BENSON MINING CO. V. ALTA MINING CO., 145 U. S. 428 (1892)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Benson Mining Co. v. Alta Mining Co., 145 U.S. 428 (1892)

Benson Mining and Smelting Company

v. Alta Mining and Smelting Company

No. 317

Argued and submitted April 28, 1892

Decided May 16, 1892

145 U.S. 428


When the judgment in the supreme court of a territory exceeds $5,000, this Court has jurisdiction of an appeal, although the judgment in the trial court may have been for a less sum and the jurisdictional amount is reached in the appellate court by adding interest to that judgment.

When the price of a mining claim has been paid to the government, the equitable rights of the purchaser are complete, and there is no obligation on his part to do further annual work in order to obtain a patent.

A person who wrongfully works a mine, takes out ores therefrom, removes them, and converts them to his own use is not entitled, in an action to recover their value, to be credited with the cost of mining the ores.

The Court stated the case as follows:

On July 25, 1884, appellee, plaintiff below, commenced its action in the District Court of the First Judicial District of the Territory of Arizona to recover of defendant the sum of $25,000 for 210 tons of silver bearing ore, mined and removed from the Alta mine, situated in the Harshaw mining district, in Pima County, Arizona. A jury having been waived, the case was tried before the court and a judgment was entered for the plaintiff on March 22, 1886, for the sum of $4,590.06, with interest from that time until paid at the rate of ten percent per annum. Defendant took the case to the supreme court of the territory, which, on February 17, 1888, affirmed the judgment. From such judgment of affirmance defendant appealed to this Court.

Page 145 U. S. 429

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