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LADEW V. TENNESSEE COPPER CO., 218 U. S. 357 (1910)

U.S. Supreme Court

Ladew v. Tennessee Copper Co., 218 U.S. 357 (1910)

Ladew v. Tennessee Copper Company

No. 495

Argued October 19, 1910

Decided November 28, 1910

218 U.S. 357


Plaintiffs, citizens of states other than that of the defendant, brought suit against the defendants in the Circuit Court of the United States for a district of which neither plaintiffs nor this defendant were inhabitants to compel defendants to abate a nuisance carried on in that district and which was causing damage to plaintiffs' property in another state and in which neither they nor the defendant resided; the circuit court dismissed as to this defendant for want of jurisdiction, neither it nor the plaintiffs being inhabitants of that district. In affirming judgment, held that:

Diversity of citizenship -- nothing more appearing -- will not give the circuit court jurisdiction to render judgment in personam where neither plaintiff nor defendant is an inhabitant of the district in which the suit is brought and the defendant appears specially and objects to the jurisdiction.

The jurisdiction given to the circuit court by § 8 of the Act of March 3, 1875, c. 137, 18 Stat. 470, of suits to enforce legal or equitable claims to real or personal property within the district, even if the parties are not inhabitants of the district, does not extend to suits

Page 218 U. S. 358

to compel the owner of real estate in the district to abate a nuisance maintained thereon. Such a cause of action is not a claim or lien upon the property.

The jurisdiction of the circuit court is determined by acts of Congress enacted in pursuance of the Constitution, and even if the jurisdiction already granted can be extended by Congress, the courts cannot, until such legislation is enacted, exercise jurisdiction not yet conferred upon them.

179 F. 245 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the jurisdiction of the circuit court, are stated in the opinion.

Page 218 U. S. 361

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