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LUTCHER & MOORE LUMBER CO. V. KNIGHT, 217 U. S. 257 (1910)

U.S. Supreme Court

Lutcher & Moore Lumber Co. v. Knight, 217 U.S. 257 (1910)

Lutcher & Moore Lumber Company v. Knight

No. 101

Argued January 24, 1910

Decided April 11, 1910

217 U.S. 257


A party who, as defendant in an equity case, has successfully asserted that his adversary's claim is not cognizable in equity cannot subsequently, in an action at law brought by him against the plaintiff involving the same matter, assert that the same claim set up as a defense is of an equitable character.

The objection in an action at law in the federal courts that a defense is of equitable cognizance cannot be taken for the first time in the appellate court. Burbank v. Bigelow, 154 U. S. 558.

On certiorari granted under the provisions of the Court of Appeals Act

Page 217 U. S. 258

of 1891, the entire record is before this Court, with power to decide the case as presented to the circuit court of appeal on the writ of error issued by it.

The great purpose of the Court of Appeal Act to which all it provisions are subservient is to distribute jurisdiction of the federal courts and to relieve the docket of this Court by casting on the circuit courts of appeals the duty of deciding cases over which their jurisdiction is final.

Although ordinarily the mandate of this Court in cases coming to it on certiorari to the circuit court of appeals goes directly to the circuit court, where certiorari is granted solely on the ground that the circuit court of appeals has failed to consider the case, the judgment will be reversed and the case remanded to that court with instructions to hear and decide it.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

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