Aaron Bluthenthal v. Angus Jones

Decision Date06 January 1908
Docket NumberNo. 94,94
Citation208 U.S. 64,28 S.Ct. 192,52 L.Ed. 390
PartiesAARON BLUTHENTHAL and Monroe L. Bickart, Copartners as Bluthenthal & Bickart, Plffs. in Err., v. ANGUS O. JONES, Administrator of Miles C. Jones, Deceased
CourtU.S. Supreme Court

Mr. Benjamin Z. Phillips, John M. Slaton, and H. K. Olliphant for plaintiffs in error.

Mr. Solon G. Wilson for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice Moody delivered the opinion of the court:

This is a writ of error to the supreme court of the state of Florida. The plaintiffs in error were judgment creditors of Miles C. Jones, the intestate of the defendant in error. The creditors sought to enforce the judgment by a levy of execution. The question in the case is whether Jones was discharged from the debt by a discharge in bankruptcy granted to him on November 7, 1903, by the district court for the southern district of Florida, on proceedings which were begun on August 3, 1903. The debt was one provable in the bankruptcy proceeding, and, it is conceded, would be barred by the discharge, were it not that there had been a prior proceeding in bankruptcy in another district court, which, it is contended, had the effect of exempting the debt from the operation of the discharge. In the year 1900, Jones filed his petition in bankruptcy in the district court for the southern district of Georgia. Bluthenthal & Bickart, the plaintiffs in error, objected to the discharge in that proceeding, and it was refused on December 3, 1900. Bluthenthal & Bickart, at the time of the first proceeding, were creditors of Jones in respect of what may be assumed, for the purposes of this case, to be the same indebtedness now in question. The ground of the refusal does not appear. It may be assumed to have been, however, one of the two grounds specified in § 14 of the bankruptcy act [30 Stat. at L. 550, chap. 541, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 3472] before it was amended by the act of February 5, 1903 [32 Stat. at L. 797, chap. 487, U. S. Comp. Stat. Supp. 1907, p. 1026]; that is to say, either that the bankrupt has committed an offense punishable by imprisonment, or, with fraudulent intent and in contemplation of bankruptcy, destroyed, concealed, or failed to keep books of accounts. Though Bluthenthal & Bickart were notified of the proceedings on the second petition for bankruptcy and their debt was scheduled, they did not prove their claim or participate in any way in those proceedings. They now claim that their debt was not affected by the discharge on account of the adjudication in the previous proceedings.

Section 1 of the bankruptcy act defines a discharge as 'the release of a bankrupt from all of his debts which are provable in bankruptcy, except such as are excepted by this act.' Section 14 of the amended act, which was applicable to the second proceedings,...

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