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U.S. Supreme Court

Treinies v. Sunshine Mining Co., 308 U.S. 66 (1939)

Treinies v. Sunshine Mining Co.

No. 4

Argued October 10, 1939

Decided November 6, 1939

308 U.S. 66


1. This Court inquires sua sponte into the question of the federal court's jurisdiction of this case under the Interpleader Act of January 20, 1936, since its own jurisdiction is affected thereby. P. 308 U. S. 70.

2. A bill interpleading one group of claimants, all of whom are citizens of the same State, and another group claiming adversely, all of whom are citizens of another State, of which latter State the complainant himself is a citizen, satisfies the requirements of the Interpleader Act as to diversity of citizenship, since the Act requires diversity only as between the claimants. P. 308 U. S. 70.

3. Art. III, § 2 of the Federal Constitution, extending the judicial power of the United States to controversies "between citizens of different States," is broad enough to authorize the granting of jurisdiction to the federal court in such a case of interpleader. P. 308 U. S. 71.

4. The Eleventh Amendment is not infringed by joinder of a state court judge and a state court receiver as defendants in an interpleader proceeding in the federal court, in which proceeding the State has no interest and neither the judge nor the receiver is enjoined by the final decree. P. 308 U. S. 74.

Page 308 U. S. 67

5. The authority of the federal Court under the Interpleader Act to enjoin parties to the proceeding from further prosecuting any suit in any state or federal court in respect of the property involved is essential to the interpleader jurisdiction and is a valid exercise of the judicial power. Section 265 of the Judicial Code -- an earlier statute -- forbidding the federal courts from staying proceedings in any state court is inapplicable. P. 308 U. S. 74.

6. A final decree of an Idaho state court of general jurisdiction in a suit to determine the ownership of personal property, awarding the property to the plaintiff and holding that a probate court of Washington which had awarded the property to another, under whom the defendant claimed, was without jurisdiction of the subject matter, held, as to the issue of the jurisdiction of the state courts, res judicata in a proceeding in the federal court interpleading the same plaintiff and defendant in respect of the same property. Pp. 308 U. S. 75, 308 U. S. 78.

99 F.2d 651 affirmed.

Certiorari, 306 U.S. 624, to review the affirmance of a decree, 19 F.Supp. 587, adverse to the petitioner here, in a proceeding under the Interpleader Act. In an earlier phase of the controversy, certiorari to review a decree of the Supreme Court of Idaho, 57 Idaho 10, 59 P.2d 1087, was denied by this Court, 299 U.S. 615.

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