« ForrigeFortsett »
Opinion of the Court.
200 U. S.
of the United States for the Southern District of Ohio by certain creditors, alleging that said assignment was an act of bankruptcy; and thereafter such proceedings were had that said Reinhard & Company were on August 11, 1900, adjudged bankrupt, and the plaintiff became their trustee, pending which election of trustee one Walter Zinn was appointed and acted as receiver of Reinhard & Company, but the fact of such insolvency and the making of said assignment were not known to said The Commercial National Bank except by hearsay until after said amount of two thousand ($2,000.00) dollars was charged back on the account of Reinhard & Company, and until after it had received the check of the manager of the clearing house for said sum of nine hundred and seventy and 45-100 ($970.45) dollars.
"During said day of April 10, 1900, the Commercial National Bank learned by street rumor that Reinhard & Company's draft on New York would probably not be paid, and it charged the same back on the account of Reinhard & Company, which overdrew their account nine hundred and thirty-two and 24-100 ($932.24) dollars.
"On the tenth day of April, 1900, Reinhard & Company sent their representative to the clearing house as usual at 12.30 P. M. They received checks from the clearing house as usual, which their representative took back to their bank, and the checks which they brought to the clearing house were cleared on the respective banks as usual in all cases. Then about one o'clock P. M., after the manager of the clearing house had made his adjustment of balances for the day and had made out the checks to pay for the same, Reinhard's representative brought back the checks which the different banks of the clearing house had cleared on them that day.
"The manager took these checks back to the different banks that had cleared them and deducted the amounts of their clearings that day. This left a balance of $ due to Reinhard & Company from the clearing house for that day. Qut of this balance he gave a check for $ to the City Deposit Bank,
and for the balance of $970.45 he gave a check to the Commercial National Bank.
“When Mr. Field, the manager of the clearing house, went to the Commercial National Bank to return the checks which they had cleared on Reinhard & Company that day he informed Mr. Hoffman, the cashier, that that bank had suspended, and that he had a balance on hand clue Reinhard & Company of $ -, $-- of which he was going to pay to the City Deposit Bank, leaving a balance of $970.45 due the said Reinhard & Company, which he did not know what to do with. Mr. Hoffman informed him that he had advanced Reinhard & Company $2,000.00 on that morning and suggested that he pay the balance to him. He agreed to this and gave him the check as suggested. Said amount was credited by the Commercial
. National Bank to Reinhard & Company, leaving a balance, as shown by the books of the Commercial National Bank, due from said bank to Reinhard & Company of thirty-eight and 21-100 ($38.21) dollars, which amount was paid over to Walter Zinn, as receiver of Reinhard & Company, upon his check as such receiver, drawn on the Commercial National Bank on the sixteenth day of May, 1900.”
Judgment was entered against the trustee, and that judgment was affirmed by the appellate courts. The Supreme Court of Ohio entered upon its journal a certificate, made by its Chief Justice, which is precisely like that set out in the opinion delivered in the City Deposit Bank case.
A motion assailing the power of this court to entertain this writ of error is overruled, for the reasons given in passing upon a similar motion filed in case No. 137. And, applying the principles announced in the case just referred to, it inevitably follows that the payment made on April 10, 1900, by the clearing house association, out of the credits of Reinhard & Company in the hands of the clearing house association, was a transfer of property belonging to Reinhard & Company which the trustee in bankruptcy was entitled to demand and receive from the defendant in error. We need not dwell upon the conten
tion macle in argument that because the defendant in error on the morning of April 10, 1900, gave Reinhard & Company two thousand dollars in currency in return for Reinhard & Company's draft on New York for a like sum, the transaction, even if fraudulent, invested the defendant in error with the right, upon the suspension of Reinhard & Company, to appropriate any property belonging to Reinhard & Company which they might be able to possess themselves of and to apply the same in reduction of the advance made upon the security of the draft. The doctrine of rescission and following of trust funds can have no application, especially when, as expressly agreed in the statement of facts, the money which the defendant in error gave to Reinhard & Company in exchange for its draft “was used by Reinhard & Company to pay checks drawn on them, and was paid out over their counter on April 10, 1900, to their customers." The judgment of the Supreme Court of Ohio must be reversed
and the case remanded to that court for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.
FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF OTTAWA v. CONVERSE.
ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS.
No. 176. Argued January 25, 1906.-Decided February 19, 1906.
A Minnesota manufacturing corporation having failed, the creditors, a
national bank among them, organized a new corporation under the laws of Minnesota for the purchase of the capital stock, evidences of indebtedness and assets of the corporation and for the manufacture of the same articles that it had manufactured. The bank and other creditors exchanged their claims against the old corporation for stock in the new corporation. After the incorporation, and prior to the failure, of the new corporation the laws of Minnesota imposing double liability on stockholders of certain corporations were amended and a new method of procedure for enforcing them was provided. Stockholders of corporations organized exclusively for manufacturing purposes are not subject to double liability. Proceedings having been taken under the statute to enforce the double liability of the stockholders, a receiver was appointed, an assessment determined, and a judgment for the pro rata amount obtained against the national bank, which denied liability, claiming that the corporation was organized for manufacturing purposes only, and therefore the stockholders were exempt from double liability; that the provisions in the statute providing for enforcing double liability were unconstitutional under the impairment of obligation clause of the Federal Constitution; and that the original taking of the stock by it as a national
bank was ultra vires. Held, that: , Under the construction given by the Supreme Court of Minnesota to its
articles of association the corporation was organized to engage in a purely speculative business in buying and selling the stock and assets of another corporation with power, but without any obligation, to engage independently in a manufacturing business and did not fall within the class
of corporations whose stockholders were exempted from liability. A national bank has no power to engage in or promote a purely speculative
business or to take stock in a corporation organized for that purpose, nor can the power to take such stock as a means of protecting itself from loss on preëxisting indebtedness be inferred from the right to accept it as
security for a present loan. Notwithstanding its subscription, a national bank, taking stock in a corpor
ation organized for purely speculative purposes, may plead its want of authority so to do as a defense to the claim of a receiver of such corpor. ation for the double liability imposed by a state statute on the stockholders thereof.
Statement of the Case.
FOR brevity, the plaintiff in error will be hereafter referred to as the bank and the defendant in error as the receiver.
200 U. S.
The receiver commenced this action against the bank in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of Illinois. The object of the action was to recover from the bank, as the owner of 274 shares of preferred stock in the Minnesota Thresher Manufacturing Company, the amount of an assessment of eighteen dollars per share, levied upon said stock for the payment of the debts of the thresher company. A demurrer to an amended declaration having been overruled, and the bank electing not to plead further, judgment was entered for the receiver, and, on account of constitutional questions raised by the demurrer, the case was brought directly to this court.
The averments of the amended declaration may be summarized as follows: In May, 1884, the Northwestern Manufacturing and Car Company was a corporation, engaged in the manufacturing business at Stillwater, Minnesota. At the date mentioned the car company owed a large amount of debt, which it was unable to pay, among which was a sum due to the bank for money lent. In that month a receiver was appointed for the car company by a court of the State of Minnesota having jurisdiction. Some time afterwards, in November, 1884, the bank with other creditors, and some of the stockholders of the car company, organized under the laws of Minnesota a new corporation, styled the Minnesota Thresher Manufacturing Company. The articles of incorporation of the new company provided that the objects for which said corporation was formed were the purchase of the capital stock, evidences of indebtedness issued by and the assets of the Northwestern Manufacturing and Car Company, a corporation existing under the laws of the State of Minnesota, or any portion of said capital stock, evidences of indebtedness or assets, and the manufacture and sale of steam engines, of all kinds, farm implements and machinery of all kinds, and the manufacture and