Thomas Connolly v. Union Sewer Pipe Company, No. 46

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtHarlan
Citation184 U.S. 540,46 L.Ed. 679,22 S.Ct. 431
PartiesTHOMAS CONNOLLY and William E. Dee, Plffs. in Err. , v. UNION SEWER PIPE COMPANY
Docket NumberNo. 46
Decision Date10 March 1902

184 U.S. 540
22 S.Ct. 431
46 L.Ed. 679
THOMAS CONNOLLY and William E. Dee, Plffs. in Err.,

v.

UNION SEWER PIPE COMPANY.

No. 46.
Argued April 22, 23, 1901.
Decided March 10, 1902.

Messrs. Henry D. Coghlan and Joseph A. O'Donnell for plaintiffs in error.

Page 541

Messrs. Herbert Hamlin and Edwin Walker for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice Harlan delivered the opinion of the court:

The Union Sewer Pipe Company—a corporation organized under the laws of Ohio and doing business in Illinois—brought its action against Thomas Connolly, a citizen of Illinois, in the circuit court of the United States for the northern district of Illinois, on two negotiable promissory notes both executed at Chicago by the defendant; one, dated December 15th, 1894, the other dated January 15th, 1895, and each payable to the order of the plaintiff corporation ninety days after date at the First National Bank of Chicago.

These notes were given on account of the purchase by the defendant from the plaintiff of sewer pipe commonly known as standard Akron pipe, at prices agreed upon between the parties.

The pipe company also brought an action in the same court against William E. Dee, a citizen of Illinois, upon an open account for $2,389.26, the value at agreed prices of certain pipe purchased by him from the plaintiff in June, 1896. The plaintiff supplied the pipe under a written contract executed between it and the defendant in Illinois under date of August, 1895.

Each of the defendants filed a plea of the general issue, with notice of special defenses and of set-off.

The special defenses in each case were substantially the same. The notice in the Connolly Case was that the defendant on the trial of the action would rely on these special matters:

'First. That the plaintiff is, and at all times since about the 1st day of January, 1893, has been, a trust or combination of the capital, skill, and acts of divers persons and corporations carrying on a commercial business in the states of Ohio and Illinois and between said states and elsewhere in the United States of America, and organized for the express purpose of unlawfully and contrary to the common law creating and carrying out restrictions in trade, to wit, in the trade of buying, selling, and otherwise dealing in certain articles of merchandise, to wit, sewer, and drainage pipes, and also for the express purpose of

Page 542

unlawfully and contrary to the common law limiting the production of said articles of merchandise and increasing the market price thereof; and also for the express purpose of unlawfully and contrary to the common law preventing competition in the manufacture, making, transportation, sale, or purchase of said articles of commerce; also for the express purpose of unlawfully and contrary to the common law fixing standards or figures whereby the prices of said articles of merchandise intended for sale, use, and consumption in this state should be controlled and established; and also for the express purpose of unlawfully and contrary to the common law being a pretended agency whereby the sale of said articles of commerce should and might be covered up and made to appear to be for the original vendors thereof, and so as to enable the original vendors or manufacturers thereof to control the wholesale and retail price of such articles of commerce after the title thereto had passed from such vendors or manufacturers; and for the further express purpose of unlawfully and contrary to the common law making and entering into and carrying out a certain contract or certain contracts by which thw several persons or corporations forming the plaintiff, or being the pretended stockholders thereof, to they have agreed to keep the prices of said of, or transport said articles of commerce below certain common standard figures or card or list prices in exeess of the true maket values thereof, and by which they have agreed to Keep the prices of said articles of commerce at certain fixed or graduated figures, and by which they have established certain settled prices of said articles of commerce between themselves and others, so as to preclude a free and unrestricted competition among themselves and others in the sale and transportation of said articles of commerce, and by which they have agreed to pool, combine, and unite any interests they may have in connection with the sale and transportation of said articles of commerce so that the prices thereof may effect advantageously to themselves; that all of the claims of the plaintiff against the defendant in this action arise wholly out of, and are in respect of, sales of said articles of merchandise made between the 1st day of January, A. D. 1893, and the 1st day of March, 1896, to this defendant by

Page 543

the plaintiff in the ordinary course of its business as such a trust or combination acting as aforesaid, and that this action is brought to recover the alleged price thereof and for no other purpose.

'Secondly. That the plaintiff is, and at all times since the 1st day of January, 1893, was, a combination in the form of a trust, in restraint of trade and commerce among the several states, and doing business as such throughout the United States and between the states of Ohio and Illinois, contrary to the provisions of an act of Congress of date of July 2d, 1890, and entitled 'An Act to Protect Trade and Commerce against Unlawful Restraints and Monopolies,' and that this action is brought solely to recover the price of articles of merchandise, to wit, sewer and drainage pipes, sold to the defendant by the plaintiff, then and there acting and doing business as such a combination, as aforesaid, in violation of the provisions of said act.

'Thirdly. That the plaintiff is, and at all times since the 1st of January, 1893, was, a trust doing business as such in the state of Illinois and elsewhere, contrary to the provisions of an act of the legislature of the state of Illinois entitled 'An Act to Define Trusts and Conspiracies against Trade, Declaring Contracts in Violation of This Provision Void, and Making Certain Acts and Violations Thereof Misdemeanors, and Prescribing Punishment Thereof and Matters Connected Therewith, Approved June 20th, 1893, in Force July 1st, 1893;' that this action is brought solely to recover the price of articles of merchandise, to wit, sewer and drainage pipes, sold to the defendant by the plaintiff, then and there acting and doing business in violation of the provisions of said act, and that the defendant hereby pleads said act in defense to this action and the whole thereof.'

The set-offs claimed by Connolly were: Treble the amount of the actual damages sustained and allowed by the act of Congress of July 2d, 1890, chap. 647, known as the Sherman anti-trust act, $56,970.44; actual damages sustained by reason of the violation by the plaintiff of the provisions of the Illinois statute of July 1st, 1893, $17,323.48; and for money had and received by plaintiff of defendant contrary to law, $17,323.48.

The set-offs claimed by Dee were of like character, but of larger amounts.

Page 544

Both cases were, by agreement, submitted to the same jury, and were treated as one consolidated case. At the trial the defendants respectively asked leave to amend their notices of special defenses, but leave was denied.

The circuit court disallowed both the first and second of the above special defenses, and in respect of the third its decision was that the Illinois trust statute of 1893 was in violation of the Constitution of the United States. It consequently directed the jury to find a verdict for the plaintiff in each case; in the Connolly Case, for the amount of the two notes sued on; in the Dee Case, for the amount of the plaintiff's open accounts against him. Verdicts having been returned as directed, and a motion for new trial in one case, and motions for new trial and in arrest of judgment in the other, having been overruled, judgments were entered on the verdicts.

1. The defendant in error insists that these cases should have gone to the circuit court of appeals, and has moved on that ground that the writ of error be dismissed. The defense in each case was based in part on the Illinois statute of 1893. The plaintiff insisted at the trial that that statute was in violation of the Constitution of the United States, and its position was sustained by the circuit court. There have been suits in which the circuit court upon the claim of the defendant has applied the Constitution of the United States to the case before it, and put the plaintiff out of court. Here, the plaintiff claimed that the state enactment upon which defendants relied was unconstitutional, and its position upon that point was sustained. In Loeb v. Columbia Tup. 179 U. S. 47, 477, 45 L. ed. 280, 285, 21 Sup. Ct. Rep. 174, 177, this court said: 'The circuit court of appeals act does not declare that the final judgment of a circuit court in a case in which there was a claim of the repugnancy of a state statute to the Constitution of the United States may be reviewed here only upon writ of error sued out by the party making the claim. In other words, if a claim is made in the circuit court, no matter by which party, that a state enactment is invalid under the Constitution of the United States, and that claim is sustained or rejected, then it is consistent with the words of the act, and, we think, in harmony with its object, that this court

Page 545

review the judgment at the instance of the unsuccessful party, whether plaintiff or defendant. It was the purpose of Congress to give opportunity to an unsuccessful litigant to come to this court directly from the circuit court in every case in which a claim is made that a state law is in contravention of the Constitution of the United States.' Upon the authority of that case, the motion to dismiss is denied.

2. The defendant Connolly purchased Akron sewer pipe from the...

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604 practice notes
  • Larabee v. Dolley, 8,810
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Kansas
    • December 23, 1909
    ...or of nationality; and the equal protection of the laws is a pledge of the protection of equal laws.' In Connolly v. Union Sewer Pipe Co., 184 U.S. 540, 22 Sup.Ct. 431, 46 L.Ed. 679, Mr. Justice Harlan, delivering the opinion of the court, said: 'We have also said: The fourteenth amendment,......
  • Lowry, Ins. Com'r. v. City of Clarksdale, 27796
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • May 6, 1929
    ...1165; Quaker City Cab Co. v. Pa., 48 S.Ct. 553; Adams v. Standard Oil Co., 97 Miss. 879, 53 So. 692; Conerly v. Union Pipe Sewer Co., 184 U.S. 540, 46 L.Ed. 679; Johnson, State Rev. Agt., v. Long Fur Co., 74 So. 283, 113 Miss. 373; Truax v. Corrigan, 257 U.S. 312, 66 L.Ed. 254; Martin v. Di......
  • State ex rel. Knox v. Speakes, 25852
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • June 21, 1926
    ...Oil Co., 97 Miss. 880, 908; and Johnston v. Long Furniture Co., 74 So. 283. This case is covered by Conally v. Union Sewer Pipe Co., 184 U.S. 540, cited in Adams v. Standard Oil Co., supra, and wherein the whole anti-trust statute was held to be unconstitutional because agriculturalists and......
  • Tiley v. Grenada Building & Loan Ass'n, 25480
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • June 15, 1926
    ...U.S. (L. Ed.) 666; Cotting v. Kansas City Stockyards Co., 183 U.S. 79, 22 S.Ct. 30, 46 U.S. (L. Ed.) 92; Connolly v. Union Sewer Pipe Co., 184 U.S. 540, 559, 22 S.Ct. 431, 46 U.S. (L. Ed.) 679." See, also, Heath, etc., Co. v. Worst, 207 U.S. 338, 28 S.Ct. 114, 52 L.Ed. 236; L. & N. Railroad......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
604 cases
  • Larabee v. Dolley, 8,810
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Kansas
    • December 23, 1909
    ...or of nationality; and the equal protection of the laws is a pledge of the protection of equal laws.' In Connolly v. Union Sewer Pipe Co., 184 U.S. 540, 22 Sup.Ct. 431, 46 L.Ed. 679, Mr. Justice Harlan, delivering the opinion of the court, said: 'We have also said: The fourteenth amendment,......
  • Lowry, Ins. Com'r. v. City of Clarksdale, 27796
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • May 6, 1929
    ...1165; Quaker City Cab Co. v. Pa., 48 S.Ct. 553; Adams v. Standard Oil Co., 97 Miss. 879, 53 So. 692; Conerly v. Union Pipe Sewer Co., 184 U.S. 540, 46 L.Ed. 679; Johnson, State Rev. Agt., v. Long Fur Co., 74 So. 283, 113 Miss. 373; Truax v. Corrigan, 257 U.S. 312, 66 L.Ed. 254; Martin v. Di......
  • State ex rel. Knox v. Speakes, 25852
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • June 21, 1926
    ...Oil Co., 97 Miss. 880, 908; and Johnston v. Long Furniture Co., 74 So. 283. This case is covered by Conally v. Union Sewer Pipe Co., 184 U.S. 540, cited in Adams v. Standard Oil Co., supra, and wherein the whole anti-trust statute was held to be unconstitutional because agriculturalists and......
  • Tiley v. Grenada Building & Loan Ass'n, 25480
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • June 15, 1926
    ...U.S. (L. Ed.) 666; Cotting v. Kansas City Stockyards Co., 183 U.S. 79, 22 S.Ct. 30, 46 U.S. (L. Ed.) 92; Connolly v. Union Sewer Pipe Co., 184 U.S. 540, 559, 22 S.Ct. 431, 46 U.S. (L. Ed.) 679." See, also, Heath, etc., Co. v. Worst, 207 U.S. 338, 28 S.Ct. 114, 52 L.Ed. 236; L. & N. Railroad......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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