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Opinion of the Court.
estoppel. We are satisfied, therefore, that the cause was properly removed from the state court, and that the Circuit Court of the United States had jurisdiction thereof.
The next question to be considered is as to the legal right of the defendant, John Adden, to institute the suits and issue the attachments which were prosecuted by him at New Orleans. As a resident and citizen of New Hampshire, was he concluded by the insolvent proceedings in Massachusetts, and the incidental transfer of the property of John H. Adden therein? If he was, then he had no right to take the proceedings which he did take in Louisiana. Had he been a citizen and resident of Massachusetts, the question would have been a different one. We have recently decided, in the case of Cole v. Cunningham, 133 U. S. 107, that a creditor, who is a citizen and resident of the same State with his debtor, against whom insolvent proceedings have been instituted in said State, is bound by the assignment of the debtor's property in such proceedings, and if he attempts to attach or seize the personal property of the debtor situated in another State, and embraced in the assignment, he may be restrained by injunction by the courts of said State in which he and his debtor reside. That was a case, arising in Massachusetts, and the effect and operation of assignments made by debtors of personal property belonging to them in other States is elaborately discussed by the Chief Justice delivering the opinion of this court. It was held that where a debtor and his creditor were both citizens and residents of Massachusetts, and the. former went into insolvency, and regular proceedings under the insolvent laws of the State were had, the creditor might be enjoined by the courts of Massachusetts from attaching goods and credits of the debtor in New York, although in the latter State such attachment would be legal and valid. But that is not the present case. Here it is proved beyond doubt that John Adden was not a citizen or resident of Massachusetts, but was a citizen and resident of New Hampshire; and the question is whether, as such citizen of New Hampshire, he had a right to prosecute his claims against John H. Adden, by attachment of the goods of the latter in the State of Louisiana by the laws of the latter
Opinion of the Court.
State. It is by the laws of Louisiana that the question must be decided. Every State exercises to a greater or less extent, as it deems expedient, the comity of giving effect to the insolvent proceedings of other States, except as it may be compelled to give them full effect by the Constitution of the United States. Where the transfer of the debtor's property is the result of a judicial proceeding, as in the present case, there is no provision of the Constitution which requires the courts of another State to carry it into effect; and, as a general rule, no state court will do this to the prejudice of the citizens of its own State.
But without discussing the rules adopted in different States on this subject, which are fully examined and commented upon in the treatises on private international law, our present inquiry is confined particularly to the doctrine of the courts of Louisiana. And here we are entirely free from embarrassment. By a succession of cases decided by the Supreme Court of Louisiana, it has become the established law of that State, that such transfers by judicial operation are not binding upon the citizens and inhabitants of Louisiana, or of any other State except the State in which the insolvent proceedings have taken place — at least until the legal assignee has reduced the property into possession or done what is equivalent thereto. Olivier v. Townes, 2 Martin, (N. S.,) 93; Tyree v. Sands, 24 La. Ann. 363; Lichtenstein v Gillett, 37 La. Ann. 522. In the case last cited, a receiver under a creditor's bill, appointed by a chancery court of Georgia, sought to recover possession of the property of the defendants adversely to the rights acquired by the plaintiffs under an attachment of that property in Louisiana. The plaintiffs' attachment was effected on the 26th of April, 1883. The intervention of the receiver was filed December 13, 1883. The Supreme Court of Louisiana, speaking through Mr. Justice Poché, after adverting to the distinction between a voluntary assignment and a compulsory one executed by order of a court, proceeds to say: “We do not propose to deny to him [the receiver), and we must not be understood as debarring him absolutely, of any right under his appointment to claim and obtain possession of the property
Opinion of the Court.
of Gillett Brothers, in case the exercise of such right does not militate with or destroy any existing rights acquired by creditors under proceedings instituted in our courts. In his brief,
, his counsel concedes that the claim which he now presses to our favorable consideration could not be enforced to the detriment of previously acquired rights of our own citizens. But he contends that the protection cannot be extended to plaintiffs for the reason that they are residents of the State of New York.
In our opinion, it is sufficient that the creditor who has acquired rights by legal process in our courts, be not a resident or a citizen of the State whose court has appointed a receiver who urges claims adverse to his acquired rights in our courts. The plaintiffs in this case, residents of New York, are not more amenable to the jurisdiction of the Georgia courts than would be a citizen of Louisiana, and they are legally entitled to the full protection of our courts against the claims of intervener.”
Such, therefore, being the rule of comity applied by the courts of that State, we have no hesitation in saying that the defendant, John Adden, had a perfect right to prosecute his claims in the manner he did. No rule of law stood in his way, and nothing in the circumstances of the case, so far as we have been able to discover, prevented him from taking the course he did. It will be observed that his first suit in New Orleans was commenced on the 16th of March, 1882, a week prior to the meeting of the creditors in Cambridge and the appointinent of the assignees in insolvency. He had not then done anything to interfere with his right to sue, and he did not afterwards do anything to take away that right. His going security on the bond of Parker as one of the assignees of his son is not shown to have any significancy in the matter in question. There was no reason why he should not approve of and acquiesce in the insolvent proceedings that were undertaken, nor why he should not, as an act of friendly accommodation, sign the bond of Parker, who seems to have been his brother-in-law. None of these things committed him to a position inconsistent with the prosecution of his claim in New Orleans.
We have given due attention to the minor points raised by the appellant's counsel, but do not find anything therein which calls for a reversal of the decree. The decree of the Circuit Court is therefore
NASHUA AND LOWELL RAILROAD CORPORA
TION V. BOSTON AND LOWELL RAILROAD
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR
THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS.
No. 166. Argued December, 16, 17, 1889; March 31, 1890.- Decided May 19, 1890.
Railroad corporations, created by two or more States, though joined in
their interests, in the operation of their roads, in the issue of their stock and in the division of their profits, so as practically to be a single corporation, do not lose their identity; but each has its existence and its standing in the courts of the country only by virtue of the legislation of the State by which it was created, and the union of name, of officers, of business and of property does not change their distinctive character as
separate corporations. The Nashua and Lowell Railroad Corporation was incorporated by the
State of New Hampshire June 23, 1835, " to locate construct and keep in repair a railroad from any point in the southern line of the State to some convenient place in or near Nashua," seven persons being named as incorporators. The Nashua and Lowell Railroad Corporation, (three out of the seven being named as incorporators,) was incorporated by the State of Massachusetts on the 16th of April, 1836, to locate, construct and finally complete a railroad from Lowell” “ to form a junction with the portion of said Nashua and Lowell Railroad lying within the State of New Hampshire.” The legislature of Massachusetts, on the 10th of April, 1838, enacted that “the stockholders” of the New Hampshire Company are hereby constituted stockholders” of the Massachusetts Company, “and the said two corporations are hereby united into one corporation,” and further provided that the act should “not take effect until the legislature of ... New Hampshire shall have passed an act similar to this uniting the said stockholders into one corporation, nor until the said acts have been accepted by the said stockholders.” The legislature of New Hampshire, on the 26th of June, 1838, enacted “ that the two corporations
are hereby authorized, from and after the
Statement of the Case.
time when this act shall take effect, to unite said corporations, and from and after the time said corporations shall be united, all property owned, acquired or enjoyed by either shall be taken and accounted to be the joint property of the stockholders, for the time being, of the two corporations.” A common stock was issued for the whole line, and for the forty-five years which intervened the two properties were under the management of one board of directors; but there was no other evidence that the stockholders had acted on these statutes; Helal, that the New Hampshire Corporation, being a citizen of that State, was entitled to go into the Circuit Court of Massachusetts, and bring its bill there against a citizen of Massachusetts; and that its union or consoli. dation with another corporation of the same name, organized under the laws of Massachusetts, did not extinguish or modify its character as a citizen of New Hampshire, or give it any such additional citizenship in
Massachusetts, as to defeat its right to go into that court. While, as a general rule, the directors of a railroad company cannot, with
out the previous approval of their stockholders, authorize the construction of a passenger station in a city situated in a State foreign to that in which the company was created, and to which its own road does not extend, and cannot make the company responsible for any portion of the cost of such construction; yet, the fact that such increased facilities at Boston were necessary to enable the joint management under the contract between the Boston and Lowell and the Nashua and Lowell Companies to retain the extended business, common to both, justitied the directors of the Nashua Company in incurring obligations on account of such expenditures, and brought them within the general scope of
directors' powers. A contract between two railroad companies, situated in different States, for
the management of the business common to both by one of them, with an agreed division of receipts and expenses, does not warrant the managing company in purchasing at the common expense, the control of a rival line, without the assent of the stockholders of the other company.
IN EQUITY. Decree dismissing the bill. Plaintiff appealed. The cause being reached on the calendar, it was argued on the merits on the 16th and 17th of December, 1889. Subsequently, the court having expressed a desire to have the views of counsel, either orally or by brief, upon the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court, the counsel for the plaintiff moved, on the 17th March, 1890, for leave to argue that question ; and, leave being granted, it was argued on the 31st March, 1890.
The questions at issue on the merits, as well as the question of jurisdiction will be found fully stated in the opinion of the court. For convenience in understanding the points made