Linton v. Stanton/Opinion of the Court
|Linton v. Stanton by
Opinion of the Court
This is a writ of error to the Supreme Court of Louisiana for the Eastern District, and a motion has been made to dismiss it for want of jurisdiction.
The plaintiffs in error, it appears, filed their petition in the Third District Court of New Orleans, against the defendant, to recover certain sums of money which they alleged were due to them on two promissory notes which had been executed by the defendant.
The defendant pleaded his discharge under the bankrupt law of the United States, and at the trial offered in evidence the record of the proceedings in bankruptcy in the District Court in which he had obtained his certificate. Objections were taken to the regularity and validity of this discharge, but they were overruled by the court, and judgment rendered for the defendant. The plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court of the State, where the judgment of the court below was affirmed, and this writ of error is brought to reverse that judgment.
The writ must, we presume, have been prosecuted under a misconstruction of the 25th section of the act of 1789, ch. 20.
We have no jurisdiction over the judgment of a State court upon a writ of error, except in the cases specified in that section. And the jurisdiction of this court is there limited with great care and in plain terms. It gives a writ of error to this court where a party claims a right or exemption under a law of Congress, and the decision is against the right claimed. Undoubtedly the defendant, in pleading his discharge under the bankrupt law, claimed a right or exemption under a law of Congress. But in order to give jurisdiction something more is necessary; the judgment of the State court must be against the right claimed. In the case before us the decision was in favor of it, and consequently no writ of error will lie to this court under the provisions of the act of 1789.
And as we have no jurisdiction, we cannot examine into the objections made to the validity of the proceedings in bankruptcy. The judgment of the State court that they were valid, and the defendant thereby discharged from the debt due to the plaintiffs, is conclusive between the parties.
Nor has this court the power to examine into the other question which appears to have arisen as to the legal effect of certain promises which the defendant is alleged to have made after he obtained his certificate in the bankrupt court. The legal obligation of such promises depends upon the laws of the State in which they were made; and in a suit in a State court the decision of that question by the highest tribunal of the State cannot be reviewed in any court of the United States.
This case must therefore be dismissed for want of jurisdiction.
This cause came on to be heard on the transcript of the record from the Supreme Court of the State of Louisiana for the Eastern District, and was argued by counsel. On consideration whereof, it is now here ordered and adjudged by this court, that this cause be, and the same is hereby, dismissed, for the want of jurisdiction.
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