« ForrigeFortsett »
"In speaking of the rule as to enforcements of rights under repealed statutes, Endlich on the Interpretation of Statutes [sec. 480], says: 'The same rule applies to rights and remedies founded solely upon statute, and to suits pending to enforce such remedies. If at the time the statute is repealed, the remedy has not been perfected or the right has not become vested, but still remains executory, they are gone.'"
It is clear that the decision was not based alone on the penal character of the ordinance but on the broader principle that the power to enact it having been taken away the power to enforce it was also taken away. The cases cited by the court illustrate this. Among others, Napa State Hospital v. Flaherty, 134 California, 315, was cited. In that case the right given by a statute of the State to maintain an action against the father of an insane adult son was held to be taken away by the repeal of the statute conferring the right.
But if the ordinance passed on in City of Sonora v. Curtin was penal, the ordinance involved in the case at bar may be so characterized within the limits of the principle we are now discussing, as applied by the Supreme Court of the State of California. What it might be under broader considerations see Huntington v. Attrill, 146 U. S. 657.
That there is a conflict between the Supreme Court of the State and the Circuit Court of Appeals respondent does not deny. Counsel, however, say the conflict "does not arise out of a construction of a statute of the State," but (we quote the language of counsel) “as to the effect of the new statute, construed by each court to be a repeal of a prior statute, upon the rights of the litigant granted under the prior statute, the Circuit Court of Appeals first assuming, but not deciding, that the ordinance may have been a revenue measure, and the Supreme Court of California deciding that in its cases the ordinance was a revenue measure. This question did not involve the construction of the statute; it was merely the determination of a question that depended upon the principle of general law and not upon a positive statute of the State." The counsel further VOL. CXCVI-36
say: "In such cases the courts of the United States are not required to follow the decision of state courts." The distinction made by counsel we cannot adopt. Whether a statute of a State is or is not a revenue measure certainly depends upon the construction of that statute. Besides, if in any case we should lean to an agreement with the state court, this is such a case. There is no Federal right involved. The question is one strictly of the state law; and the power of one of the municipalities of the State under that law. If we should yield to the contention of counsel we should give greater power to one of the municipalities of the State than the law of the State, as construed by the Supreme Court of the State, would give it. We should enforce against petitioner a tax which the Supreme Court of the State, construing a state law, would not enforce. The result of the contention indicates its error. Judgment reversed and cause remanded for further proceedings in conformity with this opinion.
WHEELER v. PLUMAS COUNTY.
CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH
No. 122. Submitted January 12, 1905.—Decided February 20, 1905.
Decided on authority of Flanigan v. Sierra County, ante, p. 553.
THE facts are stated in the opinion.
Mr. C. C. Cole, Mr. Joseph C. Campbell and Mr. Thomas H. Breeze for petitioners.1
Mr. U. S. Webb and Mr. L. N. Peter for respondent.1
'Submitted simultaneously with Flanigan v. Sierra County. For abstract of arguments see ante, p. 553.
MR. JUSTICE MCKENNA delivered the opinion of the court.
This case was submitted with Flanigan v. Sierra County. It is also an action for the recovery of a sum of $2,100, alleged to be due for license tax, and $50 damages. The taxes were imposed under an ordinance of the county of Plumas, substantially similar to the ordinance passed on in Flanigan v. Sierra County. The action was brought in the Superior Court of Plumas County and removed, upon the petition of the petitioners herein, to the Circuit Court for the Northern District of California. In that court, petitioners demurred to the complaint, which, being overruled, and they declining to answer, judgment was taken against them by default. It was affirmed by the Circuit Court of Appeals.
The questions are identical with those passed on in Flanigan v. Sierra County, and on the authority of that case the Judgment is reversed and cause remanded for further proceedings.
MCCAFFREY v. MANOGUE.
APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
No. 131. Argued January 17, 18, 1905.-Decided February 20, 1905.
The policy of the law in favor of the heir yields to the intention of the testator if clearly expressed or manifested. The rule of law that a devise of lands without words of limitation or description gives a life estate only, does not apply, and devises will be held to be of the fee, where it is plain that the testator's intention was to dispose of his whole estate equally between his heirs, and there is no residuary clause indicating that he intended passing less than all of his estate, and all of his heirs at law are devisees under the will.
THE question involved in this case is the construction of the will of Hugh McCaffrey, deceased. It was duly admitted to probate and recorded in the Supreme Court of the District. It is as follows:.
"WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,
April Thirtieth, 1896.
"In the name of God, being now in good health and sound in mind and body I hereby certify and declare this to be my last will and testament, hereby annulling and revoking any and all wills previously made.
"I give and bequeath to my daughter, Mary A. Quigley, house number 301 at southwest corner of 11th and C streets southeast, being in lot number 5, in square 970, with the store and dwelling, stock and fixtures, and lot on which it stands, also houses numbers 13 and 15 6th street southeast with lots on which they stand, being parts of lots 19 and 20 in square 841, also any money in bank to my account at the time of my death, also any money due to me, also any building association stock. She is to pay funeral expencies and any other legal debts I may owe, also to care for my lot in Mount Olivet cemetrey.
"I give and bequeath to my son, James B. McCaffrey, house number six hundred and two (602) East Capitol street and lot on, which it stands, being in lot number ten (10) in square number eight hundred and sixty-eight (868).
"To my son, William H. McCaffrey, I give and bequeath house 604 East Capitol street, being in lot number ten (10) in square number. eight hundred and sixty-eight (868) and lot on which it stands.
"To my daughter, Lizzie Manogue, I give and bequeath house number fourteen hundred and twenty-three (1423) Corcoran street, N. W., and lot on which it stands, being lot number fifty-four (54) in square number two hundred and eight (208).
"2. To my son, Francis T. McCaffrey, I give and bequeath house five hundred and nineteen (519) East Capitol street, and
lot on which it stands, being part of lot number (20) in square eight hundred and forty-one (841), also my horse and buggy. "And to my grandson, Frank Foley, I give and bequeath house number one hundred and twenty-one (121) Eleventh street, S. E., being in lot number fourteen (14), square number nine hundred and sixty-eight (968), and lot on which it stands. "To my grandson Joseph Quigley, I give and bequeath my watch and chain.
"I hereby name and appoint as executors of this my last will and testament, John E. Herrell and Patrick Maloney. "All the real estate herein described is located in the city of Washington, District of Columbia.
"HUGH MCCAFFREY. [SEAL.]"
The devisees in the will were the only heirs of the testator. On the tenth of July, 1897, Mary A. Quigley, died leaving surviving four children, the appellants Catherine L., Margaret, Mary and Joseph Quigley. Edward Quigley, her husband, also an appellant, survived her. She left a will, which was duly admitted to record, by which she devised all her estate to Catherine L. and Edward Quigley in trust for her children. Francis T. McCaffrey, son of Hugh, and one of the devisees in the latter's will, died October 20, 1898, leaving as heirs at law his brothers and sisters, the children of his deceased sister, Mary A. Quigley, and his nephew, Frank Foley. He left a will, by which he devised and bequeathed all of the property to his sister, Lizzie C. Manogue, and his brothers, William A. and James B. McCaffrey, "absolutely and in fee simple, according to the nature of the property, as tenants in common, but not as joint tenants." At the time of his death he was seized and possessed of the real estate devised to him by his father.
James B. McCaffrey has sold and conveyed the lot devised to him to the respondent George W. Manogue. Upon an attempt to sell the property devised by Francis T. McCaffrey a doubt was raised as to the extent of the interest devised to him