Bank of America v. Whitney Cent Nat Bank

Decision Date19 February 1923
Docket NumberNo. 205,205
Citation43 S.Ct. 311,261 U.S. 171,67 L.Ed. 594
CourtU.S. Supreme Court

Mr. Henry Root Stern, of New York City, for plaintiff in error.

Messrs. J. Blanc Monroe, of New Orleans, La., and Martin Conboy, of Riverdale on Hudson, N. Y., for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice BRANDEIS delivered the opinion of the Court.

The Bank of America, a New York corporation, brought this action in the federal court for the Southern district of New York, against the Whitney Central National Bank, which has its banking house and usual place of business at New Orleans, La. Service of process was made solely by delivering a summons to its president while temporarily in New York. Defendant appeared specially, challenged the jurisdiction of the court, and moved that the service be set aside. The questions of fact arising on the motion were referred to a special master to take proofs and make findings. The motion was heard upon his report, and the service was set aside on the ground that defendant was not amenable to process within the district. The case is here under section 238 of the Judicial Code (Comp. St. § 1215); the question of jurisdiction having been duly certified. The sole question for decision is whether, at the time of the service of the process, defendant was doing business within the district in such manner as to warrant the inference that it was present there. Philadelphia & Reading Ry. Co. v. McKibbin, 243 U. S. 264, 265, 37 Sup. Ct. 280, 61 L. Ed. 710; Rosenberg Bros. & Co., Inc., v. Curtis Brown Co. (No. 102, Jan. 2, 1923) 260 U. S. 516, 43 Sup. Ct. 170, 67 L. Ed.——.

The facts relied upon to establish presence of the defendant within the district consist wholly of its relations to the Hanover National Bank and five other banks, whose places of business are located in New York, and of transactions conducted through them. Each of these six banks is what is commonly called a correspondent of the defendant. In each the Whitney Central carries continuously an active, regular deposit account. But its transactions with these banks are not limited to making deposits and drawing against them. Superimposed upon the simple relation of bank and depositor are numerous other transactions which necessarily involve also the relationship of principal and agent. These additional transactions conducted by the correspondent banks include: Payment in New York of drafts drawn, with accompanying documents, against letters of credit issued by defendant at New Orleans; the receipt in New York from brokers and others of securities in which the Whitney Central or its depositors are interested, and the delivery of such securities; the making of payment to persons in New York for such securities; the holding of such securities on deposit in New York for long periods and arranging substitution of securities; the cashing, under specific instructions from defendant given in New Orleans, of checks drawn on it by third partie...

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    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of South Carolina
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    • United States
    • South Carolina Supreme Court
    • March 13, 1934
    ...F. 779; Rosenberg Bros. & Co. v. Curtis Brown Co., 260 U. S. 516, 43 S. Ct. 170, 67 L. Ed. 372; Bank of America v. Whitney Central National Bank, 261 U. S. 171, 43 S. Ct. 311, 67 L Ed. 594; Hcssig-Ellis Drug Co. v. Sly et al., 83 Kan. 60, 109 P. 770, Ann. Cas. 1912A, 551; Barrel! v. Peters ......
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1 books & journal articles
  • Personal Jurisdiction and the Fairness Factor(s)
    • United States
    • Emory University School of Law Emory Law Journal No. 72-4, 2023
    • Invalid date
    ...243 U.S. 93, 94-95 (1917).67. Id.68. Id.69. Id. at 97.70. Id. at 95.71. Id.72. Id.73. See, e.g., Bank of Am. v. Whitney Cent. Nat'l Bank, 261 US 171, 173 (1923); St. Louis Sw. Ry. Co. of Tex. v. Alexander, 227 US 218, 227-28 (1913). 74. Jacobs, supra note 57, at 1603-04.75. See Jack B. Harr......

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