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DENNY V. BENNETT, 128 U. S. 489 (1888)

U.S. Supreme Court

Denny v. Bennett, 128 U.S. 489 (1888)

Denny v. Bennett

No. 67

Argued and submitted November 8, 1888

Decided November 26, 1888

128 U.S. 489


The Act of the Legislature of Minnesota of March 7, 1881, c. 148, entitled

"An Act to prevent debtors from giving preference to creditors, and to secure the equal distribution of the property of debtors among their creditors, and for the release of debts against debtors,"

which provides that whenever the property of a debtor is seized by an attachment or execution against him, he may make an assignment of all his property and estate, not exempt by law, for the equal benefit of all his creditors who shall file releases of their debts and claims, and that his property shall be equitably distributed among such creditors, is not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States so far as it affects citizens of states other than Minnesota.

Statutes limiting the right of the creditor to enforce his claims against the property of the debtor are part of all contracts made after they take effect, and do not impair the obligation of such contracts.

A clause in an assignment for the benefit of creditors under the Minnesota Statute of March 7, 1881, directing the payment to the assignor of any

Page 128 U. S. 490

surplus remaining after payment in full to creditors proving their debts, does not invalidate the assignment.

A state statute providing for the distribution of the property of a debtor among his creditors and his discharge from his debts does not release a debt due to a citizen of another state who does not prove his debt nor become subject to the jurisdiction of the court.

An application by the assignee of an insolvent debtor, under a state statute, to be admitted as a party in a suit pending in a circuit court of the United States against the insolvent, in which his property was attached by the marshal on mesne process and for a dissolution of the attachment, and an order of the circuit court allowing him to become a party but refusing to dissolve the attachment, do not make the assignee a party to that suit without further action on his part, and do not estop him from setting up a claim to the property in the hands of the marshal under the attachment.

Trover against the Marshal of the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Minnesota for the conversion of property seized under a writ of attachment issuing out of that court. Verdict for the plaintiff and judgment on the verdict. The defendant sued out this writ of error. The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 128 U. S. 491

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