morrin, 289 U.S. 103, 53 S.Ct. 549, 77 L.Ed. 1062 (1933); Hagans v. Lavine, 415 U.S. 528, 537-38, 94 S.Ct. 1372, 1379, 39 L.Ed.2d 577 (1974); Crowley Cutlery Co. v......
  • State of Delaware v. Pa. NY Cent. Trans. Co., Civ. A. No. 3849.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Delaware)
    • February 24, 1971
    ...federal claim must have substance sufficient to confer subject matter jurisdiction on the court. Levering & Garrigues Co. v. Morrin, 289 U.S. 103 53 S.Ct. 549, 77 L.Ed. 1062 (1933). The state and federal claims must derive from a common nucleus of operative fact. But if, considered with......
  • Muskegon Theatres, Inc. v. City of Muskegon, No. 74-1447
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • December 5, 1974
    ...allegations, rather than later evidence, determine the existence of federal jurisdiction. E.g., Levering & Garringues Co. v. Morrin, 289 U.S. 103, 105, 53 S.Ct. 549, 77 L.Ed. 1062 17 City adopted an urban renewal ordinance on October 8, 1968. 18 The record fails to show what enabling st......
  • Holiday Magic, Inc. v. Warren, No. 73-1511.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • May 20, 1974
    ...of the bill of complaint. Mosher v. City of Phoenix, 287 U.S. 29, 30, 53 S.Ct. 67, 77 L.Ed. 148; Levering & Garrigues Co. v. Morrin, 289 U.S. 103, 105, 53 S.Ct. 549, 550, 77 L.Ed. 1062. The question may be plainly unsubstantial, either because it is "obviously without merit" o......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
315 cases
  • Marozsan v. U.S., No. 86-1954
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • July 25, 1988
    ...suit is apparent from the pleadings, the suit does not even invoke federal jurisdiction, see, e.g., Levering & Garrigues v. Morrin, 289 U.S. 103, 53 S.Ct. 549, 77 L.Ed. 1062 (1933); Hagans v. Lavine, 415 U.S. 528, 537-38, 94 S.Ct. 1372, 1379, 39 L.Ed.2d 577 (1974); Crowley Cutlery Co. v......
  • State of Delaware v. Pa. NY Cent. Trans. Co., Civ. A. No. 3849.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Delaware)
    • February 24, 1971
    ...federal claim must have substance sufficient to confer subject matter jurisdiction on the court. Levering & Garrigues Co. v. Morrin, 289 U.S. 103 53 S.Ct. 549, 77 L.Ed. 1062 (1933). The state and federal claims must derive from a common nucleus of operative fact. But if, considered with......
  • Muskegon Theatres, Inc. v. City of Muskegon, No. 74-1447
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • December 5, 1974
    ...allegations, rather than later evidence, determine the existence of federal jurisdiction. E.g., Levering & Garringues Co. v. Morrin, 289 U.S. 103, 105, 53 S.Ct. 549, 77 L.Ed. 1062 17 City adopted an urban renewal ordinance on October 8, 1968. 18 The record fails to show what enabling st......
  • Holiday Magic, Inc. v. Warren, No. 73-1511.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • May 20, 1974
    ...of the bill of complaint. Mosher v. City of Phoenix, 287 U.S. 29, 30, 53 S.Ct. 67, 77 L.Ed. 148; Levering & Garrigues Co. v. Morrin, 289 U.S. 103, 105, 53 S.Ct. 549, 550, 77 L.Ed. 1062. The question may be plainly unsubstantial, either because it is "obviously without merit" o......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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