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JONES NATIONAL BANK V. YATES, 240 U. S. 541 (1916)

U.S. Supreme Court

Jones National Bank v. Yates, 240 U.S. 541 (1915)

Jones National Bank v. Yates

Nos. 163-166

Argued April 5, 1915

Restored to docket for reargument June 21, 1915

Reargued January 12, 13, 1916

Decided April 3, 1916

240 U.S. 541


Although plaintiff's petition does not refer in terms to a federal statute which determines defendant's liability, if it appears that the case made is essentially one governed by that statute, the action inherently involves the federal question of liability under the statute.

Even though the defendant in such a case may have averred in his answer that his liability, if any, must be determined under that statute, that assertion is simply a contention as to essential elements of the plaintiff's claim, and where the state court has denied liability under the federal statute this Court has jurisdiction to review the judgment of the state court under § 237 Jud.Code.

Under the local practice in Nebraska, where trial by jury is waived in an action at law, the findings made by the trial court have the same force and effect as the verdict of a jury, and the hearing in the Supreme Court is not a trial de novo, and where the judgment of that court, reversing a judgment of the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, is upon the ground that the plaintiff's case is legally insufficient under the federal statute, the questions in this Court are whether the findings of the trial court were supported by substantial evidence and justified recovery under the federal statute.

The trial court, having found that defendants had knowingly made false statements as to the condition of a national bank of which they were directors, and that plaintiffs were entitled to recover from defendants their losses by reason of their reliance thereon, this Court reverses the supreme court of the state and affirms the judgment

Page 240 U. S. 542

of the trial court, and held that plaintiffs, as creditors of a national bank, may recover from those directors who knowingly made statements required by the National Bank Act that were false or who knowingly permitted, assented to, and allowed the same to be made and published, and also held that, in this case, the findings of the trial court as to the condition of the bank and the knowledge by the defendant directors of the falsity of the statements made and published under the federal statute, and the reliance thereon by the plaintiffs, were supported by substantial evidence.

93 Neb. 121 reversed.

The facts, which involve the right of creditors of a national bank to recover their loss from the directors of the bank, are stated in the opinion.

Page 240 U. S. 543

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