Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Opinion of the Court.

waters in respect to which the United States has jurisdiction, is hereby prohibited.” Whatever may be said in reference to obstructions existing at the time of the passage of the act, under the authority of state statutes, it is obvious that Congress meant that thereafter no State should interfere with the navigability of a stream without the condition of national assent. It did not, of course, disturb any of the provisions of prior statutes in respect to the mere appropriation of water of non-navigable streams in disregard of the old common law rule of continuous flow, and its only purpose, as is obvious, was to affirm that as to navigable waters nothing should be done to obstruct their navigability without the assent of the National Government. It was an exercise by Congress of the power, oftentimes declared by this court to belong to it, of national control over navigable streams; and various sections in this statute, as well as in the act of July 13, 1892, c. 158, 27 Stat. 88, 110, provide for the mode of asserting that control. It is urged that the true construction of this act limits its applicability to obstructions in the navigable portion of a navigable stream, and that as it appears that although the Rio Grande may be navigable for a certain distance above its mouth, it is not navigable in the Territory of New Mexico, this statute has no applicability. The language is general, and must be given full scope. It is not a prohibition of any obstruction to the navigation, but any obstruction to the navigable capacity, and anything, wherever done or however done, within the limits of the jurisdiction of the United States which tends to destroy the navigable capacity of one of the navigable waters of the United States, is within the terms of the prohibition. Evidently Congress, perceiving that the time, had come when the growing interests of commerce required that the navigable waters of the United States should be subjected to the direct control of the National Government, and that nothing should be done by any State tending to destroy that navigability without the explicit assent of the National Government, enacted the statute in question. And it would be to improperly ignore the scope of this language to limit it to the acts done within the very limits of navigation of a navigable stream.

Opinion of the Court.

The creation of any such obstruction may be enjoined, according to the last provision of the section, by proper proceedings in equity under the direction of the Attorney General of the United States, and it was in pursuance of this clause that these proceedings were commenced. Of course, when such proceedings are instituted it becomes a question of fact whether the act sought to be enjoined is one which fairly and directly tends to obstruct (that is, interfere with or diminish) the navigable capacity of a stream. It does not follow that the courts would be justified in sustaining any proceeding by the Attorney General to restrain any appropriation of the upper waters of a navigable stream. The question always is one of fact, whether such appropriation substantially interferes with the navigable capacity within the limits where navigation is a recognized fact. In the course of the argument this suggestion was made, and it seems to us not unworthy of note, as illustrating this thought. The Hudson River runs within the limits of the State of New York. It is a navigable stream and a part of the navigable waters of the United States, so far at least as from Albany southward. One of the streams which flows into it and contributes to the volume of its waters is the Croton River, a non-navigable stream. Its waters are taken by the State of New York for domestic uses in the city of New York. Unquestionably the State of New York has a right to appropriate its waters, and the United States may not question such appropriation, unless thereby the navigability of the Hudson be disturbed. On the other hand, if the State of New York should, even at a place above the limits of navigability, by appropriation for any domestic purposes, diminish the volume of waters, which, flowing into the Hudson, make it a navigable stream, to such an extent as to destroy its navigability, undoubtedly the jurisdiction of the National Government would arise and its power to restrain such appropriation be unquestioned; and within the purview of this section it would become the right of the Attorney General to institute proceedings to restrain such appropriation.

Without pursuing this inquiry further we are of the opinion

Statement of the Case.

that there was error in the conclusions of the lower courts; that the decree must be Reversed and the case remanded with instructions to set aside

the decree of dismissal, and to order an inquiry into the question whether the intended acts of the defendants in the construction of a dam and in appropriating the waters of the Rio Grande will substantially diminish the navigability of that stream within the limits of present navigability, and if so, to enter a decree restraining those acts to

the extent that they will so diminish. MR. JUSTICE GRAY and MR. JUSTICE MCKENNA were not present at the argument, and took no part in the decision.

CHICAGO, ROCK ISLAND AND PACIFIC RAILWAY

COMPANY V. STURM.

ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF KANSAS.

No. 236. Submitted April 5, 1899. – Decided May 22, 1899.

Sturm sued the railway company in a justices' court in Kansas for wages

due, and recovered for the full amount claimed. The company appealed to the county district court. When the case was called there for trial, the company moved for a continuance on the ground that a creditor of Sturm had sued him in a court in Iowa, of which State the railway company was also a corporation, and had garnisheed the company there for the wages sought to be recovered in this suit, and had recovered a judgment there from which an appeal had been taken which was still pending. The motion for continuance was denied, the case proceeded to trial, and judgment was rendered for Sturm for the amount sued for, with costs. A new trial was moved for, on the ground, among others, that the deci. sion was contrary to and in conflict with section 1, article IV, of the Constitution of the United States. The motion was denied, and the judgment was sustained by the Court of Appeals and by the Supreme Court of the State. The case was then brought here. Held, that the Iowa court had jurisdiction, and that the Kansas courts did not give to the proceedings in Iowa the faith and credit they had in Iowa, and were consequently entitled to in Kansas, and the judgment must be reversed.

The defendant in error brought an action against the plain

Statement of the Case.

tiff in error in a justices' court of Belleville, Republic County, Kansas, for the sum of $140, for wages due. Judgment was rendered for him in the sum of $140 and interest and costs.

The plaintiff in error appealed from the judgment to the district court of the county, to which court all the papers were transmitted, and the case docketed for trial.

On the 10th of October, 1894, the case was called for trial, when plaintiff in error filed a motion for continuance, supported by an affidavit affirming that on the 13th day of December, 1893, in the county of Potta wattomie and State of Iowa, one A. H. Willard commenced an action against E. H. Sturm in justices' court before Oride Vien, a justice of the peace for said county, to recover the sum of $78.63, with interest at the rate of ten per cent per annum, and at the same time sued out a writ of attachment and garnishment, and duly garnisheed the plaintiff in error, and at that time plaintiff in error was indebted to defendant in error in the sum of $77.17 for wages, being the same wages sought to be recovered in this action;

That plaintiff in error filed its answer, admitting such indebtedness;

That at the time of the commencement of said action in Pottawattomie County the defendant was a non-resident of the State of Iowa, and that service upon him was duly made by publication, and that afterwards judgment was rendered against him and plaintiff in error as garnishee for the sum of $76.16, and costs of suit amounting to $19, and from such judgment appealed to the district court of said county, where said action was then pending undetermined;

That the moneys sought to be recovered in this action are the same moneys sought to be recovered in the garnishment proceedings, and that under the laws of Iowa its courts had jurisdiction thereof, and that the said moneys were not at the time of the garnishment exempt from attachment, execution or garnishment; that the justice of the peace at all of the times of the proceedings was a duly qualified and acting justice, and that all the proceedings were commenced prior to the commencement of the present action, and that if the case

Statement of the Case.

be continued until the next term of the court the action in Iowa will be determined and the rights of plaintiff in error protected.

The motion was denied, and the plaintiff in error pleaded in answer the same matters alleged in the affidavit for continuance, and attached to the answer a certified copy of the proceedings in the Iowa courts. It also alleged that it was a corporation duly organized under the laws of the States of Illinois and Iowa, doing business in the State of Kansas.

The defendant in error replied to the answer, and alleged that the amount due from plaintiff in error was for wages due for services rendered within three months next prior to the commencement of the action; that he was a resident, head of a family, and that the wages were exempt under the laws of Kansas, and not subject to garnishment proceedings; that plaintiff in error knew these facts, and that the lowa court had no jurisdiction of his property or person.

Evidence was introduced in support of the issues, including certain sections of the laws of Iowa relating to service by publication, and to attachment and garnishment, and judgment was rendered for the defendant in error in the amount sued for.

A new trial was moved, on the ground, among others, that the “decision is contrary to and in conflict with section 1, article IV, of the Constitution of the United States."

The motion was denied.

On error to the Court of Appeals, and from thence to the Supreme Court, the judgment was affirmed, and the case was then brought here.

The defendant in error was notified of the suit against him in Iowa and of the proceedings in garnishment in time to have protected his rights.

The errors assigned present in various ways the contention that the Supreme Court of Kansas refused to give full faith and credit to the records and judicial proceedings of the courts of the State of Iowa, in violation of section 1, article IV, of the Constitution of the United States, and of the act of Congress entitled “An act to prescribe the mode in which the public acts, records and judicial proceedings in each State

« AnteriorContinuar »