In Re Tampa Suburban Railroad Company , 168 U.S. 583 ( 1897 )

  • 168 U.S. 583 (1897)


    No Number.

    Supreme Court of United States.

    Argued November 29, 1897.
    Decided December 20, 1897.

    *587 Mr. Noah Brooks Kent Pettingill for petitioner. Mr. Thomas Mitchell Shackleford was on his brief.

    Mr. Adrian H. Joline opposing. Mr. Henry W. Calhoun was on his brief.

    MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the court.

    By section 716 of the Revised Statutes it is provided that: "The Supreme Court and the Circuit and District Courts shall have power to issue writs of scire facias. They shall also have power to issue all writs not specifically provided for by statute, which may be necessary for the exercise of their respective jurisdictions, and agreeable to the usages and principles of law." This undoubtedly authorized the issue of writs of certiorari in all proper cases. American Construction Co. v. Jacksonville, Tampa &c. Railway, 148 U.S. 372, 380.

    In the case of In re Chetwood, 165 U.S. 443, 461, we allowed the writ to bring up for review certain final orders of the Circuit Court, which interfered with causes pending in this court; and the question of the issue of the writ by this court in the exercise of its inherent general powers, under the Constitution, did not arise.

    By this application the review of two interlocutory orders is sought, the one, a preliminary restraining order, and the other appointing a receiver and continuing the injunction in aid of the receivership, on the ground that both these orders were void for want of power in the Circuit Judge to grant them outside of his circuit.

    That this presents a question of grave importance is obvious, but it is objected that the application cannot be entertained because the appellate jurisdiction of this court can only be exercised in respect of final judgments or decrees, and, also, because there is another adequate remedy. We need not consider the first of these objections, as the second is sufficient to dispose of the application.

    When sought as between private persons, the general rule *588 is that the writ of certiorari, such as asked here, will be granted or denied, in the sound discretion of the court, on special cause or ground shown; and will be refused where there is a plain and equally adequate remedy by appeal or otherwise.

    By the seventh section of the Judiciary Act of March 3, 1891, c. 517, 26 Stat. 826, 828, as amended by the act of February 18, 1895, c. 96, 28 Stat. 666, it is provided: "That where, upon a hearing in equity, in a District Court or a Circuit Court, an injunction shall be granted, continued, refused or dissolved by an interlocutory order or decree or an application to dissolve an injunction shall be refused in a case in which an appeal from a final decree may be taken under the provisions of this act to the Circuit Court of Appeals, an appeal may be taken from such interlocutory order or decree granting, continuing, refusing, dissolving or refusing to dissolve an injunction to the Circuit Court of Appeals."

    The suit in which the orders complained of were entered is one in which an appeal from a final decree might be taken to the Circuit Court of Appeals, and this even though the question of the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court was involved. United States v. Jahn, 155 U.S. 109. An appeal to the Circuit Court of Appeals' might, therefore, have been taken from these orders or from an order refusing to set them aside and dissolve the injunction. We are not called on to say that an appeal would lie from an order simply appointing a receiver, but where the order also grants an injunction, the appeal provided for may be taken, and carries up the entire order, and the case may, indeed, on occasion, be considered and decided on its merits. Smith v. Vulcan Iron Works, 165 U.S. 518.

    The application for leave to file this petition must, therefore, be denied; but we must not be understood as intimating an opinion that a Circuit Judge has power to grant injunctions, appoint receivers or enter orders or decrees, in invitum, outside of his circuit.

    Leave denied.