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United States Supreme Court


No. 411

Argued: December 6, 1915Decided: January 17, 1916

Mr. H. V. Mercer for appellants.

Mr. Lyndon A. Smith, Attorney General of Minnesota, and Messrs. William J. Stevenson and John M. Rees for appellees.

Mr. Justice McReynolds delivered the opinion of the court:

Three complainants, claiming to represent themselves and others like situated (numbering altogether 550), instituted this proceeding in equity against Hennepin county, Minnesota, and certain of its officers, in the district court of the United States, seeking an injunction to prevent collection of a tax under $40 assessed against each of them, for the year 1913, on account of his membership in the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce. [239 U.S. 621, 622]   Defendants challenged the court's power to entertain the cause upon the ground that the amount in controversy as to each complainant is the sum charged against him, and demands against all cannot be aggregated in order to confer jurisdiction. The district court sustained this objection upon authority of Wheless v. St. Louis, 180 U.S. 379 , 45 L. ed. 583, 21 Sup. Ct. Rep. 402, and dismissed the bill. It committed no error in so doing, and its judgment is affirmed.

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