In re Stewart, No. B-54402.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Oregon)
Writing for the CourtKILKENNY
Citation233 F. Supp. 89
PartiesIn the Matter of Raymond Chester STEWART, Bankrupt. Socony Mobil Oil Company, Inc., a New York corporation, Petitioner.
Decision Date17 June 1964
Docket NumberNo. B-54402.

233 F. Supp. 89

In the Matter of Raymond Chester STEWART, Bankrupt.
Socony Mobil Oil Company, Inc., a New York corporation, Petitioner.

No. B-54402.

United States District Court D. Oregon.

June 17, 1964.


233 F. Supp. 90

John B. Leahy, Eugene, Or., for trustee.

Gilbert Sussman, Portland, Or., for petitioner.

KILKENNY, District Judge.

Socony seeks a review of the order of the referee in bankruptcy holding against petitioner on a claim it had presented for allowance.

The facts are not in serious dispute. For many years the bankrupt operated a service station in Eugene and sold petitioner's products. In early October, 1960, the bankrupt was unable to pay petitioner for the last load of gasoline and at that time petitioner learned of the bankrupt's insolvency. Thereupon, they agreed on an arrangement whereby two loads of gasoline would be delivered to bankrupt on credit. Before an additional load was delivered, the parties agreed that bankrupt would pay for the load delivered before the last load. Each load had a value of approximately $2,500.00. The adjudication in bankruptcy occurred on September 29, 1961. In the four months preceding that date, petitioner delivered six loads of gasoline to the bankrupt, the bankrupt, pursuant to said agreement, making a payment

233 F. Supp. 91
prior to each delivery. The sum total of the six payments was $13,148.40. Bankrupt's indebtedness to petitioner in October, 1960, was $4,453.32 and on the date of adjudication is was $4,419.48. Petitioner filed a claim, as a general creditor, for the last mentioned amount. The trustee filed formal objection to the claim and entered a counterclaim for $13,148.40, the amount of the final six payments within the four month period, on the theory that such payments were voidable preferences under §§ 57, sub. g and 60, sub. a of the Bankruptcy Act. The referee found that the payments within the four month period were for antecedent debts and that if Socony was allowed to retain the challenged payments, it would obtain a greater percentage of its debt than other creditors of the same class. The referee concluded that the trustee should have judgment against Socony for $8,980.73, this sum being the difference between the alleged preferential payments and the amount of the claimant's original claim, less $244.44, which was deducted in connection with certain credit cards in the possession of the bankrupt. The trustee seeks a review on the allowance of the set-off in the sum of $4,167.00

To be invoked, at the outset, is the general rule that a reviewing court is required to accept and uphold the referee's findings, unless they are clearly erroneous. Costello v. Fazio, 256 F.2d 903 (9th Cir. 1958); Heath v. Helmick, 173 F.2d 157 (9th Cir. 1949); Tepper v. Chichester, 285 F.2d 309 (9th Cir. 1961). The rule, however, has no application to a case, such as here, where there is no dispute as to the facts, since in such a case the reviewing court is as well equipped as the referee to arrive at a proper conclusion. Costello v. Fazio, supra; Carr v. Southern Pacific Co., 128 F.2d 764 (9th Cir. 1942); Tepper v. Chichester, supra. The rule stated is of particular significance where it appears that the referee has made a clear mistake in applying the law. First National Bank of Portland v. Dudley, 231 F.2d 396 (9th Cir. 1956); Kowalsky v. American Employers Insurance Co., 90 F.2d 476 (6th Cir. 1937). Questions of the nature, effect and validity of a transfer under § 60, sub. a(1), 11 U.S.C. § 96, sub. a, are controlled by state standards and state law governs. McKenzie v. Irving Trust Co., 323 U.S. 365, 370, 65 S.Ct. 405, 89 L.Ed. 305; Davies Warehouse Co. v. Bowles, 321 U.S. 144, 155, 156, 64 S.Ct. 474, 88 L.Ed. 635; Eberly v. Dudley, 314 F.2d 8, 12 (9th Cir. 1962).

The vital findings of the referee, supported by the undisputed record, follow:

* * * * * *
"Factually, the testimony indicated that the debtor in October, 1960 was in financial difficulty. A contributing factor was a gasoline price war which worked a hardship on the service station operated by the debtor under lease with Socony for sale of Socony products. Socony had before this time in practice delivered a load of gasoline on credit which was to be paid for by the debtor at or before delivery of the next load. On or about October 5, 1960, debtor was in need of gasoline and unable to pay for
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8 practice notes
  • In re Fulghum Const. Corp., No. 81-3040.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Tennessee
    • September 18, 1981
    ...389 U.S. 1021, 88 S.Ct. 593, 19 L.Ed.2d 662 (1967); Wilson v. Kanter (In re Marley-Morse Co.), 275 F. 832 (7th Cir. 1921); In re Stewart, 233 F.Supp. 89 (D.Or. 1964). The thrust of these decisions is not only that the enrichment of the debtor's estate is far more important than the creditor......
  • In re Fulghum Const. Co., Bankruptcy No. 380-00235
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Sixth Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Middle District of Tennessee
    • November 28, 1980
    ...regarded as voidable preferences. 379 F.2d at 780-81. The decisions from two other circuits are to the contrary. In In re Stewart, 233 F.Supp. 89 (D.Or.1964), a creditor within four months of the filing who was owed for gasoline already delivered to the debtor's station agreed to continue m......
  • In re Frigitemp Corp., No. 81 Civ. 3172 (ADS)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • November 29, 1983
    ...to satisfaction of the prior balance. See, e.g., Bernstein v. Home Life Insurance Co., 25 B.R. 321 (D.C.S.D.N.Y.1982); In re Stewart, 233 F.Supp. 89 (D.Or.1964). In this Circuit, providing legal services on credit is as much an enrichment of the estate as providing goods on credit, and thus......
  • In re Consolidated Pioneer Mortg. Entities, No. 94-361 SPK (BTM) (JFS)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • April 22, 1997
    ...the reach-back period as well as (2) all the new value that it extended to the debtor. See IRFM, 52 F.3d at 232. See also In re Stewart, 233 F.Supp. 89 (D.Or.1964) (application of the judicially-created "net-result" rule under the old bankruptcy act). The Stewart court emphasized the ration......
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8 cases
  • In re Fulghum Const. Corp., No. 81-3040.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Tennessee
    • September 18, 1981
    ...389 U.S. 1021, 88 S.Ct. 593, 19 L.Ed.2d 662 (1967); Wilson v. Kanter (In re Marley-Morse Co.), 275 F. 832 (7th Cir. 1921); In re Stewart, 233 F.Supp. 89 (D.Or. 1964). The thrust of these decisions is not only that the enrichment of the debtor's estate is far more important than the creditor......
  • In re Fulghum Const. Co., Bankruptcy No. 380-00235
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Sixth Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Middle District of Tennessee
    • November 28, 1980
    ...regarded as voidable preferences. 379 F.2d at 780-81. The decisions from two other circuits are to the contrary. In In re Stewart, 233 F.Supp. 89 (D.Or.1964), a creditor within four months of the filing who was owed for gasoline already delivered to the debtor's station agreed to continue m......
  • In re Frigitemp Corp., No. 81 Civ. 3172 (ADS)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • November 29, 1983
    ...to satisfaction of the prior balance. See, e.g., Bernstein v. Home Life Insurance Co., 25 B.R. 321 (D.C.S.D.N.Y.1982); In re Stewart, 233 F.Supp. 89 (D.Or.1964). In this Circuit, providing legal services on credit is as much an enrichment of the estate as providing goods on credit, and thus......
  • In re Consolidated Pioneer Mortg. Entities, No. 94-361 SPK (BTM) (JFS)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • April 22, 1997
    ...the reach-back period as well as (2) all the new value that it extended to the debtor. See IRFM, 52 F.3d at 232. See also In re Stewart, 233 F.Supp. 89 (D.Or.1964) (application of the judicially-created "net-result" rule under the old bankruptcy act). The Stewart court emphasized the ration......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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