Sioux Remedy Company v. Cope, No. 37

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtVan Devanter
Citation59 L.Ed. 193,35 S.Ct. 57,235 U.S. 197
PartiesSIOUX REMEDY COMPANY, Plff. in Err., v. F. M. COPE and D. C. Cope
Decision Date30 November 1914
Docket NumberNo. 37

235 U.S. 197
35 S.Ct. 57
59 L.Ed. 193
SIOUX REMEDY COMPANY, Plff. in Err.,

v.

F. M. COPE and D. C. Cope.

No. 37.
Submitted March 13, 1914.
Decided November 30, 1914.

Page 198

Messrs. Joe Kirby, C. E. More, and A. W. Bulkley for plaintiff in error.

Messrs. Charles O. Bailey, John H. Voorhees, Alan Bogue, Jr., Andrew S. Bogue, Peter G. Honegger, and Theodore M. Bailey for defendants in error.

[Argument of Counsel from page 198 intentionally omitted]

Page 199

Mr. Justice Van Devanter delivered the opinion of the court:

This is an action by an Iowa corporation to enforce payment of the purchase price, amounting to $80, of merchandise sold in interstate commerce under a written contract which was made in South Dakota, and required that the merchandise be shipped by the plaintiff from its place of business in Iowa to the defendants at their place of business and residence in South Dakota. The action was brought in a court of the latter state, and the defendants interposed a plea to the effect that the action could not be maintained because, as was the fact, the plaintiff had not complied with a South Dakota statute prescribing conditions upon which corporations of other states would be permitted to sue in the courts of that state. The plea was sustained and the action dismissed. An appeal to the supreme court of the state resulted in in a judgment of

Page 200

affirmance,1 from which one member of the court dissented. 28 S. D. 397, 135 N. W. 683.

In that court it was contended that the statute upon which the plea was grounded is, when applied in a case like this, repugnant to the commerce clause of the Constitution of the United States.

The statute (Rev. Civ. Code 1903) declares (§ 883) that no corporation created under the laws of any other state or territory, for other than religious and charitable purposes, 'shall transact any business within this state, or acquire, hold, and dispose of property, real, personal, or mixed, within this state, or sue or maintain any action at law or otherwise in any of the courts of this state,' until it shall have filed in the office of the secretary of state an authenticated copy of its charter or articles of incorporation, and also (§ 885) that 'no action shall be commenced or maintained in any of the courts of this state by such corporation on any contract, agreement, or transaction made or entered into in this state by such corporation,' unless it shall have appointed a resident agent upon whom process may be served in any action to which it may be a party, and shall have filed an authenticated copy of such appointment in the office of the secretary of state and of the register of deeds of the county where the agent resides. The corporation is also required to pay the fees, amounting to about $25, for filing and recording these instruments.

The supreme court of the state construed the statute as requiring a foreign corporation to subject itself to the jurisdiction of all the courts of the state as a condition to invoking the aid of any one of them, and as embracing

Page 201

actions to enforce contracts directly arising out of and connected with interstate commerce equally with actions having no relation to such commerce; and after so construing the statute, the court held it to be a reasonable exercise of the police power of the state and in no wise repugnant to the commerce clause of the Constitution of the United States. In two earlier cases the court had taken a different view of the statute (Rex Buggy Co. v. Dinneen, 23 S. D. 474, 122 N. W. 433; Sioux Remedy Co. v. Lindgren, 27 S. D. 123, 130 N. W. 49), but in the opinion rendered in this case they were disapproved.

Recognizing that it was within the province of the supreme court of the state to construe the statute, and to depart from prior decisions upon the subject, if deemed untenable, we accept the construction applied in this case, and confine our attention to the Federal question whether, as so construed, the statute, by its necessary operation, materially or directly burdens interstate commerce.

Through a long series of decisions dealing with the scope and effect of the commerce clause it has come to be well settled that a state, while possessing power to adopt reasonable measures to promote and protect the health, safety, morals, and welfare of its people, even though interstate commerce be incidentally or indirectly affected, has no power to exclude from its limits foreign corporations or others engaged in interstate commerce, or, by the imposition of conditions, to fetter their right to carry on such commerce, or to subject them in respect to their transactions therein to requirements which are unreasonable or pass beyond the bounds of suitable local protection. Crutcher v. Kentucky, 141 U. S. 47, 35 L. ed. 649, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 851; Minnesota Rate Cases (Simpson v. Shepard) 230 U. S. 352, 401, 402, 410, 57 L. ed. 1511, 1542, 1543, 1546, 48 L.R.A.(N.S.) 1151, 33 Sup. Ct. Rep. 729, and cases cited; Barrett v. New York, 232 U. S. 14, 31, 58 L. ed. 483, 490, 34 Sup. Ct. Rep. 203, and cases cited. And so the solution of the question here presented lies within narrow lines.

The contract and sale out of which the action arose

Page 202

were transactions in interstate commerce, and entirely legitimate notwithstanding the plaintiff's noncompliance with the state statute. International Textbook Co. v. Pigg, 217 U. S. 91, 54 L. ed. 678, 27 L.R.A.(N.S.) 493, 30 Sup. Ct. Rep....

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153 practice notes
  • Watson v. Employers Liability Assurance Corporation, No. 6
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 6 Diciembre 1954
    ...and other cases in the same volume and later that have followed it; or to interfere with interstate commerce, Sioux Remedy Co. v. Cope, 235 U.S. 197, 203, 35 S.Ct. 57, 59 L.Ed. 193; Looney v. Crane Co., 245 U.S. 178, 188, 38 S.Ct. 85, 62 L.Ed. 230; Western Union Telegraph Co. v. Foster, 247......
  • Bluehippo Funding, LLC v. McGraw, Civil Action No. 2:07-0399.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Southern District of West Virginia
    • 25 Febrero 2009
    ...288 (1961); Dahnke-Walker Milling Co. v. Bondurant, 257 U.S. 282, 290, 42 S.Ct. 106, 66 L.Ed. 239 (1921); Sioux Remedy Co. v. Cope, 235 U.S. 197, 200, 35 S.Ct. 57, 59 L.Ed. 193 (1914); International Text-Book Co. v. Pigg, 217 U.S. 91, 104, 30 S.Ct. 481, 54 L.Ed. 678 If BlueHippo is ultimate......
  • State v. Southern Natural Gas Corporation, 3 Div. 173
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • 11 Junio 1936
    ...and other cases in the same volume and later that have followed it; or to interfere with interstate commerce, Sioux Remedy Co. v. Cope, 235 U.S. 197, 203, 35 S.Ct. 57, 59 L.Ed. [197]; Looney v. Crane Co., 245 U.S. 178, 188, 38 S.Ct. 85, 62 L.Ed. 230 [235]; Western U. Tel. Co. v. Foster, 247......
  • Nitrate Sales Corporation v. State of Alabama, ANGLO-CHILEAN
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 6 Febrero 1933
    ...and other cases in the same volume and later that have followed it; or to interfere with interstate commerce, Sioux Remedy Co. v. Cope, 235 U.S. 197, 203, 35 S.Ct. 57, 59 L.Ed. 193; Looney Page 229 v. Crane Co., 245 U.S. 178, 188, 38 S.Ct. 85, 62 L.Ed. 230; Western Union Telegraph Co. v. Fo......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
153 cases
  • Watson v. Employers Liability Assurance Corporation, No. 6
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 6 Diciembre 1954
    ...and other cases in the same volume and later that have followed it; or to interfere with interstate commerce, Sioux Remedy Co. v. Cope, 235 U.S. 197, 203, 35 S.Ct. 57, 59 L.Ed. 193; Looney v. Crane Co., 245 U.S. 178, 188, 38 S.Ct. 85, 62 L.Ed. 230; Western Union Telegraph Co. v. Foster, 247......
  • Bluehippo Funding, LLC v. McGraw, Civil Action No. 2:07-0399.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Southern District of West Virginia
    • 25 Febrero 2009
    ...288 (1961); Dahnke-Walker Milling Co. v. Bondurant, 257 U.S. 282, 290, 42 S.Ct. 106, 66 L.Ed. 239 (1921); Sioux Remedy Co. v. Cope, 235 U.S. 197, 200, 35 S.Ct. 57, 59 L.Ed. 193 (1914); International Text-Book Co. v. Pigg, 217 U.S. 91, 104, 30 S.Ct. 481, 54 L.Ed. 678 If BlueHippo is ultimate......
  • State v. Southern Natural Gas Corporation, 3 Div. 173
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • 11 Junio 1936
    ...and other cases in the same volume and later that have followed it; or to interfere with interstate commerce, Sioux Remedy Co. v. Cope, 235 U.S. 197, 203, 35 S.Ct. 57, 59 L.Ed. [197]; Looney v. Crane Co., 245 U.S. 178, 188, 38 S.Ct. 85, 62 L.Ed. 230 [235]; Western U. Tel. Co. v. Foster, 247......
  • Nitrate Sales Corporation v. State of Alabama, ANGLO-CHILEAN
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 6 Febrero 1933
    ...and other cases in the same volume and later that have followed it; or to interfere with interstate commerce, Sioux Remedy Co. v. Cope, 235 U.S. 197, 203, 35 S.Ct. 57, 59 L.Ed. 193; Looney Page 229 v. Crane Co., 245 U.S. 178, 188, 38 S.Ct. 85, 62 L.Ed. 230; Western Union Telegraph Co. v. Fo......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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