99 U.S. 628 (1879), Crescent City Nat. Bank v. Case

Citation:99 U.S. 628, 25 L.Ed. 448
Case Date:April 21, 1879
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 628

99 U.S. 628 (1879)

25 L.Ed. 448




United States Supreme Court.

April 21, 1879


APPEAL from the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Louisiana.

Page 629

This is a bill brought by Frank F. Case, receiver of the Crescent City National Bank of New Orleans, against the stockholders of that institution, to pay him seventy per cent of the par value of the stock owned by them severally at the time when their respective liabilities were fixed by its insolvency, without regard to any pretended transfers of such stock as they may have attempted to make after the insolvency occurred. As to some of the defendants the bill was dismissed; as to others, a decree was rendered conformably to the prayer of the bill, and a writ of execution awarded against them and their property to enforce the payment of the sums adjudged to be due by them respectively. Among the defendants against whom the decree was rendered was the Germania National Bank of New Orleans, Alcus, Scherck, & Autey, The Crescent Mutual Insurance Company, and Benjamin J. West. They thereupon appealed here.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the court.


The case was argued by Mr. Thomas J. Durant for the appellants, and byMr. Charles Case for the appellee.

MR. JUSTICE STRONG delivered the opinion of the court.

The Crescent City National Bank of New Orleans was organized under the national banking law in 1871. On the 13th of February, 1873, its London correspondents failed, and the bank lost heavily by the failure,--nearly the entire amount of its capital. This loss was almost immediately known in the community where the institution was located, and necessarily affected its credit. On the 14th of March, 1873, payment of checks drawn upon it by its depositors was suspended, and on the 17th of the same month its circulating notes went to protest.

In reference to the alleged ownership by the Germania Bank (one of the appellants) of shares in the Crescent City Bank, the facts appear to be as follows: On the fourteenth day of December, 1872, it loaned to Phelps, McCullough, & Co. $14,000 on a note of the firm dated Dec. 7, 1872, payable in ninety days, and to secure the payment of the loan the borrowers pledged to the bank one hundred shares of the stock of the Crescent City Bank, with power, on non-payment of the

Page 630

note, to dispose of the stock for cash, at public or private sale, without recourse to legal proceedings, and to this end to make transfers on the books of the corporation whose stock it was. At the same time a power of attorney was given to Mr. Roehl, empowering him to transfer the stock to the Germania Bank, of which he was cashier. The note fell due on the 10th of March, 1873, and was not paid, and on that day a transfer of the one hundred shares to the Germania Bank was made on the transfer books of the Crescent City Bank. The Germania then caused seventy-six of the shares to be transferred to William A. Waldo, one of its clerks, and on the next day transferred to him the remainder. It has ever since stood in his name. Waldo acquired by the transfer no beneficial interest in the stock, and there was an understanding...

To continue reading