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UNITED STATES V. OKLAHOMA, 261 U. S. 253 (1923)

U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Oklahoma, 261 U.S. 253 (1923)

United States v. Oklahoma

No. 25, Original

Argued on motion to dismiss January 2, 1923

Decided February 19, 1923

261 U.S. 253


1. The right to priority of payment provided for by Rev.Stats. § 3466, attaches when the conditions specified by the section come into existence, and it cannot be impaired or superseded by a state law. P. 261 U. S. 259.

2. The State of Oklahoma acquires no lien on the assets of a state bank under § 303 of c. 6, Rev.Laws Okla.1910, before possession of the bank has been taken by the state bank commissioner. P. 261 U. S. 260.

3. The word "insolvent," as used in Rev.Stats. § 3466, and the Bankruptcy Law, applies only where a debtor's property is insufficient to pay all his debts. P. 261 U. S. 260.

4. But "insolvent," in the sense of the Oklahoma statute, supra, where it authorizes the bank commissioner, upon becoming satisfied of a bank's insolvency, to take possession and wind up its affairs, is a broader term, applicable where a bank is unable to pay depositors in the ordinary course of business, though its assets may exceed its debts. Id.

5. Such a taking over of a bank by the act of the commissioner upon a finding by him of its insolvency does not establish the right of the United States to priority of payment under Rev.Stats. § 3466, because it does not imply insolvency within the

Page 261 U. S. 254

meaning of that section and does not otherwise satisfy its conditions, either as a voluntary assignment, as an attachment of assets of an absconding, concealed, or absent debtor or as an act of bankruptcy as defined by the Bankruptcy Act (§ 3a) or any law of the state. P. 261 U. S. 262.

Bill dismissed.

Upon motion to dismiss the bill in a suit instituted in this Court by the United States against the State of Oklahoma in which the plaintiff sought to establish a right of priority of payment out of the assets of a liquidating Oklahoma bank in which it had deposited moneys as guardian of individual Indians.

Page 261 U. S. 256

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