74 F. 592 (E.D.La. 1896), Hart v. Bier

Citation:74 F. 592
Party Name:HART v. BIER et al.
Case Date:May 30, 1896
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Page 592

74 F. 592 (E.D.La. 1896)



BIER et al.

United States Circuit Court, E.D. Louisiana.

May 30, 1896

         Rogers & Dodds, for complainant.

         Lazarus, Moore & Luce, for defendants.

         BEFORE PARDEE, Circuit Judge, and PARLANGE, District Judge.

         PER CURIAM.

         The complainant, Judah Hart, a citizen and resident of the city and state of New York, brought his bill against the defendant Henry Bier and the firm of Lazarus, Moore & Luce, attorneys, and therein alleged that on or about the 22d day of November, 1893, he was the owner of 124 first mortgage bonds of the Municipal Ice Company, of the face value of $1,000 each; that, subsequent to said date, the complainant executed and delivered, through his agent, Samuel J. Hart, to him (Bier) his (complainant's) four certain promissory notes, of the sum of $25,000 each, due and

Page 593

payable at different dates in the year 1894; that said notes were given without any consideration; that said Bier received from complainant, as collateral security for the payment of said notes, the 124 bonds hereinbefore described, and without any consideration therefor; and that although the said Henry Bier has long since, by receipt in writing, acknowledged the payment and discharge of complainant's obligations, as evidenced by the said four notes, and although the said bonds held as collaterals or in pledge as aforesaid are the sole property of the complainant, and should have been returned to his possession by the said Bier, and the said Bier not only refuses to disclose the present whereabouts of said bonds, or who is now in possession of the same. The bill goes on to show that the defendant Bier was under conviction in the criminal court of the parish of Orleans on the charge of perjury; that the defendants Lazarus, Moore & Luce have been employed to represent the said Bier in an effort to secure a nolle prosequi; that Lazarus, Moore & Luce had given certain advice to the defendant Bier by which he refused to disclose the whereabouts of the said bonds; that the complainant had reason to believe that Lazarus, Moore & Luce were possessed of them, or knew of their location; that the bonds were negotiable, and the complainant feared that they would be removed from the jurisdiction of the court, or otherwise lost to him; and that he was without a remedy except in equity. Complainant prayed for an injunction, a receiver, and a final decree awarding to him the possession of the bonds described.

         Upon a preliminary hearing, Lazarus, Moore & Luce having entered a disclaimer, and as to them the suit having been dismissed, a receiver was appointed by consent, and the bonds were thus taken into the direct custody of the court. After preliminary skirmishing, the defendant Henry Bier filed his answer to the bill, the material parts of which are as follows: That the bonds in question came into his possession from the agent of the complainant, to secure the apparent indebtedness evidenced by the notes described; that the agent of the complainant was under the direction of one Maurice J. Hart; that the execution of said notes and delivery of said bonds were, as respondent is advised, informed, and believes, with the knowledge of said Judah Hart, who acted through his agent, Samuel J. Hart, and with full knowledge of the matters and things and the objects and purposes of protecting said Maurice J. Hart from civil and criminal liability in transactions hereinafter recited; that, for reasons set forth, the said bonds are the property of Maurice J. Hart,...

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