decided decree vacated may 14 1888: April 16, 1888.
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS.
MR. JUSTICE BLATCHFORD delivered the opinion of the court.
This is a suit in equity, brought in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Arkansas, by George Christian and Jerry Stuart, against Joel Johnson, to obtain a decree for the release of certain land from liability under a deed of trust. The defendant appeared and answered, a replication was filed, and proofs were taken. The court, on final hearing, made a decree in favor of the plaintiffs. The defendant has appealed to this court.
On looking into the record, we can find no evidence of the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court. The bill commences in this way: "The complainants, George Christian and Jerry Stuart, citizens of the county of Chicot and State of Arkansas, would respectfully represent," etc. Joel Johnson is the sole defendant, but there is no allegation as to his citizenship, nor does that appear anywhere in the record. Under these circumstances,
this court must take notice for itself of the absence of the averment of the necessary facts to show the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court, and must reverse the decree, in accordance with the settled practice.
It is only necessary to refer to the case of Continental Ins. Co. v. Rhoads, 119 U.S. 237, where it was said, citing numerous cases: "It was settled at a very early day that the facts on which the jurisdiction of the Circuit Courts rest must, in some form, appear on the face of the record of all suits prosecuted before them;" and that "it is error for a court to proceed without its jurisdiction is shown."
It was also said in the same case, citing Morgan v. Gay, 19 Wall. 81, and Robertson v. Cease, 97 U.S. 646, that, if the party in regard to whom the necessary citizenship was not shown actually possessed such citizenship, the record could not be amended in this court so as to show the fact, but that the court below might, in its discretion, allow that to be done when the case should get back there.
In accordance with these views,
The decree of the Circuit Court is reversed, with costs, and the case is remanded to that court for further proceedings.
Mr. Rose thereupon, on the 28th of April, 1888, presented and obtained leave to file the following petition, entitled in the cause.
"The appellees beg leave to ask for a reconsideration of the judgment herein, because it is based on an obvious oversight.
"The opinion states that the object of the suit was 'to obtain a decree for the release of certain land from ...