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Waggoner Estate v. Wichita County, 273 U.S. 113 (1927)

Waggoner Estate v. Wichita County

No. 52

Argued December 3, 1926

Decided January 3, 1927

273 U.S. 113


1. Under Judicial Code § 238, before the Act of February 13, 1925, a decree of the district court in a suit wherein its jurisdiction was based on the sole ground that substantial constitutional questions were involved, was appealable directly to this Court. P. 273 U. S. 116.

Page 273 U. S. 114

2. Where such a decree was appealed to the Circuit Court of Appeals erroneously, but within the time allowed for direct appeal to this Court, an appeal from a decree rendered therein by the court of appeals will operate to transfer the case here, to be treated as a direct appeal from the district court. P. 273 U. S. 116.

3. On direct appeal to this Court from the district court, where the sole ground of the original jurisdiction was constitutional questions, the decision may be limited to either state or federal questions that dispose of the case. P. 273 U. S. 116.

4. Whether a royalty interest in an oil and gas lease is realty or personalty is a question of local law. P. 273 U. S. 117.

5. Under the particular facts of this case, where lands in Texas were demised for the sole purpose of drilling for gas and oil, the lessee covenanting to deliver free of charge to the lessor one-eighth of all oil or gas produced and to pay seven-eighths of all increase of tax "by virtue of oil or gas," the interest of the lessor is properly taxed as real property. P. 273 U. S. 118.

298 F. 818 affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of the circuit court of appeals, 3 F.2d 962, which affirmed a decree of the district court dismissing, after trial, a bill to enjoin collection of a tax. The case is treated as on direct appeal from the district court on transfer from the circuit court of appeals.

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