In the Matter of Francis S. Reisenberg and Daniel Gallagher for a Writ of Mandamus against the Honorable E. Henry Lacombe, Circuit Judge of the United States for the Second Circuit, and against the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York. No 11, Original. In the Matter of the Application of Joseph Konrad, Individually and as Administrator of Paul Planovsky, Deceased, for a Writ of Mandamus against the Honorable E. Henry Lacombe, Circuit Judge of the United States for the Second Circuit, and against the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York. No 12, Original. riginal

Decision Date13 January 1908
Docket NumberO,Nos. 11,12,s. 11
Citation28 S.Ct. 219,208 U.S. 90,52 L.Ed. 403
PartiesIN THE MATTER OF FRANCIS S. REISENBERG and Daniel Gallagher for a Writ of Mandamus against the Honorable E. Henry Lacombe, Circuit Judge of the United States for the Second Circuit, and against the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York. NO 11, Original. IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF JOSEPH KONRAD, Individually and as Administrator of Paul Planovsky, Deceased, for a Writ of Mandamus against the Honorable E. Henry Lacombe, Circuit Judge of the United States for the Second Circuit, and against the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York. NO 12, Original. riginal
CourtU.S. Supreme Court

These are original applications to this court for leave to file a petition for a mandamus, or, in the alternative, for a prohibition, addressed to the Honorable E. Henry Lacombe, one of the circuit judges of the second circuit, commanding him and the circuit court to dismiss the bill of complaint against the railroad companies hereinafter mentioned, and all pro- ceedings therein, and to vacate injunctions therein issued by such judge, and also to vacate the orders appointing pointing the receivers of such railroads, and to desist from exercising any further jurisdiction over such roads in such suit, or, in the alternative, commanding the judge to allow petitioners' intervention, or that a writ of prohibition might issue to obtain the same relief.

It is alleged in the petition in No. 11 that the petitioners are creditors of the Metropolitan Street Railway Company on account of injuries alleged to have been received by each, through the negligence of the company's servants,—in one case some time prior to June 27, 1895, and in the other on or about June 13, 1892. Actions had been brought by each, and are still pending at the time of this application.

In No. 12 it is alleged that the petitioner is the administrator of one Paul Planovsky, deceased, and as such he recovered a judgment for damages for the death of the decedent against the New York City Street Railway Company for over $8,000, which is still unpaid, the company having appealed from the judgment to the appellate division of the supreme court of the state of New York, and the appeal is still pending. The petitioner also alleged a cause of action in his own behalf, arising out of the refusal of the company to give him tickets entitling him to transfers, by which he was, as he alleged, damaged by the payment of additional fares to the amount of at least $200.

The further facts set up in each of the petitions are substantially identical.

Upon reading the petitions, orders were made allowing them to be filed, and rules to show cause why the petitions should not be granted were thereupon entered, returnable before this court on the 9th of December, 1907.

On that day there was duly filed a return of the circuit judge in each proceeding, who gave therein a short history of the litigation culminating in the appointment of receivers of the railroads mentioned, and stating the then condition of such litigation. There were filed, as a part of such returns, copies of the bill of complaint under which the receivers were appointed, and of the answer of the New York City Railway Company, and also copies of certain affidavits made in behalf of complainants and defendant in the suit.

It is upon the case made by the petition for a mandamus and the return of the circuit judge that the questions arise for the decision of this court.

It appears from such record that in September, 1907, the New York City Railway Company and the Metropolitan Railway Company were corporations organized under the laws of the state of New York, and that the New York City Railway Company was operating a system of surface street railroads in New York county, as the owner or some and the lessee of others. The Metropolitan Railway Company was interested, either as owner or as lessee of some eighteen separate and independent railroads, all of which it had leased to the New York City Railway Company, by lease dated February 14, 1902, for 999 years.

While the New York City Railway Company was operating these various railways a bill against it was filed September 24, 1907, in the United States circuit court for the southern district of New York, by the Pennsylvania Steel Company, a citizen of Pennsylvania, and by the Degnon Contracting Company, a citizen of New Jersey, as complainants, in which the complainants alleged an indebtedness due from the railway company of over $30,000 to the steel company and over $11,000 to the Degnon Company, for rails and other track material and for labor done for the company, at its request, and that payment of the debts had been demanded of the railway company by each of the complainants, and refused. It also appeared that the defendant was insolvent; that it was operating—as owner of some and lessee of other portions—a system of some 500 miles of track, covering substantially all the surface railroads in New York, comprising many different companies, which owned many different rail- roads, which had been leased to the Metropolitan Railway Company and by it leased to the defendant company; that all the roads which had been leased to the defendant company were covered by many separate and independent mortgages for different sums, maturing at different times; the New York City Railway Company was under obligations to pay the interest on the funded debt of its lessor, by reason of the lease from the Metropolitan Railway Company under which it was operating these various roads. Failure to meet the interest on the funded indebtedness as it matured would operate as a default and would render the mortgages enforceable.

One of these mortgages was for over twelve and another for over sixteen millions of dollars, and other mortgages increased the whole mortgage debt, on all the lines, to about one hundred millions of dollars. The New York City Railway Company, as lessee, had expended more than twenty millions of dollars in improvements, and was also indebted in other large sums, aggregating between five and ten millions of dollars more, by reason of expenditures for equipment and for repairs; also for taxes, and also for a large amount of floating indebtedness, besides which there were a great number of suits pending against it to recover damages for alleged injuries sustained through alleged negligence of its servants, and which were on the calendars of the New York courts, and the plaintiffs therein were pressing for trial. If judgment were obtained in any of these cases, or in any other of the cases where creditors were pressing their demands, it would result in disastrous consequence to the public, by a possible sale and dismemberment berment of the system under which the railroads were then operated, and might result in sales of portions of the roads to different individuals or corporations, by reason of which it would be impossible to continue the transfer of passengers from one road to another for one fare, such as was then in operation; and a sale of the roads would probably be for a sum greatly beneath their value, and thus the security for all the creditors for the ultimate payment of their claims would be impaired and very greatly injured. The defendant was, as it is stated, unable to pay these various obligations as they matured.

For these, and other reasons stated with great detail in the bill, it was asked that the court would take the road into its possession, and that the creditors of the defendant might be ascertained and the court fully administer the fund, consisting of the entire railroad system and other assets of the defendant; that the assets should be marshaled and the respective liens and priorities existing therein should be ascertained, and that the court should enforce and decree the rights, liens, and equities of all the creditors of the defendant, as the same might be finally ascertained by the court; that, for the purpose of preserving the unity of the system, a receiver might be appointed, with power to collect all the assets of the company, and with authority to run and operate the railroads and collect and receive all the rents due and apply the income thereof, under the direction of the court, for such period as the court should order; and for the purpose of protecting and preserving the railroads and assets and property, real and personal, from being sacrificed under proceedings liable to be taken, which might prejudice the same; and that, temporarily and pending the suit, an injunction might issue against the defendant and all persons claiming to act by, through, or under it, and all other persons, restraining them from interfering with the receiver taking possession of the property, and that complainants might have such further relief as was proper.

Upon the filing of this bill a subpoena was duly issued and served upon the defendant, the New York City Railway Company, and an answer was put in by that company, which admitted all the allegations of the bill, and it joined in the prayer of the bill that the court should take possession, by receiver, of the system of railroads operated by the defendant, and that the receiver should, after taking possession of the entire property, preserve, manage, operate, and control the same, and should pay all the indebtedness due or to become due, and otherwise discharge all the duties imposed by courts upon receivers in similar cases.

Upon this bill and answer an application was made to the circuit judge for the appointment of a receiver, and such application was granted, and receivers were duly appointed, with directions to operate the road. They were given power to borrow money, if needful in their judgment, in order to comply with the order, and make appropriate payments on account of accruing rent and other necessary charges, so far as might be necessary...

To continue reading

Request your trial
163 cases
  • Nat'l Labor Relations Bd. v. Constellium Rolled Prods. Ravenswood, LLC
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fourth Circuit
    • August 5, 2022
    ...decrees "reciting the claimant's admission of the allegations ... and its consent to judgments"); cf. In re Metro. Ry. Receivership , 208 U.S. 90, 108, 28 S.Ct. 219, 52 L.Ed. 403 (1908) ("We do not doubt the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court, although the facts were admitted, and the defend......
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Williams
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • February 4, 1935
    ...such notice was not prerequisite to the exercise of its jurisdiction. See Harkin v. Brundage, supra; In re Metropolitan Railway Receivership, 208 U.S. 90, 28 S.Ct. 219, 52 L.Ed. 403. Cf. Marin v. Augedahl, 247 U.S. 142, 38 S.Ct. 452, 62 L.Ed. The objection that the suit was brought by a sha......
  • Textile Workers Union of America v. Lincoln Mills of Alabama v. United Textile Workers of America Local 1802 General Electric Company v. Local 205, United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • June 3, 1957
    ...will not permit the Federal courts to assume jurisdiction where there is no diversity of citizenship (In Re Metropolitan Railway Receivership, 208 U.S. 90, 28 S.Ct. 219, 52 L.Ed. 403.) It is therefore concluded that this aspect of the bill constitutes an approach which is of doubtful legali......
  • In re Richardson's Estate
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Texas
    • December 4, 1923
    ... ... No. 346. United States District Court, N.D. Texas, San Angelo ... ATWELL, ... District Judge ... On ... February 10, 1922, 15 ... joint petition against him in the state district court of Tom ... Green ... out (in the application for a receiver), but this defendant ... avers ... date the defendant in the original suit filed a voluntary ... petition in ... liabilities of some $200,000; 'that the matter of ... handling said estate through bankruptcy ... 25, 26 L.Ed. 637; Central Trust Co. of New York v ... Worcester, etc. (C.C.) 114 F. 659; ... U.S., etc., 105 Ind. 227, 4 N.E. 846; Francis S ... Reisenberg, 208 U.S. 90, 28 Sup.Ct. 219, ... Brailey, 221 F. 1, 136 C.C.A. 524, the Circuit Court of ... Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held ... ...
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • A New Bankruptcy Subchapter for Institutions of Higher Education: A Path but not a Destiny.
    • United States
    • American Bankruptcy Law Journal Vol. 97 No. 2, June 2023
    • June 22, 2023
    ...of the fiduciary duties of directors and officers upon insolvency) or the debt could not be reasonably controverted. In re Reisenberg, 208 U.S. 90, 108 (1908). The Sixth Circuit recently categorized a debtor's consent to the appointment of a receiver as a waiver of the claim of a lack of eq......

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