United States v. Fox

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtFIELD
Citation95 U.S. 670,24 L.Ed. 538
PartiesUNITED STATES v. FOX
Decision Date01 October 1877

95 U.S. 670
24 L.Ed. 538
UNITED STATES
v.
FOX.
October Term, 1877

ON a certificate of division in opinion between the judges of the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.

In November, 1874, the defendant filed a petition in bankruptcy in the District Court for the Southern District of New York. In March, 1876, he was indicted in the Circuit Court for that district for alleged offences against the United States, and, among others, for the offence described in the ninth subdivision of sect. 5132 of the Revised Statutes, which provides that 'every person respecting whom proceedings in bankruptcy are commenced, either upon his own petition or that of a creditor,' who, within three months before their commencement, 'under the false color and pretence of carrying on business, and dealing in the ordinary course of trade, obtains on credit from any person any goods or chattels with intent to defraud,' shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years.

The indictment, among other things, charged the defendant with having, within three months previous to the commencement of his proceedings in bankruptcy, purchased and obtained on credit goods from several marchants in the city of New York, upon the pretence and representation of carrying on business

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and dealing in the ordinary course of trade as a manufacturer of clothing; whereas he was not carrying on business in the ordinary course of trade as such manufacturer, but was selling goods to some parties by the piece for cost, and to other parties at auction for less than cost, and that these pretences and representations were made to defraud the parties from whom the goods were purchased.

The defendant was convicted; and, upon a motion in arrest of judgment, the judges holding the Circuit Court were opposed in opinion, and have certified to this court the question upon which they differed. That question is thus stated in the certificate:——

'If a person shall engage in a transaction which, at the time of its occurrence, is not a violation of any law of the United States, to wit, the obtaining goods upon credit by false pretences, and if, subsequently thereto, proceedings in bankruptcy shall be commenced respecting him, is it within the constitutional limits of congressional legislation to subject him to punishment for such transaction considered in connection with the proceedings in bankruptcy?'

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61 practice notes
  • U.S. v. Volungus, No. 09-1596.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • January 8, 2010
    ...125 S.Ct. 2195, 162 L.Ed.2d 1 (2005); Champion v. Ames, 188 U.S. 321, 358-60, 23 S.Ct. 321, 47 L.Ed. 492 (1903); United States v. Fox, 95 U.S. 670, 672, 24 L.Ed. 538 (1877). In the criminal law arena, the Commerce Clause, U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 3, typically furnishes the source of thi......
  • In re Bernier, Bankruptcy No. 90-52302. Adv. No. 91-5258.
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Second Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of Connecticut
    • January 13, 1995
    ...at the same time relieve the honest debtor from legal proceedings for his debts, upon a surrender of his property. United States v. Fox, 95 U.S. 670, 672, 24 L.Ed. 538 (1877). Distribution of estate assets to creditors is a core function of Although we have noted that "the subject of bankru......
  • Clinton Nurseries, Inc. v. Harrington (In re Clinton Nurseries, Inc.), CASE No. 17-31897 (JJT)
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Second Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of Connecticut
    • August 28, 2019
    ...may embrace within its legislation whatever may be deemed important to a complete and effective bankrupt system ." United States v. Fox , 95 U.S. 670, 672, 24 L.Ed. 538 (1878) (emphasis added). The Supreme Court later said that "[f]rom the beginning, the tendency of legislation and of judic......
  • Nat'l Fed'n of Indep. Bus. v. Sebelius, Nos. 11–393
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 28, 2012
    ...found meet under the Necessary and Proper Clause. These powers include the power to enact criminal laws, see, e.g., United States v. Fox, 95 U.S. 670, 672, 24 L.Ed. 538 (1878) ; the power to imprison, including civil imprisonment, see, e.g., Comstock, 560 U.S., at 129–130, 130 S.Ct., at 195......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
61 cases
  • U.S. v. Volungus, No. 09-1596.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • January 8, 2010
    ...125 S.Ct. 2195, 162 L.Ed.2d 1 (2005); Champion v. Ames, 188 U.S. 321, 358-60, 23 S.Ct. 321, 47 L.Ed. 492 (1903); United States v. Fox, 95 U.S. 670, 672, 24 L.Ed. 538 (1877). In the criminal law arena, the Commerce Clause, U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 3, typically furnishes the source of thi......
  • In re Bernier, Bankruptcy No. 90-52302. Adv. No. 91-5258.
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Second Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of Connecticut
    • January 13, 1995
    ...at the same time relieve the honest debtor from legal proceedings for his debts, upon a surrender of his property. United States v. Fox, 95 U.S. 670, 672, 24 L.Ed. 538 (1877). Distribution of estate assets to creditors is a core function of Although we have noted that "the subject of bankru......
  • Clinton Nurseries, Inc. v. Harrington (In re Clinton Nurseries, Inc.), CASE No. 17-31897 (JJT)
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Second Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of Connecticut
    • August 28, 2019
    ...may embrace within its legislation whatever may be deemed important to a complete and effective bankrupt system ." United States v. Fox , 95 U.S. 670, 672, 24 L.Ed. 538 (1878) (emphasis added). The Supreme Court later said that "[f]rom the beginning, the tendency of legislation and of judic......
  • Nat'l Fed'n of Indep. Bus. v. Sebelius, Nos. 11–393
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 28, 2012
    ...found meet under the Necessary and Proper Clause. These powers include the power to enact criminal laws, see, e.g., United States v. Fox, 95 U.S. 670, 672, 24 L.Ed. 538 (1878) ; the power to imprison, including civil imprisonment, see, e.g., Comstock, 560 U.S., at 129–130, 130 S.Ct., at 195......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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