Imágenes de páginas

Opinion of the Court.

tends that the claim should have been rejected, is that it was not established that a record of the grant was made. As respects the evidence of a due recording of the grant, the case at bar is similar to the Ely case, supra, where, however, no question was raised by the Government as to the want of a proper record. In the Sonoita grant, passed on in the Ely case, the final title was issued on the same day on which the final title in the case at bar purports to have been issued, and contained a like notation that "note of this title is taken on page 3 of book No. 2 in this general commissariat.” A memorandum of this character appears to have been customarily endorsed on the titulo.

The evidence in the case at bar showed that there are only two books of Toma de Razon in the records at the capital of the State of Sonora, Mexico. One book has the figure 1 writ

1 ten on the first page of the first leaf, and contains entries of grants up to and including May 13, 1825. The first entry on the other book bears date of 1831. In the case at bar the final title or titulo, of date prior to the regulations of 1828, was admitted in evidence without objection or question as to its genuineness, nor was any objection interposed by the Government to the introduction in evidence of a letter, dated some time in 1831, written by the provincial secretary of Sonora, on behalf of the commissariat general of that State, alluding to the existence of the title to this San Rafael grant. The expediente is also on file in the Mexican archives, and contains thereon a memorandum of the issue of a grant. In view of all these circumstances it may properly be presumed that the ministerial duty which it is claimed was imposed on the Mexican officials of registering the fact of the making of a grant of public lands was duly performed, and that such record was in fact made. Whether, as held by the court below, the mere retention in the Mexican archives of the expediente constituted the record of the grant, within the meaning of the treaty of 1853, need not be determined.

We come then to consider the contentions relied upon by the claimants to sustain their appeals. Those contentions are in substance that the grant to Romero and his associates consti

Opinion of the Court.

[ocr errors]

tuted a complete and perfect title to the full quantity of land embraced within the original survey, wbich it was asserted by witnesses for the claimants aggregated not merely four sitios, but nearly one hundred and sixty thousand acres of land. It is manifest however, from the authorities which we have previously citeil, that as the grant was lawful to the extent of only four sitios, the claimants cannot be heard successfully to assert that it embraced and could be confirmed for the larger quantity.

The previous decisions of this court also preclude the claim for a confirmation of the grant as to the overplus upon payment of the asserted value of such excess. In Ainsa v. United States, 184 U. S. 639, decided at this term, discussing the contention of the claimant that he was entitled to an award of the demasias or overplus beyond the cabida legal or real quantity granted, upon payments of such amount as might be found due, the court concluded as follows:

“It is obvious that this contention cannot be sustained for the reasons indicated, and we repeat what we said in Ely's case, 171 U. S. 239: “This government promised to inviolably respect the property of Mexicans. That means the property as it then was, and does not imply any addition to it. The cession did not increase rights. That which was beyond challenge before remained so after. That which was subject to challenge before did not become a vested right after. No duty rests on this government to recognize the validity of a grant to any area of greater extent than was recognized by the government of Mexico. If that government had a right, as we have seen in Ainsa v. United States it had, to compel payment for an overplus or resell such overplus to a third party, then this government is under no moral or legal obligations to consider such overplus as granted, but may justly and equitably treat the grant as limited to the area purchased and paid for.'

Counsel for claimants in their brief call attention to the plea of res adjudicata interposed by the claimant Cameron, though they do not discuss the same. The action in which the judgment thus pleaded was rendered related to land within the asserted exterior bounds of the grant, near the alleged north and northeast monuments, as said boundaries were recited and

Statement of the Caso.

measured in the expediente. The courts of the Territory had held that the lands enclosed were public lands of the United States, that Cameron had unlawfully enclosed the same, and the removal of the fence enclosing the land was ordered. On appeal, however, this court, while expressly disclaiming any intention to pass upon the validity of the asserted title of Cameron, held that there was color of title sufficient to take the case outside of the operation of the statute, reversed the judgment against Cameron, and remanded the case with directions to dismiss the petition. 148 U. S. 301. It is clear that, irrespective of the question of parties, the matter passed upon in the fence case was not the same as that which is present in the case at bar. The fence case did not involve, as does the case at bar, the question whether or not the claimant bad a valid title to land within the boundaries of the alleged grant, and hence nothing decided in that case was conclusive in this.

Decree affirmed.




No. 604. Argued and submitted March 24, 1902.-Decided April 28, 1902.

Matters within the pleadings in this case having been left undetermined

by the court below, and the cause having been detained for the purpose of thereafter passing upon them, and for the entry of a further decree, the decree entered below was not final, and this court is without jurisdiction to pass upon it.



On July 23, 1900, the appellee herein filed a bill seeking to enjoin the threatened assessment and collection by the defendants below (appellants here) of municipal taxes under the assumed authority of an act of the general assembly of the State of Kentucky approved March 21, 1900, a copy of which is excerpted in the margin.'

'1“ Whereas the Supreme Court of the United States has lately decided

Statement of the Case.

In substance, it was a verred in the original bill and in an amendment thereto that the complainant was chartered on

that article three, chapter one hundred and three of the acts eighteen hundred and ninety-one, eighteen hundred and ninety-two, eighteen hundred and ninety-three is void and of no effect in so far as the same provides for the taxation of the franchise of national banks, in consequence of which decision there is not now and has not been since adoption of said article, in eighteen hundred and ninety-two, any adequate mode of taxing national banks, while state banks are now, and have been ever since eighteen hundred and ninety-two, taxable for all purposes, state and local; therefore

“Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

"SEC. 1. That the shares of stock in each national bank of this State shall be subject to taxation for all stato purposes, and shall be subject to taxation for the purposes of each county, city, town and taxing district in which the bank is located.

“Sec. 2. For purposes of the taxation provided for by the next preceding section, it shall be the duty of the president and the cashier of the bank to list the said shares of stock with the assessing officers authorized to assess real estate for taxation, and the bank shall be and remain liable to the State, county, city, town and district for the taxes upon said shares of stock.

“Sec. 3. When any of said shares of stock have not been listed for taxation for any of said purposes under levy or levies of any year or years since the adoption of the revenue law of eighteen hundred and ninety-two, it shall be the duty of the president and cashier to list the same for taxation under said levy or levies; provided, that where any national bank has beretofore, for any year or years, paid taxes upon its franchise as provided in article three of the revenue law of eighteen hundred and pinetytwo, said bank shall be excepted from the operation of this section as to said year or years ; and provided further, that where any national bank has heretofore, for any year or years, paid state taxes under the Hewitt bill in excess of the state taxes required by this act for the same year or years, said bank shall be entitled to credit by said excess upon its state taxes required by this act.

“SEC. 4. All assessments of shares of stock contemplated by this act shall be entered upon the assessor's books, certified and reported by the assessing officers as assessments of real estate are entered, certified and reported, and the same shall be certified to the proper collecting officers for collection as assessments of real estate are certified for collection of taxes thereon.

“ SEC. 5. The assessments of said shares of stock and collection of taxes thereon, as contemplated by this act, may be enforced as assessment of real estate and collection of taxes thereon may be enforced.

Statement of the Case.

November 17, 1884, for a term of twenty years; that in 1886, by the acceptance of the provisions of an act of the general assembly of Kentucky, approved May 17, 1886, known as the Hewitt Act, a contract was entered into with the State of Kentucky, irrevocable during the existence of the charter of the bank, whereby the complainant became obligated to pay to the State taxes upon the shares of its stock, surplus and undivided profits at a designated rate, such taxes to be in full of all other taxes (state, county or municipal,) except those levied upon its real property ; that complainant had regularly made the payments stipulated in said contract up to and including the payment due July 1, 1900; that the taxes thus paid much exceeded the regular taxes imposed by the State during said period upon other real and personal property; and that the fact of the existence of an irrevocable contract had been conclusively determined by the judgment and decree of the Court of Appeals of Kentucky in a litigation between the bank and the State and the city of Covington, growing out of an attempt to collect state and city taxes upon the franchise of the bank, under the authority of an act of the general assembly of Kentucky, approved November 11, 1892. It was also averred that notwithstanding the foregoing the general assembly of Kentucky enacted the statute of March 21, 1900, already referred to, and that the defendants were attempting, under the assumed authority of said act, to compel complainant to list for taxation its shares of stock, and that the defendants designed and intended to assess said shares and to collect municipal taxes thereon for the benefit of the city of Covington for the years 1893 to 1900, both inclusive.

At much length facts were detailed in the bill and amendment regarding a reduction of the capital stock of the com

[ocr errors]

“Sec. 6. The purpose of this act is to place national banks of this State, with respect to taxation, upon the same footing as state banks as nearly as may be consistently with said article three of the revenue law and said de. cision of the Supreme Court.

“Sec. 7. Wbereas, it is important that state banks and national banks should be taxed equally for all purposes, and an emergency exists, this act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage."

« AnteriorContinuar »