Henry Grannis v. Albert Ordean Henry Grannis v. Robert Whiteside, No. 325

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtPitney
PartiesHENRY J. GRANNIS, Plff. in Err., v. ALBERT L. ORDEAN, Margaret Sullivan, Alfred Jaques, Theodore T. Hudson, et al. HENRY J. GRANNIS, Plff. in Err., v. ROBERT B. WHITESIDE, Margaret Sullivan, Alfred Jaques, Theodore T. Hudson, et al
Decision Date08 June 1914
Docket NumberNo. 325,Nos. 325,326,No. 326

234 U.S. 385
34 S.Ct. 779
58 L.Ed. 1363
HENRY J. GRANNIS, Plff. in Err.,

v.

ALBERT L. ORDEAN, Margaret Sullivan, Alfred Jaques, Theodore T. Hudson, et al.

No. 325.

HENRY J. GRANNIS, Plff. in Err.,

v.

ROBERT B. WHITESIDE, Margaret Sullivan, Alfred Jaques,

Theodore T. Hudson, et al.
No. 326.
Nos. 325, 326.
Argued April 27 and 28, 1914.
Decided June 8, 1914.

Page 386

Messrs. Henry J. Grannis and Frederic D. McKenney for plaintiff in error.

Messrs. Alfred Jaques, Theodore T. Hudson, and John G. Williams for defendants in error.

Mr. Justice Pitney delivered the opinion of the court:

These two cases were heard as one, upon the record in No. 325; it being stipulated that since the cases are identical in their facts and in the questions raised, except that they pertain to different portions of the land respecting which the controversy arises, the decision in No. 326 shall abide the result in No. 325. We shall therefore discuss the record in the latter case, without further mention of No. 326.

On the 8th day of November, 1985, and for some time prior thereto, one John McKinley was the owner of an undivided fifth part of certain lands in the county of St. Louis, in the state of Minnesota. Prior to that

Page 387

time one Albert B. Geilfuss, assignee, recovered a judgment for the sum of $2,854.02 against McKinley in the district court of that county, which was duly entered in the judgment book and appeared in the judgment roll in the name of Albert B. Geilfuss, assignee, and on the 5th day of January, 1894, was docketed by the clerk of the court as in favor of Albert Geilfuss, assignee, as judgment creditor, and against John McKinley as judgment debtor, and being so docketed became a lien upon McKinley's interest in said lands, and on November 8, 1895, was a lien thereon. Under a sale afterwards made upon an execution issued on this judgment, plaintiff in error claims title to the undivided one fifth of said lands formerly owned by McKinley, by virtue of certain proceedings and conveyances hereinafter mentioned. Albert B. Geilfuss, assignee, recovered another judgment against McKinley for the sum of $2,125.60, which was duly entered and docketed on January 10, 1894, and became a lien upon the interest of McKinley in the same lands, but plaintiff in error claims no rights thereunder.

On November 8, 1895, one George A. Elder, the owner of an undivided fifth interest in said lands, commenced a partition suit in the district court of St. Louis county against Mesaba Land Company, John McKinley, and the other owners of the fee, and also against certain other parties having judgment or other liens. The suit was brought under the provisions of chapter 74, Gen. Stat. Minnesota, and its sole purpose was to partition the lands, or, in case a partition could not be had, then to have them sold and the proceeds of the sale distributed among the parties entitled.

At the time of the partition action, Albert B. Geilfuss assignee resided at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His correct name, 'Albert B. Geilfuss, assignee,' or 'Albert Geilfuss, assignee,' did not appear among the names of the defendants in the action, or in the summons or other files

Page 388

or records therein. 'Albert Guilfuss, assignee,' was named as a defendant, and it was alleged in the complaint, and found and determined in the findings and judgment, that he was the owner of the judgment for $2,854.02 against McKinley. 'Albert B. Guilfuss' was also named as a defendant, and it was alleged in the complaint and found and determined in the findings and judgment that he was the owner of the judgment for $2,125.60 against McKinley. There was no personal service of the summons in the partition action upon Geilfuss, however named, either as individual or as assignee, and no appearance in his behalf. There was a return by the sheriff of St. Louis county upon the summons to the effect that the defendants, 'Albert Guilfuss, assignee,' and 'Albert B. Guilfuss' could not be found in the county, and an affidavit of one of the attorneys of plaintiff was filed, stating that he believed that the defendants 'Albert Guilfuss, assignee,' and 'Albert B. Guilfuss,' were not residents of the state of Minnesota, and could not be found therein, and that after the commencement of the action affiant had deposited copies of the summons in the postoffice, with postage prepaid, directed to each of these defendants at their respective places of residence; to wit, one to Albert Guilfuss, assignee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and one to Albert B. Guilfuss, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and stating that the subject of said partition action was certain real property situated in the county of St. Louis and state of Minnesota, and that each of said defendants had and claimed a lien and interest in said real estate, and that the relief demanded in said action consisted in excluding the defendants and each of them from any interest or lien therein. There was also service of the summons by publication upon the defendants named therein as 'Albert Guilfuss, assignee,' and 'Albert B. Guilfuss,' the summons being published in a legal newspaper in Duluth, which is in St. Louis county, Minnesota. It is admitted

Page 389

that (saving the effect of the misnomer), the statutory provisions respecting the service of summons upon nonresidents by mailing and publication were complied with. These are contained in Minnesota Statutes 1894, §§ 5204 and 5205 (respecting civil actions), and in §§ 5771 and 5773 (respecting actions for partition of real property).

Leave granted on June 22, 1914, to present petition for rehearing within thirty days.

Page 390

All of the defendants in the action were properly served with summons, except as mentioned, and in due course a judgment was entered on May 5, 1899, adjudging and decreeing the ownership of the lands, and that they could not be divided and partitioned, and ordering that they be sold by a referee to the highest bidder, and the proceeds distributed among the defendants according to their respective rights under the law. The sale was made accordingly and confirmed by the court, and thereafter the present defendants in error, by mesne conveyances, acquired such interest in the lands as had been acquired by the purchaser under the referee's sale.

Subsequently the Geilfuss judgment against McKinley, docketed January 5, 1894, for the sum of $2,854.02, was assigned to one Timlin, and by him to one Buell, and whatever interest in the land, if any, remained in McKinley after the partition sale, was sold under execution and purchased by Buell, and subsequently acquired through mesne conveyances by the present plaintiff in error.

This action (No. 325) was brought by defendants in error to determine the adverse claims in the lands. The trial resulted in a judgment to the effect that the plaintiffs

Page 391

were the owners of an undivided four-fifths interest, and that the present plaintiff in error was the owner of the undivided fifth interest which had been the property of McKinley. Upon appeal, the supreme court reversed the judgment so far as it adjudged plaintiff in error to be the owner of McKinley's interest. 118 Minn. 117, ——L.R.A. (N.S.) ——, 136 N. W. 575, 1026. By the present writ of error we are called upon to determine whether the supreme court of Minnesota, by its judgment giving effect to the decree in the partition suit, notwithstanding the misnomer of Albert B. Geilfuss, assignee, in the proceedings and summons, has deprived plaintiff in error of his property without due process of law, contrary to the 14th Amendment.

The trial court held that no jurisdiction was acquired in the partition suit over the judgment lien of Albert B. Geilfuss, assignee, and the supreme court declared that if this were correct, the lien of his judgment upon the McKinley interest was not affected by the decree in that action, and that the subsequent sale of that interest under execution on the judgment gave a good title to the purchaser, under whom defendant (now plaintiff in error) claims; while, on the other hand, if the court acquired jurisdiction over that judgment lien, the McKinley interest in the lands passed to the purchaser at the partition sale, and afterwards became the property of plaintiffs (now defendants in error). This was upon the assumption that the court had jurisdiction to decree a sale in the partition action,—a question of state law arising out of facts not here pertinent, and to which an affirmative answer was given in the same opinion.

The precise question now presented, therefore, is whether, under the circumstances, a service by the publication and mailing of a summons in the partition suit, naming as party and addressee 'Albert Guilfuss, assignce,' and 'Albert B. Guilfuss,' constituted due process of law, conferring jurisdiction to render a judgment binding

Page 392

upon Albert B. Geilfuss, assignee, with respect to his lien upon or interest in the land, he...

To continue reading

Request your trial
632 practice notes
  • In re Cochener, No. 01-34884-H4-7.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Texas
    • December 28, 2007
    ...be heard." Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co., 339 U.S. 306, 70 S.Ct. 652, 657, 94 L.Ed. 865 (1950) (quoting Grannis v. Ordean, 234 U.S. 385, 34 S.Ct. 779, 783, 58 L.Ed. 1363 (1914)). "Th[e] right to be heard has little reality or worth unless one is informed that the matter [affec......
  • Epps v. Cortese, Civ. A. No. 70-2592.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • May 24, 1971
    ...process of law is the opportunity to be heard" (Emphasis added). Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. at 267, 90 S.Ct. at 1020; Grannis v. Ordean, 234 U.S. 385, 394, 34 S.Ct. 779, 58 L.Ed. 1363 (1914). Due process does not necessarily require a pre-seizure hearing in all cases, but rather demands th......
  • Wolff v. Donnell 8212 679, No. 73
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 26, 1974
    ...(Frankfurter, J., concurring). The requirement for some kind of a hearing applies to the taking of private property, Grannis v. Ordean, 234 U.S. 385, 34 S.Ct. 779, 58 L.Ed. 1363 (1914), the revocation of licenses, In re Ruffalo, 390 U.S. 544, 88 S.Ct. 1222, 20 L.Ed.2d 117 (1968), the operat......
  • Johnson v. Moore, No. 8:02-CV-1003-T-23EAJ.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Florida
    • February 7, 2007
    ...fairness is an opportunity to be heard. In re Oliver, 333 U.S. 257, 273, 68 S.Ct. 499, 507-508, 92 L.Ed. 682 (1948); Grannis v. Ordean, 234 U.S. 385, 394, 34 S.Ct. 779, 783, 58 L.Ed. 1363 (1914). That opportunity would be an empty one if the State were permitted to exclude competent, reliab......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
627 cases
  • In re Cochener, No. 01-34884-H4-7.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Texas
    • December 28, 2007
    ...be heard." Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co., 339 U.S. 306, 70 S.Ct. 652, 657, 94 L.Ed. 865 (1950) (quoting Grannis v. Ordean, 234 U.S. 385, 34 S.Ct. 779, 783, 58 L.Ed. 1363 (1914)). "Th[e] right to be heard has little reality or worth unless one is informed that the matter [affec......
  • Epps v. Cortese, Civ. A. No. 70-2592.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • May 24, 1971
    ...process of law is the opportunity to be heard" (Emphasis added). Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. at 267, 90 S.Ct. at 1020; Grannis v. Ordean, 234 U.S. 385, 394, 34 S.Ct. 779, 58 L.Ed. 1363 (1914). Due process does not necessarily require a pre-seizure hearing in all cases, but rather demands th......
  • Wolff v. Donnell 8212 679, No. 73
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 26, 1974
    ...(Frankfurter, J., concurring). The requirement for some kind of a hearing applies to the taking of private property, Grannis v. Ordean, 234 U.S. 385, 34 S.Ct. 779, 58 L.Ed. 1363 (1914), the revocation of licenses, In re Ruffalo, 390 U.S. 544, 88 S.Ct. 1222, 20 L.Ed.2d 117 (1968), the operat......
  • Johnson v. Moore, No. 8:02-CV-1003-T-23EAJ.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Florida
    • February 7, 2007
    ...fairness is an opportunity to be heard. In re Oliver, 333 U.S. 257, 273, 68 S.Ct. 499, 507-508, 92 L.Ed. 682 (1948); Grannis v. Ordean, 234 U.S. 385, 394, 34 S.Ct. 779, 783, 58 L.Ed. 1363 (1914). That opportunity would be an empty one if the State were permitted to exclude competent, reliab......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 firm's commentaries
1 books & journal articles
  • THE REDISCOVERED STAGES OF AGENCY ADJUDICATION.
    • United States
    • Washington University Law Review Vol. 99 Nbr. 2, October 2021
    • October 1, 2021
    ...OUTSIDE THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE ACT 3-4 (2019). (9.) Wolf v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 557-58 (1974) (citing Grannis v. Ordean, 234 U.S. 385 (1914)). This point riffs on Judge Friendly's well-known and "enigmatic[ly] title[d]" remarks on what he described as the Court's "......

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