Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 19,800+ case briefs...

United States v. Miller

United States Supreme Court
317 U.S. 369 (1943)



The United States (government) (plaintiff) condemned a strip across the land of various landowners (defendants) in order to relocate railroad tracks. The government committed to the relocation project on August 26, 1937. On December 14, 1938, the government filed an eminent-domain action against the landowners and a declaration of taking in the United States District Court for the District of Northern California. As part of the statutory requirement for filing the declaration, the government submitted a $2,550 deposit, which was the estimated amount of compensation due to three co-tenant landowners. The court paid each landowner $850 from the deposit. During the eminent-domain trial, various landowners offered opinion evidence regarding the fair market value of their land as of the 1938 court action. The government objected to the landowners’ testimony regarding value increases that occurred after the government’s commitment to the project in 1937. The court sustained the objection. The three landowners received a jury award under $2,550. The court entered judgment against them for the deposit amount received in excess of the award. The landowners moved to set aside the judgment. The motions were overruled, and the landowners appealed. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the judgment, finding that the district court lacked jurisdiction to issue an award for the excess amount, the witnesses should have been allowed to testify to fair market value without qualification, and the lands’ value should have been based on that amount.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Roberts, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 511,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 511,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 19,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial