337 U.S. 38 (1949), 500, Union National Bank v. Lamb

Docket Nº:No. 500
Citation:337 U.S. 38, 69 S.Ct. 911, 93 L.Ed. 1190
Party Name:Union National Bank v. Lamb
Case Date:May 16, 1949
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 38

337 U.S. 38 (1949)

69 S.Ct. 911, 93 L.Ed. 1190

Union National Bank

v.

Lamb

No. 500

United States Supreme Court

May 16, 1949

Argued March 31, 1949

APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF MISSOURI

Syllabus

1. A judgment of the highest court of a State determining a claim of right under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Federal Constitution is reviewable here not by appeal but by certiorari; and the papers whereon an appeal has been improvidently taken in such a case may be treated as a petition for a writ of certiorari. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1257(3), 2103. Pp. 39-40.

2. Where the last day of the period within which a review by this Court on appeal or certiorari may be applied for falls on a Sunday or legal holiday, an application made on the next day which is not a Sunday or legal holiday is timely under 28 U.S.C. § 2101(c) and Rule 6 (a) of the Rules of Civil Procedure. Pp. 40-41.

3. In 1927, petitioner obtained a Colorado judgment against respondent, which was revived in Colorado in 1945 on personal service upon respondent in Missouri. Suit was then brought in Missouri on the revived Colorado judgment. The Supreme Court of Missouri, though assuming that the judgment was valid in Colorado, refused to enforce it because, under Missouri law, the original judgment could not have been revived in 1945.

Held: the decision of the Missouri Court that, whatever the effect of revivor under Colorado law, the Colorado judgment was not entitled to full faith and credit in Missouri, is erroneous. Roche v. McDonald, 275 U.S. 449. Pp. 41-45.

4. The question of the status of the 1945 judgment under Colorado law, and the question whether the service on which the Colorado judgment was revived satisfied due process, which were not passed upon by the Missouri Court, will be open on remand of the cause. P. 44.

358 Mo. 65, 213 S.W.2d 416, reversed.

The Supreme Court of Missouri refused enforcement of a Colorado judgment. 358 Mo. 65, 213 S.W.2d 416. Treating the appeal papers as a petition for certiorari, this Court grants certiorari and reverses the judgment. Pp. 40-41, 45.

Page 39

DOUGLAS, J., lead opinion

[69 S.Ct. 912] MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS delivered the opinion of the Court.

Missouri has a statute which limits the life of a judgment to ten years after its original rendition or ten years after its revival.1 Missouri also provides that no judgment can be revived after ten years from its rendition.2 These provisions are applicable to all judgments, whether rendered by a Missouri court or by any other court.

Petitioner has a Colorado judgment against respondent. It was obtained in 1927 and revived in Colorado3 in 1945 in personal service upon respondent in Missouri. Suit was then brought in Missouri on the revived Colorado judgment. The Supreme Court of Missouri, though assuming that the judgment was valid in Colorado, refused to enforce it because the original judgment under Missouri's law could not have been revived in 1945. It held that the lex fori governs the limitations of actions, and that the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution, Art. IV, § I, did not require Missouri to recognize Colorado's more lenient policy as respects revival of judgments. 358 Mo. 65, 213 S.W.2d 416.

1. Petitioner sought to bring the case here by appeal. But we postponed the question of jurisdiction to the merits. Certiorari, not appeal, is the route by which the question whether or not full faith and credit has been given a foreign judgment is brought here. Roche v. McDonald, 275 U.S. 449; Morris v. Jones, 329 U.S. 545.

Page 40

Hence we treat the papers as a petition for certiorari, 28 U.S.C. § 2103, and grant it.

2. The opinion of the Supreme Court of Missouri was handed down July 12, 1948, and the motion for rehearing or for transfer to the court en banc4 was denied September 13, 1948. The appeal was allowed by the Missouri court on December 13, 1948. That was within three months, and therefore timely prior to the revision of the Judicial Code. But 28 U.S.C. § 2101(c), effective September 1, 1948, reduced that period to ninety days. The ninetieth day was December 12, 1948, which was a Sunday. There is a contrariety of views whether an act which by statute is required to be done within a stated period may be done a day later when the last day of the period falls on Sunday.5 Thus, Street v. United States, 133 U.S. 299, treating Sunday as a dies non under a statute which authorized the President to transfer army officers from active duty and to fill vacancies in the active list on or before January 1, 1871, allowed the action to be taken on the following day. We think the policy of that decision is applicable to 28 U.S.C. § 2101(c). Rule 6(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that where the last day for performance of an act falls on a Sunday or a legal holiday, performance on the next day which is not a Sunday or legal holiday is timely.6 That

Page 41

rule provides the method for computation [69 S.Ct. 913] of time prescribed or allowed not only by the rules or by order of court, but by "any applicable statute." Since the rule had the concurrence of Congress,7 and since no contrary policy is expressed in the statute governing this review, we think that the considerations of liberality and leniency which find expression in Rule 6(a) are equally applicable to 28 U.S.C. § 2101(c). The appeal therefore did not fail for lack of timeliness.

3. Roche v. McDonald is dispositive of the merits. Roche had a Washington judgment against McDonald. He brought suit on that judgment in Oregon. He obtained a judgment in Oregon at a time when the original judgment had, by Washington law, expired and could not be revived. Roche then sued in Washington on the Oregon judgment. The Court reversed the Supreme Court of Washington, 136 Wash. 322, 239 P. 1015, which had held that full faith and credit need not be given the Oregon judgment, since it would have been void and of no effect if rendered in Washington. The Court held that, once the court of the sister State had jurisdiction over the parties and of the subject matter, its judgment was valid, and could not be impeached in the...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP