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the company seeking the appropriation on the other,-there is a controversy which is subject to the ordinary incidents of a ciril suit, and its determination derogates in no respect from the sovereignty of the State.” Again in the same case: “It has long been settled that a corporation will be treated, where contracts or rights of property are to be enforced by or against it, as a citizen of the State under the laws of which it was created, within the clause of the Constitution extending the judicial power of the United States to controversies between citizens of different States. Paul v. Virginia, 8 Wall. 177. And in Gaines v. Fuentes, 92 U. S. 20, it was held that a controversy between citizens is involved in a suit whenever any property or claim of the parties, capable of pecuniary estimation, is the subject of litigation and is presented by the pleadings for judicial determination. Within the meaning of these decisions, we think the case at bar was properly transferred to the Circuit Court, and that it had jurisdiction to determine the controversy."
Searl v. School District No. 2 .was also a proceeding for the condemnation of private property to public use for school purposes. It was commenced by petition filed in a County Court, a subordinate tribunal of one of the counties of Colorado. The local statute authorized the compensation to be fixed by a jury of six freeholders, with a right of appeal. The question in the case was as to the removability of the case from the County Court to the Federal Court. This court, speaking by Mr. Justice Matthews, said: "Such a proceeding, according to the decision of this court in Kohl v. United States, 91 U. S. 367, is a suit at law within the meaning of the Constitution of the United States and the acts of Congress conferring jurisdiction upon the courts of the United States." After referring to prior cases, including Boom Co.uv. Patterson, the opinion proceeds: “The fact that the Colorado statute provides for the ascertainment of damages by a commission of three freeholders, unless at the hearing a defendant shall demand a jury, does not make the proceeding from its commencement any the
less a suit at law within the meaning of the Constitution and acts of Congress and the previous decisions of the court.
It is an adversary judicial proceeding from the beginning. The appointment of commissioners to ascertain the compensation is only one of the modes by which it is to be determined. The proceeding is, therefore, a suit at law from the time of the filing of the petition and the service of process upon the defendant.” 124 U. S. 199, 200.
It will be observed from an examination of the Searl case that this court cited with approval Colorado Midland Railway Co. v. Jones, 29 Fed. Rep. 193, and the Mineral Range Railroad Co. v. Detroit & Lake Superior Copper Co., 25 Fed. Rep. 515. Those cases fully sustain the proposition that the case brought in the state court was a suit within the meaning of the Constitution and the judiciary act.
In the first one named, which was a proceeding under a local statute in an inferior state tribunal for the condemnation of lands for the use of a railway company, Mr. Justice Brewer, then Circuit Judge, after referring to the local statute under which the company proceeded and to Boom Co. v. Patterson, and Searl v. School District, held the case to be removable, although the proceedings for condemnation were somewhat different from those in an ordinary trial, saying:“I do not suppose that a State can, by making special provisions for the trial of any particular controversy, prevent the exercise of the right of removal. If there was no statutory limitation, the legislature could provide for the trial of many cases by less than a common law jury, or in some other special way. But the fact that it. had made such different and special provisions would not make the proceeding any the less a trial, or such a suit as, if between citizens of two States, could not be removed to the Federal courts. If this were possible, then the only thing the legislature of a State would have to do to destroy the right of removal entirely would be to simply change and modify the details of procedure."
In Mineral Range R. Co. v. Detroit & Lake Superior Copper
Co., Mr. Justice Brown, then District Judge, after referring to Boom Co. v. Patterson, and many other adjudged cases, said: "But conceding that if the only question in this case were the amount of damages to be paid by the railroad company, the jurisdiction of this court would be sustained by the authorities above cited, it is insisted that these cases are inapplicable, because by the statute of this State the jury. or commissioners must pass upon the question of the necessity for taking the property, as well as the amount of damages to be awarded. But we think that, in this particular, counsel overlook the distinction between the power to condemn, which confessedly resides in the State, and proceedings to condemn, which the State has delegated to its courts. The proceeding is certainly not deprived of its character as a suit by reason of its taking cognizance of this additional question; and if it be a suit, the right of removal attaches. Whenever a right is given by the law of a State, and the courts of such State are invested with the power of enforcing such right, the proceeding may be removed to a Federal court if the other requisites of removability exist." 25 Fed. Rep. 520.
In the more recent case of Smith v. Adams, 130 U. S. 167, 173, Mr. Justice Field, speaking for the court and referring to the clauses of the Constitution and the statutes relating to the judicial power and the courts of the United States, said: “By those terms are intended the claims or contentions of litigants brought before the courts for adjudication by regular proceedings established for the protection or enforcement of rights, or the prevention, redress, or punishment of wrongs. Whenever the claim or contention of a party takes such a form that the judicial power is capable of acting upon it, then it has become a case or controversy." It may
be here said that the provisions of the local statutes of condemnation, referred to in the above cases, are substantially the same as those in the Kentucky statutes.
We cannot doubt, in view of the authorities, that the case presented in the County Court was a “suit” or “controversy
between citizens of different States," within the meaning of the Constitution and the laws of the United States. It was, as already said, a judicial proceeding initiated in a tribunal which constitutes a part of the judicial establishment of Kentucky, as ordained by its constitution, Const. Kentucky, g 140; and the court, although charged with some duties of an administrative character, is a judicial tribunal and a court of record. Fletcher v. Leight, 4 Bush, 303; Pennington v. Woolfolk, 79 Kentucky, 13.
Are the above cases inapplicable by reason of their having been decided prior to the passage of the judiciary act of 1887, 1888 limiting the right of removal to suits of which the Circuit Courts of the United States could take original cognizance? Clearly not. The difference between that act and the act of 1875 is wholly apart from the present discussion; for, both acts gave the Circuit Courts original jurisdiction of all suits, having the requisite amount in dispute, and in which there was a controversy between citizens of different States. So that what was a suit or controversy to which, by reason of diverse citizenship, the judicial power of the United States extended under the act of 1875, must be deemed a suit under the act of 1887, 1888. The only effect of the latter act, so far as the present question is concerned, was to restrict the right of removal from the state court to cases of which the Circuit Court could take original cognizance. And the present case, being a suit involving a controversy between citizens of different States, is manifestly of that character.
It is said, however, that when it is proposed to take private property for public purposes, the question of appropriation is one primarily and exclusively for the State to determine.
There ought not to be any dispute, at this day, i:. reference to the principles which must control in all cases of the condemnation of private property for public purposes. It is fundamental in American jurisprudence that private property cannot be taken by the Government, National or state, except for purposes which are of a public character, although such
taking be accompanied by compensation to the owner. That principle, this court has said, grows out of the essential nature of all free governments. Loan Association v. Topeka, 20 Wall. 655; Cole v. La Grange, 113 U. S. 1, 6. If the purpose be public the taking may be outright, provided reasonable, certain and adequate provision is made, at the time of appropriation, to ascertain and secure the compensation to be made to the owner. Cherokee Nation v. Southern Kansas Railway Co., 135 U. S. 641, 659; Sweet v. Rechel, 159 U. S. 380, 399; Western Union Tel. Co. v. Pennsylvania R. R. Co. et al, 195 U. S. 540. Any state enactment in violation of these principles is inconsistent with the due process of law prescribed by the Fourteenth Amendment. C., B. & Q. R. R. Co. v. Chicago, 166 U. S. 226; San Diego Land &c. Co. v. National City, 174 U. S. 739, 754; Smyth v. Ames, 169 U. S. 466, 525. The position taken by the highest court of Kentucky on this general subject appears from Tracy v. Elizabethtown &c. R. R. Co., 80 Kentucky, 259, 265. It was there said:“It is erroneous to suppose that the legislature is beyond the control of the courts in exercising the power of eminent domain, either as to the nature of the use or the necessity to the use of any particular property. For if the use be not public, or no necessity for the taking exists, the legislature cannot authorize the taking of private property against the will of the owner, notwithstanding compensation may be required.”
Speaking generally, it is for the State, primarily and exclusively, to declare for what local public purposes private property, within its limits, may be taken upon compensation to the owner, as well as to prescribe a mode in which it may be condemned and taken. But the State may not prescribe any mode of taking private property for a public purpose and of ascertaining the compensation to be made therefor, which would exclude from the jurisdiction of a Circuit Court of the United States a condemnation proceeding which in its essential features is a suit involving a controversy between citizens of different States. “A State cannot,” this court has said,