U.S. Supreme Court Vansant v. Gas Light Company, 99 U.S. 213 (1878)
Vansant v. Gas Light Company
99 U.S. 213
MOTION TO DISMISS FOR WANT OF CITATION AN APPEAL
FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Unless allowed in open court during the term at which the decree was rendered, an appeal will be dismissed if no citation has been issued and the appellee does not appear.
This was a bill in chancery brought in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia by John Vansant, and William A. Duncan, trustee for Susan A. Duncan, against the Electro-Magnetic Gas Light Company and others. The defendants answered, and the cause coming on to be heard upon the pleadings and proofs, a final decree was rendered at the special term, which was affirmed at the general term of that court. The following entry then appears upon the record:
"JOHN VANSANT et al."
"v. No. 3707"
"THE ELECTRO-MAGNETIC GAS-LIGHT CO. Equity Doc. 13"
"The clerk will enter an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States from the decision in general term, passed Nov. 29, 1875."
"DURANT & HORNOR"
" For Plaintiffs and Appellees "
"Dec. 17, 1875. Appeal entered as directed."
"By the clerk"
It was conceded that a bond had been approved by the chief justice of that court and filed with the clerk during the term.
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WAITE delivered the opinion of the Court.
No citation has been issued in this cause. A citation only becomes unnecessary when the appeal is allowed in open court
during the term at which the decree is rendered. This implies some action of the court while in open session, and, to be regular, should be entered on the minutes. Here, although an appeal bond was approved by the chief justice of the court and filed with the clerk during the term, it does not appear to have been done while the court was actually in session. So far as the record shows, it was the act of the chief justice alone out of court. The entry on the order book is simply a direction to the clerk, by the solicitor of the appellant, to enter an appeal. It in no way indicates any action whatever either in or by the court.