Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

waz statutory and that of the other defendants at common law mere no difference in the right to join the defendants, and that, inder the statute law of Georgia, the acts of negligence set out in the declaration againsi the individual defendants may have amounted to criminal negligence, in which event both the railroad company and the individual defendants were jointly liable to the plaintiff under the law of the State. Jo view of the conclusions which the learned court reached it further held that the case was ruled by Alabama & Great Southern R. R. Co. v. Thompson, 2O U.S. 206. We agree with that conclusion. In that case it was held that, for the purp 4928 of determining the removability vi a cause the case must be deemed to be such as the plaintiff has made it in good faith in his pieadings. See also Railway Co. v. Bohon, 200 U. S. 221. There was no error in the refusal to nemove the case.

A further objection is made thco inasmuch as the suit yvos once removed from the state court to the Federal court and therein dismissed, there was no right to begin the case again in the state court. This argument is predicated upon the statement in a number of cases in this court, to the effect that where the petition for removal boad has been filed the state court loses jurisüiction of the cage, and subsequent proceedings therein are void and of no effect. But this is far from holding that a Federal court obtaios jurisdiction of a suit thus removed in such wise that it car: never again be brought in a state court, although there has been no judgment upon the merits in the Federal court, and the case has been dismissed therein without any other disposition than is involved in a voluntary dismissal with the consent of the court.

While it is true that a compliance with the act of Congress entitling the party to remove the case may operate to end the jurisdiction of the state court, notwithstanding it refuses to allow such removal, it by no means follows that the state court may not acquire jurisdiction in some proper way of the same cause of action after the case has been dismissed without final judgment in a Federal court. By complying with the removal

[blocks in formation]

act the state court lost its jurisdiction, and upon the filing of the record in the Federal court that court acquired jurisdiction. It thereby had the authority to hear, determine and render a judgment in that case to the exclusion of every other court. But where the court permitted a dismissal of the action by the plaintiff it thereby lost the jurisdiction which it had thus acquired.

We know of no principle which would permit the Federal court under such circumstances, and after the dismissal of the suit, to continue its jurisdiction over the case in such wise that no other court could ever entertain it. After the voluntary dismissal in the Federal court the case was again at large, and the plaintiff was at liberty to begin it again in any court of competent jurisdiction.

We find no error in the judgment of the Court of Appeals of Georgia, and the same is affirmed.

Affirmed

LOS ANGELES FARMING AND MILLING COMPANY

v. CITY OF LOS ANGELES.

ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA.

No. 137. Argued March 10, 11, 1910.-Decided April 4, 1910.

In this case both parties claim under Spanish or Mexican titles, con

firmed by proceedings under the act of March 3, 1851, c. 41, 9 Stat. 631. The Federal rights alleged by plaintiff in error to have been violated by the decision of the state court, so far as concerns this act, relate to the extent of the right and ownership of the parties in the use of the Los Angeles River. Plaintiff in error contended that by its grant it became the owner of riparian rights without limitations by any right of the city of Los Angeles to use the water of the river, and that the city by failing to present its claim for the use of such water to the commission under the act of 1851 is foreclosed from row asserting them. The state court held that the city of Los Angeles had the exclusive right to the water of the Los Angeles

[blocks in formation]

River from its source to the most southern part of the city. In dismissing a writ of error to review the judgment of the state court

held that: The act of 1851 was a confirmatory act and not one granting titles;

that by its terms it did not originate titles nor make the patents to be issued in pursuance of decisions of the commission conclusive

except upon the United States. The extent of riparian rights belonging to pueblos or persons receiv

ing patents of the United States in pursuance of the decisions of the commission under the act of March 3, 1851, are matters of local

or general law. The decision of the state court in this case was put upon the effect of

the old Spanish or Mexican law as to the rights of the original pueblo of Los Angeles succeeded to by the present city and such rights were merely confirmed and not originated by proceedings under acts of Congress; and therefore, as no rights existing under an authority of the United States were denied, this court has no

jurisdiction to review the judgment under $ 709, Rev. Stat. Writ of error to review 152 California, 645, dismissed.

The facts, which involve the title of the city of Los Angeles to the waters of the Los Angeles River and to the use thereof, are stated in the opinion.

Mr. R. M. Widney for plaintiff in error.

Mr. W. B. Mathews and Mr. John F. Dillon, with whom Mr. Leslie R. Hewitt and Mr. John C. Thomson were on the brief, for defendant in error.

MR. JUSTICE Day delivered the opinion of the court.

The city of Los Angeles brought suit in the Superior Court of the county of Los Angeles against the Los Angeles Farmirg and Milling Company, hereinafter called the Milling Company, to quiet the title of the city to the use of the waters of the Los Angeles River. The city of Los Angeles is situated on the Los Aogeles River, a non-navigable stream rising in the San Fernando Valley and mountains adjacent, and flow

[blocks in formation]

ing from the north down to and through said city. The Milling Company is the owner of a large tract of land, about 10,000 acres, situated some ten miles up stream above said city on the same river. In its complaint the city of Los Angeles sets forth that it is the owner of the paramount right to take and use all of the water of said river from its sources to the southern boundary of the city, so far as it is necessary to furnish a supply for the use of the city and its inhabitants; that the plaintiff in error owns its lands subject to such paramount right of the city to the use of the water, and claims adversely to the city and its estate and interest in said water right.

The defendant answered, and, among other things, set up a denial of the alleged paramount rights of the city in the waters of the Los Angeles River, and alleged that it and its predecessors had been in the exclusive possession of said lands for more than fifty years under claim of title, using the waters of the river riparian or appurtenant to its estate; that the value of the premises was over $500,000; that its lands were some ten miles above the city, on the river; that the title to the lands and waters in controversy were first owned by the crown of Spain, thence passing to the Republic of Mexico, which republic, on June 17, 1846, granted to the predecessors of the Milling Company certain lands, which included the lands in controversy; that by the treaty between the Republic of Mexico and the United States the sovereign rights and titles of said Republic of Mexico in said property passed to and vested in the United States; that California, upon its admission to the Union, was prohibited from passing any laws disposing of the public lands of the United States, or from doing any acts whereby the title of the United States in the public lands within its limits should be impaired or questioned; that the laws of the United States were extended over California, September 29, 1850; that the Congress of the United States passed an act, approved March 3, 1851, providing for the ascertainment and settlement of the land

[blocks in formation]

claims derived from Spain or Mexico in the State of California, and created a board of land commissioners for that purpose; that all lands, the claim to which was rejected, or had not been presented, to said board should be held and considered as part of the public domain of the United States; that claims of towns or cities should be presented under said act; that a grant to cities or towns existing July 7, 1846, should be presumed; that the decrees and patents issued by the tribunals under said act should be conclusive between the United States and the claimant; that the claims of the predecessors in interest of the Milling Company to its lands was duly presented to the board of land commissioners, and confirmed on January 8, 1873, and the patent of the United States was issued to them, and, it is alleged, that said patentee thereby became vested with the rights in fee simple to said lands and all the waters therein or riparian thereto. It is alleged that this patent is res judicata of the rights of the Milling Company; that under the act of March 3, 1851, the mayor and council of the city of Los Angeles presented to the said board of land commissioners a claim for sixteen square leagues of land, known as the pueblo of Los Angeles, and for the water rights of the said Los Angeles River, for the use of the pueblo; that said claim was adjudged and affirmed to be valid to the extent of four square leagues, and held invalid as to the remainder thereof, and that a patent was issued by the United States to the city of Los Angeles on August 9, 1866, for four square leagues of land. The Milling Company sets up that this confirmation and patent in favor of the city is res judicata for four square leagues, and claims that the city is barred from setting up or claiming any title, ownership or interest in or to the premises in controversy herein; that the sources and tributaries of the Los Angeles River are located on the public lands of the United States; that the legislature of California has passed certain acts, attempting to confer and grant to the city of Los Angeles paramount right to take and use all the waters of the Los Angeles River, which acts, it is con

« PreviousContinue »