204 U.S. 186 (1907), 416, Shropshire, Woodliff & Co. v. Bush
|Docket Nº:||No. 416|
|Citation:||204 U.S. 186, 27 S.Ct. 178, 51 L.Ed. 436|
|Party Name:||Shropshire, Woodliff & Co. v. Bush|
|Case Date:||January 07, 1907|
|Court:||United States Supreme Court|
Submitted December 20, 1906
CERTIFICATE FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT
OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
An assignee of a claim of less than $300 for wages earned within three months before the commencement of proceedings in bankruptcy against the bankrupt is entitled to priority under § 64a when the assignment occurred prior to the commencement of the proceedings.
The facts are stated in the opinion.
MOODY, J., lead opinion
MR. JUSTICE MOODY delivered the opinion of the Court.
The appellees are trustees of the bankrupt estate of the Southern Car & Foundry Company. The appellants, before the commencement of the proceedings in bankruptcy, acquired by purchase and assignment a large number of claims for wages of workmen and servants, none exceeding $300 in amount, and all earned within three months before the date of the commencement of the proceedings in bankruptcy. The District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee rendered a judgment disallowing priority to these claims, because, when filed, they were not "due to workmen, clerks, or servants."
On appeal to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, that court duly certified here for instructions the following question:
Is an assignee of a claim for wages earned within three months before the commencement of proceedings in bankruptcy against the bankrupt debtor entitled to priority of payment, under section 64(4) of the Bankrupt Act when the assignment occurred prior to the commencement of such bankruptcy proceedings?
The question certified has never been passed upon by any
circuit court of appeals, and in the district courts the decisions upon it are conflicting. In re Westlund, 99 F. 399; In re St. Louis Ice Company, 147 F. 752; In re North Carolina Car Company [semble], 127 F. 178, where the right of the assignee to priority was denied; In re Brown, Federal Cases, 1974 [Act of 1867]; In re Harmon, 128 F. 170, where, on facts slightly but not essentially different, the right of the assignee to priority was affirmed.
The Bankruptcy Law (Act July 1, 1898, 30 Stat. pp. 544, 563, c. 541), in section 1, defines "debt" as including "any debt, demand, or claim, provable in bankruptcy." Section 64, under which priority is claimed in this case, is, in the parts material to...
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