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GOLDSTEIN V. COX, 396 U. S. 471 (1970)

U.S. Supreme Court

Goldstein v. Cox, 396 U.S. 471 (1970)

Goldstein v. Cox

No. 66

Argued November 17, 1969

Decided January 26, 1970

396 U.S. 471


Section 2218 of the New York Surrogate's Court Procedure Act authorizes the surrogate to order an alien's share of a New York estate paid into court when it appears that the alien "would not have the benefit or use or control of the money or property" constituting the share. Appellants, who live in Romania and are beneficiaries of New York decedents' estates and whose shares were paid into court for their benefit under § 2218, filed a complaint challenging its constitutionality and seeking temporary and permanent injunctive relief against its operation. In the three-judge District Court which was convened, appellants moved for summary judgment, contending that, under Zschernig v. Miller, 389 U. S. 429, § 2218 is unconstitutional on its face and as applied, and requesting "the relief prayed for in the complaint." Appellants filed no separate application for a preliminary injunction, and have not urged the appropriateness of temporary relief for the release of the court-held funds. The District Court denied summary judgment, but did not dismiss the complaint as urged by appellees, surrogates of several New York counties. Appellants appealed to this Court from the order denying summary judgment, claiming that this Court has jurisdiction by virtue of 28 U.S.C. § 1253, which, in pertinent part, provides for an appeal

"to the Supreme Court from an order granting or denying . . . an interlocutory or permanent injunction in any civil action . . . required by an Act of Congress to be heard and determined by a district court of three judges."

Held: The only interlocutory orders that this Court has power to review under § 1253 are those granting or denying preliminary injunctions, and therefore this Court lacks jurisdiction to review the District Court's interlocutory order, which involved no question of preliminary injunctive relief. Pp. 396 U. S. 475-479.

299 F.Supp. 1389, appeal dismissed.

Page 396 U. S. 472

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