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United States Supreme Court

65 U.S. 147

Eberly  v.  Moore

THIS case was brought up by writ of error from the District Court of the United States for the western district of Texas.

Angelina R. Eberly, and the minor, Peyton Lytle, brought an action of trespass to try title to a tract of land situated in Falls county, in the State of Texas. The suit was brought against a number of persons, who adopted different modes of defence. Moore and Raybon pleaded the general issue and certain pleas of adverse possession in bar. At the succeeding term of the court they presented a motion for leave to withdraw their answer, and plead in abatement, upon the ground that the plaintiffs, instead of being citizens of Kentucky, as they had alleged, were in reality citizens of Texas, and consequently that the court had no jurisdiction over the case. The motion was granted and the pleas in abatement filed. Other proceedings took place which it is not necessary to state. After the jury was impannelled, the court charged them as follows:

GENTLEMEN OF THE JURY: To give the court jurisdiction of this case, it is necessary that the plaintiffs should be non-residents, or citizens of the State of Texas. The petition alleges that two of the plaintiffs, viz: Mrs. Eberly and Peyton Lytle, are citizens of the State of Kentucky. This allegation is denied by the plea in abatement, which avers them to be citizens of the State of Texas. Upon this issue arises the question of fact which you are to determine.

When a domicil or citizenship is once acquired in a State, a mere temporary removal will not affect it, and a citizenship elsewhere will not be acquired without a corresponding removal, accompanied with a bona fide intent for that purpose. This intent the jury must determine from all the facts and circumstances in evidence before them. The jury will simply state in their verdict whether, from the proof before them in this case, Mrs. Eberly, and her grandson, Peyton Lytle, or either of them, were citizens of the States of Kentucky or Texas on the 4th November, 1855.

T. H. DUVAL, U.S. Dist, Judge.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).