117 US 612 Stewart v. State of Virginia

6 S.Ct. 922

117 U.S. 612

29 L.Ed. 1006


Filed April 12, 1886.

[Statement of Case from pages 612-614 intentionally omitted]

Wm. L. Royall and A. B. Guigon, for plaintiff in error.

R. A. Ayers, for defendant in error.


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The order remanding this case is affirmed. A proceeding under the act of assembly of Virginia, approved January 14, 1882, (Antoni v. Greenhow, 107 U. S. 771, S. C. 2 Sup. Ct. Rep. 91,) as amended by the act of March 12, 1884, for the 'identification and verification' of coupons tendered in payment of taxes, debts, or demands due the state, is not a suit of a civil nature arising under the constitution or laws of the United States, within the meaning of the act of March 3, 1875. 18 St. 470, c. 137. The only purpose of such a proceeding is to determine whether the coupons tendered 'are genuine, legal coupons, which are legally receivable for taxes, dues, and demands.' The court has nothing to do in that proceeding with the obligation of the state to receive the coupons in payment of the particular tax or demand for which they were tendered. The tender being made, it becomes the duty of the collector, under the law, to receive and receipt for the coupons 'for the purpose of identification and verification,' and to deliver them to the judge of the proper court to that end. The tax-payer then files his petition, praying 'that a jury be impaneled to try the question as to whether they are genuine, legal coupons which are legally receivable for taxes, debts, and demands.' This is the only issue that can be tried, and, if finally decided in favor of the tax-payer, the coupons are to be received by the collector for such of the taxes, dues, and demands for which they were tendered as can, under the contract of the state, be paid in that way. The court has no authority under the law to determine in that proceeding what taxes may be so paid. It thus appears that the issue to be tried cannot involve any question arising under the constitution or laws of the United States. Affirmed.