Mexican Cent Ry Co v. Rinkney, No. 1,199

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Citation13 S.Ct. 859,149 U.S. 194,37 L.Ed. 699
Decision Date01 May 1893
PartiesMEXICAN CENT. RY. CO., Limited, v. RINKNEY
Docket NumberNo. 1,199

149 U.S. 194
13 S.Ct. 859
37 L.Ed. 699
MEXICAN CENT. RY. CO., Limited,

v.

RINKNEY.

No. 1,199.
May 1, 1893.

Page 195

A. T. Britton, A. B. Browne, and J. Lewis Stackpole, for plaintiff in error.

S. F. Phillips and F. D. McKenney, for defendant in error.

Mr Justice JACKSON delivered the opinion of the court.

This writ of error brings up for our consideration the general question whether the circuit court of the United States for the western district of Texas acquired, or rightfully exercised, jurisdiction in the present case. This jurisdictional question arises as follows: The defendant in error, Alexander Pinkney, brought an action in that court against the plaintiff in error, the Mexican Central Railway Company, Limited, to recover damages for personal injuries alleged to have been sustained while in the performance of his duties as a brakeman in the employ of the company.

In his original petition the plaintiff alleged that he was a resident, citizen, and inhabitant of the county of El Paso, in the western district of Texas; that the defendant was a citi-

Page 196

zen of Massachusetts, being a corporation organized under the laws of that state, and having its principal office and place of business in Boston; and that it was owning, operating, and maintaining, or operating and maintaining, a line of railroad running from El Paso, in Texas, southwardly through the republic of Mexico, to the city of Mexico, and had an office in El Paso, and a local agent there, named Harry Lawton.

Upon the filing of this petition a citation or summons was issued, and was served upon Lawton by the marshal of the district, who made return thereon as follows: 'Executed on the 23d day of September, 1891, by delivering to H. Lawton, local agent of the Mexican Central Railway Company at El Paso, Texas, in person, a true copy of this writ.'

On the 30th of September, 1891, the defendant entered a special appearance for the purpose of excepting to the service of the citation, and filed a plea in abatement thereto, as follows:

'Now comes the defendant in the above styled and numbered cause, and, appearing only for the purpose of excepting to the service of the citation herein, and not appearing generally, or for any other purpose, says:

'(1) That Harry Lawton, upon whom the citation herein was served as the local agent of this defendant, is not the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, general manager, or any officer, of this defendant; and neither said Lawton, nor any 'joint agent,' or agent at 'the joint warehouse' in the city of El Paso, Tex., has ever been designated by this defendant as its officer or agent upon whom citation might be served in this state and county, and is not authorized by this defendant to receive or accept citation on its behalf.

'(2) That before the establishment of what is known as the 'Joint Warehouse,' in the city of El Paso, Tex., over which said Lawton has control and management, importers of goods, their brokers and agents, were put to great trouble and inconvenience on account of the lack of the proper and necessary facilities for handling, examining, weighing, and classifying goods billed to and from points in the republic of Mexico upon their arrival at said city of El Paso over the various

Page 197

roads hereinafter mentioned, and on account of said deficiencies owners of goods destined to points in the republic of Mexico were frequently subjected to fines and penalties under the customs laws of Mexico on account of inaccuracies in the importation papers required therefor by said Mexican government; that in the interest and convenience of importers of American as well as of Mexican goods and merchandise, and in order thereby to increase the traffic of this defendant, and the other railroads hereinafter mentioned, there was established, and since maintained, said joint warehouse, where goods, wares, and merchandise destined to points in said republic, upon their arrival at said El Paso are transferred, deposited, and held by the agent in charge thereof for examination, weighing, and classification, as aforesaid, prior to their entry into said republic, and where the import duties on goods coming from said republic over defendant's line may be conveniently paid, and such goods transferred and turned over to the proper roads by the agent in charge of said joint warehouse.

'(3) That, at the solicitation of the railroads then jointly interested therein, said warehouse was constructed and established in or about the year A. D. 1887, by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company, on property owned by it then and since, until the same was duly passed by transfer to the Rio Grande & El Paso Railroad Company, which now and ever since said transfer has owned said warehouse, and the property upon which the same is located.

'(4) That this defendant pays one half of all the expense incurred in the maintenance and operation of said joint warehouse, while said Rio Grande & El Paso Railroad Company, the Texas & Pacific Railroad Company, the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railroad Company, and the Southern Pacific Railroad Company bear the balance thereof, upon a tonnage basis.

'(5) That said Lawton and all joint agents are selected by said Rio Grande & El Paso Railroad Company, and, with the approval of the other companies last aforesaid and this defendant, are appointed by said R. G. & E. P. R. Co.

Page 198

upon whose pay rolls the names of such joint agents, and the members of their force, appear as employes of said lastmentioned company, who pay the salaries and wages thereof.

'(6) That said Lawton, as joint agent, and his force, are under bond to said Rio Grande & El Paso Railroad Company, Texas & Pacific Railroad Company, Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railroad Company, and Southern Pacific Railroad Company, conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties required of them by said last-mentioned companies, to which reports are made, and of and for which money is collected and received by said Lawton.

'(7) That said Lawton, being unauthorized so to do, makes no contracts, and collects and handles no money, for or on behalf of this defendant; is under no bond to it; keeps no accounts of or for it; is not on its pay rolls; was not selected or appointed by it, and this defendant is without power to discharge him; all of which defendant is ready to verify. Wherefore, defendant says that said Lawton is not its local agent or other employe or agent, that the service of the citation herein is insufficient, and prays that the return thereon be quashed.'

On the 6th of April, 1892, by leave of the court, the plaintiff filed an amended petition setting out with considerable detail the facts upon which he based his claim that Lawton was an agent of the defendant, upon whom service could be made, (which facts were not materially different from those set out in the plea and motion to quash the return to the citation,) and making substantially the smae allegation as respects the personal injuries sustained by him as were contained in the original petition.

The plaintiff afterwards demurred to the plea in abatement, and motion to quash the return to the citation, and the demurrer having been sustained, and the service held to have been good, the defendant excepted. Thereafter the defendant filed an answer setting up (1) a general demurrer; (2) a general denial; and (3) a plea contributory negligence; and the cause thereupon went to trial before the court and

Page 199

a jury, resulting in a verdict and judgment in favor of the plaintiff for the sum of $3,000.

On the trial of the case evidence was brought out on cross-examination of the plaintiff, who testified in his own behalf, which counsel for the defendant claimed tended to show that the plaintiff was not a citizen of the district in which the action was brought; and they thereupon moved the court to permit defendant to file a plea to the effect that plaintiff was not a resident or citizen of the state of Texas when the action was brought, and had never been a resident of that state, but was a deserter form the army of the United States, and was a resident and citizen of Arizona territory, where he had enlisted, and where his troop was stationed, so as to raise and present an issue as to the jurisdiction of the court on the ground of citizenship of the plaintiff. But the court ruled that no amendment to the pleadings would be permitted, and that the issue could not then be raised, but that defendant might ask plaintiff as to his residence and citizenship. To which ruling the defendant excepted.

The assignments of error are as follows:

'First. The court erred in assuming jurisdiction over this cause, for the reason that the record herein fails to show the residence and citizenship of the parties to this suit at the time of the institution of the same.

'Second. The court erred in sustaining plaintiff's demurrer to defendant's exception to the service of the citation and motion to quash the return thereof, and in hoding that the service on the Harry Lawton, as defendant's agent, was good (1) for the reason that plaintiff's demurrer was insufficient in law; (2) for the reason that the return of said citation was defective and insufficient; and (3) for the rason that defendant's said exception and motion showed that said Lawton was not the local agent of defendant.

'Third. The court erred in refusing to permit issue to be joined and tried as to its jurisdiction, and in refusing to permit defendant to file its plea to the effect that plaintiff was not a resident and citizen of the state of Texas, as in his complaint averred, at the time his suit was filed, for the reason

Page 200

that it was the right of the defendant to show, and it was the duty of the court to...

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120 practice notes
  • United States v. Crary
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
    • 24 Octubre 1932
    ...23 L. Ed. 898; Luxton v. North River Bridge Co., 147 U. S. 337, 338, 13 S. Ct. 356, 37 L. Ed. 194; Mexican Central R. Co. v. Pinkney, 149 U. S. 194, 207, 13 S. Ct. 859, 37 L. Ed. 699; Chappell v. U. S., 160 U. S. 499, 514, 16 S. Ct. 397, 40 L. Ed. 510; Hills & Co. v. Hoover, 220 U. S. 329, ......
  • Dyar v. Ga. Power Co, No. 13918.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 4 Octubre 1934
    ...v. Page, 18 Wall. 367, 21 L. Ed. 959; St. Clair v. Cox, 106 U. S. 350, 1 S. Ct. 354, 27 L. Ed. 222; Mexican Central Railway v. Pinkney, 149 U. S. 194, 13 S. Ct 859, 37 L. Ed. 699; Wilson v. Seligman, 144 U. S. 44, 12 S. Ct. 541, 36 L. Ed. 338, --remarked: 'These being the well-settled princ......
  • Davidson v. Henry L. Doherty & Co., No. 40451.
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • 8 Marzo 1932
    ...518;New Mexico ex rel. Caledonian Co. v. Baker, 196 U. S. 432, 444, 25 S. Ct. 375, 49 L. Ed. 540, 545;Mexican Central Ry. Co. v. Pinkney, 149 U. S. 194, 209, 13 S. Ct. 859, 37 L. Ed. 699, 705;Pennsylvania, etc., Co. v. Gold Issue, etc., Co., 243 U. S. 93, 37 S. Ct. 344, 61 L. Ed. 610;Rea v.......
  • Hill v. Walker, 2,766.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • 1 Febrero 1909
    ...its jurisdiction, on this account, shall appear to the satisfaction of said Circuit Court." In Mexican Central Railway Company v. Pinkney, 149 U.S. 194, 13 Sup.Ct. 859, 37 L.Ed. 699, jurisdiction was rested upon diversity of citizenship which was properly pleaded in the complaint. There was......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
120 cases
  • United States v. Crary
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
    • 24 Octubre 1932
    ...23 L. Ed. 898; Luxton v. North River Bridge Co., 147 U. S. 337, 338, 13 S. Ct. 356, 37 L. Ed. 194; Mexican Central R. Co. v. Pinkney, 149 U. S. 194, 207, 13 S. Ct. 859, 37 L. Ed. 699; Chappell v. U. S., 160 U. S. 499, 514, 16 S. Ct. 397, 40 L. Ed. 510; Hills & Co. v. Hoover, 220 U. S. 329, ......
  • Dyar v. Ga. Power Co, No. 13918.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 4 Octubre 1934
    ...v. Page, 18 Wall. 367, 21 L. Ed. 959; St. Clair v. Cox, 106 U. S. 350, 1 S. Ct. 354, 27 L. Ed. 222; Mexican Central Railway v. Pinkney, 149 U. S. 194, 13 S. Ct 859, 37 L. Ed. 699; Wilson v. Seligman, 144 U. S. 44, 12 S. Ct. 541, 36 L. Ed. 338, --remarked: 'These being the well-settled princ......
  • Davidson v. Henry L. Doherty & Co., No. 40451.
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • 8 Marzo 1932
    ...518;New Mexico ex rel. Caledonian Co. v. Baker, 196 U. S. 432, 444, 25 S. Ct. 375, 49 L. Ed. 540, 545;Mexican Central Ry. Co. v. Pinkney, 149 U. S. 194, 209, 13 S. Ct. 859, 37 L. Ed. 699, 705;Pennsylvania, etc., Co. v. Gold Issue, etc., Co., 243 U. S. 93, 37 S. Ct. 344, 61 L. Ed. 610;Rea v.......
  • Hill v. Walker, 2,766.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • 1 Febrero 1909
    ...its jurisdiction, on this account, shall appear to the satisfaction of said Circuit Court." In Mexican Central Railway Company v. Pinkney, 149 U.S. 194, 13 Sup.Ct. 859, 37 L.Ed. 699, jurisdiction was rested upon diversity of citizenship which was properly pleaded in the complaint. There was......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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