JOHNSTON 11. ROE.
the books of the bank showing payment thereof, though no part of said notes, or either of them, except interest up to that time, had been paid, and no payment thereon has been since made. This of course makes, if true, a clear case of indebtedness from said Roe to the bank. The indebtedness, according to these allegations, accrued as early as the fourteenth day of April, 1868. John 1. Roe died on the fourteenth day of February, 1870. His estate was administered upon under the laws of Missouri, and this chim was not proven before the probate court. Said estate has been fully administered by the administrator, and the administration closed. Certain real and personal property left by the deceased having passed to the defendants herein, as his heirs, this suit is intended to subject the same to the payment of the plaintiff's demand, the bill for this purpose having been filed on the seventeenth day of June, 1879. It will thus be seen that the cause of action accrued nearly two years before the death of John J. Roe, and more than 10 years prior to the bringing of this suit, and is therefore barred by the statute of limitations of Missouri, (if that statute is to be followed here,) unless the plaintiff has taken the case out of the statute by the allegations of his bill concerning the concealment of the alleged fraud and its discovery. Upon this point the bill alleges, in substance, that the fraud complained of was concealed by the directors of the bank, (said John J. Roe, up the time of his death, being one of them,) in collusion with the cashier, whereby the said national bank, and its stockholders and creditors, were. kept in ignorance of t,he facts until July 10, 1877, when the fraud was discovered by the complainant. It is further alleged that the claim here sued upon arises out of the breach of an express trust by the said John J. Roe and his associates, and for that reason said statute of limitations does not affect the complainant's right of recovery herein, and it is alleged generally "that, in consequence of said fraud, and the concealment thereof as aforesaid, the claim here sued upon is, in equity, excepted from the operation of the statute of limitations, in
order to prevent such statute from operating as a fraud upon said bank, and your orator, as receiver thereot" I am of the opinion that there is a sufficient averment in the bill of a fraudulent concealment of the cause of action, and the question, therefore, is whether, notwithstanding such concealment, the defendants can successfully plead the stat. ute of limitations. The statute of Missouri concerning administration requires the presentation of all claims against an estate within two years from the time of the publication of a notice of the ad· ministration to creditors, and it declares that "all demands not thus exhibited within two years shall be forever barred." There is a saving clause in favor of infants, persons of unBound mind, persons imprisoned, and married women, but nothing is said as to cases of concealed frand. 2 Wagner's St. 86, 102. The general statute on the subject of the limitation of actions provides that, in an action for relief on the ground of fraud, the cause of action shall be deemed not to have accrued until the discovery of the fraud by the aggrieved party. 1 Wag. 747. It is earnestly contended, on behalf of the respondents, that, according to the construction placed by the supreme court of Missouri upon these statutes, the action is barred, notwith. standing the discovery of the fraud within two years. Upon this subject counsel insist: First. That the statute regulating the prosecution and col· lection of claims against an estate absolutely bars all demands is not exhibited within two years, and that, since no made by the statute itself in favor of demands growing out of concealed fraud, the court is not at liberty to engraft this exception upon the statute. Second. That the general statute of limitations, which does contain a provision declaring that in actions on the ground of fraud the cause of action shall be deemed not to have accrued until discovery by the aggrieved party, does not apply to this case. Upon the first proposition we are referred to McKenzie v.
JOIINSTON V. ROE.
Hall, Adm'r, 51 Mo. 303; Richardson v. Harrison, 86 Mo. 96 ; and, upon the second, to Rogers v. Bronson, 61 Mo. 187.
Without determining whether these authorities sustain the propositions stated, we turn to another inquiry, which necessarily requires prior consideration. Is it true that the courts of the United States are bound to follow, as rules of decision in equity cases, the statutes of limitation of the several states, and the construction given to them by the state judiciary? It is insisted that under the twenty-fourth section of the judiciary act (Rev. St. § 721) the statutes of limitation of the several states, where no special provision has been made by congress, form the rule of decision in the courts of the United States, and that the same effect is given to them as is given in the courts of the state. Such is undoubtedly the rule in cases at common law, and the statute, by its terms, applies to no other cases. I think it well settled that a federal couri of equity is not bound by such statutes, and much less by the construction given to them by the state tribunals. In the exercise of the chancery jurisdiction conferred by the consti. tution and laws of the United States this court is not goverhed by the state practice. The supreme court has repeatedly decided that the rules governing the exercise of this jurisdiction are the same in all the states, and are according to the practice of courts of equity in the parent country, as contradistinguished from that of courts of law. The exercise ()f this jurisdiction is regulated by the act of 1792, (Rev. St. § 913,) which der.lares that the modes of proceeding shall be according to the principles, rules and usages which belong to courts of equity, as contradistinguished from -courts of law. The rules of decision in equity eases in the federal courts are to be uniform, and in the exercise of their -equity jurisdiction those courts are unaffected by state legislation. Boyle v. Zachary, 6 Pet. 658; United States v. Howland, 4 Wheat. 115; Neves v. Scott, 13 How. 271; Noonan v. Lee, 9 Black. 507; Robinson v. Oampbell, 3 Wheat. ?23. The only question, therefore, is whether this court should, -upon principle, adopt and follow the statute of limitationll of .Missouri as construed by the supreme court of that state.
If the interpretation given to the rulings of the supreme C0urt of Missouri by the cOlilnsel for defendants is the true one, I do not hesitate to say that this court cannot follow those rulings. The statute, thus construed, would be in direct conflict with a well-settled rule of equity jurisprudence as understood and administered in the federal courts for many years. It would require this court to hold that, in a case where the demand happens to be against an estate, a party who haA committed it fraud may consummate it beyond the possibility of remedy by concealing it. This seems to me to be a proposition that no court of equity can, with propriety, maintain, if left free, as this court is, to consider it upon the merits. In cases where ihe federal courts follow, in equity, the state statutes of limitation by analogy, they do so because equity requires it, and the statutes are found to be in harmony with its general principles. The rule that the statute of limitations does not run in favor of one who perpetrates a fraud while he conceals it from the party injured, as a general doctrine of equity jurisprudence, is too well settled to require the citation of authorities. The demurrer to the bill is overruled.
UNITED HTATES fJ.
,Oircuit Oourt, E. D.Mi88ouri. April 3, 1880.)
INTERNAL lbilvENUE - POSSSESSION OF P AW.rS OF STAMPS PUEVIOUBLY USED ON SNUFF JAltS-REV. ST. § 3376.-The possession of parts of
internal revenue stamps wllich had been previously used upon snuff jars does not constitute an offence within the terms of section 3376 of the revised statutes, relating to the fraudulent possession of cancelled stamps, although the facts indicated a fraudulent purpose upon the part of the defendant.
Case certified up to the circuit court after trial and verdict in the district court William H. Bliss, District Attorney, for the prosecution. John H. O'Neil, for defendant.
UNITED STATES V. LOUP.
TREAT, J. The question presented involves the constru,,tion of the United States statutes pertaining to internal revenue, and particularly section 3376. The defendant is charged in the indictment with having had in his possession internal revenue stamps that had been theretofore used and eancelled. .It appears from the arguments and statements of counsel, rather than otherwise, that the facts are that defendant did have in his possession parts or halves of several stamps which had theretofore been used, which could readily be placed on a package in such a position as to give them the appearance of a complete stamp; but no complete, unbroken or unmutilated stamp. Under the stipulation of counsel this court IS asked to determine whether, on such a statement of facts, the defendant can be found guilty of the offence charged under section 8376. Reference has been made to many other sections or the statute, supposed to be in pari materia j and, on the other hand, the rules of construction as to criminal statutes have been invoked. Where a statute containing many provisions as to distinct subjects, each of which has its own peculiar requirements, is presented for interpretation, the requirements and penalties of one cannot, in a criminal proceeding, be imported into another. Stamps, according to the law and regulations, are to be placed on packages of snuff in a prescribed manner, whereby the opening of the package will destroy the stamp. As to brewer stamps, the statute is very specific as to the mode of placing them on the packages and destroying them; and, as to stamps to be used for some other purposes, it is provided that they shall be "utterly" destroyed, etc.; yet as to snuff stamps no such requirement exists, because it is presumed that if attached a8 demanded they will necessarily be ruptured or torn into parts. The fact that more specific provisions are contained in the statutes as to other articles would indicate, not that such provisions should obtain as to snuff, but snuff stamps were intended to follow a different rule-a rule specific as to them. The statute has several provisions which will adequately