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U.S. Supreme Court

Perez y Fernandez v. Fernandez y Perez, 220 U.S. 224 (1911)

Perez y Fernandez v. Fernandez y Perez

No. 110

Argued March 17, 1911

Decided April 3, 1911

220 U.S. 224


Where the District Court of the United States for Porto Rico has general jurisdiction under the Act of March 2, 1901, c. 812, § 3, 31 Stat; 953, its power to award relief because of the situation of the property involved against nonresident defendants not found within the district depends on § 8 of the Act of March 3, 1875, c. 137, 18 Stat. 472, and the right of absent parties defendants not actually personally notified to have the suit reopened and to make defense depends on the proviso to that section.

Where a defendant has not been actually personally notified as provided in § 8 of the Act of 1875, but publication has been resorted to, he has a right to appear and make defense within a year, independently of whether he has had knowledge or notice of the pendency of the action by any methods other than those specified in the statute, and the court has no power to impose terms except as to costs.

The District Court of the United States for Porto Rico having permitted certain defendants not personally notified to come in and defend to do so, but only on condition of showing they had not received the published notice, had no knowledge of the pendency of the suit and had no meritorious defense to the bill, the order is reversed, as the defendants have the right to have the case reopened without terms other than payment of costs.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 220 U. S. 225

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