United States v. Frederick Whitridge No 466 United States v. Adrian Joline No 467

Decision Date10 November 1913
Docket NumberNos. 466 and 467,s. 466 and 467
PartiesUNITED STATES, Petitioner, v. FREDERICK W. WHITRIDGE, as Receiver of the Third Avenue Railroad Company et al. NO 466. UNITED STATES, Petitioner, v. ADRIAN H. JOLINE and Douglas Robinson, as Receivers of the Metropolitan Street Railway Company et al. NO 467
CourtU.S. Supreme Court

Mr. Assistant Attorney General Graham for the United States.

Messrs. Joseph H. Choate, Jr., and Matthew C. Fleming for respondent in No. 466.

Messrs. Arthur H. Masten and Ellis W. Leavenworth for respondent in No. 467.

Mr. Justice Pitney delivered the opinion of the court:

These cases were heard together in the district court and in the circuit court of appeals (sub. nom. Pennsylvania Steel Co. v. New York City R. Co. 193 Fed. 286, 117 C. C. A. 556, 198 Fed. 774). They were argued together in this court, and may be disposed of in a single opinion.

In the years 1909 and 1910 certain lines of street railway in the city of New York, that may be conveniently designated as the Third Avenue system, were in the hands of the respondent Whitridge, as receiver, under orders made in the year 1908 by the circuit court of the United States for the southern district of New York in actions pending therein against the several proprietary companies. One of these actions was a foreclosure suit; the others were creditors' actions based upon the insolvency of the respective companies. The powers conferred upon the receiver did not vary in any respect now material, and so a recital of the substance of one of the orders will suffice as an example. This order constituted Whitridge receiver of all the railroads and other property of the company, including tracks, cars, and other rolling stock and equipment, easements, privileges, and franchises, and the tolls, earnings, income, rents, issues, and profits thereof, with authority 'to run, manage, and operate the said railroads and properties, to collect the rents, income, tolls, issues, and profits of said railroads and property, to exercise the authority and franchises of said defendant, and discharge its public duties, acting in all things subject to the supervision of this court.' By the same order the officers, agents, and employees of the company were required to turn over and deliver to the receiver all of the said property in their hands or under their control, and the company was enjoined from interfering in any way with his possession or management.

In the same years (1909 and 1910) certain other lines of street railway in the city of New York, which may be described as the Metropolitan system, were in the possession of the respondents Joline and Robinson as receivers, appointed in the year 1907 by the circuit court of the United States for the same district, in several actions therein pending against the corporations which were owners of these lines. The orders appointing these receivers contain provisions substantially similar to those already recited. (See Re Metropolitan R. Receivership [Re Reisenberg] 208 U. S. 90, 93-96, 52 L. ed. 403-405, 28 Sup. Ct. Rep. 219).

In the year 1911, petitions were filed in the circuit court in behalf of the United States, praying for orders directing the receivers to make returns of the net income of the respective railway corporations for the years 1909 and 1910, to the collector of internal revenue, in the manner required by the provisions of the corporation tax law (act of August 5, 1909, § 38, 36 Stat. at L. chap. 6, pp. 11, 112-117, U. S. Comp. Stat. Supp. 1911, pp. 741, 946).

The applications were resisted by the receivers on the ground that the respective corporations did not, during the years 1909 and 1910, carry on any business in respect of the property that was in their hands as such receivers; that they as such receivers managed, controlled, and operated the same, and carried on all the business in respect thereto, and received all the income arising therefrom, not acting in place of the directors and officers of the respective companies, but as officers of the court; and that they were therefore not subject to the provisions of the act.

Jurisdiction of the controversy having been transferred to the district court by virtue of the new Judicial Code, § 290 [36 Stat. at L. 1167, chap. 231, U. S. Comp. Stat. Supp. 1911, p. 243], that court sustained the contention of the receivers (193 Fed. 286) and the circuit court of appeals affirmed this decision (117 C. C. A. 556, 198 Fed. 774). The cases are brought here by writs of certiorari.

As repeatedly pointed out by this court, the corporation tax law of 1909—enacted, as it was, after Congress had proposed to the legislatures of the several states the adoption of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, but before the ratification of that Amendment—imposed an excise or...

To continue reading

Request your trial
65 cases
  • In re West Coast Cabinet Works
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of California
    • August 4, 1950
    ...In Thompson v. State of Louisiana et al., 8 Cir., 1938, 98 F.2d 108, 111, the court, citing the cases of U. S. v. Whitridge, 231 U.S. 144, 34 S.Ct. 24, 58 L.Ed. 159, and People of State of Michigan, by Haggerty v. Michigan Trust Co., 286 U.S. 334, 52 S.Ct. 512, 76 L.Ed. 1136, and other case......
  • State ex rel. State Corp. Comm'n v. Old Abe Co.
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court
    • September 12, 1939
    ...as importing the doing of business in the usual course by agents and officers appointed in the usual way. United States v. Whitridge, 231 U.S. 144, 149, 34 S.Ct. 24, 58 L.Ed. 159 [162]. Wording only slightly different has been thought by other courts to include the operations of a business ......
  • Neild v. District of Columbia
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit
    • January 15, 1940
    ...L.Ed. 127; Flint v. Stone Tracy Co., 220 U.S. 107, 146, 150, 31 S.Ct. 342, 55 L.Ed. 389, Ann. Cas.1912B, 1312; United States v. Whitridge, 231 U.S. 144, 34 S.Ct. 24, 58 L.Ed. 159. 34 See Home Indemnity Co. v. Missouri, 8 Cir., 78 F.2d 391, 394; Reynolds v. United States, 292 U.S. 443, 449, ......
  • National Ben. Life Ins. Co. v. Shaw-Walker Co., 7376.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit
    • January 8, 1940
    ...was adequate in view of the injunction against interference by the officers in corporate affairs cf. United States v. Whitridge, 1913, 231 U.S. 144, 34 S.Ct. 24, 58 L.Ed. 159, with Gaboury v. Central Vt. Ry., 1929, 250 N.Y. 233, 165 N.E. 275; cf. also J. B. Beaird Corp. v. Johnson, La.App.,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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