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De Lamar's Nevada Gold Mining Co. v. Nesbitt, 177 U.S. 523 (1900)

De Lamar's Nevada Gold Mining Company v. Nesbitt

No. 152

Argued March 1, 1900

Decided April 30, 1900

177 U.S. 523


The fact that, in a state court, plaintiff and defendant make adverse claims to a mining location under the mining laws of the United States (Rev.Stat. §2325) does not, of itself, present a federal question within the meaning of Rev.Stat. § 709.

Page 177 U. S. 524

Where the plaintiff based his right to recover upon an act of Congress suspending the forfeiture of mining claims for failure to do the required amount of work, and the decision of the court was in favor of the right claimed by him under this statute, the defendant is not entitled to a writ of error from this Court to review such finding.

This was a suit begun in the District Court for the Fourth Judicial District of Nevada by Nesbitt, as part owner of the Fraction mine, against one William Davidson, the alleged locator of the Sleeper mining claim, covering the same ground as the Fraction mine, to quiet plaintiff's title and that of his co-tenants to the Fraction mine and to recover a money judgment against the defendant.

The complaint alleged that the plaintiff and his co-owners were tenants in common, and since May 15, 1892, had been in possession of the Fraction mining claim pursuant to the laws of the United States, and that the defendant also claimed a right to possession upon the alleged location of a certain mining claim called by him the Sleeper mine, that such location was made subsequent to the location of the Fraction mine, and that the plaintiff had protested in the land office at Carson City against the issuance of a patent to the defendant.

The answer denied the ownership and possession of the plaintiff of the Fraction mine, and alleged as a defense the invalidity of the proceedings under which Nesbitt and his cotenants had acquired the titles of the original locators to the Fraction mine.

The case came on for trial before the court without a jury, and resulted in a judgment for the plaintiff, whereby it was decreed that the title of plaintiff and his cotenants to the Fraction mine be quieted, and the claim of the defendant to that portion of the Sleeper mine embraced within the boundary lines of the Fraction mine be rejected, with a further decree for the recovery of certain incidental fees and costs. Upon motion for a new trial, it was ordered that De Lamar's Nevada Gold Mining Company be substituted as defendant in the place of Davidson, deceased, and that the motion for a new trial be overruled. Defendant appealed to the supreme court of the state, which affirmed the judgment. 52 P. 609. Whereupon it sued out a writ of error from this Court.525

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