95 U.S. 714
PROCEDURAL HISTORY: Defendant sought review of a decision from the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Oregon, which held that a judgment granting ownership of certain property to defendant was invalid.
- This was an action to recover possession of a tract of land to which both plaintiff and defendant asserted title.
-Defendant claimed to have acquired the premises under a sheriff's deed made upon a sale of the property resulting from a judgment recovered against plaintiff in one of the circuit courts of the state. The case turned upon the validity of that judgment.
-The lower court found that the judgment was invalid due to problems with an affidavit.
-On appeal, the court ruled that the judgment was invalid, on different reasoning.
-Because at the time the action was commenced and the judgment was rendered plaintiff was a non-resident of the state, was not personally served with process, and did not appear, the judgment could not be valid against plaintiff.
-Because of the lack of personal service, the sale of the property in controversy was not authorized. -Accordingly, the decision below was affirmed.
RULES:-The authority of every tribunal is necessarily restricted by the territorial limits of the State in which it is established. Any attempt to exercise authority beyond those limits would be deemed in every other forum, as has been said by this court, an illegitimate assumption of power, and be resisted as mere abuse.
CONCLUSION: The lower court's decision was affirmed. The court held that the judgment from the underlying action was invalid due to the fact that plaintiff was a non-resident of the state in which the action was brought and was not personally served.
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