HESS V. REYNOLDS, 113 U. S. 73 (1885)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hess v. Reynolds, 113 U.S. 73 (1885)

Hess v. Reynolds

Submitted December 9, 1884

Decided January 5, 1885

113 U.S. 73


A proceeding in a state court against an administrator to obtain payment of a debt due by the decedent in his lifetime is removable into a court of the United States when the creditor and the administrator are citizens of different states, notwithstanding the state statute may enact that such claims can only be established in a probate court of the state or by appeal from that court to some other state court.

The Act of March 3, 1875, to determine the jurisdiction of the circuit courts

Page 113 U. S. 74

and regulate the removal of causes from state courts, does not repeal or supersede all other statutes on those subjects, but only such as are in conflict with this latter statute. The third clause of § 689 of the Revised Statutes is not therefore abrogated or repealed.

An application for removal under that clause is in time if made before the trial or final hearing of the cause in the state court.

The report of commissioners to whom a claim has been referred by a probate court under the statutes of Michigan is not such final hearing within the meaning of that section.

The removal in all cases is into the circuit court of the district which embraces territorially the state court in which the suit is pending at the time of the removal, without regard to the place where it originated.

The record shows that plaintiff in error, who was a citizen of Missouri, prosecuted his claim in the Probate Court of Ionia County, Michigan, against the estate of Warren Sherwood, deceased, of which William Reynolds had been appointed administrator. The claim, being resisted, was in due course of proceeding referred to commissioners appointed by the probate judge, who reported against its allowance. Thereupon Ress, as the Michigan statute authorized, appealed to the Circuit Court of Ionia County, where he was entitled to a trial by jury. The judge of that court having been counsel for the administrator in the case, it was, by proper order, removed to the Circuit Court of Jackson County after a delay of several years, and from that court into the circuit court of the United States on the affidavit of Ress that he had reason to believe and did believe that from prejudice and local influence he would not be able to obtain justice in said state court.

The circuit court remanded the cause to the state court from which it had been removed, and this writ of error was brought to that judgment.

Page 113 U. S. 75

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