PETRI V. F. E. CREELMAN LUMBER CO., 199 U. S. 487 (1905)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Petri v. F. E. Creelman Lumber Co., 199 U.S. 487 (1905)

Petri v. F. E. Creelman Lumber Company

No. 40

Argued November 7, 1905

Decided December 4, 1905

199 U.S. 487


Where it is plainly apparent on the record that the only matters tried and decided in the circuit court were demurrers to pleas to the jurisdiction, and the petition upon which the writ of error was allowed asked only for the review of the judgment which decided that the court had no jurisdiction, no bill of exceptions or formal certificate in respect to the matter decided is required and the writ of error will not be dismissed because authenticated

Page 199 U. S. 488

by a judge other than the trial judge and not made at the term in which the judgment was entered.

The rule that repeals by implication are not favored and a repeal will not be implied unless there be an irreconcilable conflict between the two statutes applies especially where the prior law is a special act relating to a particular case or subject and the subsequent law is general in its operation.

The special provisions of the Act of March 2, 1887, 24 Stat. 442, relating to judicial districts of Illinois, were not repealed by the general terms of the Judiciary Act of March 3, 1887, 24 Stat.

Plaintiffs in error, suing as aliens and residents of Antwerp, Belgium, commenced this action in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern Division of the Northern District of Illinois, to recover damages for an alleged libel. Two Illinois corporations and a number of persons were made defendants. The bill as to the corporations alleged citizenship in Illinois, and, as to all the defendants, except the Creelman Lumber Company and F. E. Creelman, one of the individual defendants, the bill alleged that the defendants resided in the district and division where the suit was brought. The Creelman Lumber Company and F. E. Creelman filed pleas to the jurisdiction of the court, based upon the fact that each of them, before and at the time of the commencement of the suit, although citizens of the State of Illinois, were residents of a different district from the one in which the suit was brought -- that is, the Southern District of Illinois. To these pleas the plaintiffs demurred, and, on a hearing, a district judge, holding the circuit court, overruled the demurrers and held the pleas to the jurisdiction good. The plaintiffs electing to stand upon their demurrers to the pleas, the action as to the defendants in question was dismissed for want of jurisdiction. Some time afterwards, a bill of exceptions was signed by a circuit judge in which was recited the action taken by the trial court upon the demurrer to the jurisdictional pleas aforesaid, and the cause was taken to the circuit court of appeals. That court, however, dismissed the writ of error, and on the receipt of its mandate, about a year after the entry of the judgment of dismissal above referred to, there was filed in the trial court

Page 199 U. S. 489

a certificate of the circuit judge, in which was set out the proceedings had in the cause, and it was certified, for the purpose of a writ of error from this Court, that the only question involved in such writ of error was one of jurisdiction. It was also certified that the judge who had heard the cause resided in the Southern District of Illinois, and was not within the territorial limits of the Northern District of Illinois. Contemporaneous with the filing of the certificate, a writ of error was allowed, and in the petition and assignments of errors it clearly appeared that the writ of error was prosecuted solely upon the question of jurisdiction arising from overruling of the demurrers to the pleas to the jurisdiction.

Page 199 U. S. 492

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