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1912 and 1913. It is supposed to be shown in the use of the words "any or all the services" and it is said that as any" may mean one or more, it may apply to the Army alone, and can only be satisfied by making it apply to the total service in the Army alone and must therefore mean service in the Army as construed by this Court in the Morton Case and the Watson Case, in which it was held that, under then existing legislation, service in the Military Academy was service in the Army. This, it seems to us, is a strained method of first finding an inconsistency, by no means clear, if it exists at all, and then erecting it into an implied repeal. Implied repeals are not favored. United States v. Greathouse, 166 U. S. 601, 605; Frost v. Wenie, 157 U. S. 46, 58; United States v. Yuginovich, 256 U. S. 450, 463.
ROBERTSON v. RAILROAD LABOR BOARD.
APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS.
No. 739. Argued March 17, 18, 1925.-Decided June 8, 1925.
1. Section 310, par. b, of the Transportation Act, 1920, which provides that the Railroad Labor Board, in case of failure to comply with its subpoena to testify, may invoke the aid of "any United States. District Court," and that such court may thereupon order the witness to comply with the subpoena, etc., is to be construed consistently with the general rule limiting jurisdiction of a district court in personam (as distinguished from venue) to the district of which the defendant is an inhabitant or in which he can be found. P. 622.
2. Hence a district court, in a suit brought by the Board to compel attendance of a witness, does not acquire jurisdiction over his person by service of its process in another district even though that of the witness' residence. Id.
3 Fed. (2d) 488, reversed.
JURISDICTIONAL APPEAL from a decree of the District Court overruling a motion to quash service of original process in a suit brought by the Railroad Labor Board to require the defendant to appear before it as a witness, and ordering him so to appear and to testify.
Mr. Donald R. Richberg, with whom Mr. David E. Lilienthal was on the brief, for the appellant.
Mr. Robert N. Golding, Special Assistant to the Attorney General, with whom the Solicitor General and Mr. Weymouth Kirkland, Special Assistant to the Attorney General, were on the brief, for the appellee.
MR. JUSTICE BRANDEIS delivered the opinion of the Court.
Transportation Act, 1920, February 28, 1920, c. 91, § 310, par. a, 41 Stat. 456, 472, authorizes the Railroad Labor Board, "for the efficient administration of the functions vested in" it, to require by subpoena "the attendance of any witness from any place in the United States at any designated place of hearing, and the taking of a deposition before any person having power to administer oaths." Paragraph 'b' provides: "In case of failure to comply with any subpoena [to testify] or in case of the contumacy of any witness. appearing before the Labor Board, the Board may invoke the aid of any United States district court. Such court may thereupon order the witness to comply with the requirements of such subpoena, or to give evidence touching the matter in question, as the case may be."
Pursuant to paragraph' a', the Board issued a subpoena to Robertson, a citizen and inhabitant of Cleveland, Ohio, commanding him to appear at its offices in Chicago, Illinois, on a day named, to testify concerning a dispute then being enquired into. The subpoena was served upon
Robertson at Cleveland by the United States marshal for the Northern District of Ohio. Robertson did not personally attend as commanded. But on the day named he appeared specially by his attorney, and challenging the jurisdiction of the Board over him, declined to appear and testify. Thereupon this suit was begun by the Board in the federal court for northern Illinois, Eastern Division, pursuant to paragraph 'b'.
The bill prayed that Robertson, the sole defendant, be ordered to appear before the Labor Board "at a time and place to be fixed by" it and make "full answer to any and all pertinent questions relating" to the matter under investigation, and for any other proper relief. The court issued, in the form customary in equity, a summons, directing the defendant to appear and answer. This summons was likewise served upon Robertson personally at Cleveland by the United States marshal for the Northern District of Ohio. By his attorney he again appeared specially and moved to quash the service on the ground that, being an inhabitant of Ohio and served there, he was not subject to the jurisdiction of the federal court for Illinois. The motion was overruled; Robertson then moved to dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction over the subject-matter of the suit; this motion was also overruled; Robertson declined to plead further; and a final decree was entered directing him "to appear before the Railroad Labor Board, upon due notice by said board, at a time and place to be designated therein, there to testify, to give evidence, and to give full, true and complete answer and response to any and all pertinent and relevant questions then and there propounded to him" concerning the subject matter of the enquiry. 3 Fed. (2d) 488. The case is here on appeal under § 238 of the Judicial Code, the questions of jurisdiction having been duly certified. Whether the court acquired jurisdiction over Robertson is the only question requiring decision.
Robertson contends that by the term States district court" Congress meant any such court "of competent jurisdiction"; and that, under the applicable law, no district court is of competent jurisdiction to compel a defendant to obey its decree except that of the district of which he is an inhabitant or of one in which he is found. The Board contends that Congress intended by the phrase to confer not only liberty to invoke the aid of the court for any district, but power to compel the person named as defendant to litigate in the district selected by the Board, although he is not a citizen or inhabitant of it and is not found therein. The question presented is one of statutory construction. Congress clearly has the power to authorize a suit under a federal law to be brought in any inferior federal court. Congress has power, likewise, to provide that the process of every district court shall run into every part of the United States. Toland v. Sprague, 12 Pet. 300, 328; United States v. Union Pacific R. R. Co., 98 U. S. 569, 604. But it has not done so either by any general law or in terms by § 310 of Transportation Act, 1920. The precise question is whether it has impliedly done so by that provision.
In a civil suit in personam jurisdiction over the defendant, as distinguished from venue, implies, among other things, either voluntary appearance by him or service of process upon him at a place where the officer serving it has authority to execute a writ of summons. Under the general provisions of law, a United States district court cannot issue process beyond the limits of the district, Harkness v. Hyde, 98 U. S. 476; Ex parte Graham, 3 Wash. 456; and a defendant in a civil suit can be subjected to its jurisdiction in personam only by service within the district. Toland v. Sprague, 12 Pet. 300, 330. Such was the general rule established by the Judiciary Act of September 24, 1789, c. 20, § 11, 1 Stat. 73, 79, in accordance with the practice at the common law. Piquet v. Swan,
5 Mason 35, 39 et seq. And such has been the general rule ever since. Munter v. Weil Corset Co., 261 U. S. 276, 279. No distinction has been drawn between the case where the plaintiff is the Government and where he is a private citizen.1
Section 51 of the Judicial Code is a general provision regulating venue. The part pertinent here is that, with certain inapplicable exceptions, "no civil suit shall be brought in any district court against any person by any original process or proceeding in any other district than that whereof he is an inhabitant." It is obvious that jurisdiction, in the sense of personal service within a district where suit has been brought, does not dispense with the necessity of proper venue. It is equally obvious that proper venue does not eliminate the requisite of personal jurisdiction over the defendant. The general provision as to venue contained in Judicial Code, § 51, has been departed from in various specific provisions which allow the plaintiff, in actions not local in their nature, some liberty in the selection of venue. Unrestricted choice was conferred upon the Labor Board by the section of Trans
1 United States v. Union Pacific R. R. Co., 98 U. S. 569, 601; United States v. Crawford, 47 Fed. 561.
2 See Galveston, etc. Ry. Co. v. Gonzales, 151 U. S. 496; Macon Grocery Co. v. Atlantic Coast Line R. R. Co., 215 U. S. 501; Male v. Atchison, etc. Ry. Co., 240 U. S. 97. Compare In re Hohorst, 150 U. S. 653; Stone v. United States, 167 U. S. 178, 182; Barrow S. S. Co. v. Kane, 170 U. S. 100. The rule applies even where it may result in barring the jurisdiction of every federal court because all the defendants are indispensable parties. Shields v. Barrow, 17 How. 130, 140-142; Barney v. Baltimore City, 6 Wall. 280; Swan Land & Cattle Co. v. Frank, 148 U. S. 603. Compare Clearwater v. Meredith, 21 How. 489; Camp v. Gress, 250 U. S. 308, 311, 314. Judicial Code, §§ 50, 52.
See, for example, Judicial Code, §§ 43, 44, 45, 48; Acts of March 4, 1909, c. 320, § 35, 35 Stat. 1075, 1084; October 15, 1914, c. 323, § 12, 38 Stat. 730, 736; June 5, 1920, c. 250, § 33, 41 Stat. 988, 1007; September 7, 1916, c. 451, § 31, 39 Stat. 728, 738.