Petri v. F. E. Creelman Lumber Company
Plaintiffs in error, suing as aliens and residents of Antwerp, Belgium, commenced this action in the circuit court of the United States for the northern division of the northern district of Illinois, to recover damages for an alleged libel. Two Illinois corporations and a number of persons were made defendants. The bill as to the corporations alleged citizenship in Illinois, and, as to all the defendants, except the Creelman Lumber Company and F. E. Creelman, one of the individual defendants, the bill alleged that the defendants resided in the district and division where the suit was brought. The Creelman Lumber Company and F. E. Creelman filed pleas to the jurisdiction of the court, based upon the fact that each of them, before and at the time of the commencement of the suit, although citizens of the state of Illinois, were residents of a different district from the one in which the suit was brough,-the is, the southern district of Illinois. To these pleas the plaintiffs demurred, and, on a hearing, a district judge, holding the circuit court, overruled the demurrers, and held the pleas to the jurisdiction good. The plaintiffs electing to stand upon their demurrers to the pleas, the action as to the defendants in question was dismissed for want of jurisdiction. Some time afterwards a bill of exceptions was signed by a circuit judge, in which was recited the action taken by the trial court upon the demurrer to the jurisdictional pleas aforesaid, and the cause was taken to the crcuit court of appeals. That court, however, dismissed the writ of error, and on the receipt of its mandate, about a year after the entry of the judgment of dismissal above referred to, there was filed in the trial court a certificate of te circuit judge, in which was set out the proceedings had in the cause, and it was certified, for the purpose of a writ of error from this court, that the only question involved in such writ of error was one of jurisdiction. It was also certified that the judge who had heard the cause resided in the southern district of Illinois, and was not within the territorial limits of the northern district of Illinois. Cotemporaneous with the filing of the certificate a writ of error was allowed, and in the petition and assignments of errors it clearly appeared that the writ of error was prosecuted solely upon the question of jurisdiction arising trom overruling of the demurrers to the pleas to the jurisdiction.
Mr. Consider H. Willett for plaintiffs in error.
[Argument of Counsel from pages 489-491 intentionally omitted]
Messrs. David S. Lansden, John M. Lansden, Angus Leek, and M. Paul Noyes for defendants in error.
Statement by Mr. Justice White: Mr. Justice White, after making the foregoing statement, delivered the opinion of the court: