« ForrigeFortsett »
and the consequent change of its form of government, in no respect affected the essential character of the corporations or their powers or rights. They must after that change be considered as corporations of the State, as much so as if they had derived their existence from its legislation. As its corporations they are to be treated, so far as may be necessary to enforce contracts or rights of property by or against them, as citizens within the clause of the Constitution declaring the extent of the judicial power of the United States."
Adhering to the principle of that ruling, we hold that the corporate defendant here is an Oklahoma, and not a Federal, corporation, and therefore must be regarded as a citizen of that State for jurisdictional purposes.
It follows from what has been said that the case is one in which the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court depended entirely on diverse citizenship, and so the decrees of the Circuit Court of Appeals are final.
EASTERN CHEROKEES v. UNITED STATES.
APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF CLAIMS.
No. 234. Argued April 30, May 1, 1912.—Decided June 7, 1912.
In rendering a judgment for the Cherokee Nation in its suit against the United States, on the item claimed by, and over the objection of, the Eastern Cherokees, the Court of Claims recognized the Nation as the titular claimant authorized to prosecute the item to recovery, although for the ultimate benefit of the Eastern Cherokees, and this court having affirmed the judgment, 202 U. S. 1, the question has been adjudicated.
Under the decree of the Court of Claims as affirmed by this court the attorneys for the Cherokee Nation are entitled to be paid their fees
on the amount of the recovery including the items recovered in the name of the Nation for the Eastern Cherokees.
After this court has reviewed the judgment of the Court of Claims and affirmed it, the Court of Claims, like any other court whose judgment has been reviewed by this court, must give effect to it and carry it into effect according to the mandate without variation or other further relief. In re Sanford Fork & Tool Co., 160 U. S. 247. 45 Ct. Cl. 104, affirmed.
THE facts, which involve certain phases of the claims of the Cherokee Indians against the United States and the relative interests therein of the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Cherokees, are stated in the opinion.
Mr. Charles Poe and Mr. Samuel A. Putman for appellants.
Mr. Assistant Attorney General Thompson for the United States.
MR. JUSTICE VAN DEVANTER delivered the opinion of the court.
The controversy here to be considered arises in this way: In recent years, there was litigated in the Court of Claims and this court a claim against the United States arising under treaties with the Cherokee Indians and consisting of four items, one of which, designated as item 2, was for $1,111,284.70, with interest at 5 per cent from June 12, 1838, to the date of payment. The litigation was conducted under § 68 of the act of July 1, 1902, 32 Stat. 725, 726, c. 1375, as construed and amplified by the act of March 3, 1903, 32 Stat. 982, 996, c. 994, and the parties were the Cherokee Nation, the Eastern Cherokees, and the United States. Most of the Eastern Cherokees were members of the Cherokee Nation, but some were not, as was the case with those who remained in North Caro
Opinion of the Court.
lina and other adjacent States; and most of the members of the Nation were Eastern Cherokees, but some were not, as was the case with those who were known as Old Settlers. The principal questions in controversy in the litigation, so far as they are now material, were (a) whether there could be a recovery against the United States on item 2, (b) whether the recovery should be in the name of the Cherokee Nation or in that of the Eastern Cherokees, and (c) whether, if the recovery were in the name of the Cherokee Nation, it should be for the benefit of the members of the Nation, whether Eastern Cherokees or otherwise, or for the benefit of the Eastern Cherokees, whether members of the Nation or otherwise. These questions were all stoutly contested in both courts. As to the first the Cherokee Nation and Eastern Cherokees made common cause against the United States, and as to the other two they advanced opposing contentions. The jurisdictional acts, before mentioned, required that "both the Cherokee Nation and said Eastern Cherokees" be made parties to the suit, and provided that if the claim were sustained the judgment should be "in favor of the rightful claimant" and should determine, "as between the different claimants, to whom the judgment so rendered equitably belongs, either wholly or in part." The acts also provided that the Cherokee Nation should be represented by attorneys to be employed and compensated in the manner prescribed in Rev. Stat., §§ 2103-2106, and that the Eastern Cherokees should be represented by attorneys employed by them, whose compensation should be fixed by the Court of Claims upon the termination of the suit.
The litigation was started by the Cherokee Nation, which, on January 16, 1903, had entered into a contract, conformably to Rev. Stat., §§ 2103-2106, with the late Gustavus A. Finkelnburg and others, whereby the latter were to represent the Nation as its attorneys in the prose
cution of the claim and were to receive, as compensation for their services, 5 per cent of the first $1,000,000, or part thereof, collected, and 22 per cent of the amount collected over and above the first $1,000,000, such compensation to be, by the proper officers of the United States, deducted from the amount recovered and paid directly to such attorneys.
The Court of Claims held, and its decree was to the effect, that there should be a recovery against the United States on all the items of the claim; that the recovery on all should be in the name of the Cherokee Nation; and that the recovery on items 1, 3 and 4 should be for the benefit of the Nation, and on item 2 for the benefit of the Eastern Cherokees, whether members of the Nation or otherwise; that the proceeds of items 1, 3 and 4 should be paid or credited to the Nation, less the percentage thereof contracted by the Nation to be paid as counsel fees, and that the proceeds of item 2, "less such counsel fees as may be chargeable against the same under the provisions of the contract with the Cherokee Nation of January 16, 1903, and such other counsel fees and expenses as may be hereafter allowed by this court under the provisions of the act of March 3, 1903," should be paid to the Secretary of the Interior, to be by him distributed directly to the Eastern Cherokees, inclusive of a class spoken of as Western Cherokees. The concluding portion of the decree declared: "So much of any of the above-mentioned items or amounts as the Cherokee Nation shall have contracted to pay as counsel fees under and in accordance with the provisions of §§ 2103 and 2106, both inclusive, of the Revised Statutes of the United States, and so much of the amount shown in item numbered two (2) as this court hereafter by appropriate order or decree shall allow for counsel fees and expenses under the provisions of the act of March 3, 1903, above referred to, shall be paid by the Secretary of the Treasury to the persons entitled to re
ceive the same upon the making of an appropriation by Congress to pay this judgment. The allowance of fees and expenses by this court under said act of March 3, 1903, is reserved until the coming in of the mandate of the Supreme Court of the United States." 40 Ct. Cl. 252, 363.
From that decree the parties severally appealed to this court, the United States complaining of the recovery against it on item 2, the Cherokee Nation claiming that the recovery on that item ought not to have been declared to be for the benefit of the Eastern Cherokees, and the latter insisting (a) that the recovery on that item should have been in their name, and not in that of the Nation, (b) that the Western Cherokees, so called, ought not to have been included among those who were to participate in the per capita distribution, and (c) that "the court erred in charging the said fund of $1,111,284.70 and interest, to be realized from its said judgment or decree, with the fees of the attorneys for the Cherokee Nation." This court overruled all objections to the decree, save the one relating to the inclusion of the Western Cherokees, and, after directing that the provision for the per capita distribution be so modified as to confine it to the Eastern Cherokees, whether east or west of the Mississippi, exclusive of the Old Settlers, affirmed the decree, with that modification. 202 U. S. 101.
In passing upon the question, whether the recovery on item 2 was in the name of the rightful claimant, this court said (p. 130): "The Cherokee Nation, as such, had no interest in the claim, but officially represented the Eastern Cherokees." And again (p. 130): "We concur with the Court of Claims in the wisdom of rendering judgment in favor of the Cherokee Nation, subject to the limitation that the amount thereof should be paid to the Secretary of the Interior to be distributed directly to the parties entitled to it."
In disposing of the insistence that the proceeds arising