« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
apexing in the territory of the St. Louis | 664. The parties then brought, by separate claim. This was not the discovery vein, but writs of error, these two decisions of the a secondary vein, frequently called the court of appeals to this court, on considerDrumlummon vein or lode, whose apex was ation whereof this court held that the judgbetween the compromise ground and the ment in the circuit court was entirely set apex of the St. Louis discovery vein. Some aside by the second decision of the court of of this ore was mined and removed by the appeals, and therefore dismissed both cases Montana company. On September 16, 1893, on the ground that there was no final judg a year before the specific performance suit ment. 186 U. S. 24, 46 L. ed. 1039, 22 Sup. was brought, the St. Louis company filed Ct. Rep. 744. its complaint in the circuit court of the United States for the district of Montana, against the Montana company and several individual defendants, claiming to recover $200,000 for the damages sustained by the trespass of the defendants in removing the ore. In its complaint the St. Louis company alleged that it was a corporation organized under the laws of Montana, and that the Montana company was a corporation incorporated under the laws of the Kingdom of Great Britain, but nothing was said as to the residence or citizenship of the individual defendants.
On November 21, 1898, three weeks after the decision by this court in the specific performance suit, an amended and supplemental complaint was filed, which omitted the individual defendants and sought a recovery from the Montana company alone for the ore so wrongfully removed, as alleged. On June 26, 1899, a second amended and supplemental complaint was filed, also against the Montana company alone, and asking for the same relief. To this an answer was filed, setting up the bond and deed heretofore referred to, and pleading that thereby the plaintiff was estopped from claiming any part of the compromise ground or any mineral contained therein.
Whereupon the court of appeals sent down to the circuit court a mandate setting aside the judgment in toto, and ordering a new trial. This new trial was held on May 31, 1905, and resulted in a judgment in favor of the St. Louis company for $195,000, which judgment was affirmed by the circuit court of appeals, to reverse which decision the Montana company sued out this writ of error.
After this last decision by the court of appeals, the circuit court, on the application of the St. Louis company, set aside the order which restrained it from extracting ore from the disputed territory. Thereupon the Montana company filed its application in this court for a reinstatement of that order and that it be continued in force until the final termination of the litigation.
The St. Louis company filed a motion to dismiss the writ of error sued out by the Montana company, on the ground that the jurisdiction of the circuit court depended entirely on diverse citizenship, and therefore the decision of the court of appeals was final. The Montana company then made application for a writ of certiorari, which application was passed for consideration to the final hearing of the case.
Messrs. Charles J. Hughes, Jr., W. E. Cullen, Aldis B. Browne, and Alexander Britton for plaintiff in error.
Messrs. Milton S. Gunn, Arthur Brown, J. H. Ralston, Thomas C. Bach, J. B. Clayberg, F. L. Siddons, Ira T. Wight, and W. E. Richardson for defendant in error.
Mr. Justice Brewer delivered the opinion of the court:
Pending this litigation, and on respectively the sixth and twelfth days of December, 1898, orders were issued by the circuit court restraining severally each of the parties to this litigation from taking any more mineral from the disputed ground. On the second amended and supplemental complaint a trial was had in which judgment was rendered in favor of the St. Louis company for $23,209. To review this judgment, the Montana company prosecuted a writ of error The first question is, of course, the one from the circuit court of appeals of the ninth of jurisdiction. If the jurisdiction of the circuit, which writ was dated October 7, circuit co...t depended alone on diverse citi1899, and the judgment was affirmed May 14, zenship, then, undoubtedly, the decision of 1900. 42 C. C. A. 415, 102 Fed. 430. The the court of appeals was final, and the case St. Louis company took out a cross writ of could only be brought here on certiorari. error from the circuit court of appeals dated | On the other hand, if it did not depend alone January 30, 1900, and that court reversed on diverse citizenship, the decision of the the judgment October 8, 1900, and remanded the case for a new trial as to the recovery sought for the conversion and value of certain ores, which had been excluded by the circuit court from the consideration of the jury. 56 L.R.A. 725, 44 C. C. A. 120, 104 Fed.
court of appeals was not final, and the case is properly here on writ of error. The original complaint alleged the citizenship of the two corporations, plaintiff and defendant, but did not allege the citizenship of the individual defendants. In order to sustain the
The argument in favor of this construction is forcibly put by Circuit Judge Gilbert, delivering the opinion of the court of appeals, when the case was first presented to that court. 42 C. C. A. 415, 102 Fed. 430. Without quoting it in full it is to the effect that agreements and conveyances of the whole or parts of mining claims are to be construed in the light of the mining law, as, generally speaking, we construe a contract, not merely by its terms, but having regard to the subject-matter involved and the surrounding circumstances, in order to ascertain the intention of the parties. Particular reference was made to Richmond Min. Co. v. Eureka Min. Co. 103 U. S. 846, 26 L. ed. 557, in which this court held that a line specified in a contract between the owners of contiguous mining claims to be one continued downward to the center of the earth was not a vertical plane, but must be construed as extending the boundary line downward through the dips of the veins or lodes whereever they might go in their course toward the center of the earth.
jurisdiction of the circuit court on the | the two claims, leaving all subsurface rights ground of diverse citizenship, the citizenship to be determined by the ordinary rules recof all the parties on one side must be diverse ognized in the mining districts and enforced from that of those on the other. So, unless by the statutes of Congress. there was a Federal question presented by that complaint, as the citizenship of the individual defendants was not shown, the circuit court had no jurisdiction of the case. It may be that this was remedied by the subsequent first and second amended complaints, in which the individual defendants were left out, the citizenship of the two corporations, plaintiff and defendant, alleged, and to which complaints the Montana company, without raising any question of jurisdiction, appeared and answered. Conolly v. Taylor, 2 Pet. 556, 7 L. ed. 518; Anderson v. Watt, 138 U. S. 694, 34 L. ed. 1078, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 449. Be that as it may, in view of the fact that this litigation has been | twice before this court, has been protracted for many years, involves so large an amount, and also presents questions of Federal mining law which, though perhaps not necessary for our decision, have yet been elaborately argued by counsel, we are of opinion that if the jurisdiction of the circuit court did, after the filing of the amended complaints, depend entirely on diverse citizenship, the case ought to be brought here by writ of certiorari. As either by writ of error or certiorari the decision of the court of appeals can be brought before this court, and as each has been applied for, and as the imthe importance of the case seems to demand our examination, it is scarcely necessary to consume time in attempting to decide positively whether there was a Federal question involved, or the jurisdiction depended solely on diverse citizenship. The writ of error was duly allowed prior to the filing of the record in the first instance, and, to avoid any further question of our jurisdiction, we allow the certiorari. Pullman's Palace Car Co. v. Central Transp. Co. 171 U. S. 138, 43 L. ed. 108, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 808.
We pass, therefore, to a consideration of the merits; and the first question presented by counsel indeed, as we look at it, the pivotal question-is the proper construction of the bond and deed by which the plaintiff in error claims title to the compromise ground. The bond described the ground, adding, "together with all the mineral therein contained." The deed executed in pursuance of the judicial decree contains the same description, followed by the words above quoted and also the further words given in the statement of facts,-"together with all the dips, spurs, and angles," etc.
Now, the contention of the defendant in error is that the effect of the compromise followed by the bond and conveyance was simply to locate the boundary line becween
Further, the argument is that the adverse proceedings were maintained by the owners of the Nine Hour claim on the theory that the strip of land so contracted to be conveyed was a portion of that claim; that if the action had gone to judgment, sustaining their contention, the result would have been. simply to fix the surface line of division between the two claims, without affecting the subsurface rights. Reference was also made to the suit for specific performance brought by the present plaintiff in error, in which it alleged that the contract had been made for the purpose of settling and agreeing upon the boundary line between the two claims, and that the suit was maintained upon the theory that, as owner of the Nine Hour claim, it owned the compromise ground afterwards conveyed.
We are not insensible to the force of this argument, and also appreciate fully what is said by counsel in reference to the familiarity of the several concurring justices with mining law and contracts and conveyances made under it.
Yet, notwithstanding, we are compelled to dissent from their construction of these instruments, and to hold that something more was intended and accomplished than the mere establishment of a surface boundary line. We premise by saying that nothing can be invoked in the nature of an estoppel from the averments in the pleadings in the suit for specific performance. True, the plaintiff in error alleged that the compro
thing is meant by each expression. While, of course, repetition is possible, yet it is not to be expected; and when, in addition to the ordinary words found in conveyances of mining claims, is this extra clause, we naturally regard it as making some further grant.
mise ground was a part of its mining claim,, follow, "dips, spurs," etc., that the same and that the bond was executed "to settle and compromise the said suit and adverse claims, and for the purpose of settling and agreeing upon the boundary line between" the two claims; but the bond itself, reciting the fact of a settlement and compromise, and an agreement by the contestants to withdraw their objections to the application The scope of this deed would not be open for a patent, stipulates for a conveyance, to doubt if only the common law was to be after patent, of the compromise ground, considered. And in this connection it may "comprising a part of two certain quartz be remarked that the common law has been lode mining claims, known as the St. Louis kept steadily in force in Montana. "The lode claim and the Nine Hour lode claim," common law of England, so far as the same they being, respectively, the two claims is applicable and of a general nature, and owned by the parties hereto. Further, the not in conflict with special enactments of answer denied that the compromise ground this territory, shall be the law and the rule was a part of the Nine Hour lode claim, of decision, and shall be considered as of full and alleged that the then owner of the St. force until repealed by legislative authorLouis lode claim executed the bond as a com-ity." Laws of Montana, 1871, 1872, chap. 13, promise of the adverse claim and suit, and to enable him to obtain a patent for the whole of his claim.
The facts in the case, as well as the ailegations in these pleadings, show that the two claims conflicted, that when application was made for a patent adverse proceedings were instituted, and that rather than try the title of the respective locators to the territory in conflict, and by way of compromise, they agreed that the owner of the St. Louis claim might proceed to patent, and then convey the compromise ground to the grantors of the plaintiff in error.
It must also be noticed that the dispute between the two claims was not simply in respect to the compromise ground,-at least, testimony offered to prove this was ruled out, but involved a larger area, and that the disputing parties settled by the bond, describing what was to be conveyed.
It is undoubtedly true that if the bond had simply described the surface area or fixed a boundary line between the two claims, the subsurface and extralateral rights might have been determined by the mining law. It might have been implied that there was no intention to disturb the rights given by it.
Further, while it may be true that the words "together with all the dips, spurs, and angles," etc., are generally employed in conveyances of mining claims in order to emphasize the fact that not merely the surface but the extralateral rights which go with a mining claim are conveyed, yet it must be noticed that in addition to these customary words are these, found in both the bond and the deed: "Together with all the mineral therein contained;" and they cannot be ignored, but must be given a meaning reasonable and consistent with other parts of the instruments. It is not satisfactory to say that they are only equivalent to those that 27 S. C.-17.
§ 1, p. 388, substantially re-enacted in Mont. Anno. Code, § 5152. See also Territory v. Ye Wan, 2 Mont. 478, 479; Territory ex rel. Blake v. Virginia Road Co. 2 Mont. 96; Butte Hardware Co. v. Sullivan, 7 Mont. 312, 16 Pac. 588; Palmer v. McMaster, 8 Mont. 186, 192, 19 Pac. 585; Milburn Mfg. Co. v. Johnson, 9 Mont. 541, 24 Pac. 17; Forrester v. Boston & M. Consol. Copper & S. Min. Co. 21 Mont. 544, 556, 55 Pac. 229, 353. By that law a deed of real estate conveys all beneath the surface, unless there be some words of exception or limitation. But the mining laws of both state and territory were in force, and in construing conveyances of mining claims the provisions of those laws must be taken into account, and may add to or subtract from the rights passing by a common-law conveyance of agricultural or timber lands. It is probably not necessary to specify extralateral rights in order that a conveyance of a mining claim be operative to transfer them, and yet it is not strange that the custom grew up of naming them for the sake of avoiding the possibility of disputes. While the bond made no mention of extralateral rights, yet in all probability it would have been held to pass them and the court may have thought that the single specification, "all the mineral therein contained," was liable to be construed as narrowing the conveyance so as to include only the mineral beneath the surface, and therefore required that there should be incorporated in the deed the words "together with all the dips, spurs," etc. Yet, in requiring the introduction of these words, which in terms define extralateral rights, it also retained the phrase "together with all the mineral therein contained."
To the suggestion that giving this construction to the bond and conveyance is in effect the granting of a section of a vein of mineral, the answer is that there is noth
ing impractical or unnatural in such a conveyance. It does not operate to transfer the vein in toto, but simply carves out from the vein the section between the vertical side lines of the ground, and transfers that to the grantee. The title to the balance of the vein remains undisturbed.
to recover from the Montana company the value of the ore taken by the latter from a vein whose apex was within the surface boundaries of the former's claim, but which in its dip had passed outside the side lines into territory claimed by the Montana company. With that as its claim the litigation was dormant for four years. Now, if it were true that the apex of the vein was within the side lines of the St. Louis claim and the ore taken by the defendants was taken from below the surface of the compromise ground, and all that was accomplished by the compromise and bond was the establishment of a boundary line, leaving subsurface and ex
To the further suggestion that the owner of the apex might be left with a body of ore on the descending vein beyond the further side line of the compromise ground which he could not reach, the answer is that this assumes as a fact that which may not be a fact. The owner of the apex may be the owner of other ground by which access can be obtained to the descending vein, and it | tralateral rights undisturbed, there was no also is a question worthy of consideration whether granting a section out from a descending vein does not imply a right reserved in the grantor to pass through the territory of the section conveyed in order to reach the further portion of the vein. Those are questions which need not now be determined. This secondary vein does not appear to have been known at the time of the compromise, and while, of course, there is always a possibility of such a vein being discovered, yet parties are more apt to contract and settle upon the basis of what they know than upon the possibilities of future discovery.
The action of the parties hereto is suggestive, although not of itself decisive. This action for the recovery of ore taken out from beneath the surface of the compromise ground was pending when the suit for specific performance was brought in 1894. Nothing was done in this action from that time until three weeks after a final decision of the specific performance case by this court, when an amended complaint was filed, and the case thereafter proceeded by ordinary stages to trial and judgment. The original complaint alleged the ownership by the St. Louis company of its mining claim and of all veins, lodes, or ledges having their tops or apexes inside of its surface boundary lines, with the right to follow those veins, lodes, or ledges on the dips or angles outside the side lines of the mining claim. It also alleged that the defendants entered wrongfully upon one of the veins, lodes, or ledges having its top or apex within the surface location of the St. Louis claim, and which had in its dip or angle passed outside the side lines of the St. Louis claim and "entered beneath the mining property claimed or pretended to be claimed by the said defendants or some of them, and that, in utter disregard of the right or title of plaintiff, the said defendants ever since have been and now are extracting and taking therefrom large quantities of coarse rock and ore," etc. In other words, it sought
necessity of postponing the litigation until the question of title to the surface was disposed of. As we have said, we do not mean that this is decisive, because the St. Louis company may have thought that all controversies would be ended if it could once establish that the Montana company took nothing by virtue of the compromise and bond. Still the delay in the litigation is in harmony with the belief that the words in the bond, "together with all the mineral therein contained," meant all the mineral below the surface.
The disposition of this question compels a reversal of the judgment. It may also effectually dispose of all disputes between the parties, and, therefore, it would be a mere waste of time to attempt to consider other questions which have been discussed with ability and elaboration by counsel.
In view of this conclusion it is also apparent that the order restraining defendant in error from removing ore from the disputed territory ought not to have been set aside.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed and the case remanded to the Circuit Court with instructions to grant a new trial. Further, the order restraining defendant in error from mining and removing any of the ore in dispute will be reinstated and continued in force until the final disposition of the case.
EAST CENTRAL EUREKA MINING COMPANY, James Toman, and Eliza A. Toman, Plffs. in Err.,
CENTRAL EUREKA MINING COMPANY.
Mines-lode location-parallelism of end lines.
1. The requirement of parallelism of end lines of lode mining locations which is made by the act of May 10, 1872 (17 Stat. at L. 91, chap. 152, § 2, U. S. Rev. Stat. § 2320, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, pp. 1424, 1425),
Messrs. S. S. Burdett, Curtis H. Lindley, and Henry Eickhoff for defendant in error.
Mr. Justice Holmes delivered the opinion of the court:
cannot be deemed to apply where the location had been made at the time of the passage of that act, and the proceedings under the act of July 26, 1866 (14 Stat. at L. 251, chap. 262), had then so far advanced as to exclude adverse claims, in view of the various provisions of the later act for the protection of all rights previously acquired under existing laws, and of the provision of § 3 of that act, that prior locators shall have "the exclusive right of possession and enjoyment of all the surface included within the lines of their locations, and of all veins, lodes, and ledges throughout their entire depth, the top or apex of which lies inside of such surface lines extended downward vertically, although such veins, lodes, or ledges may so far depart from a per-fornia. The apex of a vein runs through pendicular in their course downward as to extend outside the vertical side lines of said surface locations."*
This is a writ of error to reverse a decree in favor of the defendant in error, the original plaintiff and hereinafter called the plaintiff, which was ordered by the superior court and affirmed by the supreme court of California. 146 Cal. 147, 79 Pac. 834. The decree was made on a bill to quiet title, upon the following facts, which appeared at the trial of the case. The plaintiff is the owner of the "Summit quartz mine" in Cali
this mine between and nearly parallel with the surface side lines. This vein dips under the easterly side line and enters the adjoining land of the defendants, known as the Toman ranch. The controversy concerns the portion of the vein under the defendants' land. The main ground of defense is that the end lines of the mine are not parallel, but converge towards each other in the direction of the ranch, and that the plaintiff's
Mines-lode location-rights protected by subsequent legislation as then existing. 2. Rights in mining property entitled to protection under the act of May 10, 1872, as previously acquired under existing laws, exist where a lode mining location had been made at the time of the passage of that act, and the proceedings under the act of July 26, 1866, had then so far advanced as to ex-patent was granted on November 25, 1873, clude adverse claims.
Mines-lode location-effect of patent.
3. An election by the grantee of a patent for a lode mining claim to abandon rights acquired under the act of July 26, 1866, cannot be imported from the fact that such patent, in addition to granting such rights, also purports to grant all that would have been acquired by a location under the act of May 10, 1872.
when the act of May 10, 1872, chap. 152, 17 Stat. at L. 91, Rev. Stat. §§ 2320, 2322, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, pp. 1424, 1425, was in force. Iron Silver Min. Co. v. Elgin Min. & force. Iron Silver Min. Co. v. Elgin Min. & Smelting Co. 118 U. S. 196, 30 L. ed. 98, 6 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1177; Del Monte Min. & Mill. Co. v. Last Chance Min. & Mill. Co. 171 U. S. 55, 67, 43 L. ed. 72, 77, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 895. But the patent was issued upon an application made on February 7, 1871, based 4. The construction given by the high- June 22, 1865, respectively. The question is upon two locations of March 20, 1863, and est court of a state to a conveyance of min-whether the requirement of parallelism in § ing property, as not including the portion of a vein beneath the surface and within the converging lines, produced, of the grantor's location, will be followed by the Federal Supreme Court, on writ of error to the state court.t
Error to state court-following decisions of state courts.
2 of the act of 1872 (Rev. Stat. § 2320) applies to such a case.
The patent of the mine recites proceedings in pursuance of the Acts of 1866 [14 Stat. at L. 251, chap. 262], 1870 [16 Stat. at L. 217, chap. 235], and 1872, and describes and grants the premises by metes and
Argued January 8, 9, 1907. Decided Janu- bounds, with the exclusive right of pos
ary 21, 1907.
N ERROR to the Supreme Court of the State of California to review a decree which affirmed a decree of the Superior Court of Amador County, in that state, in favor of plaintiff in a suit to quiet title. Affirmed.
session and enjoyment of the same and of 11655/100 linear feet of the vein throughout its entire depth, although it may enter the land adjoining, with similar rights in other veins having their apex within the surface bounds; the extralateral or outside rights in the veins being confined, as by the act of 1872, § 3, to such portions as lie between
See same case below, 146 Cal. 147, 79 Pac. vertical planes drawn downward through the 834.
The facts are stated in the opinion. Messrs. Jackson H. Ralston, Frederick L. Siddons, William E. Richardson, Campbell, Metson, & Campbell, and Galpin & Bolton for plaintiffs in error.
end lines of the survey at the surface, and so continued in their own direction as to intersect the exterior part of the veins. In short, the patent purports to convey the rights claimed by the plaintiff in this suit, and also the additional rights that would *Ed. Note.-For cases in point, see vol. 34, Cent. Dig. Mines and Minerals, § 36. tEd. Note.-For cases in point, see vol. 13, Cent. Dig. Courts, §§ 958, 959.