MISSISSIPPI MILLS V. COHN.
and, remembering the sacred trust committed to his in these trying circumstances, was the party to determine, when the supreme moment for action had come; and if he, honestly, acted, with reasonable judgment, and discretion, the law juetifies him, even if he erred. But who will have the courage to stand up in the presence of the facts developed by the testimony in this case, and say that he fired the smallest fraction ofa second too soon? In our judgment he acted, under the trying circumstances surrounding him, in good faith, and with consummate courage, judgment, and discretion. The homicide wae, in our opinion, clearly justifiable in law, and in the forum of sound, practical common sense,-'-cornmendable. This being so, and the act having been "done * * * in pursuance of a law of the United States," as we have already seen, it cannot be an offense against, and the petitioner is not amenable to, the laws of the state. Let him be discharged.
MISSISSIPPI MILLS V. COHN et
et al. v.
July Term. 1889.j
COURTS-FEDERAL JURISDTCTIOK-SUITS BY ASSIGNEES.
Complaiuants, as the assignees of a judgment obtained in the state court by a citizen of the same state as the defendant in the judgment, sue in equity proceeding, by way of a meditors' bill, to enforce said judgment against the insolvent debtor's property. Held, that the assignor could not have sued in original proceedings in this court, and that his assignees cannot do so, under the act of 1888.
CREDITORS' BILL-ADEQUATE REMEDY AT LAW.
The allegations in the bill, and the evidence administered by complainants, show that the property which they seek to hold liable for their claims. other than that of the judgment mentioned. is the property. in law and in fact. of Cohn, their insolvent debtor; that title was taken in Mrs. Steinhardt's name for a fraudulent purpose. and Cohn's money paid for the property in question. Held that, if their allegations are true. they have an adequate remedy at law in an execution against the property, treating the sales to Mrs. Steinhardt as mere simulations; that no purpose is disclosed in the bill or evidence of complainants to present a cause for a revocatory action; that the pending suit is one in declaration of simulation. which involves title as between Cohn and Mrs. Steinhardt to the property sought to be subjected to Cohn's debts, and cannot be heard in equity. (Syllabu8 by the Court.)
In Equity. W. G. Wyly and John T. Lndeling, for complainants. C. J. Boatner and A. H. Leonard, for defendants.
BOARMAN, J. These suits were consolidated for final hearing. Complainants are citizens, one of Mississippi, the other of Missouri. They are judgment crerlitors of S. Cohn, and are seeking in equity proceed-
ings, by way of a creditors.' bill,' to subject certain property which they allege belongs to Cohn, an insolvent, to the payment of his creditors. An exception applying to both euits was filed. . The exception denies the jurisdiction of the the cause presented in either of the bills cannot be heard in equity; that complainants have adequate remedy at law. This exception was overruled, at a previous term, with the understanding suggested by the court, in consequence of the ambiin the language of the bills, that the exception would be considered again when the causes came on for final hearing: At a later time, in the suit of Wood & Lee, an exception, applying only to that case, was filed by defendants, and assigned, by consent, to be disposed of in hearing the bill. In that exception is denied the jurisdiction of the court, whether in equity or at law, to hear or try that part of the bill which seeks to enforce the judgment assigned to complainant by Newman, a citizen of Louisiana. In this denial of jurisdiction, it is contended that the assignor could not have sued originally in this court to enforce his judgment, and for that reason his assignees cannot maintain this suit. The bill of Wood & Lee, in addition to their claim against Cohn for merchandise sold to him, shows that they own, hold, and sue on a judgment against Cohn, a citizen of Louisiana, for $24,000, which was assigned to them by Newman, a citizen of Louisiana. The bill and answer clearly submit to this court an issue of law and fact, made up between complainants and defendants, as to the legality of the said judgment, and as to their right, in equity proceedings, under the charges of bill, to have certain property which they allege to he Cohn's subjected to the payment of the Newman judgment. It is contended by complainants that the purpose and scope of these suits is to subject an insolvent debtor's property to the payment of his creditors, and the court has jurisdiction of this suit, originally instituted here, to decree that the insolvent Cohn's property should be subjected to .the payment of the Newman judgment, assigned, as said judgment was,to complainants, as well as to any other judgments against Cohn. Under t1:1e proviso in the jurisdictional act of 1888, this contention is not well founded. The fact that the complainants are endeavoring to proceed against an insolvent in a creditors' bill does not enlarge the jurisdiction granted in the act. If Newman, a citizen of Louisiana, still held and owned the judgment, he could not enforce it in this court by original proceedings against Cohn, a citizen of the same state. It may be, as is contended for by complainants) if the Mississippi :Mills should succeed in their purpose to have Cohn)s property, which is the common pledge of his creditors, subjected, by final judgment, to the payment of his debts, that the owners of the Newman judgrrlent would have ample remedy, in equity, to secure substantial recognition and enforcement of the judgment, again&t Cohn's property. But whatever may be the ultimate remedy of complainants as to this Newman judgment against Cohn, as beneficiaries in the effect oLa decree subjecting and holding the insolvent Cohn)s property for the payment of his creditors, it appears that complainants, the assignees of said judgment, are limited to such pro-
MISSISflIPfI MILI.S tl. COHN.
Newman, could hav El begun or in this court; and for. this Wood & Lee's suit, as it relates to the Newmanj\ldgment,should 'bedismissed. The other charges therein will be disposed. ofin passing upon the exception in Mississippi case. In that case, as well as in the bill ofWood & Lee, it is alleged, that a certain judgment, ·and certain sales, transfers, etc., of property, had by ants inter sese were fraudulent simulations. Quoting· from the bill and brief of counselfor complainaJlts, it appears that the adjudications of the brick store and lots to Mrs. Steinhardt was a mere sham, to give an apparent title to ;Mrs. Steinhardt, while the said Simon Cohn continues. to be the real owner; ,,* *. * that Mrs. 8teinhardt never paid a dollar for said property, and that her pretended ownership is a simulation and fraud to shelter it from his creditors; * * * that all the sales to Mrs. Steinh.l}rdt were, in reality, purchased by Simon Cohn, arid the price of each and every sale was paid with money of Cohn's, and said property should be declared Cohn's, and subjected to the payment <;>f the judgments against him; * * * that the effect of said simulated and fraudulent acts has been to injure complainants, and to ecution of their said judgment against the property of S. Cohn; '" * * that all property standing in Mrs. Steinhardt's name, and all business carried on by Cohn under her name, is in fact Cohn's property." The allegations recited, show unmistakably that the property in question, though held in the name of Mrs. Steinhardt, i:3, in law and fact, the property of Cohn. They show, substantially, that the transfers and transactionsby which the property was taken and held in the name of Mrs. Steinhardt were caused,had, and entered into between and by the defendants for the purpose of fraudulently screening it from Cohn's creditors; that it was not intended by any of the defendants that the ownership of the property should be vested in anyone but Cohn, the notoriously insolvent debtor. Complainants conclude their allegations with the prayer that said sales, transfers, etc., be declared fraudulent simulations. They pray, further. that said property be declared to be the property of Cohn, and that it, in these proceedings, be subjected to the payment of his debts. It will be observed that the bills in no way affect the vendors of Mrs. Steinhardt. So far as they are concerned, her title to the property conveyed by them is complete, and she is the real owner thereof. What effect this fact would have in a revocatory action, brought in equity, need not now be discussed. The argumellt of complainants, in illustrating their allegations, and the evidence administered by them to show the nature and history of the sales, etc., to Mrs. Steinhardt, treat and consider Mrs. Steinhardt, not as the real owner of the property which is subject, in equity and law, to their claims or judgments, but they treat and consider her as a person interposed fraudulently by Cohn between himself and the several vendors who sold to Mrs. Steinhardt for the purpose of holding Cohn's property in her name, so that it cannot be reached by his creditors. While treating and considering her as just stated, they never for a moment cease to urge that the property is, in
their belief, in .law and in fact owned by Cohn. In illustrating their opinion, belief, and contei1tion, they say that. Mrs. Steinhardt knew of Cohn's fraudulent purposes; thatthe money paidher vendors was Cohn's money, and she never intended or expected to be or become the owner of the property by reason of such sales to her; that the property became at once the property of Cohn, and is now subject to his debtors' rights therein. The allegations, though not free from ambiguities, show that the Mississippi Mills suit and the Wood & Lee suit, so far as we are now considering the latter, do not present a suit in equity proceedings for the purpose of revoking or setting aside a real thing to a fraudulent sale, as to certain creditors of Cohn, and to subject the property therein sold to the payment of the insolvent's debts. Such a cause would be known in our state law as a revocatory action. On the contrary, the bills show that these allegations show cause for an action in declaration of simulation. If it be true that Cohn, notwithstanding the said purchases, transfers, etc., were ostensibly made by Mrs. Steinhardt, and the title of record is in her name, is the real owner of the property now sought to be subjected to the payment of Cohn's debts, the complainants have a wellknown and adequate remedy at law to make the property liable for their claims. The issues made up by the pleadings and evidence involve, fundamentally, the title to, or the real ownership of, the property in question. The complainants charge that Cohn, in fact and law, is the owner thereof. The defendants deny his ownership, and contend that the sales were real sales to Mrs. Steinhardt. Such issues are not determinable in this court, in equity proceedings. The complainants' bill is ambiguous in its language, but the evidence admitted from them shows no purpose on their part to avail themselves of the equitable remedy to cause or have a real sale set aside, and have the property therein administered and sold in equity proceedings, for the benefit of an insolvent debtor's creditors; because, or for the reason, or on 'the ground, that such property is held, claimed, or owned by the real vendee thereofin such a way, and under such circumstances, as, in equity, should subject it to the payment of claims against Cohn. In the view and purpose of complainant's charges, Cohn now owns the property, and they have not presented, or sought to present, such an action as should be heard in equity, and it is ordered that their suit be dismissed.
.IN RE SHANER.
(G'ircuit Com·t, W. D. Virginia.
August 30, 1889.)
Virginia coupons, which by law are receivable in payment of all debts, fines, dues, and demands of the state, must be received ill payment of a fine imposed by a criminal court of the state.
Th.e federal courts have no jurisdiction to grant a habeas corpus upon petition alleging that the pri'soner is held under the capias of a state court issued upon a judgment that has been vacated.
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. W. W. Larkin, for petitioner. RuIns A. Ayers, Atty. Gen., for respondent. BO!m, J. The petitioner states in his petition that he is a citizen of Virginia, residing in the city of Lynchburg, and that he is illegally held in a jail of that city by .Mat J. Day, the sergeant and jailer of that place; that he is so held on a capias, issued by the judge of the corporation court of said city, demanding payment of a fine of $200, and $4.5.50 costs, imposed upon him by that court for a common assault, of which he stands convicted therein. The petition alleges that Shaner has again and again tendered genuine coupons cut from the bonds of the state of Virginia, which coupons are receivable by law for payment of all debts, fines, dues, and demands of the state; and that his custodian has refused to receive them, as by law he ought, in payment thereof, which conduct on the part of the sergeant impairs the obligation of the contract heretofore made by the state with the holders of such tax-receivable coupons, and is in violation of the constitution of the United States. The return to the writ made by the sergeant admits the facts to be as stated, except that it not admit or deny the genuineness of the COUPOllS tendered. Primajacie the obligations ofihe state are genuine, and unless proof is 9ffered to the contrary they will be held to be so. This case represents no new feature. The court of appeals of Virginia having decided that a fine imposed by a criminal court of the state is a debt or demand due the state, a tender of coufor such fine must be received in payment pons made by law thereof. We have again and again so decided, and would be glad to know that such decision is accepted as a determined fact in future cases without the necessity of repeating it monthly at the expense of the state. From the fines imposed and the capias issued on the judgment set forth in his petition, the petitioner must be discharged, upon his leaving with the sergeant the coupons tendered. But the o:ergeant sets out in his return that he holds the prisoner upon two other writs of capias issued by the county court of Campbell county, and asks that the prisoner may be continued in jail on these for the fine imposed by said court, he having tendered no coupons in payme,nt
thereof. The petitioner alleges that in these two cases last mentioned he has filed supersedeas bonds which vacate those judgments until another hearing can be had, and that the judge of Campbell county court has approved his or not asupfffsedeas bond is a substitute for a bail-bond when a motion for a new trial is pending or has been granted, or what effect it has under the criminal procedure in Virginia, is not'.a federal question. ,Writs ofhabeus corpus in the federal courts extend to no case except where a prisoner is in custody under or by authority of the United States, or in violation of its constitution or some lawmade,in pursuance thereof;' Shaner is to be discharged upon his petition here 'frain' the ' the sergeant under the capias by which he is held, because the state of Virginia contracted with him that she would receive such coupon in payment of her demands. Not to do so is to impair the obligation of her contract, which by the constitution of the United States, to whit)h she submitted as paramount law when she entered the Union, it is forbidden her to do. ',The other question has it of a federal character, and if the petition had included the writs of capias from Campbell county, which· it does not, and those alone,we should have had no jurisdiction in the matter. The prisoner is dischal1ged from custody under the writs of capias for fines where he has tendered coupons in payment, and the sergeant will hold him, so far as this jurisdiction is concerned, under the writs he holds from the court of Campbell county. And the costs are upon the defendant.
Cuurt, E. D. illinQis. July 22, 1889.)
Where a decree has. been rendered in a suit for infringement of letters pat· ent. awarding an injunction and an accounting, on a reference to a master to compute the damages, the question of the validity of the claims of complain· ant's patent alleged to have been infringed cannot be considered.
In Equity. Bill for injunction. Coburn &; Thacher, for complainant. Olfield &; Towle, for defendant.
BLODGETT, J., (orally.) This is a bill for an injunction and accounting by reason of the alleged infringement of letters patent No. 185,458, granted to in December, 1876, for a "steam pile-driver," and, patent No. 273,904, on the same subject, granted to the complainant on the 13th of March, 1883. The case was heard on pleadings and proofs, and a decree rendered, awarding to the complainant an injunction and an accounting. The ease went to a master for an accounting,