Withenbury v. United States
APPEAL from the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of Illinois.
Several libels were filed in that court for the condemnation, as prize of war, of large quantities of cotton and other property captured on the interior navigable waters of the United States, or on land adjacent thereto. On motion, these libels were consolidated, and various claims were interposed in the consolidated suit for portions of the property libelled. Among these claims was that of Withenbury & Doyle. They denied the validity of the capture, and insisted on their own title to nine hundred and thirty-five bales of the cotton.
Upon hearing of the cause as to this claim, an order was made dismissing the claim, with costs, for which execution was ordered.
From this decree the appeal now pending was taken, and a motion for dismissal was now made, upon the ground that the decree was not final, and therefore was not within the jurisdiction of this court.
A motion of a similar sort was made and argued at the same time in another and similar appeal, Le More v. United States.
Messrs. Ashton, Assistant Attorney-General, and Cushing, in support of the motion:
No disposition has yet been made of the libel, or of the cotton or its proceeds. The suit still remains pending in the District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. In Humiston v. Stainthorp, [*] this court, on a question of what is a final decree, assumed as of course the doctrine of The Palmyra, a case in admiralty, and where Marshell, C. J., says:
^* 2 Wallace, 106.
10 Wheaton 502; and see Montgomery v. Anderson, 21 Howard, 386.