American School of Magnetic Healing v. Annulty, No. 27

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtPeckham
PartiesAMERICAN SCHOOL OF MAGNETIC HEALING and J. H. Kelly, Appts. , v. J. M. McANNULTY
Docket NumberNo. 27
Decision Date29 January 1902

187 U.S. 94
23 S.Ct. 33
47 L.Ed. 90
AMERICAN SCHOOL OF MAGNETIC HEALING and J. H. Kelly, Appts.,

v.

J. M. McANNULTY.

No. 27.
Submitted January 29, 1902.

Restored to docket for oral argument February 24, 1902.

Argued October 15, 16, 1902.
Decided November 17, 1902.

Page 95

This is an appeal under § 5 of the circuit court of appeals act of 1891, to review directly the decree of the circuit court of the United States for the western district of Missouri, dismissing the bill of complainants (appellants) on the merits. The bill, as amended by leave of the court, averred in substance that the complainants are, the one a business corporation incorporated under the laws of and doing business in the state of Missouri, and the other a resident and citizen of the state of Missouri; that the defendant was, at the time of the filing of the bill and at the times therein stated, postmaster in charge of the United States postoffice in the city of Nevada, state of Missouri, and a resident and a citizen of that state; that as such postmaster he has the exclusive management of the postoffice in the city of Nevada, and of the receipt and distribution of mail received at that city through the United States mails.

It was further averred that the American School of Magnetic Healing is located and has its chief office and place of business at the city of Nevada, and the complainant Kelly was at the time of the filing of the bill and at all the dates and times

Page 96

mentioned therein secretary, treasurer, and general manager of the corporation. In November, 1897, he located at Nevada, and engaged in the business of healing diseases and ailments of the human family, and the business of teaching the science of healing of human ills, and that in April, 1898, he procured the incorporation of the business under the laws of the state of Missouri, under the name of the American School of Magnetic Healing, and among the stockholders of the company the complainant Kelly was one; that large buildings were erected for such business, and large amounts expended in advertising the same. The bill further averred as follows:

'That in and about their business they carried on and conducted, not only the treating of people afflicted with ills at their establishment at said city, but also engaged in the business of teaching and educating others in the practical science of healing, and that a large amount of their business consists of treatment by letter and advice to people throughout the United States and foreign countries; and in the treatment under said circumstances, they have built up a large and extensive business in the way of receipts of such treatment, received through the United States mail, by letter, registered package, and otherwise, in the nature of checks, drafts, and United States moneys; that said business has grown to such an extent that, immediately and for a long time prior to the grievances hereinafter complained of, the receipts through the United States mails, in the manner aforesaid, for the treatment of persons throughout the United States and foreign countries, have reached and averaged about from $1,000 to $1,600 per day.

'And your orators state that said business is a legal and legitimate business, conducted according to business and legal methods, and is founded largely, and almost exclusively, on the physical and practical proposition that the mind of the human race is largely responsible for its ills, and is a perceptible factor in the treating, curing, benefiting, and remedying thereof.

'And that the human race does possess the innate power, through proper exercise of the faculty of the brain and mind, to largely control and remedy the ills that humanity is heir to

Page 97

and complainants discard and eliminate from their treatment what is commonly known as divine healing and Christian science, and complainants are confined to practical scientific treatment, emanating from the source aforesaid.

'That for a long time previous and prior to the grievances hereinafter mentioned, said corporation has been sending out a large amount of advertising matter through the United States postoffice at said city of Nevada, and that all of its receipts, by checks, drafts, or money orders aforesaid, have been received by and delivered to them through the United States postoffice at the city of Nevada, of which the respondent herein has exclusive charge as postmaster aforesaid, and had, during the time aforesaid, been receiving a large number of letters addressed to said institution and to its office, regarding its treatment and manner of treatment, and business letters pertaining to, and inquiring into, the manner of treatment.

'That all such mail, letters, and communications are generally addressed and directed to the American School of Magnetic Healing at said city, and that in many cases said letters are and may be addressed to said J. H. Kelly, secretary or treasurer or manager, or to J. H. Kelly, individually, or to Prof. J. H. Kelly, or to J. H. Kelly or Prof. J. H. Kelly, secretary, treasurer, or manager of the American School of Magnetic Healing.

'That said Kelly is also receiving, and for a long time past has been receiving, letters addressed to him individually upon social matters from friends and acquaintances, and concerning business not pertaining to or connected with the business hereinafter stated.

'That prior to the grievances hereinafter mentioned, said institute was recdiving in the way of letters addressed to it or to its officers in the manner aforesaid, an average of about the sum of 3,000 letters per day, and ever since the happening of the grievances hereinafter mentioned there have been accumulating in said postoffice letters belonging to your orator, addressed in the manner before stated, probably to the total number of 25,000 letters.

'That all of said letters, as your orators are informed and believe, are duly stamped and ready for delivery to them but

Page 98

for the action of the postmaster and Postal Department hereinafter mentioned.'

It was then averred that persons who were prompted by assumed competitive interference with their business complained to the United States Postoffice Department at Washington that complainants were not engaged in legitimate business, and therefore, on May 15, 1890, the Postoffice Department made the following order:

Postoffice Department,

Washington, D. C., May 15, 1900.

It having been made to appear to the Postmaster General, upon evidence satisfactory to him, that the American School of Magnetic Healing, S. A. Weltmer, president, J. H. Kelly, secretary, and J. A. Kelly, at Nevada, Missouri, are engaged in conducting a scheme or device for obtaining money through the mails by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, in violation of the act of Congress entitled 'An Act to Amend Certain Sections of the Revised Statutes Relating to Lotteries, and for Other Purposes, Approved September 19, 1900.'

Now, therefore, by authority vested in him by said act and by the act of Congress entitled 'An Act for the Suppression of Lottery Traffic through International and Interstate Commerce and the Postal Service, Subject to the Jurisdiction and Laws of the United States, Approved March 2, 1895,'1 the Postmaster General hereby forbids you to pay any postal money order drawn to the order of said concern and persons, and you are hereby directed to inform the remitter of any such postal money order that payment thereof has been forbidden, and that the amount thereof will be returned upon the presentation of a duplicate money order, applied for and obtained under the regulations of the Department.

And you are hereby instructed to return all letters, whether registered or not, and other mail matter which shall arrive at your office directed to the said concern and persons, to the postmasters at the offices at which they were originally mailed, to be delivered to the senders thereof, with the word 'fraudulent' plainly written or stamped upon the outside of such letters or

Page 99

matter. Provided, however, that where there is nothing to indicate who are the senders of letters not registered, or other matter, you are directed in that case to send such letters and matter to the dead letter office, with the word 'fraudulent' plainly written or stamped thereon, to be disposed of as other dead matter, under the laws and regulations applicable thereto.

Ch. Emory Smith,

Postmaster General.

To the Postmaster, Nevada, Missouri.

Since such order the defendant has refused to deliver any mail whatever to the complainants, and there had, when the bill was filed, as complainants aver on information and belief, accumulated at the postoffice at Nevada letters addressed to them containing checks, drafts, money orders, or money to an aggregate of at least $10,000 in value; that these checks, drafts, etc., came from various customers and clients throughout the United States and foreign countries, who had all been treated and for whom the complainants had performed services, under contracts with such parties, and that the sums were so sent in the respective letters in payment for services performed and rendered to the senders respectively, all of the senders being willing, and at all times have been willing, that their letters containing the remittances should be turned over to the complainants, they making no objection or complaint thereto.

The complainants further averred that they had been informed by the defendant that on Monday, the 28th day of May, then coming, he intended to stamp on each and every one of the letters addressed to the complainants, under any of the designations theretofore mentioned in the bill, the word 'fraudulent' across the face of each letter, without opening it and without knowing what such letter contained, or the nature or character of the contents, and that the defendant would then return...

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281 practice notes
  • Hahn v. Gottlieb, No. 7552.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • August 14, 1970
    ...Abbott Laboratories v. Gardner, 387 U.S. 136, 141, 87 S.Ct. 1507, 18 L.Ed.2d 681 (1967); American School of Magnetic Healing v. McAnnulty, 187 U.S. 94, 108, 23 S.Ct. 33, 47 L.Ed. 90 (1902). Such evidence may, however, be drawn not only from explicit language, but also from a statute's purpo......
  • Ajay Nutrition Foods, Inc. v. Food & Drug Administration, Civ. A. No. 328-73.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • April 5, 1974
    ...a federal officer to forbid him from putting illegal restrictions on the use of the property. In School of Magnetic Healing v. McAnnulty, 187 U.S. 94, 23 S.Ct. 33, 47 L.Ed. 90 (1902), the property right held to be protected was the reputation of a business where a United States Postmaster r......
  • New York v. Trump, 20-CV-5770 (RCW) (PWH) (JMF)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • September 10, 2020
    ...courts by Congress by the statutes establishing courts and marking their jurisdiction."); Am. Sch. of Magnetic Healing v. McAnnulty , 187 U.S. 94, 108, 23 S.Ct. 33, 47 L.Ed. 90 (1902) ("The acts of all [executive branch] officers must be justified by some law, and in case an offic......
  • Jeffries v. Olesen, No. 15779.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • May 13, 1954
    ...mail. Williams v. Fanning, 1947, 332 U.S. 490, 68 S.Ct. 188, 92 L.Ed. 95; American School of Magnetic Healing v. McAnnulty, 1902, 187 U.S. 94, 23 S.Ct. 33, 47 L.Ed. 90; cf. Land v. Dollar, 1947, 330 U.S. 731, 67 S.Ct. 1009, 91 L.Ed. 1209; Ickes v. Fox, 1937, 300 U.S. 82, 96-97, 57 S.Ct. 412......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
277 cases
  • Hahn v. Gottlieb, No. 7552.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • August 14, 1970
    ...Abbott Laboratories v. Gardner, 387 U.S. 136, 141, 87 S.Ct. 1507, 18 L.Ed.2d 681 (1967); American School of Magnetic Healing v. McAnnulty, 187 U.S. 94, 108, 23 S.Ct. 33, 47 L.Ed. 90 (1902). Such evidence may, however, be drawn not only from explicit language, but also from a statute's purpo......
  • Ajay Nutrition Foods, Inc. v. Food & Drug Administration, Civ. A. No. 328-73.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • April 5, 1974
    ...a federal officer to forbid him from putting illegal restrictions on the use of the property. In School of Magnetic Healing v. McAnnulty, 187 U.S. 94, 23 S.Ct. 33, 47 L.Ed. 90 (1902), the property right held to be protected was the reputation of a business where a United States Postmaster r......
  • New York v. Trump, 20-CV-5770 (RCW) (PWH) (JMF)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • September 10, 2020
    ...the courts by Congress by the statutes establishing courts and marking their jurisdiction."); Am. Sch. of Magnetic Healing v. McAnnulty , 187 U.S. 94, 108, 23 S.Ct. 33, 47 L.Ed. 90 (1902) ("The acts of all [executive branch] officers must be justified by some law, and in case an official vi......
  • Jeffries v. Olesen, No. 15779.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • May 13, 1954
    ...mail. Williams v. Fanning, 1947, 332 U.S. 490, 68 S.Ct. 188, 92 L.Ed. 95; American School of Magnetic Healing v. McAnnulty, 1902, 187 U.S. 94, 23 S.Ct. 33, 47 L.Ed. 90; cf. Land v. Dollar, 1947, 330 U.S. 731, 67 S.Ct. 1009, 91 L.Ed. 1209; Ickes v. Fox, 1937, 300 U.S. 82, 96-97, 57 S.Ct. 412......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
4 books & journal articles
  • Administering the National Environmental Policy Act
    • United States
    • Environmental Law Reporter Nbr. 45-4, April 2015
    • April 1, 2015
    ...Overseer? , supra note 146, at 706-07; Mashaw, supra note 22, at 148-55. 207. See e.g. , American Sch. of Magnetic Healing v. McAnnulty, 187 U.S. 94, 108 (1902); City of Arlington v. FCC, 133 S. Ct. 1863, 1877, 43 ELR 20112 (2013) (Roberts, C.J., dissenting). his is equally true of the cour......
  • Restoring the Essential Safeguard: Why the Abbott Test For Preclusion of Judicial Review of Agency Action is an Inadequate Method For Protecting Separation of Powers
    • United States
    • The Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy Nbr. 18-1, January 2020
    • January 1, 2020
    ...136 S. Ct. 2131 (2016). 83. Cuozzo Speed Techs., LLC v. Lee, 136 S. Ct. 2131, 2140 (2016) 84. Am. Sch. of Magnetic Healing v. McAnnulty, 187 U.S. 94, 95 (1902). 85. Id. at 109–10. 86. Id. 2020] RESTORING THE ESSENTIAL SAFEGUARD 197 particular agency decision and improper preclusion of wheth......
  • EQUITY AND THE SOVEREIGN.
    • United States
    • Notre Dame Law Review Vol. 97 Nbr. 5, May 2022
    • May 1, 2022
    ...the 'Transformation of the Federal Courts, 1890-1917, 40 U. TOL. L. REV. 931 (2009). (92) Set Am, Sch. of Magnetic Healing v. McAnnulty, 187 U.S. 94, 110 (1902) (allowing injunctive relief against federal postmaster general for failure to deliver the plaintiffs advertisement); Philadelphia ......
  • FEDERAL JUDICIAL POWER AND FEDERAL EQUITY WITHOUT FEDERAL EQUITY POWERS.
    • United States
    • Notre Dame Law Review Vol. 97 Nbr. 5, May 2022
    • May 1, 2022
    ...constitutes a deprivation of property that may be accomplished only pursuant to proceedings that satisfy the Due Process Clause). (71) 187 U.S. 94, 111 (1902) (approving an injunction directing the Postmaster General to deliver mail to the plaintiff, despite the Postmaster General's finding......

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