308 U.S. 21 (1939), 10, Pittman v. Home Owners' Loan Corp.

Docket Nº:No. 10
Citation:308 U.S. 21, 60 S.Ct. 15, 84 L.Ed. 11
Party Name:Pittman v. Home Owners' Loan Corp.
Case Date:November 06, 1939
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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308 U.S. 21 (1939)

60 S.Ct. 15, 84 L.Ed. 11

Pittman

v.

Home Owners' Loan Corp.

No. 10

United States Supreme Court

Nov. 6, 1939

Argued October 12, 13, 1939

CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS OF MARYLAND

Syllabus

1. The Maryland tax on mortgages, graded according to the amount of the loan secured and imposed in addition to the ordinary registration fee as a condition to the recordation of the instrument, cannot be applied to a mortgage tendered for record by the Home Owners' Loan Corporation and securing one of its loans, in view of the provisions of the Home Owners' Loan Act, which declare the Corporation to be an instrumentality of the United States, and that its loans shall be exempt from all state and municipal taxes. Federal Land Bank v. Crosland, 261 U.S. 374. P. 29.

2. Assuming that the creation of the Home Owners' Loan Corporation was a constitutional exercise of the power of Congress, the activities of the Corporation through which the Government lawfully acts must be regarded as governmental functions and entitled to whatever immunity attaches to those functions when performed by the Government itself through its departments. P. 32.

The power of Congress to create a corporation to facilitate the performance of governmental functions implies a power to protect the operations thus validly authorized, which comes within the range of the express power conferred by Const. Art. I, § 8, cl. 18, to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution all powers vested by the Constitution in the Government. In the exercise of this power to protect, Congress has the dominant authority, which necessarily inheres in its action within the national field.

175 Md. 512, 2 A.2d 689, affirmed.

Certiorari, 306 U.S. 628, to review a judgment affirming the issuance of a mandamus by Baltimore City Court requiring the Clerk of the Superior Court of Baltimore to record a mortgage.

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HUGHES, J., lead opinion

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE HUGHES delivered the opinion of the Court.

The Home Owners' Loan Corporation brought this proceeding in the Baltimore City Court for a writ of mandamus requiring the Clerk of the Superior Court of Baltimore to record a mortgage executed to the Corporation upon the payment of the ordinary recording charge and without affixing stamps for the state recording tax. Demurrer to the petition was overruled, the Clerk did not avail himself of the opportunity to answer, and mandamus was granted. The order was affirmed by the Court of Appeals of Maryland. 175 Md. 512, 2 A.2d 689. We granted certiorari. 306 U.S. 628.

The Maryland statute imposes a tax upon every mortgage, recorded or offered for record, at the rate of 10 cents for each $100, or fraction thereof, of the principal amount of the debt secured by the mortgage.1 As the Home Owners' Loan Corporation [60 S.Ct. 17] is expressly declared to be an instrumentality of the United States, Home

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Owners' Loan Act of 1933, c. 64, 48 Stat. 128, and the mortgage was acquired in that capacity, the Court of Appeals held the tax, as thus applied, to be...

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