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Disconto-Gesellschaft v. U.S. Steel Corporation, 267 U.S. 22 (1925)

Direction der Disconto-Gesellschaft v.

United States Steel Corporation

Nos. 676 and 677

Argued January 9, 1925

Decided January 26, 1925

267 U.S. 22


1. Certificates of shares in a New Jersey corporation, endorsed in blank and owned and held by German corporations, were seized

Page 267 U. S. 23

in London during the late war by the Public Trustee, a corporation sole appointed under the English law to be custodian of enemy property. Held that the ownership of the paper was dependent upon the law of the place where it was at the time, viz., England, and, as the things done in England transferred the title to the certificates to the Public Trustee by English law and as, by the law of New Jersey and the law of England, the owner of such certificates may write a name in the blank endorsement and thus entitle the nominee to obtain registration on the books of the corporation and issuance of new certificates to himself, the Trustee was entitled to pursue this cause as against the German corporations, there being no assertion of power by the United States to the contrary. P. 267 U. S. 28.

2. Consequently, a decree of the district court recognizing this right and directing the New Jersey corporation to issue new certificates to such nominee on surrender of the old ones properly endorsed did not deprive the German corporations of property without due process of law. Id.

300 F. 741 affirmed.

Appeals from two decrees of the district court in suits brought by the appellant German corporations to establish their titles to shares of stock of the steel corporation the certificates for which, endorsed in blank, were seized at London during the war and passed to the Public Trustee of England, as custodian of alien property. The defendants were the steel corporation, the Public Trustee, and stockholders of record who disclaimed interest. The title to the shares, with the right to registration and accrued dividends, was adjudged to be in the Public Trustee.

Page 267 U. S. 27

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