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MAGRUDER v. ARMES.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES


decided: March 18, 1901.

MAGRUDER
v.
ARMES.

ERROR TO THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

Author: Brewer

[ 180 U.S. Page 498]

 MR. JUSTICE BREWER, after making the above statement, delivered the opinion of the court.

The jurisdiction of this court in ordinary actions in the District of Columbia is limited to cases in which the amount in controversy is over $5000. Act of February 9, 1893, c. 74, ยง 8, 27 Stat. 434, 436. The fact, as disclosed by the declaration, is that plaintiff paid less than $90 to preserve from sale property worth only $1800. Everything which the defendants did was done by virtue of an order or judgment of a court of this District, having full jurisdiction. Whether such judgment was simply irregular or absolutely void, plaintiff cancelled all her liabilities by the payment of a sum less than $90, and the only property of hers endangered by their action she avers was worth $1800. It is true that in the declaration she charges illegality and spite, but such language is mere matter of epithet. We are guided by the facts as they are stated. There was no personal violence, no insult; nothing which sometimes rightfully opens the door to punitive damages. Finding that property of the value of $1800 was, as she thought, endangered, she paid $90 to escakpe the danger. Obviously her assertion that she was damaged to the amount of $6000 was without legal foundation and only made with the purpose of securing a review in this court. Nothing in the facts justified any such assertion. Jurisdiction cannot be vested in this court by a mere claim of damages, unsupported by facts. We do not care to enter into and discussion of this question, but refer simply to Bowman v. Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company, 115 U.S. 611, and cases cited in the opinion. The writ of error will be

Dismissed.

19010318

© 1998 VersusLaw Inc.



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