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HANRICK V. HANRICK, 153 U. S. 192 (1894)

U.S. Supreme Court

Hanrick v. Hanrick, 153 U.S. 192 (1894)

Hanrick v. Hanrick

Nos. 337-339

Argued and submitted April 3, 1894

Decided April 30, 1894

153 U.S. 192


Under the Act of March 3, 1887, c. 373, corrected by the Act of August 13, 1888, c. 866 (as under earlier acts), one of several defendants, being a citizen of the same state as a plaintiff, cannot remove a cause from a state court into the circuit court of the United States upon the ground of prejudice and local influence between himself and the other defendants.

A defendant who wrongfully removes a cause from a state court into the circuit court, from whose decree appeals are taken by himself and other parties to this Court, must, upon reversal of the decree by this Court for want of jurisdiction in the circuit court, pay the costs in that court as well as of all the appeals to this Court.

This was an action brought December 17, 1878, in the District Court of Falls County, in the State of Texas, to recover two undivided thirds of land in that county, of which Edward Hanrick, a citizen of that state, was seised at the time of his death, in 1865, intestate, and without issue. His

Page 153 U. S. 193

heirs at the time when this suit was brought were his sister, Elizabeth, Nicholas Hanrick and others, the children of his deceased brother James, and Edward G. Hanrick, the only son of another deceased brother. The plaintiffs were Elizabeth and the children of James, and were some of them citizens of the State of New York, and the others subjects of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and residents of Ireland. The defendants were Edward G. Hanrick, a citizen of Texas residing in the Northern District of Texas, who contended that the plaintiffs had no title because both Elizabeth and James were aliens, and Philip O'Brien and wife residents of the State of Massachusetts, and citizens of the United States, to whom some of the plaintiffs had conveyed their interests by a deed absolute in form, but alleged to be in trust for the grantors.

The petition, which stated the above facts, was afterwards amended by joining as defendants William Brady, a citizen of New York, John B. Sargent, a citizen of Massachusetts, and Wharton Branch and Edward J. Gurley, citizens of Texas. Brady, Sargent, and Branch severally claimed interests in the lands under conveyances from the defendants O'Brien and wife, and Gurley claimed an undivided third of the land under a deed from Edward G. Hanrick pursuant to a contract made by Edward Hanrick in his lifetime. The amended petition prayed for a partition of the whole land, having due regard to any valid conveyances of interests therein, and to other equitable considerations.

On June 15, 1887, Brady, relying on section 639 of the Revised Statutes, and the Acts of March 3, 1875, c. 137, and March 3, 1887, c. 373, filed in the state court a petition, supported by his affidavit, for the removal of the suit into the circuit court of the United States on the ground that there was in the cause a controversy between himself, a citizen of New York, and the defendants Edward G. Hanrick, Branch, and Gurley, citizens of Texas, and that, by reason of prejudice and local influence created by said Hanrick, Brady could not obtain justice in the courts of the state. Thereupon, the state court ordered the case to be removed as prayed for.

Page 153 U. S. 194

On November 21, 1887, the defendants Hanrick and Gurley moved the circuit court to remand the case to the state court because there was no controversy between the defendant Brady and the plaintiffs, because Brady was a citizen of the same state as some of the plaintiffs, because all the defendants were not citizens of a different state from the plaintiffs, because there was no separable controversy between Brady and any other party to the suit, and for other reasons.

On November 23, 1887, the circuit court, against the exception of the defendants Hanrick and Gurley, made an order denying their motion to remand the case to the state court, reciting that it had been made to appear to the court that, from prejudice and local influence, the defendant Brady would not be able to obtain justice in the courts of the state, and adjudging that the cause be removed from the state court to the circuit court.

The pleadings were then, by order of the circuit court, reformed according to the equity rules of the court, and, after further proceedings and hearings, it was decreed that the parties were entitled to undivided interest in the land as follows: the plaintiffs, two-ninths, the defendant Edward G. Hanrick, two-ninths, the defendants Brady and O'Brien and wife, two-ninths, and the defendant Gurley, one-third. A final decree of partition was entered accordingly, from which appeals were taken to this Court by the plaintiffs, by the defendant Hanrick, and by the defendants Brady and O'Brien and wife.

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