Helm v. Zarecor, No. 395

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtHughes
Citation32 S.Ct. 10,222 U.S. 32,56 L.Ed. 77
Decision Date06 November 1911
Docket NumberNo. 395
PartiesT. O. HELM et al., Appts., v. J. H. ZARECOR et al

222 U.S. 32
32 S.Ct. 10
56 L.Ed. 77
T. O. HELM et al., Appts.,

v.

J. H. ZARECOR et al.

No. 395.
Submitted October 9, 1911.
Decided November 6, 1911.

Messrs. John M. Gaut and Alexander Pope Humphrey for appellants.

Messrs. W. C. Caldwell, Frank Slemons, and W. B. Lamb for appellees.

Mr. Justice Hughes delivered the opinion of the court:

The sole question presented by this appeal is with respect to the jurisdiction of the circuit court.

The bill, as amended, was brought by certain ministers, ruling elders, and laymen of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, citizens of states other than

Page 33

Tennessee, suing for themselves and for all the members of said Church, against individuals, citizens of Tennessee, described as representing not only their own interests, but also those of all the members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and 'The Board of Publication of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church,' a Tennessee corporation.

The controversy disclosed by the bill arose from the proceedings, taken in 1906, to effect the union of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, both voluntary religious associations, and relates to the property and management of the defendant corporation. The Board of Publication had been incorporated in 1860, under the direction of the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, for the purpose of conducting its publishing work, and had acquired valuable property consisting of a publishing house and its equipment in Nashville, Tennessee. The original members of the corporation were the committee of publication of the Church, and their successors under the charter were appointed by the General Assembly, to which was committed its regulation and control.

The bill alleged that the two Churches had been legally united, and that, as a result, the property in question was held by the corporation in trust 'for the entire reunited denomination;' and, further, that 'the Board and its officers and managers were advised and believed, and still believe,' that the union was valid, that 'thereby the Board of Publication became a corporation and institution of the reunited Church,' and that the managers of the corporation 'could do nothing else than recognize the General Assembly of the united Church by reporting to it and otherwise recognizing its authority.' It was also alleged that a minority of the members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and of its ministers, who

Page 34

were opposed to the consolidation, repudiated it and effected a separate organization under the former name, and that thereupon a body assuming to be the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church declared the offices of all the members of the Board of Publication vacant, and proceeded to elect persons of their own organization to fill the supposed vacancies. These persons had made demand for the possession of the corporate property, claiming to be the rightful members of the corporation, and that its property was held in trust for the religious association by whose General Assembly they had been elected. It was stated that this claim cast a cloud upon the equitable title to the property. After reviewing at length the history of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the action of the representatives of the two Churches which culminated in the alleged consolidation, and the subsequent antagonistic proceedings, the bill prayed for decree that the property in question is held in trust by the corporation for the benefit of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, or the members thereof, and that the members of the Board elected by the reunited Church are the true and lawful members of said Board; that the defendants be enjoined from interfering with the control and management of the corporation by those members, or with the corporate property, and that, if mistaken with respect to the relief prayed for as to the persons who constitute the Board and have the right of management, the court should decree that 'whoever may be the...

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57 practice notes
  • 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
    ...in the decisions, the governing principles are clear. To sustain diversity jurisdiction there must exist an 'actual', Helm v. Zarecor, 222 U.S. 32, 36, 32 S.Ct. 10, 11, 56 L.Ed. 77, 'substantial', Niles-Bement-Pond Co. v. Iron Moulders' Union, 254 U.S. 77, 81, 41 S.Ct. 39, 41, 65 L.Ed. 145,......
  • Smith v. Sperling, No. 316
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 10, 1957
    ...of issues, City of Indianapolis v. Chase National Bank, 314 U.S. 63, 69, 62 S.Ct. 15, 16, 86 L.Ed. 47, or as stated in Helm v. Zarecor, 222 U.S. 32, 36, 32 S.Ct. 10, 11, 56 L.Ed. 77, 'the actual controversy,' is between citizens of different States. This is a practical not a mechanical dete......
  • Smith v. Sperling, Civ. No. 9005.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • December 16, 1953
    ...is the essential party in interest, unless it is made a party to the litigation." 18 Wall. at page 627; see also Helm v. Zarecor, 1911, 222 U.S. 32, 36-38, 32 S. Ct. 10, 56 L.Ed. 77; Steele v. Culver, 1908, 211 U.S. 26, 29, 29 S.Ct. 9, 53 L.Ed. 74; Porter v. Sabin, 1893, 149 U.S. 473, 478, ......
  • Glenmede Trust Company v. Dow Chemical Company, Civ. A. No. 74-2345.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • October 25, 1974
    ...the parties according to their actual interest in the controversy. City of Indianapolis v. Chase National Bank, supra; Helm v. Zarecor, 222 U.S. 32, 32 S.Ct. 10, 56 L.Ed. 77 One of the principal purposes of this suit is to determine whether Glenmede may finalize the sale of its General Crud......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
57 cases
  • Smith v. Sperling, No. 316
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 10, 1957
    ...of issues, City of Indianapolis v. Chase National Bank, 314 U.S. 63, 69, 62 S.Ct. 15, 16, 86 L.Ed. 47, or as stated in Helm v. Zarecor, 222 U.S. 32, 36, 32 S.Ct. 10, 11, 56 L.Ed. 77, 'the actual controversy,' is between citizens of different States. This is a practical not a mechanical dete......
  • Smith v. Sperling, Civ. No. 9005.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • December 16, 1953
    ...is the essential party in interest, unless it is made a party to the litigation." 18 Wall. at page 627; see also Helm v. Zarecor, 1911, 222 U.S. 32, 36-38, 32 S. Ct. 10, 56 L.Ed. 77; Steele v. Culver, 1908, 211 U.S. 26, 29, 29 S.Ct. 9, 53 L.Ed. 74; Porter v. Sabin, 1893, 149 U.S. 473, 478, ......
  • Glenmede Trust Company v. Dow Chemical Company, Civ. A. No. 74-2345.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • October 25, 1974
    ...the parties according to their actual interest in the controversy. City of Indianapolis v. Chase National Bank, supra; Helm v. Zarecor, 222 U.S. 32, 32 S.Ct. 10, 56 L.Ed. 77 One of the principal purposes of this suit is to determine whether Glenmede may finalize the sale of its General Crud......
  • BJ Van Ingen & Co. v. Burlington County Bridge Com'n, Civ. No. 11848.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • April 6, 1949
    ...69-70 and 76-77, 62 S.Ct. at page 17 the court stated: "To sustain diversity jurisdiction there must exist an `actual', Helm v. Zarecor, 222 U.S. 32, 36, 32 S.Ct. 10, 11, 56 L.Ed. 77, `substantial', Niles-Bement-Pond Co. v. Iron Moulders' Union, 254 U.S. 77, 81, 41 S.Ct. 39, 41, 65 L.Ed. 14......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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