In re Garneau

Decision Date05 January 1904
Docket Number1,019-1,022.
PartiesIn re GARNEAU.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Seventh Circuit

The bankrupt, a young man 26 years of age, was born in the city of St. Louis, and, with the exception of occasional absences lived there all his life. Up to March, 1900, he resided with his brother in the city of St. Louis, and was employed by him in a stockyard in that city upon a salary of $50 a month. In March or April, 1900, he removed his residence, as he claims to the city of East St. Louis, directly across the river from St. Louis, retaining his employment in the business of his brother in the city of St. Louis. As his sister states 'East St. Louis is not a place any one is apt to go to unless for business. You don't go there for pleasure. It is all stockyards. ' He rented by the month a room in the house of one Brougham at $10 a month. His effects which he moved into the house were contained in one trunk. In August of that year he removed his trunk, keeping in the room his toilet articles and his nightshirt. The trunk was not returned to the room for over a year, and not until after the proceeding by creditors hereinafter stated. He thus removed, as he claims, to East St. Louis, for the purpose of gaining a residence to file an application in bankruptcy in the Southern District of Illinois, and to secure his discharge, and with the intention of going west immediately thereafter. He did not eat at his lodging, and the record does not show where he was accustomed to take his meals, further than for a while he obtained his breakfast at some restaurant in East St. Louis. He occupied the room at night at first quite regularly, afterwards not for several weeks at a time, and then for four or five nights in a week; but he paid rent for the room up to the present time. On July 13, 1900, he filed his petition in bankruptcy in the District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, praying to be discharged of his debts, and on that day was adjudged a bankrupt, and the matter referred to a referee. At the first meeting of creditors on the 14th of August, 1900, three debts were proven, amounting to $14,700, and the referee reports that there were no assets according to the schedules in the bankrupt's petition, and that the three creditors proving their debts were all the creditors scheduled. On November 21st, upon the petition of the creditors, a citation was issued requiring the bankrupt to appear for examination on December 4th, which was had on that date; the facts concerning his alleged change of address then appearing and being first known to the creditors. On that date, also, the bankrupt filed his petition for a discharge, and on December 22d, the creditors, who were respectively residents of the states of Nevada and of Utah, filed their petitions moving the court to dismiss the proceeding for want of jurisdiction upon the grounds that the bankrupt did not have his domicile within the district for the greater portion of six months before the filing of the petition, and did not have a bona fide residence or domicile within the district at any time; and subsequently, on February 15th, the three creditors filed their separate specific objections to the discharge of the bankrupt. The two matters-- the motion to dismiss the proceeding and the objections to the discharge-- were referred to a referee, who returned the testimony taken, and recommended that the petition in bankruptcy be dismissed for want of jurisdiction. Exceptions were filed to the report and the court below on June 29, 1903, overruled the exceptions, sustained the report and dismissed the proceeding. The correctness of that ruling is brought up for consideration by a direct appeal and also by an original petition to review.

George D. Reynolds, for appellant.

P. B. Kennedy and Thomas George, for respondent.

Before JENKINS, GROSSCUP, and BAKER, Circuit Judges.

JENKINS Circuit Judge (after stating the facts as above).

By the terms of the bankruptcy act (Act July 1, 1898, c. 541, Sec 2, 30 Stat. 545, 546 (U.S.Comp.St. 1901, p. 3421)), the courts of bankruptcy are invested with jurisdiction to adjudge persons bankrupt 'who have had their principal place of business, resided or had their domicile within their respective territorial jurisdictions for the preceding six months or the greater portion thereof. ' There is, of course, a legal distinction between 'domicile' and 'residence'...

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