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United States Supreme Court

86 U.S. 62

Railroad Company  v.  Church

ERROR to the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia.

The trustees of the Sixth Presbyterian Church, in the city of Washington, instituted proceedings before the marshal and a jury of the District of Columbia against the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Company, to recover from it damages which the church had sustained by reason of the road of the company having been run through a street in front of their church. The jury assessed the damages at $11,500, and on the return of this inquest into the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, the inquisition was confirmed, and a judgment rendered that the trustees of the church recover of the railroad company that sum, with costs. The company having brought the case to this court on writ of error, a motion was now made by the trustees of the church to dismiss it for want of jurisdiction in this court.

This want of jurisdiction was based on two propositions:1. That the proceeding is in its nature summary and special, and is of that character in which the action of the court confirming or quashing the verdict of the jury is conclusive, and admits of no appeal.

2. That the proceeding in this case is governed, both before the jury and in the Supreme Court of the District, by a statute of Maryland, which, by the uniform construction of the courts of that State, does not allow an appeal or writ of error to any other court.

Messrs. J. A. Garfield and R. D. Mussey, in support of the motion; Messrs. D. Clarke and S. T. Phillips, contra.

Mr. Justice MILLER delivered the opinion of the court.


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).