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U.S. Supreme Court

Montezuma Canal Co. v. Smithville Canal Co., 218 U.S. 371 (1910)

Montezuma Canal Co. v. Smithville Canal Company

No. 1

Argued October 21, 24, 1910

Decided November 28, 1910

218 U.S. 371


Where the trial court makes findings of, facts and states conclusions of law thereon but certifies no rulings in respect of evidence, and the supreme court of the territory enters a general judgment of affirmance, manifestly based upon the correctness of such findings of fact, they furnish a sufficient statement for the appeal, and, in this Court, the question is whether they are sufficient to support the decree. Stringfellow v. Cain, 99 U. S. 610.

Notwithstanding there may have been a prior appropriation of water, if the rights of appropriators were adjudicated in a suit of which the parties had notice, the judgment in that suit may be pleaded as res judicata in a subsequent suit to determine the rights of appropriators, and the amount awarded to an appropriator by judgment in the first suit cannot be reduced.

The fact that it is within the legislative power to provide administrative machinery to supervise the common use of water does not render invalid the decree of a court providing such machinery to carry out a particular decree if the court deems it necessary and proper so to do.

As the laws of Arizona authorize the Supreme Court to cause its judgments to be carried into execution, that court does not transcend its authority in appointing a commissioner to supervise the

Page 218 U. S. 372

taking of water from a stream by the various appropriators to whom its common use is awarded and in apportioning the expense pro rata between them.

11 Arizona 99 reversed.

The facts, which involve the rights of appropriators of water of a river in Arizona, are stated in the opinion.

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