ST LOUIS, K C & C R. CO. v. WABASH R CO(1910)
[217 U.S. 247, 248] Messrs. Frank Hagerman, W. F. Evans, and M. A. Low for appellant and petitioner.
Messrs. James L. Minnis and Wells H. Blodgett for appellees and respondents.
Mr. Chief Justice Fuller delivered the opinion of the court, after reading the following memorandum:
This opinion was prepared by our Brother Brewer, and had been approved before his lamented death. It was then recirculated and is adopted as the opinion of the court.
On January 6, 1886, there was entered in the circuit court [217 U.S. 247, 249] of the United States for the eastern district of Missouri a decree of foreclosure and sale of the Wabash, St. Louis, & Pacific Railway Company, hereinafter called the Wabash Company. In that suit, before the execution of the deeds to the purchasing committee, a railway corporation known as the St. Louis, Kansas City, & Colorado Railroad Company (hereinafter called the Colorado Company) and the city of St. Louis intervened to compel the Wabash Company to give to the Colorado Company the use of its tracks and a right of entrance over them to the Union depot of that city. On that intervention a decree was entered finding the equities in favor of the interveners, and granting the Colorado Company the use of the tracks and right of way. 29 Fed. 546. On appeal to this court the decree of the circuit court on the intervention was, on January 19, 1891, sustained. Joy v. St. Louis, 138 U.S. 1 , 34 L. ed. 843, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 243.
A dispute having arisen as to the rights granted by that decree, a petition was filed at the March term, 1902, of the circuit court in the original foreclosure case to enforce those rights as the Colorado Company claimed they existed. A large amount of testimony was taken upon this application, and a decree entered April 2, 1906. Thereupon an appeal was taken to the circuit court of appeals for the eighth circuit, which, on April 3, 1907, reversed the decree and remanded the case 'with directions to enter a decree not inconsistent with the views' expressed in the opinion of the court. 81 C. C. A. 643, 152 Fed. 849. The case went back to the circuit court, and after an amendment to the petition, which was allowed by the court, a decree was entered in obedience to the mandate, from which decree an appeal was again taken to the circuit court of appeals, and also to this court. On the appeal to the circuit court of appeals the record was filed in that court, and thereupon an application for a certiorari was made to this court, so that two cases are before us with records precisely alike, one the appeal from the circuit court directly to this court (being case No. 57) and the other the petition for a certiorari to the [217 U.S. 247, 250] court of appeals (being case No. 301). [This petition was filed and presented to the court November 30, 1908, and on December 7, 1908, consideration of the petition was postponed to be heard with No. 57.]
The Wabash Company has filed a motion to dismiss No. 57, the case appealed directly to this court. The jurisdiction of the original foreclosure suit was based solely upon diverse citizenship, and it has been repeatedly decided that the jurisdiction in the case of an intervention is determined by that of the main cause. Rouse v. Letcher, 156 U.S. 47 , 39 L. ed. 341, 15 Sup. Ct. Rep. 266; Gregory v. Van Ee, 160 U.S. 643 , 40 L. ed. 566, 16 Sup. Ct. Rep. 431; Carey v. Houston & T. C. R. Co. 161 U.S. 115 , 40 L. ed. 638, 16 Sup. Ct. Rep. 537; Rouse v. Hornsby, 161 U.S. 588 , 40 L. ed. 817, 16 Sup. Ct. Rep. 610; Pope v. Louisville, N. A. & C. R. Co. 173 U.S. 573 , 43 L. ed. 814, 19 Sup. Ct. Rep. 500.
If this be true in respect to an intervention, a fortiori must it be true in respect to a petition to enforce rights granted by the decree in the intervention. Nor is this rule changed by the fact that when this case went back from the circuit court of appeals to the circuit court, the latter court authorized an amendment to the petition, alleging that the decree ordered by the court of appeals failed to give full faith and credit to the original decree in the intervention proceedings, for, as said in Pope v. Louisville, N. A. & C. R. Co. supra (p. 578):
Further, the power of the circuit court was limited to the entry of a decree as ordered by the court of appeals, and it could not introduce new questions into the litigation without the permission of that court. Ex parte Dubuque & P. R. Co. 1 Wall. 69, 17 L. ed. 514; Re Sanford Fork & Tool Co. 160 U.S. 247 , 40 L. ed. 414, 16 Sup. Ct. Rep. 291. Still further, the mere construction of a decree in- [217 U.S. 247, 251] volves no challenge of its validity. Smithsonian Institution v. St. John, 214 U.S. 19, 29 , 53 S. L. ed. 892, 897, 29 Sup. Ct. Rep. 601, and cases cited in the opinion.
The motion to dismiss No. 57 must therefore be sustained with costs.
With reference to the application for a certiorari, the power of this court cannot be doubted. As said in Forsyth v. Hammond, 166 U.S. 506, 514 , 41 S. L. ed. 1095, 1098, 17 Sup. Ct. Rep. 665, 669:
On the appeal to the circuit court of appeals the case was there pending for consideration and decree, and as, for reasons heretofore stated, an appeal to this court would not lie, the case can be brought here by certiorari.
The question, then, is whether the writ of certiorari ought to be granted. That question involves the construction of a prior decree of a United States circuit court, affirmed by this court. It is not a question of the payment of money, but of the extent of the use belonging to one railroad company in the tracks, right of way, and terminal facilities of another, as well as the rights of access by the one company to industries established along the line of the other. This, in view of the increasing number of industries in a great and growing city like St. Louis, is of constantly enlarging importance, and ought, so far as possible, to be settled. It seems to us that both the private interests of the railroad companies and of the separate industries and the greater interests of the public call for the granting of the writ of certiorari, and it is therefore so ordered.
This brings before us the original decree on the intervention. That decree, and the facts upon which the original controversy arose, as well as those upon which the present dispute rests, will be found fully stated in 29 Fed. 546, [217 U.S. 247, 252] 138 U.S. 1 , and 81 C. C. A. 643, supra, need not be repeated. It is sufficient to say that the decree was founded upon contracts to which the railroad companies, or their predecessors, were parties, by which the Wabash Company agreed to 'permit, under such reasonable regulations and terms as may be agreed upon, other railroads to use its right of way through the park, and up to the terminus of its road in the city of St. Louis, upon such terms, and for such fair and equitable compensation, to be paid to it therefor, as may be agreed upon by such companies.' It provided that the Colorado Company should pay $2,500 a month 'for the use of the right of way, and tracks, side tracks, switches, turn-outs, turntables, and other terminal facilities of the said Wabash, St. Louis, & Pacific Railway at and between the north line of Forest park and Eighteenth street in the city of St. Louis,' and that of these properties it should 'enjoy the equal use and benefit.' It apportioned the expense of maintaining on a wheelage basis this right of way and other property during such joint use.
Two principal questions are presented, each having reference to the existence of the rights granted by the intervention decree. The eastern line of Forest park is about 3 miles west of Eighteenth street, and at the time the decree was entered the Wabash Company owned a strip of land varying in width from 28 to over 200 feet, and extending from Eighteenth street to the east line of the park, and also had an easement for the passage of its trains and engines through the park upon a strip of land 42 feet wide from the east to the north side thereof. The ground owned by the Wabash is not, as stated, of equal width, portions having been obtained by deeds from different owners, some being only 28 feet in width and others extending quite a distance, so as to furnish room for roundhouses and other terminal facilities. Now, it is contended that the only effect of this decree was to give to the Colorado Company the right to use the two continuous tracks from the north line of Forest [217 U.S. 247, 253] park into the Union station; while, on the other hand, it is contended that it gave to the Colorado Company the equal use and benefit of the entire ground owned by the Wabash and used for its terminal facilities. Both the circuit court and the circuit court of appeals sustained the latter construction, and with that conclusion we concur. The terminal facilities, and not simply a right of way over the tracks of the Wabash running to the Union station, were granted by the decree. As said by Circuit Judge Sanborn, delivering the opinion of the court of appeals (p. 646):
The other matter involves the question of the right of access to industrial establishments which have been built up near to the line of the Wabash road. As might be expected in a growing city like St. Louis, there are now many such establishments, access to which has been obtained by the construction of tracks connecting them with the main tracks of the railway. The use of these connecting tracks, which were constructed under different arrangements with the various establishments, is claimed by the intervener, thus making itself a close and active competitor with the Wabash Company for their transportation business.
The general conclusion of the court of appeals is stated in these words (p. 657):
From the latter part of this conclusion Circuit Judge Hook dissented, and that presents the question now to be considered. We are of opinion that the circuit court of appeals erred, and that the views of Judge Hook are correct. That the matter was considered by the circuit court at the time of the original decree is evident from the opinion of the circuit judge, in which it was said (29 Fed. 559):
See also the opinion of this court in 138 U.S. 1 , 47.
The decree of the Circuit Court of December 20, 1907, is therefore modified in accordance with the views we have expressed as to terminal facilities in connection with the industrial establishments now existing near the right of way of the Wabash Company. If that company shall desire, it may apply for a valuation of the additional properties of which the equal use and enjoyment is given to the intervener, and upon that valuation the same per cent shall be paid by the intervener. The costs, except so far as they have been already taxed, shall be charged against the respondents.