Thomas E. Hogan, Inc. v. Berman

CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Writing for the CourtRONAN
Citation37 N.E.2d 742,310 Mass. 259
PartiesTHOMAS E. HOGAN, Inc., v. BERMAN et al.
Decision Date21 November 1941

310 Mass. 259
37 N.E.2d 742

BERMAN et al.

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk.

Nov. 21, 1941.

Suit in equity to set aside sale of tires by Thomas E. Hogan, Incorporated, against Doris Berman, Irving Berman and another. From the decree, Irving Berman and the plaintiff both appeal.

Reversed, and decree entered dismissing the bill.

[37 N.E.2d 742]

Appeal from Superior Court, Suffolk County; Sheehan, Judge.

Argued before FIELD, C. J., and DONAHUE, QUA, and RONAN, JJ.

S. L. Kaplan, of Boston, for plaintiff.

A. Hurwitz, of Boston, for defendants.

RONAN, Justice.

The plaintiff, a wholesale distributor and retail dealer in automobile tires, sold one hundred tires to the defendant Sherman on September 11, 1939, for $854.10. Upon receipt of these tires, on September 11 and 12, by Sherman, they were immediately transferred and sold to the defendant Irving

[37 N.E.2d 743]

Berman, hereinafter called Berman, for $700. Berman maintained two stores under different names, and his wife, the defendant Doris Berman, filed a married woman's certificate purporting to show that one of these stores was conducted by her. Sherman was adjudged a bankrupt upon a voluntary petition filed on September 18, 1939, and the defendant Rubin, trustee of the bankrupt estate, appeared and claimed the tires or their value. The plaintiff on October 6, 1939, brought this bill in equity to set aside the sale of the tires. From a final decree adjudging that the trustee had no interest in the tires, ordering Berman to deliver the tires to the plaintiff, and dismissing the bill as against the defendant Doris Berman, Irving Berman appealed, and the plaintiff appealed on the ground that it was entitled to recover from both Irving Berman and Doris Berman the value of the tires at the time when they were sold to Sherman.

The bill is based upon two grounds: First, that the sale from Sherman to Berman was in violation of G.L. (Ter.Ed.) c. 106, § 1, the sales in bulk act; and second, that the sale to Sherman was procured by fraud, that the subsequent sale to Berman was made by Sherman without fair consideration and with intent to hinder, delay and defraud, and that Berman should reasonably have known of such intent.

The plaintiff, however, had no right, when it filed its bill, to have the transfer to Berman set aside as fraudulent because it was not made in compliance with the sales in bulk act, G.L. (Ter.Ed.) c. 106, § 1, even if we assume in its favor that there was a violation of this statute. The right to set aside a transfer made by the bankrupt with intent to defraud his creditors and a statutory right given to a creditor to avoid a fraudulent conveyance made by his debtor passed to the trustee in bankruptcy as of September 18, 1939, when Sherman filed his petition in bankruptcy, U.S.C.Sup.V. Title 11, § 110a(4), e, 11 U.S.C.A. § 110, subs. a(4), e, and this included the right of the creditor to set aside a transfer made in contravention of the Bulk Sales Act. Dodd v. Raines, D.C., 1 F.2d 658;Gross v. Grossman, 5 Cir., 2 F.2d 458;Pratt Paper Co. v. Eiffler, 196 Iowa 199, 194 N.W. 370;Union Guardian Trust Co. v. Detroit Creamery Co., 265 Mich. 636, 251 N.W. 797;Mott v. Reeves, 125 Misc. 511, 211 N.Y.S. 375; Id., 246 N.Y. 567, 159 N.E. 654;Goodwin v. Tuttle, 70 Or. 424, 141 P. 1120. Compare McLaughlin v. Fisk Rubber Co., D.C., 288 F. 72.

The present suit having been commenced subsequently to the filing of the petition in bankruptcy by Sherman, the plaintiff then had no right to bring a suit to set aside the transfer to Berman on the ground that it did not comply with the Bulk Sales Act, and to apply the tires to the satisfaction of its claim to the exclusion of the other general creditors of Sherman. Glenny v. Langdon, 98 U.S. 20, 25 L.Ed. 43;Trimble v. Woodhead, 102 U.S. 647, 26 L.Ed. 290;Moyer v. Dewey, 103 U.S. 301, 303, 26 L.Ed. 394;Acme Harvester Co. v. Beekman Lumber Co., 222 U.S. 300, 308, 32 S.Ct. 96, 56 L.Ed. 208;Bingaman v. Commonwealth Trust Co., D.C., 15 F.2d 119;Gochenour v. George & Francis Ball Foundation, D.C., 35 F.Supp. 508, affirmed, 7 Cir., 117 F.2d 259. Where...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1 cases
  • Mezoff v. Carvotta
    • United States
    • Appeals Court of Massachusetts
    • January 19, 1976
    ...assignor, the conveyance could only be voided by the trustee in bankruptcy, not by a creditor. Thomas E. Hogan, Inc. v. Berman, 310 Mass. 259, 261, 37 N.E.2d 742 (1941). The defendants' further contention that the trial judge improperly instructed the jury on the effect of the findings of a......

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