Bertha Doctor v. John Harrington, No. 477

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtMcKenna
PartiesBERTHA DOCTOR and Katherine Sayles, Appts. , v. JOHN HARRINGTON, Dennis A. Harrington, Sol Sayles Company, and Sayles, Zahn Company
Decision Date20 February 1905
Docket NumberNo. 477

196 U.S. 579
25 S.Ct. 355
49 L.Ed. 606
BERTHA DOCTOR and Katherine Sayles, Appts.,

v.

JOHN HARRINGTON, Dennis A. Harrington, Sol Sayles Company, and Sayles, Zahn Company.

No. 477.
Submitted January 25, 1905.
Decided February 20, 1905.

The bill in this case was dismissed by the circuit court on the ground that it had no jurisdiction upon the fact alleged, and certified to this court the question of jurisdiction. The following is the question certified.

'Whether or not the complainants' bill of complaint showed that there was such diversity of citizenship between the parties complainant and parties defendant in this cause as would be sufficient, under the provisions of the United States Revised Statutes, to confer jurisdiction upon the United States circuit court for the southern district of New York, of this cause.'

The court further certified that it entered a decree dismissing the bill, 'holding that it appeared from the said bill of complaint that there was no such diversity of citizenship between the parties complainant and defendant as would confer

Page 580

jurisdiction upon the United States circuit court for the southern district of New York in the cause within the meaning of the United States Revised Statutes, and that, in arranging the parties to this cause relatively to the controversy, the Sol Sayles Company must be grouped on the side of the complainants, with the result that citizens of the same state would thus be parties on both sides of the litigation, and thus deprive this court of jurisdiction.'

The bill is very voluminous, and, as it is agreed by appellees that the statement of appellants substantially states its allegation, we quote from appellants' brief as follows:

'This action was brought by the appellants, as stockholders of the Sol Sayles Company, a corporation organized under the laws of the state of New York, for the purpose of vacating and setting aside a judgment obtained by the appellees Harrington against the Sol Sayles Company in the supreme court of the state of New York, on October 28, 1902, and the levy and sale under an execution issued thereunder, and of requiring the appellees Harrington to deliver to the Sol Sayles Company certain shares of stock in the Sayles, Zahn Company, and certain bonds, belonging to the Sol Sayles Company, which had been sold under such execution, and for other equitable relief.

'In substance, the complainants allege in their bill of complaint that they are citizens of Morris county, New Jersey; that the defendants Harrington are citizens of the state of New York, and that the defendants Sol Sayles Company and Sayles, Zahn Company are likewise citizens of said state, both being incorporated under the laws of that state; that the Sol Sayles Company was organized with a capital stock of $100,000, divided into 1,000 shares of the par value of $100 per share, of which the complainants owned 500 shares and the defendants Harrington 500 shares; that, by an arrangement made between the owners of the stock, the voting power on a majority thereof was given to the defendant John J. Harrington, who directed the management of the affairs of the corporation, dictated its

Page 581

policy, and selected its directiors; that on January 26, 1898, the defendant John J. Harrington caused the defendant Sayles, Zahn Company to be organized, for the purpose of taking over the business of the defendant Sol Sayles Company and of one Henry Zahn, and thereupon the property of the Sol Sayles Company and of Zahn were transferred to the Sayles, Zahn Company, which likewise was controlled by the defendant John J. Harrington; that the Sol Sayles Company received, in consideration of the transfer of its property, $50,000 of the capital stock of the Sayles, Zahn Company, and subsequently subscribed for $50,000 additional stock.

'It is further alleged that about February 1, 1899, the defendants Harrington, for the purpose of cheating and defrauding the Sol Sayles Company and the complainants of their interest in the assets of the Sayles, Zahn Company, fraudulently caused the Sol Sayles Company to execute and deliver to them, without any consideration whatsoever, its promissory notes, aggregating $23,700, which were utterly fictitious, and thereafter, and on October 3, 1902, the defendants Harrington, in furtherance of their fraudulent scheme, caused an action to be instituted, and a judgment to be recovered against the Sol Sayles Company, for the amount of the said promissory notes and interest which was alleged to have accrued thereon, the Sol Sayles Company being in utter ignorance of the nature of the action, and omitting to interpose any defense thereto.

'This scheme resulted in the recovery of a judgment against the defendant Sol Sayles Company on October 28, 1902, for $27,357.28, in favor of the defendants Harrington, who thereupon caused an execution to be issued to the sheriff of the county of New York, against the property and assets of the Sol Sayles Company, under which execution the said sheriff levied on the shares of stock in the Sayles, Zahn Company, and also two bonds of the New Jersey Steamboat...

To continue reading

Request your trial
97 practice notes
  • Ross v. Bernhard, No. 42
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 2, 1970
    ...equitable remedy. 4. Delaware & Hudson Co. v. Albany & S.R. Co., 213 U.S. 435, 29 S.Ct. 540, 53 L.Ed. 862 (1909); Doctor v. Harrington, 196 U.S. 579, 25 S.Ct. 355, 49 L.Ed. 606 (1905); City of Quincy v. Steel, 120 U.S. 241, 7 S.Ct. 520, 30 L.Ed. 624 (1887); Hawes v. City of Oakland, 104 U.S......
  • Krangel v. Crown, Civ. No. 91-0210-R(P).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • May 4, 1992
    ...properly named a defendant because of antagonism between the shareholder and management). As the Court stated in Doctor v. Harrington, 196 U.S. 579, 587, 25 S.Ct. 355, 357, 49 L.Ed. 606 (1905), overruled by Smith v. Sperling, 354 U.S. 91, 77 S.Ct. 1112, 1 L.Ed.2d 1205 (1957), "the ultimate ......
  • In re Digimarc Corp. Derivative Litigation, No. 06-35838.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • December 11, 2008
    ...shareholder plaintiff(s). Smith v. Sperling, 354 U.S. 91, 95-96 n. 3, 77 S.Ct. 1112, 1 L.Ed.2d 1205 (1957) (citing Doctor v. Harrington, 196 U.S. 579, 587, 25 S.Ct. 355, 49 L.Ed. 606 (1905) ("The ultimate interest of the corporation made defendant may be the same as that of the stockholder ......
  • City of Indianapolis v. Chase Nat Bank of City of New York Chase Nat Bank of City of New York v. Citizens Gas Co of Indianapolis Same v. Indianapolis Gas Co 8212 13, Nos. 10
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • November 10, 1941
    ...v. Van Brunt, 105 U.S. 576, 26 L.Ed. 1176; Evers v. Watson, 156 U.S. 527, 532, 15 S.Ct. 430, 432, 39 L.Ed. 520; Doctor v. Harrington, 196 U.S. 579, 25 S.Ct. 355, 49 L.Ed. 606; Venner v. Great Northern R. Co., 209 U.S. 24, 28 S.Ct. 328, 52 L.Ed. 666; Steele v. Culver, 211 U.S. 26, 29, 29 S.C......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
97 cases
  • Ross v. Bernhard, No. 42
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 2, 1970
    ...equitable remedy. 4. Delaware & Hudson Co. v. Albany & S.R. Co., 213 U.S. 435, 29 S.Ct. 540, 53 L.Ed. 862 (1909); Doctor v. Harrington, 196 U.S. 579, 25 S.Ct. 355, 49 L.Ed. 606 (1905); City of Quincy v. Steel, 120 U.S. 241, 7 S.Ct. 520, 30 L.Ed. 624 (1887); Hawes v. City of Oakland, 104 U.S......
  • Krangel v. Crown, Civ. No. 91-0210-R(P).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • May 4, 1992
    ...properly named a defendant because of antagonism between the shareholder and management). As the Court stated in Doctor v. Harrington, 196 U.S. 579, 587, 25 S.Ct. 355, 357, 49 L.Ed. 606 (1905), overruled by Smith v. Sperling, 354 U.S. 91, 77 S.Ct. 1112, 1 L.Ed.2d 1205 (1957), "the ultimate ......
  • In re Digimarc Corp. Derivative Litigation, No. 06-35838.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • December 11, 2008
    ...shareholder plaintiff(s). Smith v. Sperling, 354 U.S. 91, 95-96 n. 3, 77 S.Ct. 1112, 1 L.Ed.2d 1205 (1957) (citing Doctor v. Harrington, 196 U.S. 579, 587, 25 S.Ct. 355, 49 L.Ed. 606 (1905) ("The ultimate interest of the corporation made defendant may be the same as that of the stockholder ......
  • City of Indianapolis v. Chase Nat Bank of City of New York Chase Nat Bank of City of New York v. Citizens Gas Co of Indianapolis Same v. Indianapolis Gas Co 8212 13, Nos. 10
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • November 10, 1941
    ...v. Van Brunt, 105 U.S. 576, 26 L.Ed. 1176; Evers v. Watson, 156 U.S. 527, 532, 15 S.Ct. 430, 432, 39 L.Ed. 520; Doctor v. Harrington, 196 U.S. 579, 25 S.Ct. 355, 49 L.Ed. 606; Venner v. Great Northern R. Co., 209 U.S. 24, 28 S.Ct. 328, 52 L.Ed. 666; Steele v. Culver, 211 U.S. 26, 29, 29 S.C......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT