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essential features of the rules framed by miners, and, among others, that which required work on the claim for its development as a condition of its continued ownership." See also Erhardt v. Boaro, 113 U. S. 527, 28 L. ed. 1113, 5 Sup. Ct. Rep. 560, in which (p. 535, L. ed. p. 1116, Sup. Ct. Rep. p. 564,) is this declaration:

"And although since 1866 Congress has, to some extent, legislated on the subject, prescribing the limits of location and appropriation and the extent of mining ground which one may thus acquire, miners are still permitted, in their respective districts, to make rules and regulations not in conflict with the laws of the United States or of the state or territory in which the districts are situated, governing the location, manner of recording, and amount of work necessary to hold possession of a claim."

Now, if Congress has power to delegate to a body of miners the making of additional regulations respecting location, it cannot be doubted that it has equal power to delegate similar authority to a state legislature.

the national law, nor relieve the locator | each mining claim, recognizing, however, the from the obligation of performing, in good faith, those acts which are declared by it to be essential to the maintenance and perpetuation of the estate acquired by location. Within these limits the state may legislate." What is the ground upon which the validity of these supplementary regulations prescribed by a state is challenged? It is insisted that the disposal of the public lands is an act of legislative power, and that it is not within the competency of a legislature to delegate to another body the exercise of its power; that Congress alone has the right to dispose of the public lands, and cannot transfer its authority to any state legislature or other body. The authority of Congress over the public lands is granted by § 3, article 4, of the Constitution, which provides that "the Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States." In other words, Congress is the body to which is given the power to determine the conditions upon which the public lands shall be disposed of. The nation is an owner, and has made Congress the principal agent to dispose of its property. Is it inconceivable that Congress, having regard to the interests of this owner, shall, after prescribing the main and substantial conditions of disposal, believe that those interests will be subserved if minor and subordinate regulations are intrusted to the inhabitants of the mining district or state in which the particular lands are situated? While the disposition of these lands is provided for by congressional legislation, such legislation savors somewhat of mere rules prescribed by an owner of property for its disposal. It is not of a legislative character in the highest sense of the term, and, as an owner may delegate to his principal agent the right to employ subordinates, giving to them a limited discretion, so it would seem that Congress might rightfully intrust to the local legislature the determination of minor matters respecting the disposal of these lands.

Further, § 2324 distinctly grants to the miners of each mining district the power to make regulations, and the validity of this grant has been expressly affirmed by this court. In Jackson v. Roby, 109 U. S. 440, 441, 27 L. ed. 990, 991, 3 Sup. Ct. Rep. 301, we said:

"The act of Congress of 1866 gave the sanction of law to these rules of miners, so far as they were not in conflict with the laws of the United States. 14 Stat. at L. 251, chap. 262, § 1. Subsequent legislation specified with greater particularity the modes of location and appropriation and extent of

Finally, it must be observed that this legislation was enacted by Congress more than thirty years ago. It has been acted upon as valid through all the mining regions of the country. Property rights have been built up on the faith of it. To now strike it down would unsettle countless titles and work manifold injury to the great mining interests of the Far West. While, of course, consequences may not determine a decision, yet, in a doubtful case, the court may well pause before thereby it unsettles interests so many and so vast,-interests which have been built up on the faith, not merely of congressional action, but also of judicial decisions of many state courts sustaining it, and of a frequent recognition of its validity by this court. Whatever doubts might exist if this matter was wholly res integra, we have no hesitation in holding that the question must be considered as settled by prior adjudications, and cannot now be reopened.

The Montana statute (Montana Codes Annotated, § 3612), among other supplementary regulations, provided that the declaratory statement filed in the office of the clerk of the county in which the lode or claim is situated must contain "the dimensions and location of the discovery shaft, or its equivalent, sunk upon lode or placer claims," and "the location and description of each corner, with the markings thereon." A failure to comply with these regulations was the ground upon which the supreme court of Montana held the location invalid. It is contended that these provisions are too stringent, and conflict with the liberal pur

pose manifested by Congress in its legisla- | enforcement of a lien upon the proceeds of tion respecting mining claims. We do not two policies of insurance in the hands of a think that they are open to this objection. trustee in bankruptcy. The district court They certainly do not conflict with the let- filed findings of fact and its conclusions of ter of any congressional statute; on the con- law, in pursuance to the third subdivision trary, are rather suggested by § 2324. It of General Order in Bankruptcy 36; and an may well be that the state legislature, in its appeal was taken upon the question of jurisdesire to guard against false testimony in diction alone, under the supposed authority respect to a location, deemed it important of the 5th section of the judiciary act of that full particulars in respect to the dis- | March 3, 1891 [26 Stat. at L. 827, chap. 517, covery shaft and the corner posts should be, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 549]. at the very beginning, placed of record. Even if there were no danger of false testimony, it was not unreasonable to guard D. D. Lucius, a resident citizen of Alaagainst the resurrection of incomplete loca-bama, was, in voluntary proceedings, adtions when, by subsequent explorations, min- judged a bankrupt, and the case was sent ing claims of great value have been un- to a referee. In his schedules, Lucius covered. claimed as exempt drugs to the value of $1,000 and $1,000 of a balance of $1,150 due upon the aforementioned policies of insurance. The policies subsequently came into the possession of the trustee in bankruptcy.

We see no error in the rulings of the Supreme Court of Montana, and its judgment is affirmed.

(196 U. S. 149)

D. D. LUCIUS, Appt.,

v.

CAWTHON-COLEMAN COMPANY.

Direct appeal from district court jurisdiction is in issue.

In substance the pertinent facts stated in the findings were as follows:

The Cawthon-Coleman Company were creditors of Lucius for about the sum of $1,000, evidenced by a note containing a waiver of exemption of personal property, and secured by a mortgage upon the homestead of Lucius, which mortgage contained when a stipulation for insurance for the benefit of the mortgagees. The two policies above referred to were obtained in consequence of the stipulation referred to, and while in force, and before the adjudication in bankruptcy, the dwelling insured was destroyed by fire. Claiming, by reason of the facts just stated, an equitable lien upon the proceeds of the insurance, the Cawthon-Coleman Company filed a petition in the bankruptcy proceedings to establish and enforce their alleged lien. During the pendency of this proceeding the trustee in bankruptcy collected the balance due upon the policies. The trustee reported an allowance of the exemption out of such proceeds, as claimed by the bankrupt, and shortly afterwards the bankrupt filed a plea denying jurisdiction in the court to hear and determine the claim of lien. This plea was overruled by the ref

A decision of a court of bankruptcy upholding its jurisdiction to adjudicate the validity of an alleged equitable lien upon property which it decided to be an asset of the estate in bankruptcy, and not exempt property of the bankrupt, does not create a question of jurisdiction which will sustain a direct appeal to the Federal Supreme Court under the act of March 3, 1891 (26 Stat. at L. 827, chap. 517, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 549), since, by the express terms of the bankruptcy act of 1898 (30 Stat. at L. 546, chap. 541, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 3421), § 2, subd. 11,

jurisdiction is conferred upon courts of bankruptcy to determine all claims of bankrupts to their exemptions.

[No. 110.]

Submitted December 13, 1904. Decided eree, who also refused to confirm the allow

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ance of the exemption claimed by the bankrupt, and an order was made by the referee directing the trustee to pay to the CawthonColeman Company on the mortgage indebtedness the sum of $1,001.40 out of the insurance proceeds. Thereafter, to quote from the findings, "upon a review by the district judge sitting in bankruptcy, of the referee's decision, the judge affirmed it, and rendered a decree asserting that the bankruptcy court had jurisdiction to hear and determine this matter, and granted the relief prayed by the petition of Cawthon-Coleman Company." This appeal on the question of jurisdiction was then taken direct to this court.

Messrs. Harry Pillans, William James | bankruptcy court, while subject to correcJohnson, and Pillans, Hanaw, & Pillans for appellant.

No counsel opposed.

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tion in the mode appropriate for the correction of errors (Lockwood v. Exchange Bank, 190 U. S. 294, 47 L. ed. 1061, 23 Sup. Ct. Rep. 751), does not create a question of jurisdiction proper to be passed upon by this court by a direct appeal under the provisions of the act of March 3, 1891.

First Nat. Bank v. Klug, 186 U. S. 203, 204, 46 L. ed. 1127, 1128, 23 Sup. Ct. Rep. 899, and cases cited. It necessarily results from the foregoing that, as the bankruptcy court determined that the proceeds of the insurance policies in the hands of the trustee were assets of the estate in bankruptcy, and not exempt property of the bankrupt, the jurisdiction existed to proceed to adjudi

By the express terms of subdivision 11 of § 2 of the bankruptcy act of 1898 [30 Stat. at L. 546, chap. 541, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 3421], jurisdiction is conferred upon courts of bankruptcy to determine all claims of bankrupts to their exemptions. When, therefore, as in the case at bar, property of the bankrupt has come into the possession of the trustee in bankruptcy, and the bankrupt has asserted in the bankruptcy court acate the validity of an alleged equitable lien claim to be entitled to a part or the whole of such property, as exempt property, the bankruptcy court necessarily is vested with jurisdiction to determine, upon the facts be- As, therefore, upon the record before us, fore it, the validity of the claimed exemp-the jurisdiction of the court was not in istion. An erroneous decision against an as- sue within the meaning of the act of March serted right of exemption, and a conse- 3, 1891, the direct appeal to this court was quently erroneous holding that the property not properly brought, and the order must forms assets of the estate in bankruptcy, to be appeal dismissed. be administered under the direction of the

upon such property. Hutchinson v. Otis, 190 U. S. 552, 555, 47 L. ed. 1179, 1181, 23 Sup. Ct. Rep. 778.

(196 U. S. 93)

A. L. SMALLEY and F. McLellan, Plffs. in | 1899, execution was issued on the judgment

Err.,
v.

GEORGE F. LAUGENOUR

Laugenour.

Error to state court-Federal question.

A decision of a state court sustaining a homestead exemption claimed under the state statutes, which rests on the effect, as res judicata, of an order of a court of bankruptcy sustaining such exemption in proceedings begun prior to a sale of the property to satisfy the lien of a general judgment, cannot be reviewed in the Federal Supreme Court, where the only Federal right specially claimed, if any, was one of immunity from the discharge in bankruptcy.

[No. 97.]

and levied on the land mentioned, under which, after due advertisement, it was sold and Jane at public auction to the respondents for the sum of $532.15, being the amount then due on the judgment. Thereafter the sale was confirmed by the court, and after the time for redemption had expired, a sheriff's deed was executed and delivered to the purchasers, which they caused to be recorded. On May 10, 1899, three days before the execution sale took place, the appellant Geo. F. Laugenour filed in the United States district court for the district of Washington his voluntary petition in bankruptcy, in the schedule to which he listed the land in controversy, claiming the same as exempt under the bankruptcy act. On May 11, 1899, the referee in bankruptcy, to whom the proceedings had been referred, adjudged the petitioner a bankrupt, and thereupon gave to the creditors of the bankrupt shown in the schedule attached to the petition, among whom were the respondents, the formal notice required by the bankruptcy act, notify

Submitted November 28, 1904. Decided
January 3, 1905.

IN IN ERROR to the Supreme Court of the State of Washington to review a judging them of the adjudication of bankruptcy, ment which reversed a judgment of the Superior Court of Lincoln County, in that State, in favor of plaintiffs in an action of ejectment, and remanded the cause, with directions to enter judgment for defendants. Dismissed for want of jurisdiction.

See same case below, 30 Wash. 307, 70

Pac. 786.

Statement by Mr. Chief Justice Fuller: This was an action of ejectment commenced in the superior court of Lincoln county, Washington, by A. F. Smalley and F. McLellan against George F. Laugenour and Jane Laugenour (with two others, who subsequently ceased to be parties), to recover possession of certain real estate situated in that county. The action was tried by the court without a jury, which filed findings of fact and conclusions of law, and rendered judgment for plaintiffs, whereupon defendants Laugenour carried the case by appeal to the supreme court of Washington. The judgment was there reversed and the cause remanded with directions to enter judgment for appellants, defendants below. 30 Wash. 307, 70 Pac. 786. This writ of error was then brought.

The facts were stated by that court in brief as follows:

"The appellants are husband and wife, and acquired the land in controversy as early as the year 1885. On March 16, 1895, the respondents and one L. J. Hutchings, as partners, recovered a judgment in the superior court of Lincoln county on a community debt against the appellant Geo. F. Laugenour for the sum of $363.45. On April 12,

of the time and place fixed for the first meeting of the creditors, that they might attend at such meeting, prove their claims, examine the bankrupt, and transact such other business as should properly come before the meeting. None of the creditors appeared at the time fixed for the meeting, viz., June 5, 1899, and no trustee was elected or appointed, the referee finding that no necessity existed therefor. On August 9, 1899, the bankruptcy court entered an order discharging the bankrupt from all debts and claims made provable against the bankrupt's estate; and on August 12 'regularly made an order in said bankruptcy proceedings, setting aside to said bankrupt, as exempt under the act of Congress relating to bankruptcy, the real estate hereinbefore described, and awarding said real estate to the said bankrupt.' The court further found that since the execution sale the appellants had been in possession of the real estate, claiming to be the owners of the same; and for several years last past had resided in Spokane county, Washington, and that the real property, during the time, had been occupied by the defendant Harry Gilliland as

their tenant. On the facts so found it ruled that the respondents were the owners and entitled to the possession of the premises, and entered judgment accordingly."

Messrs. Charles S. Voorhees, Reese H. Voorhees, H. A. P. Myers, and W. T. Warren for plaintiffs in error.

Messrs. W. C. Keegin, Herman D. Crow, and James A. Williams for defendants in error.

Mr. Chief Justice Fuller delivered the | ruptcy court as having been rendered in the opinion of the court: exercise of the jurisdiction with which it was vested.

Plaintiffs in error were notified of the proceedings in bankruptcy, as provided by the bankruptcy act, and, if they had desired to contest the claim to exemption, they might have done so, or could have invoked the supervision and revision of the order by the circuit court of appeals; but they did not do that, and could not question its validity in the state courts, unless, indeed, it were absolutely void, which is not and could not be pretended.

The state supreme court, after calling attention to the statute of the state permitting a head of a family to select from his or her real property a homestead of limited value, and exempting it from the liens of general judgments and from execution or forced sale thereunder (Ballinger's Code, §§ 5214 et seq.), and to previous rulings of the court that the selection might be made at any time before sale (Wiss v. Stewart, 16 Wash. 376, 47 Pac. 736), and that an execution sale thereof after such selection was ineffectual to pass title to the purchaser The bankruptcy court is expressly vested (Wiss v. Stewart; Asher v. Sekofsky, 10 with jurisdiction "to determine all claims of Wash. 379, 38 Pac. 1133), said: "If, there-bankrupts to their exemptions." (§ 2, cl. fore, the property in question was exempt 11.) Where there is a trustee, he sets apart from execution at the time the sale was made the exemptions, and reports thereon to the under the execution issued on the respond- court (§ 47, cl. 11); where no trustee has ents' judgment, the respondents acquired no been appointed, under general order XV. the title thereto by their purchase at the execu- court acts in the first instance. tion sale, and consequently have no title on which they can maintain the present action."

And the court held that the order of the district judge of the United States for the district of Washington, sitting in bankruptcy, awarding the property to Laugenour as property exempt from the claims of his creditors, and which related back to the time of the filing of the petition in bankruptcy, which was prior to the date of the attempted sale, was a judgment conclusive as between the parties that the property was so exempt at that date.

The state court was of opinion that Laugenour and his wife might have pleaded and proved facts showing that the property was exempt from execution at the time of the sale, making the issue directly in the state court; but, as they chose to rely on the principle of res judicata, that is, or the adjudication by the bankruptcy court, having jurisdiction of person and estate, in a proceeding in bankruptcy in which the judgment of Smalley and McLellan was provable, the court gave due force and effeet to that adjudication.

Section 6 of the bankruptcy act provided: "This act shall not affect the allowance to bankrupts of the exemptions which are prescribed by the state laws in force at the time of the filing of the petition in the state wherein they have had their domicil for the six months or the greater portion thereof immediately preceding the filing of the petition." [30 Stat. at L. 548, chap. 541, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 3424.]

The rights of a bankrupt to property as exempt are those given him by the state statutes, and if such exempt property is not subject to levy and sale under those statutes, then it cannot be made to respond under the act of Congress.

In one of the paragraphs of the reply of plaintiffs in error (plaintiffs in the court of original jurisdiction) to the answer of defendants it was asserted that, on the day their judgment was recovered, Laugenour and his wife were the owners of the real estate in question, and the judgment became a lien thereon, and that "said lien, which culminated in the aforesaid sale of real estate to plaintiffs, was obtained and created pursuant to said suit, and more than four The jurisdiction of this court to review months prior to the filing of the alleged pethe final judgments and decrees of a state tition in bankruptcy;" and it is argued that court rests on § 709 of the Revised Statutes this amounted to a special assertion of an (U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 575), and in immunity under the bankruptcy act. But this instance must be derived from the third immunity from what? Nothing more, at division of that section, if it exist at all. the best, than immunity from the discharge And on the face of this record we cannot in bankruptcy; not from the exemptions aufind that plaintiffs in error specially set thorized by the state statute. And so Fulup or claimed any title, right, privilege, or lerton, J., speaking for the state supreme immunity under the Constitution, or any court, said: "Lastly, it is said that the orstatute of, or authority exercised under, the der of the court setting apart the property United States, which was decided against by as exempt does not purport to, nor does it the state court. What seems to be com- in law, affect existing liens upon the propplained of is that the state supreme court erty set apart as exempt, and, unless the accepted the judgment of the Federal bank- liens thereon be such as the law avoids of

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