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BAKER V. BAKER, ECCLES & CO., 242 U. S. 394 (1917)

U.S. Supreme Court

Baker v. Baker, Eccles & Co., 242 U.S. 394 (1917)

Baker v. Baker, Eccles & Company

No. 115

Argued December 19, 1916

Decided January 8, 1917

242 U.S. 394


The rule that the personal estate of an intestate has its situs at his domicile, and is subject to be administered and distributed according to the domiciliary laws, is merely a rule of the common law, which the states may adopt, modify or reject, as their policies dictate.

Each state has the power to control and administer the personal assets of an intestate found within her borders, such as debts due from a local corporation or the shares of its stock, to satisfy the rights of her own citizens in the distribution of such assets.

No state therefore has the power, by probate or other proceedings in rem, to fix the status as to administration, and determine the course of devolution, of personal property of an intestate situate beyond her borders and within the domain of another state.

Under the Fourteenth Amendment, the courts of one state are without power to determine by an action in personam the domicile of a decedent or the devolution of his personal assets situate in another state, as against persons, residents of the latter, who do not appear in the proceedings and are notified by publication only.

The full faith and credit clause of the Constitution and the act of Congress passed pursuant to it do not entitle a judgment in personam

Page 242 U. S. 395

to extraterritorial effect if it be shown that it was rendered without jurisdiction over the person sought to be bound.

162 Ky. 683 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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