State of Louisiana v. James Rudolph Garfield, No. 7

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtHolmes
Citation29 S.Ct. 31,53 L.Ed. 92,211 U.S. 70
Decision Date09 November 1908
Docket NumberNo. 7,O
PartiesSTATE OF LOUISIANA, Complainant, v. JAMES RUDOLPH GARFIELD, Secretary of the Interior of the United States, and Fred Dennett, Commissioner of the General Land Office. riginal

211 U.S. 70
29 S.Ct. 31
53 L.Ed. 92
STATE OF LOUISIANA, Complainant,

v.

JAMES RUDOLPH GARFIELD, Secretary of the Interior of the United States, and Fred Dennett, Commissioner of the General Land Office.

No. 7, Original.
Argued October 27, 28, 1908.
Decided November 9, 1908.

Attornel General Bonaparte, Solicitor General Hoyt, and Mr. Glenn E. Husted for defendants.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 70-72 intentionally omitted]

Page 72

Messrs. Harvey M. Friend, George H. Lamar, and Walter Guion for complainant.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 72-74 intentionally omitted]

Page 74

Mr. Justice Holmes delivered the opinion of the court:

This is a bill brought in this court to extablish the title of the state of Louisiana to certain swamp lands which it claims under the statutes of the United States, and to enjoin the defendants against carrying out an order making a different disposition of the lands. The defendants demur on the grounds that this really is a suit against the United States, which has not consented to be sued, that the title never has passed from the United States, and that the remedy, if any, would be at law.

The act of March 2, 1849, chap. 87, 9 Stat. at L. 352, purported to grant to the state of Louisiana the whole of the swamp and overflowed lands therein, and provided that, on approval of a list of such lands by the Secretary of the Treasury (afterwards succeeded by the Secretary of the Interior), the fee simple to the same should vest in the state. Certain lands were ex-

Page 75

cluded, but those in dispute were not by any express words. They belonged, however, to the Fort Sabine Military Reservation, established by the President on December 20, 1838, and although included in a list submitted under the statute, approval of the inclusion was suspended or denied. On March 25, 1871, the Fort Sabine Military Reservation was abandoned by Executive order, in pursuance of the act of February 24, 1871, chap. 68, 16 Stat. at L. 430, which authorized the Secretary of War to transfer it to the control of the Secretary of the Interior, to be sold for cash. On October 31, 1895, the Secretary of the Interior decided that the land was included in the grant of the act of 1849, subject to the right of the United States to use it for military purposes until abandoned. On December 10, 1895, pursuant to his decision, the Secretary indorsed upon a list of these lands that it was 'approved to the state of Louisiana under the act of Congress of March 2, 1849, as supplemented and enlarged by the act of Congress of September 28, 1850 (9 Stat. at L. 519, chap. 84), subject to any valid adverse rights that may exist.' The plaintiff says that thereupon the title passed.

On June 6, 1904, the Secretary of the Interior ordered that his predecessor's approval of the list be vacated, and that the lands should be held for disposition as provided by law, on the ground that they were not within the grant of the act of 1849, because at that time embraced in a military reservation. This decision has been upheld and finally affirmed by the present Secretary, the defendant in this case, and the result is the bringing of this bill.

We will assume, for purposes of decision, that, if the United States clearly had no...

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61 practice notes
  • Banco de Espana v. Federal Reserve Bank, No. 370-372.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • July 8, 1940
    ...Bruce, 194 U.S. 601, 24 S.Ct. 820, 48 L.Ed. 1134; Naganab v. Hitchcock, 202 U.S. 473, 26 S.Ct. 667, 50 L.Ed. 1113; Louisiana v. Garfield, 211 U.S. 70, 29 S.Ct. 31, 53 L.Ed. 92; Morrison v. Work, 266 U.S. 481, 45 S.Ct. 149, 69 L.Ed. 394; Cummings v. Deutsche Bank, 300 U.S. 115, 57 S.Ct. 359,......
  • Wood v. Phillips, No. 3099.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • June 17, 1931
    ...the judgment in an action cannot conclude or bind a party claiming under the adverse title, the action must fail." Louisiana v. Garfield, 211 U. S. 70, 29 S. Ct. 31, 53 L. Ed. 92, was a suit instituted to establish the title of Louisiana to certain swamp lands and to enjoin the Secretary of......
  • Land v. Dollar, No. 207
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 7, 1947
    ...202 U.S. 60, 26 S.Ct. 568, 50 L.Ed. 935; Naganab v. Hitchcock, 202 U.S. 473, 26 S.Ct. 667, 50 L.Ed. 1113; State of Louisiana v. Garfield, 211 U.S. 70, 29 S.Ct. 31, 53 L.Ed. 92; Morrison v. Work, 266 U.S. 481, 45 S.Ct. 149, 69 L.Ed. 394. And see Stanley v. Schwalby, 162 U.S. 255, 271, 272, 1......
  • United States v. Donnell, No. 487
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • March 28, 1938
    ...to be read as subject to such exception. Scott v. Carew, supra, 196 U.S. 100, 111, 112, 25 S.Ct. 193, 49 L.Ed. 403; Louisiana v. Garfield, 211 U.S. 70, 77, 29 S.Ct. 31, 53 L.Ed. 92; United States v. Minnesota, supra, 270 U.S. 181, 206, 46 S.Ct. 298, 305, 70 L.Ed. 539. Swamp lands in Califor......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
61 cases
  • Banco de Espana v. Federal Reserve Bank, No. 370-372.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • July 8, 1940
    ...Bruce, 194 U.S. 601, 24 S.Ct. 820, 48 L.Ed. 1134; Naganab v. Hitchcock, 202 U.S. 473, 26 S.Ct. 667, 50 L.Ed. 1113; Louisiana v. Garfield, 211 U.S. 70, 29 S.Ct. 31, 53 L.Ed. 92; Morrison v. Work, 266 U.S. 481, 45 S.Ct. 149, 69 L.Ed. 394; Cummings v. Deutsche Bank, 300 U.S. 115, 57 S.Ct. 359,......
  • Wood v. Phillips, No. 3099.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • June 17, 1931
    ...the judgment in an action cannot conclude or bind a party claiming under the adverse title, the action must fail." Louisiana v. Garfield, 211 U. S. 70, 29 S. Ct. 31, 53 L. Ed. 92, was a suit instituted to establish the title of Louisiana to certain swamp lands and to enjoin the Secretary of......
  • Land v. Dollar, No. 207
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 7, 1947
    ...202 U.S. 60, 26 S.Ct. 568, 50 L.Ed. 935; Naganab v. Hitchcock, 202 U.S. 473, 26 S.Ct. 667, 50 L.Ed. 1113; State of Louisiana v. Garfield, 211 U.S. 70, 29 S.Ct. 31, 53 L.Ed. 92; Morrison v. Work, 266 U.S. 481, 45 S.Ct. 149, 69 L.Ed. 394. And see Stanley v. Schwalby, 162 U.S. 255, 271, 272, 1......
  • United States v. Donnell, No. 487
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • March 28, 1938
    ...to be read as subject to such exception. Scott v. Carew, supra, 196 U.S. 100, 111, 112, 25 S.Ct. 193, 49 L.Ed. 403; Louisiana v. Garfield, 211 U.S. 70, 77, 29 S.Ct. 31, 53 L.Ed. 92; United States v. Minnesota, supra, 270 U.S. 181, 206, 46 S.Ct. 298, 305, 70 L.Ed. 539. Swamp lands in Califor......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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