124 U.S. 131 (1888), Gumbel v. Pitkin

Citation124 U.S. 131, 8 S.Ct. 379, 31 L.Ed. 374
Party NameGUMBEL v. PITKIN, U.S. Marshal, et al.
Case DateJanuary 09, 1888
CourtUnited States Supreme Court

Page 131

124 U.S. 131 (1888)

8 S.Ct. 379, 31 L.Ed. 374

GUMBEL

v.

PITKIN, U.S. Marshal, et al.

United States Supreme Court.

January 9, 1888

In Error to the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Page 132

[8 S.Ct. 379] This case was before this court on a motion to dismiss the

Page 133

writ of error, the result of which is reported in 113 U.S. 545, 5 S.Ct. 616. It is now here for final disposition upon its merits.

It appears by the record that a number of creditors of Joseph Dreyfus brought several actions at law against him as a citizen of Louisiana in the circuit court of the United States for that district, the plaintiffs being citizens of other states, in which writs of attachment were issued and levied upon the stock of goods belonging to him contained in a store and warehouse, [8 S.Ct. 380] No. 33 Tchoupitoulas street, in the city of New Orleans. In these actions judgments were rendered in favor of the several plaintiffs, and proceedings were had in them whereby the attached property in the hands of the marshal was sold, and the proceeds brought into the court for distribution. Pending these proceedings, and before an actual sale under the order of the court, Cornelius Gumbel, a citizen of Louisiana, the present plaintiff in error, filed a petition, called, according to the practice in that state, a 'petition of intervention and third opposition.' In that petition he shows that on October 27, 1883, he instituted a suit in the civil district court for the parish of Orleans against Joseph Dreyfus, and obtained therein a writ of attachment, which he alleges was executed by a seizure of the defendant's property, being the same as that levied on by the marshal in the actions in the circuit court; that, subsequently, judgment was rendered in his favor for the amount of his claim and interest, on which a writ of fi. fa. was issued to the sheriff of said civil district court, directing the seizure and sale of the same property to satisfy his judgment; that the sheriff was obstructed in the execution of said writs, and the petitioner prevented from realizing the fruits thereof by the fact that the property subject to his attachment is in the actual custody of the marshal of the United States. The petition particularly sets out the facts constituting a conflict of jurisdiction to be that, on the morning of the twenty-ninth of October, 1883, when it was claimed that the sheriff had made his levy under the petitioner's writ of attachment, he found at the store, claiming to exercise rights of possession and control, deputy marshals of the circuit court in charge as keepers, and in execution of writs of attachment issued from that court; that

Page 134

at the time of the seizure made by the sheriff no valid or legal writ had issued from the circuit court; that the writ or writs under which the marshal or his deputies were holding and claiming to hold the property had been issued on Sunday, October 28, 1883, and were absolutely null and void, both by common law and the statute law of Louisiana; that said writs, so issued on Sunday, on account of their illegality, were discontinued and abandoned by the plaintiffs in the several suits in which they had been issued; that other writs, subsequently issued in the same actions, were issued to the marshal, and under them he detained the property, which, however, in the mean time had become subject to the seizure under the petitioner's writ in the hands of the sheriff. The petition prays that the property in the custody of the marshal then advertised for sale should be restored to, and placed in the hands of, the civil sheriff, to be sold under the petitioner's writs of execution, in order that the proceeds might be distributed by the civil district court, or, if sold by the marshal, that the proceeds of the sale be ordered to be paid over to the civil sheriff, to be distributed by the civil district court, and also 'for such other and further aid, remedy, and relief as the nature of the case may require and law and equity permit.' This petition of intervention was filed by leave of the court, and with it a transcript of the proceedings in the civil district court in the case of Gumbel v. Dreyfus. The motion of the intervenor for a stay of the marshal's sale of the goods levied on was denied, and thereupon, on January 21, 1884, by leave of the circuit court, an amended and supplemental petition of intervention was filed by him, and also, on the eighth of March, 1884, a second supplemental petition. In these, the petitioner claims that if it be held in fact and in law that the marshal of the circuit court had effected a seizure of the property attached, which vested the jurisdiction of the circuit court as to its disposition and the distribution of its proceeds, and rendered impossible any actual seizure or physical control over the property by the civil sheriff, the intervenor is entitled to have his attachment recognized by the circuit court, and to share in the distribution of the proceeds of the property according

Page 135

to priority of time of seizure under the laws of the state; and alleges that, in addition to the efforts made and proceedings had in behalf of the intervenor, the United States marshal had been served with interrogatories [8 S.Ct. 381] as garnishee, and in every legal and practicable way notified of the writ held by the sheriff, whereby a valid seizure was effected on petitioner's behalf, to take rank according to the time at which it was thus executed, and claims, in consequence, to be entitled to payment out of the fund in preference to all other attaching creditors.

The attaching creditors, plaintiffs in the circuit court, were made parties to these petitions of intervention, to which they appeared and answered. The cause came on for hearing in the circuit court, and judgment was rendered therein dismissing the petitions of intervention and distributing the entire fund in court, being the proceeds of the sales of the attached property, to the other parties plaintiff in the attachments in that court. The facts in relation to the levies under the attachments are found by the court as follows, (20 F. 426:) 'Various creditors had obtained attachments on Sunday in this court which were also levied on Sunday. The same and other creditors obtained attachments in several suits, also in this court, some early Monday morning, shortly after midnight, and others between 8 and 10 o'clock A. M., which were also levied upon the same property. The intervenor had obtained his writ from the state court on Saturday. Early Monday morning, shortly after midnight, and while the marshal was holding possession of the property under the Sunday writ alone, the sheriff came to the store where the property was situated for the purpose of serving the writ, and demanded entrance, which the marshal refused. The sheriff placed his keepers around the building, and guarded the same continuously down to the time of the sale, and served notice of seizure, and subsequently process of garnishment, upon the marshal in charge of the store (before the service of any of the Monday writs) who had executed the process of attachment from this court. The marshal preserved his possession without interruption from the moment of seizure down to the

Page 136

time he sold the property under the Monday writs, the Sunday writs having been abandoned. The property seized was the wines and brandies, etc., the stock of a wholesale liquor store.'

The grounds of law on which the circuit court denied the right of the intervenor to participate in the distribution of the proceeds of the sale are stated, as a conclusion of law, as follows: 'As to the effect of what was done by the sheriff, nothing is before the court except the proceeds of a sale. They, and they alone, can have an award who show title; and, since all claim under process against the property of a common debtor, those alone who show a levy of the process upon the property. For in this state the issuance and existence of the process create no lien. It disposes of this part of the case to say that the sheriff made no seizure, no caption of the property; its possession was withheld from him; and access to it was forcibly denied him. Whether this was done under color of good or bad writ, or without any writ, all seizure was prevented and no lien was effected. This would end the case of the intervenor, as to any privilege upon the fund, unless he can maintain that the marshal, holding under color of a writ from this court, can be made to hold also under a writ from the state court, subsequently served by the garnishment process. The authorities for this proposition cited are Patterson v. Stephenson, (unreported,) decided by the supreme court of Missouri at the April term, 1883, and Bates v. Days, 17 F. 167. Those cases are put by the courts which decided them upon a statute of the state of Missouri, which was deemed to have been adopted by the practice act of congress regulating the procedure in the federal courts. In Louisiana we have no such statute, and there is, therefore, no need to discuss the question as to what would be the legal consequences if one existed. In this state, the courts are to be guided by the doctrine which is settled by the cases of Hagan v. Lucas, 10 Pet. 400, and Taylor v. Carryl, 20 How. 583, to the effect that when property susceptible of manual delivery has been seized and is held by the officer of and under process

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from the court of one jurisdiction, it is incapable to be [8 S.Ct. 382] subjected to seizure by another officer of and under process from the court of another jurisdiction. The authorities are collated in Wilmer v. Railroad Co., 2 Woods, 427, 428. It follows, then, that since the goods were, and continued to be, in the physical possession and custody of the marshal, under writs of this court, the intervenor...

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126 practice notes
  • 182 S.W.2d 521 (Mo. 1944), 38843, State ex rel. Bovard v. Weill
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • September 5, 1944
    ...the jurisdiction of the court. 15 C.J. 732; 14 Am. Jur. 370; State ex inf. Crow v. Shepherd, 177 Mo. 205, 76 S.W. 79; Gumbel v. Pitkin, 124 U.S. 131, 8 S.Ct. 379; U.S. Fidelity Co. v. Poetker, 180 Ind. 255, 102 N.E. 372; State ex rel. Syverson v. Foster, 88 Wash. 58, 146 P. 169; McClure v. ......
  • 12 F.Supp.2d 545 (N.D.Tex. 1998), 3-96-CV-2726, United States v. Caltex Petroleum Corp.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 5th Circuit Northern District of Texas
    • April 16, 1998
    ...powers to prevent this kind of abuse, oppression, and injustice. ESM Government Securities, 645 F.2d at 317, citing Gumbel v. Pitkin, 124 U.S. 131, 145-46, 8 S.Ct. 379, 384, 31 L.Ed. 374 RECOMMENDATION The IRS is not entitled to the source code or related documents for the ITMS/FTMS program......
  • 923 A.2d 1032 (Md.App. 2007), 2368, Weaver v. ZeniMax Media, Inc.
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • May 25, 2007
    ...have the inherent equitable power over their own process "to prevent abuses, oppression and injustices." Gumbel v. Pitkin, 124 U.S. 131, 144, 8 S.Ct. 379, 383, 31 L.Ed. 374 (1888). Pursuant to this inherent authority, a court must be able to sanction a party that seeks to introduc......
  • 471 So.2d 571 (Fla.App. 4 Dist. 1985), 83-422, Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc. v. Burk
    • United States
    • Florida Florida Court of Appeals Fourth District
    • June 11, 1985
    ...of abuse of its processes. Cf. Herbert v. Lando, 441 U.S. 153, 176-177, 99 S.Ct. 1635, 1648-1649, 60 L.Ed.2d 115 (1979); Gumbel v. Pitkin, 124 U.S. 131, 145-146, 8 S.Ct. 379, 384-385, 31 L.Ed. 374 (1888). As stated by Judge Friendly in International Products Co. v. Koons, 325 F.2d 403, 407-......
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126 cases
  • 923 A.2d 1032 (Md.App. 2007), 2368, Weaver v. ZeniMax Media, Inc.
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • May 25, 2007
    ...have the inherent equitable power over their own process "to prevent abuses, oppression and injustices." Gumbel v. Pitkin, 124 U.S. 131, 144, 8 S.Ct. 379, 383, 31 L.Ed. 374 (1888). Pursuant to this inherent authority, a court must be able to sanction a party that seeks to introduc......
  • 101 A.2d 17 (N.J.Super.A.D. 1953), A-617, Original R. & R. Empire Pickle Works, Inc. v. G. Arrigoni & C., Societa Per Azioni
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court of New Jersey
    • November 13, 1953
    ...in any way interfering with prior rights. McDonald v. Matoil Service etc. Co., 115 N.J.L. 239, 179 A. 310 (Sup.Ct.1935); Gumbol v. Pitkin, 124 U.S. 131, 8 S.Ct. 379, 31 L.Ed. 374 (1887). Thus it is settled law in this State that property In custodia legis is not subject to seizure on attach......
  • 408 F.Supp. 238 (D.Del. 1976), Civ. A. 4072, Baker v. Gotz
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 3th Circuit District of Delaware
    • January 14, 1976
    ...sequestrator came into possession of the funds by an abortive sequestration. He has, nonetheless, possession in fact. In Gumbel v. Pitkin, 124 U.S. 131, 8 S.Ct. 379, 31 L.Ed. 374 (1887) the Court was faced with conflicting claims by attaching creditors to the proceeds of the sale of attache......
  • 471 So.2d 571 (Fla.App. 4 Dist. 1985), 83-422, Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc. v. Burk
    • United States
    • Florida Florida Court of Appeals Fourth District
    • June 11, 1985
    ...of abuse of its processes. Cf. Herbert v. Lando, 441 U.S. 153, 176-177, 99 S.Ct. 1635, 1648-1649, 60 L.Ed.2d 115 (1979); Gumbel v. Pitkin, 124 U.S. 131, 145-146, 8 S.Ct. 379, 384-385, 31 L.Ed. 374 (1888). As stated by Judge Friendly in International Products Co. v. Koons, 325 F.2d 403, 407-......
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