Conolly v. Taylor
THIS was an appeal from the circuit court of the United States for the district of Kentucky, in which court the appellants were complainants, and the appellees were defendants.
In the circuit court of Kentucky, on the 20th of February 1818, Thomas Conolly, James Conolly, Margaret Conolly, David David, and Francis Badley, aliens and subjects of the king of the united kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland, and Samuel Mifflin, a citizen of the state of Pennsylvania, filed their bill against certain defendants, claiming to have an equitable title to a large tract of lands in right of colonel John Conolly deceased, situated at the falls of Ohio, in the state of Kentucky. The defendants in the bill were Richard Taylor, Fortunatus Cosby and Henry Clay, citizens of Kentucky, and William Lytle, described in the subpoena as a citizen of Kentucky, but who was in fact a citizen of the state of Ohio. The subpoena was served on all the defendants, Mr Lytle having been found by the process in Kentucky.
The answer of Mr Lytle protests against the jurisdiction of the circuit court, he being a citizen of the state of Ohio.
In the further progress of the suit before the circuit court, at May term 1823, on motion on the part of the complainants, the name of Samuel Mifflin was struck out of the bill as a plaintiff, and he was made a defendant; after which he answered an amended bill filed against him.
When therefore the case came on to a hearing in the circuit court, at May term 1826, the parties complainants were all aliens and subjects of the king of Great Britain and Ireland; two of the defendants were citizens of the state of Kentucky, one of them was a citizen of the state of Ohio, and Samuel Mifflin was a citizen of the state of Pennsylvania.
The cause was argued upon an objection to the jurisdiction of the case in the circuit court of Kentucky, and upon its merits. This Court being divided upon the merits, and no opinion having been expressed upon any other question in the cause but that of jurisdiction; the reporter does not consider himself permitted to state any of the facts of the case, or the arguments of counsel, other than those connected with that point.
The counsel for the plaintiffs in error were Mr Wirt, attorney general, Mr Wickliffe, and Mr Peters. For the defendants, Mr Sergeant and Mr Nicholas.
In support of the jurisdiction of the Court, it was argued, that it was a subject of frequent regret that the whole jurisdiction proposed by the constitution for the courts of the United States, has not been conferred by congress on these courts. The wise policy of the constitution has failed to take effect; and justice has often fallen short and been defeated by the mere defect of the judiciary system.