« ForrigeFortsett »
Opinion of the Court.
release of the Snook the Continental Insurance Company, which had paid for a loss on the cargo of the Georgia, intervened and asserted its right to be reimbursed for its expenditure out of the balance of the bond over and above the claim of the Georgia. The court (Blodgett, J.), said: "I do not think this application on the part of the insurance company should prevail
, my reasons being briefly that at the time the bond was given on which the Snook was released no claim was made in the proceedings except for damage to the hull of the Georgia, and, in fact, it was not until about two months after this bond had been given that the insurance company paid the loss on the cargo, and thereby acquired any right of intervention or subrogation. The sureties on the bond must be presumed to have signed it on the understanding that their liability was only to satisfy the cause of action set out in the libel, which was for the damages to the hull of the Georgia." (See also The Union, 4 Blatchford, 90.)
There is no force in the argument that, as the suit in Washington claimed the forfeiture of the vessel and the suit in Oregon claimed the same thing, there was a practical identity between them. The fallacy results from a failure to distinguish between the right and the remedy. True, the remedy sought in Washington was the forfeiture of the vessel, and the same remedy was invoked in Oregon, but the causes of action upon which the remedy was prayed in the two cases were entirely different. As we have seen, not only identity of relief, but identity of cause of action, is essential to the plea of pending suit, and both are also necessary to the efficacy of the plea of the thing adjudged.
It is urged that, as the matters could have been joined in the Washington suit, therefore they would have been concluded by a decree rendered therein, the argument being that a judgment concludes not only the matters actually in controversy, but all those which might have been adjudged.
In support of this contention we are referred to Osborn v. Bank of the United States, 9 Wheat. 738; to Beloit v. Morgan, 7 Wall. 619, and other authorities. It is unnecessary to examine these in detail. The proposition which they support
Opinion of the Court.
is well stated in an excerpt from Freeman on Judgments, quoted in the brief of counsel : “An adjudication is final and conclusive, not only as to the matter actually determined, but as to every other matter which the parties might have litigated and have decided as incident to or essentially connected with the subject-matter of the litigation, and every matter coming within the legitimate purview of the original action, both in respect to matters of claim and of defence.”
If the deduction drawn by counsel from this and similar language were true, then a judgment upon one cause of action would be conclusive as to every other existing at the time, although not embraced in the suit, and although the parties were not obliged to join it therein. This would destroy the right of parties to sue separately upon distinct causes of action, and would be subversive of the entire theory of the thing adjudged. The mistake lies in construing the words “which might have been raised,” as applying to a cause of action other than the cause of action embraced in the suit. In other words, the doctrine is that the thing adjudged includes not only the direct results of the cause of action which the judgment concludes, but also all things necessarily incident to and growing out of that cause which the parties might have joined in the suit. Dowell v. Applegate, 152 U.S. 327, 343. Of course, whilst concluding that the separate causes of the action here under consideration need not have been joined in one suit, and that the suit in Washington was no bar to the suit in Oregon, we must not be considered as intimating that there could be more than one forfeiture of the vessel. The distinct charges give rise to distinct causes of action, but the forfeiture for either would have consummated the proceedings. Judgment reversed and case remanded for further proceech
ings in accordance with this opinion.
Statement of the Case.
NORTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY v.
ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF MONTANA.
No. 357. Argued and submitted April 12, 1894. - Decided May 26, 1894.
When the laws of a State create a tribunal for the correction and equaliza
tion of assessments, and provide that persons feeling aggrieved by a valuation may apply to such board for its correction, and confer upon the board power so to do, it is for the Supreme Court of the State to determine whether the statute remedy is exclusive or whether it is only cumulative; and its action in that respect raises no Federal question.
This was an action commenced by the Northern Pacific Railroad Company against J. L. Patterson, county treasurer of Gallatin County, Montana, for an injunction to restrain the defendant from selling certain lands, blocks, and lots for taxes which had been levied thereon in the year 1889, or collecting the same, and also for a decree adjudging said taxes to be void. The complaint set out three separate and distinct causes of action, but it is not claimed that any Federal question was presented by the allegations in respect of the second and third causes, and no error as to the ruling of the state court thereon was assigned in this court. The complaint asserted an interest in the lands in question under the act of Congress approved July 2, 1864, entitled “ An act granting lands to aid in the construction of a railroad and telegraph line from Lake Superior to Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast on the northern route;" but insisted that the lands were not so segregated from the public domain and identified as a part of the lands granted by said act as to extinguish all interest of the United States therein and render them taxable. And the grounds set up are thus stated in the brief of counsel : “ That a grant was made to the plaintiff by said act of July 2, 186+; that plaintiff definitely fixed the line of its road and filed a plat thereof in the office of the Commissioner of the General Land Office; that the road
Statement of the Case.
was duly constructed and was accepted by the president. That the lands involved are on and within 40 miles of the line of the road as definitely fixed; and that plaintiff has performed all the things and conditions upon its part to be done and performed to entitle it to the lands inuring to it under the grant; except that it has not repaid to the United States the cost of surveying these lands; that it is now, and has been at all times, ready and willing to pay such costs, and has so advised the United States, but is unable to repay such costs until the United States shall determine what lands are granted to it. That the lands have not been certified or patented to plaintiff, and that the United States have failed and refused to certify said lands, or to certify any lands in Gallatin County to plaintiff, for the reason that it is claimed that said lands are mineral, and are excepted from the grant, and that the question whether the title to said lands passed to plaintiff under said grant, and plaintiff's compliance therewith, is now in controversy and pending before the Commissioner of the General Land Office and Secretary of the Interior. That this failure to certify or patent these lands is solely because of their non-identification as granted lands. That the lands granted by said act of Congress to plaintiff in said county have never been segregated from the public lands, or identified, and the boundaries of the specific lands granted have never been ascertained or determined.
“That plaintiff has no other right, title, claim, interest, property or possession of, in or to said lands described in the complaint, than such right, title, claim, interest, property or possession, as it obtained under said act of July 2, 1864.
“That in 1889, the county officers of Gallatin County assessed these lands to plaintiff and proceeded to levy taxes thereon, and defendant, the county treasurer, having advertised the same for sale in satisfaction of these taxes, is about to sell them."
The complaint alleged that a sale would greatly impair the rights of the plaintiff in and to the lands, and cloud its title thereto, and cause a multiplicity of suits with reference to such title, etc. The defendant demurred on the ground that
Opinion of the Court.
the complaint did not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action, which demurrer was sustained, and, plaintiff electing to stand on the complaint, judgment was entered in favor of defendant. From this judgment plaintiff appealed to the Supreme Court of the State, by which it was affirmed. 10 Montana, 90. Thereupon plaintiff sued out this writ of
Mr. F. M.
Mr. James McNaught for plaintiff in error. Dudley filed a brief for same.
Mr. W. W. Dicon for defendant in error, submitted on his brief; on which were also Mr. H. J. Haskell, Attorney General of the State of Montana, Mr. H. C. Cockrill, and Mr. Ella L. Knowles.
Mr. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the Court.
The ground upon which it was asserted that these lands were not subject to taxation was that they had not been identified as lands passing to the plaintiff under its grant, because the United States had refused to certify them, and held them suspended “ for the reason that it is claimed that such lands are mineral and are excepted from the grant to the plaintiff.” It was said in Wisconsin Central Railroad v. Price, 133 U. S. 496, 505, that “he who has the right to property, and is not excluded from its enjoyment, shall not be permitted to use the legal title of the government to avoid his just share of state taxation,” and plaintiff does not state whether all or any part of the lands are mineral or non-mineral. If the legal or equitable title to the lands or any of them was in the plaintiff, then it was liable for the taxes on all or some of them, and the mere fact that the title might be in controversy would not appear in itself to furnish sufficient reason why plaintiff should not determine whether the lands or some of them were worth paying taxes on or not; but the ground upon which the decision of the Supreme Court of Montana proceeded was this: The 22d section of the statute of Montana,