110 U.S. 288 (1884), American File Co. v. Garrett

Citation:110 U.S. 288, 4 S.Ct. 90, 28 L.Ed. 149
Party Name:AMERICAN FILE Co. and others v. GARRETT and others. [1] SAYLES and others v. SAME.1
Case Date:January 28, 1884
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 288

110 U.S. 288 (1884)

4 S.Ct. 90, 28 L.Ed. 149

AMERICAN FILE Co. and others

v.

GARRETT and others. 1

SAYLES and others

v.

SAME.1

United States Supreme Court.

January 28, 1884

Appeals from the Circuit Court of the United States for District of Rhode Island.

[4 S.Ct. 90] The American File Company is a manufacturing corporation created by a special act of the legislature of Rhode Island, passed in May, 1863, and carrying on its business in the town of Lincoln, in that state. The company purchased a patent under which the manufacture of files had before been carried on in the city of Baltimore, and the persons, among them one Allan A.

[4 S.Ct. 91] The firm of Kirkland, Chase & Co., on May 2, 1872, borrowed of the firm of Bobert Garrett & Sons, bankers of the same city, $50,000, and pledged as security therefor certain promissory notes, which were afterwards, on May 28th, withdrawn, and a cargo of sugar, stored in a warehouse in Baltimore, was pledged in lieu thereof, and the warehouse receipt deposited with Garrett & & Sons. Besides the $50,000, Kirkland, Chase & Co. at this time owed Garrett & Sons more than $500,000, and it was the agreement between them that all securities pledged were to be held, not only for the specific loan for which they were pledged, but for the general balance due from the pledgeors to the pledgees. On September 12, 1872, Kirkland, Chase & Co. failed, and the firm and each of its members were subsequently adjudicated bankrupts, and their property, copartnership and individual, was assigned for the benefit of their creditors. On the day of the failure Chapman informed Garrett & Sons that on May 30th, Kirkland, Chase & Co. had withdrawn and sold the cargo of sugar pledged as security for the loan of $50,000, and that bonds of the American File Company, to the amount of $81,500, had been substituted therefor, and handed to his son previous to September 12th to be delivered to them. On September 12th the bonds were delivered into the manual possession of Garrett & Sons in lieu of the cargo of sugar so withdrawn and sold. The assignees in bankruptcy of Kirkland, Chase & Co. disputed the title of Garrett & Sons to these bonds and some other securities on the ground that their transfer was a fraudulent preference. The assignees and Garrett & Sons settled all their controversies growing out of the bankruptcy of Kirkland, Chase & Co. by an agreement in writing, dated May 4, 1874, whereby the assignees relinquished all claim upon the 'collaterals' of every nature, or the proceeds thereof, held by Garrett & Sons on the debts due them by the bankrupts, and agreed to pay Garrett & Sons $5,000, and the latter relinquished all claim to dividends declared and to be declared on the estate of Kirkland, Chase & Co. by the assignees or their successors. The settlement also contained this stipulation: 'And said Robert Garrett & Sons likewise further agree that whereas said assignees have been offered the sum of fifty cents in the dollar for certain bonds of the American File Company, (now held by Messrs. Robert Garrett & Sons, which were received as collaterals from Messrs. Kirkland, Chase & Co.,) and an indemnification against loss or damage of any kind as holders of certain stock of said American File Company, as assignees of A. A. Chapman and Kirkland, Chase & Co., said Robert [4 S.Ct. 92] Garret & Sons hereby agree to indemnify the said assignees against loss or damage of any kind as holders of the stock aforesaid; and in consideration of said acts of said assignees, said Robert Garrett & Sons do also hereby agree to indemnify the said assignees and said estate of Kirkland, Chase & Co. and the estate of A. A. Chapman against loss or damage of any kind for releasing their claim to the said bonds of the American File Company now held by Messrs. Robert Garrett & Sons, and agree to hold said assignees and said estate harmless for said transfer and release.'

Garrett & Sons, on June 23, 1876, recovered a judgment in the supreme court of the state of Rhode Island against the file company on the bonds transferred to them by Chapman, or the firm of Kirkland, Chase & Co., for the sum of $132,611.33, the principal and interest due on the same. At that time, by the statute law of Rhode Island, the creditors who recovered a judgment against a corporation whose stockholders were individually liable for its debts could take out execution thereon and seize the persons and property of the stockholders in satisfaction thereof, in the same manner as on executions issued against them for their individual debts.

Before either of the cases brought up by these appeals was commenced, the affairs of Kirkland, Chase & Co. had been nearly settled, and the bankrupts rupts discharged. After the recovery of the judgment by Garrett & Sons, William F. Sayles and other Rhode...

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