It was  well settled  before the  Act of  1875 that when the
citizenship necessary  for the  jurisdiction of the courts of the
United States appeared on the face of the record, evidence to the
contradict the  record was not admissible, except under a plea in
abatement in the nature of a plea to the jurisdiction, and that a
plea to the merits was a waiver of such plea to the jurisdiction.
Farmington v  Pillsbury [ante,  114], and  cases there cited.  In
its general  scope this  rule has  not been altered by the Act of
1875, .  . . . we held in Williams v. Nottawa, 104 U.S. 209, 211,
[Bk. 26,  L.Ed. 719,  720], that  the statute changed the rule so
far as  to allow  the court  at any time without plea and without
motion, to  stop all further proceedings and dismiss the suit the
moment a fraud on its jurisdiction was discovered.

     Neither party  has the  right, however,  without pleading at
the proper time and in the proper way, to introduce evidence, the
only purpose  of which  is to make out a case for dismissal.  The
parties cannot  call on  the court  to go behind the averments of
citizenship in  the record,  except by a plea to the jurisdiction
or some other appropriate form of proceeding.  The case is not to
be  tried  by  the  parties  as  if  there  was  a  plea  to  the
jurisdiction, when  no such  plea has  been filed.   The evidence
must be  directed to  the issues,  and  it  is  only  when  facts
material to  the issues  show there  is no  jurisdiction that the
court can dismiss the case upon the motion of either party.

     If in the course of a trial it appears by evidence, which is
admissible under  the  pleadings  and  pertinent  to  the  issues
joined, that the suit does not really and substantially involve a
dispute of  which the  court has  cognizance, or that the parties
have been  improperly or  collusively  made  or  joined  for  the
purpose of  creating a  cognizable case,  the court  may stop all
proceedings and dismiss the suit.

     Beyond this, no doubt, if, from any source, the court is led
to suspect  that its  jurisdiction has  been imposed  upon by the
collusion of  the parties  or in any other way, it may at once of
its own  motion cause the necessary inquiry to be made, either by
having the  proper joined and tried, or by some other appropriate
form of  proceeding, and  act as  justice may require, of its own
protection against fraud or imposition.

                                 [William Hartog v. Henry Memory]
                                       [116 U.S. 725, 726 (1886)]

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William Hartog v. Henry Memory