132 U.S. 192 (10 S.Ct. 57, 33 L.Ed. 309)


Decided: November 25, 1889

The plaintiff, without tendering a bill of exceptions, sued out this writ of error.

Alfred Goldth waite, for plaintiff in error.

J. D. Rouse and Wm. Grant, for defendant in error.


Mr. Justice GRAY, after stating the facts as above, delivered the opinion of the court.

Assuming the agreement in writing—waiving a jury, and submitting the case to the decision of the circuit court—to have been seasonably filed, the record is not in such a shape as to authorize this court to review that decision. By the settled construction of the acts of congress defining the appellate jurisdiction of this court, either a statement of facts by the parties, or a finding of facts by the circuit court, is strictly analogous to a special verdict, and must state the ultimate facts of the case, presenting questions of law only, and not be a recital of evidence or of circumstances which may tend to prove the ultimate facts, or from which they may be inferred. Burr v. Navigation Co., 1 Wall. 99; Norris v. Jackson, 9 Wall. 125; Martinton v. Fairbanks, 112 U. S. 670, 5 Sup. Ct. Rep. 321.

In the present case the pleadings present issues of fact. There is no bill of exceptions. The so-called 'statement of facts' is mainly a recapitulation of evidence introduced by the parties at the trial. The case was not submitted to the decision of the court upon that statement only, but the court made a further finding as to what took place at the trial. That finding merely states that the parties admitted that, so far as the facts were stated in a certain reported opinion of the supreme court of Louisiana, they were a correct statement of the facts of this case; but that each party claimed that there existed additional facts, as to which there is no finding. On referring to that opinion such facts as are there stated appear to be scattered through it, intermingled with statements of conflicting evidence, and with the court's conclusions of fact upon that evidence, as well as with its conclusions of law. Rabasse v. Parish of Terrebonne, 30 La. Ann. 287. In short, there is nothing in the present case which can be called in any legal or proper sense, either a statement of facts by the parties, or a finding of facts by the court; and no question of law is presented in such a form as to authorize this court to consider it. Judgment affirmed.

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Affirming 28 Fed. Rep. 773.