People of Porto Rico v. Manuel Rosaly Castillo, No. 145

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtWhite
Citation57 L.Ed. 507,227 U.S. 270,33 S.Ct. 352
Docket NumberNo. 145
PartiesPEOPLE OF PORTO RICO, Appts., v. MANUEL ROSALY Y CASTILLO

227 U.S. 270
33 S.Ct. 352
57 L.Ed. 507
PEOPLE OF PORTO RICO, Appts.,

v.

MANUEL ROSALY Y CASTILLO.

No. 145.
Submitted January 24, 1913.
Decided February 24, 1913.

Page 271

Mr. Felix Frankfurter and Mr. Wolcott H. Pitkin, Jr., Attorney General of Porto Rico, for appellants.

[Argument of Counsel from page 271 intentionally omitted]

Page 272

No appearance for appellee.

[Argument of Counsel from page 272 intentionally omitted]

Page 273

Mr. Chief Justice White delivered the opinion of the court:

The appellee was plaintiff in the first instance. The defendants were the People of Porto Rico (the government of the island) and several named individuals. Recovery was sought of property in possession of the defendants and for rents and profits. The individual defendants defaulted. The government defended, and from a judgment ousting it from the property, and for rents and profits, appealed to the supreme court. The court, giving its reasons for affirmance, thus stated the only issue presented and which was decided: 'The appeal was taken by the People of Porto Rico, the only ground alleged in support thereof in this supreme court being that, inasmuch as the People of Porto Rico cannot be sued without its consent, and it appears that such consent had not been given in the present case, the district court acted without jurisdiction; wherefore the judgment rendered by it was null and void.' [16 P. R. R. 483.] The court did not overlook the importance of the question, as is shown by its careful and perspicuous opinion. A member of the court fully stated his reasons for dissenting. On this appeal, taken by the People of Porto Rico, the case having been tried without a jury, the question for decision is narrower than would seem to be the case, regarding alone the general terms in which the question is mentioned in the passage previously quoted from the opinion of the court below.

It is not open to controversy that, aside from the existence of some exception, the government which the organic act established in Porto Rico is of such nature as to come within the general rule exempting a government sovereign in its attributes from being sued without its consent. In the first place, this is true because, in a general sense, so far as concerns the framework of the Porto Rican government and the legislative, judicial, and executive authority with which it is endowed, there is, if not a com-

Page 274

plete identity, at least, in all essential matters, a strong likeness to the powers usually given to organized territories, and, moreover, a striking similarity to the organic act of the Hawaiian Islands (act of April 30, 1900, chap. 339, §§ 6, 55, 31 Stat. at L. 141, 142 and 150). But, as the incorporated territories have always been held to possess an immunity from suit, and as it has been, moreover, settled that the government created for Hawaii is of such a character as to give it immunity from suit without its consent, it follows that this is also the case as to Porto Rico. Kawananakoa v. Polyblank, 205 U. S. 349, 353, 51 L. ed. 834, 836, 27 Sup. Ct. Rep. 526. This, moreover, is additionally beyond question because, in considering the nature and character of the government of Porto Rico in New York ex rel. Kopel v. Bingham, 211 U. S. 468, 53 L. ed. 286, 29 Sup. Ct. Rep. 190, it was said (p. 476): 'It may be justly asserted that Porto Rico is a completely organized territory, although not a territory incorporated into the United States, and that there is no reason why Porto Rico should not be held to...

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78 practice notes
  • United States v. LebróN-Caceres, CRIMINAL NO. 15-279 (PAD)
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Puerto Rico
    • January 14, 2016
    ...pursuant to the provisions of that Act. Even so, Puerto Rico was considered a territory. See, People of Porto Rico v. Rosaly Castillo, 227 U.S. 270 (1913) (describing Puerto Rico as a territory).Page 20 The Jones Act declared all inhabitants of Puerto Rico citizens of the United States, and......
  • Flota Maritima Browning de Cuba v. Motor Vessel Ciudad, No. 9127.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • July 14, 1964
    ...without fear of a default judgment, for a judgment entered without her consent would be void. People of Porto Rico v. Rosaly Y Castillo, 227 U.S. 270, 33 S.Ct. 352, 57 L.Ed. 507 (1913). The Uxmal, 40 F.Supp. 258 (D.C.Mass.1941), cited by the majority to sustain waiver is unpersuasive becaus......
  • Decca Hospitality Furnishings, LLC v. U.S., Slip Op. 06-43.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • April 4, 2006
    ...that the law does not limit Commerce's clear duty to comply with a judgment of the Court of International Trade See Porto Rico v. Rosaly, 227 U.S. 270, 276, 33 S.Ct. 352, 57 L.Ed. 507 (1013) (the judicial power "confers the authority and imposes the duty to enforce a judgment rendered ......
  • INTERNATIONAL T. & T. CORP. v. General Tel. & Elec. Corp., Civ. No. 2754.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Hawaii)
    • July 14, 1972
    ...It is properly inferrable, both from decisions upholding Puerto Rico's immunity from suit, see, e. g., Porto Rico v. Rosaly y Castillo, 227 U.S. 270, 33 S.Ct. 352, 57 L.Ed. 507 (1913), and from the legislative developments outlined above, that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is entitled to ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
78 cases
  • United States v. LebróN-Caceres, CRIMINAL NO. 15-279 (PAD)
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Puerto Rico
    • January 14, 2016
    ...pursuant to the provisions of that Act. Even so, Puerto Rico was considered a territory. See, People of Porto Rico v. Rosaly Castillo, 227 U.S. 270 (1913) (describing Puerto Rico as a territory).Page 20 The Jones Act declared all inhabitants of Puerto Rico citizens of the United States, and......
  • Flota Maritima Browning de Cuba v. Motor Vessel Ciudad, No. 9127.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • July 14, 1964
    ...without fear of a default judgment, for a judgment entered without her consent would be void. People of Porto Rico v. Rosaly Y Castillo, 227 U.S. 270, 33 S.Ct. 352, 57 L.Ed. 507 (1913). The Uxmal, 40 F.Supp. 258 (D.C.Mass.1941), cited by the majority to sustain waiver is unpersuasive becaus......
  • Decca Hospitality Furnishings, LLC v. U.S., Slip Op. 06-43.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • April 4, 2006
    ...that the law does not limit Commerce's clear duty to comply with a judgment of the Court of International Trade See Porto Rico v. Rosaly, 227 U.S. 270, 276, 33 S.Ct. 352, 57 L.Ed. 507 (1013) (the judicial power "confers the authority and imposes the duty to enforce a judgment rendered ......
  • INTERNATIONAL T. & T. CORP. v. General Tel. & Elec. Corp., Civ. No. 2754.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Hawaii)
    • July 14, 1972
    ...It is properly inferrable, both from decisions upholding Puerto Rico's immunity from suit, see, e. g., Porto Rico v. Rosaly y Castillo, 227 U.S. 270, 33 S.Ct. 352, 57 L.Ed. 507 (1913), and from the legislative developments outlined above, that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is entitled to ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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