293 U.S. 237 (1934), 54, Mitchell v. Maurer

Docket Nº:No. 54
Citation:293 U.S. 237, 55 S.Ct. 162, 79 L.Ed. 338
Party Name:Mitchell v. Maurer
Case Date:December 03, 1934
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 237

293 U.S. 237 (1934)

55 S.Ct. 162, 79 L.Ed. 338

Mitchell

v.

Maurer

No. 54

United States Supreme Court

Dec. 3, 1934

Argued November 7, 8, 1934

CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

Syllabus

1. Where receivers of a corporation, appointed by a state court, file a suit against it in the federal court in another State in which they seek an ancillary receivership and are the only actors, there is no federal jurisdiction on the ground of diversity of citizenship if one of them and the corporation are citizens of the same State, and, in this regard, it is immaterial that the bill, in its caption, names as

Page 238

sole plaintiff the plaintiff in the original suit, and that diversity of citizenship existed between him and the corporation. P. 242.

2. A suit by primary receiver, appointed by a state court, for an ancillary receivership in a federal court, is an original, independent bill, which cannot be entertained by the federal court in the absence of diversity of citizenship or other independent ground of federal jurisdiction. P. 243.

3. Lack of federal jurisdiction cannot be waived or overcome by agreement of the parties. P. 244.

69 F.2d 233 reversed.

Certiorari to review an interlocutory decree sustaining an order appointing ancillary receivers.

BRANDEIS, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE BRANDEIS delivered the opinion of the Court.

International Re-Insurance Corporation is organized under the laws of Delaware. It had a place of business and [55 S.Ct. 163] real and personal property in California. On April 19, 1933, the Court of Chancery of Delaware appointed Arthur G. Logan of that State, Carl M. Hansen of Pennsylvania, and George De B. Keim of New Jersey, primary receivers of all its property. The statutes of Delaware purport to vest in receivers so appointed title, as quasi-assignees, to all property, wherever located, except real estate not situated within the State. R.S. Del. § 3884. The order appointing the primary receivers authorized them to apply in other jurisdictions for the appointment of ancillary receivers. On the day of their appointment, they filed in the federal court for Southern California a petition or bill praying that ancillary receivers be appointed

Page 239

of property there located. The prayer was granted ex parte. W. H. Comstock of California and De B. Keim were appointed ancillary receivers. And an order issued enjoining all persons from interfering with their possession and control.

On the same day, E. Forrest Mitchell, the Insurance Commissioner of California, filed, in the Superior Court of that State, a petition praying that he be placed in the possession of the property and business of the Corporation. That court entered immediately an order temporarily enjoining the Corporation from disposing of its property in California, and ordered the Insurance Commissioner to take possession thereof. Its license to transact the business of workmen's compensation insurance in California had been revoked by the Commissioner prior to the appointment of the primary receivers.

Service was promptly made of the orders issued by the two courts. A dispute arose as to the exact times of the filing of the several proceedings; of the entry of the orders; of the service thereof, and of taking possession. To resolve the controversy, the Insurance Commissioner filed in the federal court, on May 2, 1933, a motion to vacate its order appointing the ancillary receivers; to dissolve the restraining order, and to dismiss the petition of the primary receivers...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP