114 U.S. 555 (1885), Strang v. Bradner

Citation:114 U.S. 555, 5 S.Ct. 1038, 29 L.Ed. 248
Party Name:STRANG and others v. BRADNER and another.
Case Date:May 04, 1885
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 555

114 U.S. 555 (1885)

5 S.Ct. 1038, 29 L.Ed. 248

STRANG and others

v.

BRADNER and another.

United States Supreme Court.

May 4, 1885

COUNSEL

Page 556

[5 S.Ct. 1038] G. H. Forster, for plaintiffs in error.

Wm. F. Cogswell, for defendants in error.

OPINION

HARLAN, J.

On the first day of June, 1877, each of the appellants, who were defendants below, received from the district court of the United States for the Southern district of New York his discharge from all debts and demands, which, by the Revised Statutes of the United States, title 'Bankruptcy,' were made provable against his estate, and which existed on the third day of July, 1875,--other than such debts as were by law excepted from [5 S.Ct. 1039] the operation of a discharge in bankruptcy. The statute excepts from the operation of a discharge any 'debt created by the fraud or embezzlement of the bankrupt, or by defalcation as a public officer, or while acting in a fiduciary capacity; but the debt may be proved, and the dividend thereon shall be a payment on account of such debt.' Rev. St. § 5117. To this action, brought by appellees against appellants upon a

Page 557

cause of action accruing prior to July 3, 1875, the latter made defense, in part, upon the ground that their respective discharges in bankruptcy relieved them from all liability to plaintiffs. In the supreme court of New York there was a verdict and judgment in favor of the plaintiffs for the sum of $17,517.86. That judgment having been affirmed in the court of appeals, the question to be determined upon this writ of error is whether the claim or demand of the plaintiffs is one from which they were relieved by their discharges in bankruptcy. If the debt was of that character, the judgment below must be reversed; otherwise, affirmed.

The evidence before the jury tended to establish the following facts: That for some years prior to June, 1875, the plaintiffs were doing business in the city of Rochester, New York, as partners, under the style of Lowery & Bradner, while, during the same period, the defendants were engaged in business in the city of New York, under the style of Strang & Holland Bros.; that the special business of plaintiffs was the purchase of wool, which they forwarded to the defendants, as commission merchants, to sell on account; that plaintiffs, for the accommodation of defendants, often furnished them with promissory notes, for the purpose of enabling them to carry on business; that the defendants took care of these notes, paying the same at maturity out of the proceeds of the property consigned, and with money remitted by the plaintiffs; that in the transactions between the parties the plaintiffs were credited with those notes, with the proceeds of property sold on their account, and with money remitted by them, and were charged with the amounts paid to take up the notes; that on or about March 1, 1875, the defendants requested the plaintiffs to furnish them with four promissory...

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