71 N.Y. 222, People ex rel. Attorney-General v. Security Life Ins. Co.

Citation:71 N.Y. 222
Party Name:IN THE MATTER OF THE PEOPLE ex rel. ATTORNEY-GENERAL v. THE SECURITY LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY.
Case Date:November 13, 1877
Court:New York Court of Appeals
 
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71 N.Y. 222

IN THE MATTER OF THE PEOPLE ex rel. ATTORNEY-GENERAL

v.

THE SECURITY LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY.

New York Court of Appeal

November 13, 1877

         Argued Oct. 9, 1877.

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         COUNSEL

         Robert Sewell, for appellant. The policyholders in this corporation were partners. (Grissil's Case [L. R.], 1 Ch., 528; Kean v. Johnson, 1 Stock., 401; Col. on Part. 641; Hoyle v. P. & N. R. Co., 54 N.Y. 314; Kohler v. B. R. Co., 2 Black., 715; A. & A. on Corp., § § 41, 591; Bissett on Part., § § 107-109, 254, 255; Oakley v. Aspinwall, 2 Sandf., 7; Penny v. Black, 9 Bosw., 310; Man. Brass Co. v. Sears, 45 N.Y. 797; Ontario Bank v. Hennessy, 48 Id., 545; Bullard v. Kenny, 10 Cal., 60; In re European Co., 5 Big. Ins. R., 714; N.Y. Life Ins. Co. v. Statham, 5 Ins. L. J., 868; Mygatt v. N.Y. Pro. Co., 21 N.Y. 61.) A policyholder in a life insurance company is not a creditor of the company within the meaning of the Revised Statutes respecting proceedings against corporations in equity. ( King v. Ac. L. Ins. Co., 3 C. B. [ [N. S.], 151; 5 Big. Ins. R., 635.) A member of a corporation may sue it for a cause of action arising out of his membership. ( Hill v. Manchester, 5 A. & D., 866; Culburter v. H. Co., 4 McL., 544.) The receiver could sue those holders of policies who had paid part of their premium in notes, and recover the amount of the notes. ( Osgood v. Ogden, 4 Keyes, 70; Farmers' Bank v. Maxwell, 32 N.Y. 579; Hope M. Ins. Co. v. Perkins, 2 Abb. Ct. App. Cases, 383; Hone v. Allen, 1 Sand., 171; Brouwer v. Appleby, Id . 158; Desraimes v. Mer. Co., 1 N.Y. , 371; Howland v. Meyer, 3 Id., 290; Brown v. Croake, 4 Id., 51; Lawrence v. Nelson, 21 Id., 158; 4 Bosw., 240; Cruikshank v. Brouwer, 11 Barb., 228; Mygatt v. N.Y. Co., 21 N.Y. 57; White v. Haight, 16 Id., 321.)

         William Barnes and Hamilton Cole, for respondents. No creditor of an insolvent corporation is entitled to a preference in payment, unless he has a prior legal or equitable lien on, or a specific appropriation of some particular part of the

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corporate property or funds. ( Lowerre v. Am. F. Ins. Co., 6 Paige, 482; De Peyster v. Am. F. Ins. Co., Id., 486.)The relation of the policyholders to each other is not that of copartners. ( Baldwin v. Burrows, 47 N.Y. 199; Patterson v. Blanchard, 5 Id., 186; Ogden v. Astor, 4 Sandf., 311.)

         ALLEN, J.

         This court is without jurisdiction over the appeal. It is from an order in a special proceeding, but the order does not affect a substantial right so as to make it appealable under section 11 of the old or section 190 of the Revised Code. The appellant had no legal right to demand an adjustment and payment of her claim at the time of the application, or to claim payment before a distribution of the assets among...

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