MR. JUSTICE BRANDEIS delivered the opinion of the court.
The distribution of coal cars in times of car shortage has been a fertile field of controversy. The subject has received much attention from Congress, the Interstate Commerce Commission and the courts. Definite rules for distribution were promulgated by the Commission; and they remained in force for many years. Among these
In June, 1920, the Lambert Run Coal Company, a West Virginia corporation, which owns and operates a mine in that State, brought, in the Circuit Court of Marion County, this suit against the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, a Maryland corporation. The bill alleged that there was an acute car shortage; that the railroad had refused to make the distribution required by paragraph 12 of § 1 of the Act to Regulate Commerce and in violation thereof distributed cars in accordance with its own rules 8, 9 and 10, set out in the margin,
The defendant removed the case to the federal court for the Northern District of West Virginia and there filed in a single pleading a motion to dismiss and an answer. As grounds for the motion it alleged that the case was not one within the jurisdiction of the state court; that, since it did not appear that the Commission had taken any action in respect to the matter complained of, neither court had jurisdiction of the controversy; that the plaintiff had concealed the fact that the rules of the carrier complained of were, as plaintiff knew, rules which had been promulgated by the Commission; that the bill was thus one to restrain enforcement of an order of the Commission; and that the United States and the Commission were indispensable parties. The answer set forth the facts supporting these allegations and, among other things, that the rules promulgated by the Commission and adopted by the carrier had been issued on April 15, 1920, in pursuance of the emergency provision known as paragraph 15, inserted in § 1 of the Act to Regulate Commerce by the Transportation Act, 1920, supra, 41 Stat. 456, 476.
Plaintiff then moved in the District Court for an interlocutory injunction. The defendant, insisting that the
The decree of the District Court was properly reversed; but we are of opinion that the Circuit Court of Appeals had no occasion to pass upon the merits of the controversy and that the direction should have been to dismiss the bill for want of jurisdiction and without prejudice. The rule of the railroad here complained of was that prescribed by the Commission. To that rule the railroad was bound to conform unless relieved by the Commission or enjoined from complying with it by decree of a court having jurisdiction. By this suit such a decree was in effect
But there are in addition two fundamental objections to the jurisdiction. First, the United States, an indispensable party to suits to restrain or set aside orders of the Commission, was not joined, and could not be, for it has not consented to be sued in state courts. Secondly, such suits are required to be brought in a federal District Court. Judicial Code, §§ 208, 211; Act of October 22, 1913, c. 32, 38 Stat. 208, 219. Illinois Central R.R. Co. v. State Public Utilities Commission, 245 U.S. 493, 504; North Dakota v. Chicago & Northwestern Ry. Co., 257 U.S. 485; Texas v. Interstate Commerce Commission, ante, 158. The fact that this was a suit to set aside an order of the Commission did not appear on the face of the bill; but it became apparent as soon as the motion to dismiss was filed. Jurisdiction cannot be effectively acquired by concealing for a time the facts which conclusively establish that it does not exist. As the state court was without jurisdiction over either the subject-matter or the United States, the District Court could not acquire jurisdiction over them by the removal. The jurisdiction of the federal court on removal is, in a limited sense, a derivative jurisdiction. If the state court lacks jurisdiction of the subject-matter or of the parties, the federal court acquires none, although it might in a like suit originally brought there have had jurisdiction. Courtney v. Pradt, 196 U.S. 89, 92; American Well Works Co. v. Layne & Bowler Co., 241 U.S. 257, 258.
Decree modified and affirmed.
MR. JUSTICE CLARKE took no part in the decision of this case.
"9. If the number of assigned cars placed at a mine during any period, as provided in Rule 6, equals or exceeds the mine's pro rata share of the available car supply, it shall not be entitled to any unassigned cars. The assigned cars, together with the mine's requirements, will be eliminated, and the remainder of the available car supply pro rated to the other mines, based on a revised percentage by reason of such elimination.
"10. If the number of assigned cars placed at a mine during any period, as provided in Rule 6, is less than its pro rata share, based on a revised percentage, it shall be entitled to receive unassigned cars in addition thereto to make up its pro rata share."