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CHICAGO, R.I. & PAC. RY. CO. V. MARTIN, 178 U. S. 245 (1900)

U.S. Supreme Court

Chicago, R.I. & Pac. Ry. Co. v. Martin, 178 U.S. 245 (1900)

Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company v. Martin

No. 135

Submitted January 31, 1900

Decided May 21, 1900

178 U.S. 245


This was an ordinary action under a state statute for wrongfully causing the death of plaintiff's intestate, in which no federal question was presented by the pleadings or litigated at the trial and in which the liability depended upon principles of general law, and not in any way upon the terms of the order appointing the receivers, and whatever the rights of the receivers might have been to remove the cause if they had been sued alone, the controversy was not a separable controversy within the intent and meaning of the Act of March 3, 1887, as corrected by the Act of August 13, 1888, and this being so, the case came solely within the first clause of the section, and it was not intended by Congress that, under such circumstances, there should be any difference between the rule applied under the first and second clauses of the act.

This was an action brought by Lissa Martin as administratrix of William Martin, deceased, against the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company in the District Court of Clay county, Kansas, to recover damages for the death of the decedent. Plaintiff's petition was filed January 26, 1894, and on February 14, 1894, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Company filed its separate answer thereto. February 20, 1894, defendants Clark and others, as receivers, presented their petition and bond, praying for the removal of the cause to the United States Circuit Court for the District of Kansas on the ground that the case arose under the Constitution and laws of the United States, which application was overruled by the district court, and the receivers duly excepted. The cause was tried, the jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff and against all the defendants, and judgment was entered thereon. The cause was taken on error to the Supreme Court of Kansas by the defendants, and the judgment was by that court affirmed. 59 Kan. 437.

Page 178 U. S. 246

The refusal of the state court to remove the cause to the circuit court of the United States on the application of the receivers was relied on as error throughout the proceedings, and the Supreme Court of Kansas held, among other things, that the application for removal was properly denied because all the defendants were charged with jointly causing the death of plaintiff's intestate, and all did not join in the petition for removal.

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