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BALDWIN V. MARYLAND, 179 U. S. 220 (1900)

U.S. Supreme Court

Baldwin v. Maryland, 179 U.S. 220 (1900)

Baldwin v. Maryland

No. 113

Argued November 16, 1900

Decided December 3, 1900

179 U.S. 220


The controversy between the State of Maryland and the estate of the ward having been finally settled in favor of the state, and the only federal question presented in this case having been determined to favor of the state, this Court declines to consider the purely local question whether a judgment binding the estate binds also the sureties on the guardian's bond.

The facts are these: prior to 1880 certain residents of Maryland died, leaving property to Columbus C. Baldwin, a minor. After the settlement of the estates of the decedents, a guardian of the estate of said minor was appointed by the Orphans' Court of Washington County, Maryland. In consequence of the death of the guardian, succeeding guardians were appointed, and in August, 1891, William Woodward Baldwin was duly appointed a guardian of the estate of such minor, and gave bond to perform his duty according to law. The present plaintiffs in error were sureties on that bond. During the years of the guardianship, the register of wills of Washington County made annual returns to the county commissioners of the property of estates unsettled, and among those that of the estate of this minor, and taxes were levied thereon in accordance with law, and were

Page 179 U. S. 221

duly paid up to the year 1893. The taxes for 1893 and 1894 being unpaid, the guardian filed a bill in the Circuit Court for Washington County to restrain their collection. The basis of his contention was that both he and the ward were nonresidents of Maryland, and that the estate of the ward had been taken by him outside of the state. The circuit court decided against him, and denied the injunction. This judgment was affirmed by the Court of Appeals of the state. 85 Md. 145. An attempt was made to review that judgment in this Court, but the writ of error was dismissed (168 U.S. 705) on the ground that no federal question had been distinctly preserved, or, if preserved, that there was a nonfederal question which was decisive of the case. Thereafter, the taxes being still unpaid, and the estate still unsettled, and the same statement presented by the register of wills to the county commissioners in respect to the taxes of 1895, this action was commenced to recover from the bondsmen the amount of the taxes for the years 1893, 1894, and 1895. Judgment was rendered against them in the trial court, and affirmed by the Court of Appeals of the state (89 Md. 587), to reverse which judgment this writ of error has been sued out.

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