Robert Green v. Chicago, Burlington Quincy Railway Company

Citation205 U.S. 530,51 L.Ed. 916,27 S.Ct. 595
Decision Date29 April 1907
Docket NumberNo. 435,435
CourtUnited States Supreme Court

Messrs. John G. Johnson and Frank P. Prichard for plaintiff in error.

Mr. Francis Rawle for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice Moody delivered the opinion of the court:

The plaintiff in error, a citizen of Pennsylvania, brought an action in the circuit court for the eastern district of Pennsylvania to recover damages for personal injuries alleged to have been incurred in Colorado through the negligence of the defendant, against the defendant in error, a corporation created by the laws of the state of Iowa, and, therefore, for jurisdictional purposes, a citizen of that state. The return upon the writ shows a service 'on Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railway Company, a corporation which is doing business in the eastern district of Pennsylvania . . . by giving a true and attested copy to Harry E. Heller, agent of said corporation.' The defendant appeared specially for the purpose of disputing jurisdiction. The circuit court held that the service was insufficient, because the defendant was not doing business within the district, and that decision is brought here by writ of error for review.

The jurisdiction of the circuit court in this case was founded solely upon the fact that the parties were citizens of different states. In such a case the suit may be brought in the district of the residence of either. Act of March 3, 1875, chap. 137, § 1 [18 Stat. at L. 470, chap. 137], as corrected by act of August 13, 1888, chap. 866, § 1 (25 Stat. at L. 434, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 508). But to obtain jurisdiction there must be service, and the service was upon the corporation in the eastern district of Pennsylvania. Its validity depends upon whether the corporation was doing business in that district in such a manner and to such an extent as to warrant the inference that, through its agents, it was present there.

The eastern point of the defendant's line of railroad was at Chicago, whence its tracks extended westward. The business for which it was incorporated was the carriage of freight and passengers, and the construction, maintenance, and operation of a railroad for that purpose. As incidental and collateral to that business it was proper, and, according to the business methods generally pursued, probably essential, that freight and passenger traffic should be solicited in other parts of the country than those through which the defendant's tracks ran. For the purpose of conducting this incidental business the defendant employed Mr. Heller, hired an office for him in Philadelphia, designated him as district freight and passenger agent, and in many ways advertised to the public these facts. The business of the agent was to solicit and procure passengers and freight to be transported over the defendant's line. For conducting this business several clerks and various traveling passenger and freight agents were employed, who reported to the agent and acted under his direction. He sold no tickets and received no...

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  • Florence Nightingale School of Nursing, Inc. v. Superior Court for Los Angeles County
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • February 17, 1959
    ...International Shoe case have had a most telling and devastating effect on the venerable rule laid down in Green v. Chicago, B. & Q. R. Co., 205 U.S. 530, 27 S.Ct. 595, 51 L.Ed. , 916, that personal jurisdiction cannot be obtained over a foreign corporation when the sole basis thereof consis......
  • New York Times Co. v. Sullivan
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    • August 30, 1962
    ...purportedly applying the 'doing business' doctrine in suits against foreign corporations. See Green v. Chicago Burlington and Quincy Ry., 205 U.S. 530, 27 S.Ct. 595, 51 L.Ed. 916, when 'presence' of a corporation was found to exist from business done in a state, and Old Wayne Mutual Life As......
  • International Shoe Co. v. State
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    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • January 4, 1945
    ...authority to receive payment in money, check, or draft, and to take notes payable at banks in Kentucky.' [Italics mine.] The court upheld the Green case, but was of the opinion that it did not apply because the factual situation was entirely different. The holding in the Harvester Co. case ......
  • Fraley v. Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company
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    ...maintenance of a regular agency for the solicitation of business will serve without more. The answer made in Green v. C., B. & Q. R. R. Co., 205 U.S. 530, 27 S.Ct. 595, 51 L.Ed. 916, and People's Tob. Co. v. Amer. Tobacco Co., 246 U.S. 79, 38 S.Ct. 233, 62 L.Ed. 587, Ann.Cas.1918C, 537, per......
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    • Journal of Appellate Practice and Process Vol. 21 No. 1, January 2021
    • January 1, 2021
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