Milwaukee Railroad v. Soutter and Knapp
APPEAL from the Circuit Court of the United States for the district of Wisconsin.
This was an appeal by the Milwaukee and Minnesota Railroad Company from an order of court confirming a sale made by the marshal under a decree of foreclosure of a mortgage on the western division of the La Crosse and Milwaukee Railroad.
The facts out of which the appeal grew were these: The original decree of foreclosure was rendered by the District Court of Wisconsin, then possessing full Circuit-Court powers, on the 13th of January, 1862; and on the 2d of October, 1862, the marshal made a sale under that decree. In the meantime, to wit, on the 15th July, 1862, Congress, by an act of that date, had established a Circuit Court for the district of Wisconsin, whereby all causes then pending in the District Court, which might have been brought, or which could have been originally cognizable in a Circuit Court, were transferred to the Circuit Court; and the District Court was deprived of all Circuit-Court powers. The marshal therefore returned the report of his sale into the Circuit Court. This was on the 6th day of October, 1862.
After several orders partially confirming the sale, the Circuit Court, January 17th, 1863, set it aside, and ordered the marshal to sell again according to the original decree. On the 25th of April, thereafter, the marshal made another sale.
Congress, however, on the 3d March, 1863, had passed a statute authorizing the District Courts where they had rendered final judgments or decrees, prior to the act of July 15th, 1862, in cases which might have been brought, and could have been originally cognizable in a Circuit Court, 'to issue writs of execution or other final process, or to use such other powers and proceedings as might be in accordance with law, to enforce the judgments and decrees aforesaid.' Acting under this law, the marshal reported this sale to the District Court, and that court made an order of confirmation. The appellants here, applied to the Circuit Court for a rule on the marshal to make a report of his sale to that court, which application was refused.
They now appealed from these orders of the Circuit and District Courts, and sought their reversal, on the ground that the District Court had no power to act in the matter of the confirmation of the sale, and that it properly belonged to the Circuit Court.
Messrs. Cram and Cushing, for the appellants; Messrs. Cary and Carlisle, contra.
Mr. Justice MILLER delivered the opinion of the court.