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W. B. WORTHEN CO. V. THOMAS, 292 U. S. 426 (1934)

U.S. Supreme Court

W. B. Worthen Co. v. Thomas, 292 U.S. 426 (1934)

W. B. Worthen Co. v. Thomas

No. 856

Submitted May 2, 1934

Decided May 28, 1934

292 U.S. 426


1. Plaintiff recovered a judgment for the payment of money upon a contract and garnished a life insurance company which owed the defendant upon a policy on the life of her deceased husband. The garnishment became a lien. After this, the legislature enacted a law exempting from judicial process the proceeds of life insurance policies payable to residents of the State, and the state courts construed the statute so as to vacate the lien of the garnishment and exempt the fund from judicial process. Held that, as applied to plaintiff's contract, the statute was void under the contract clause of the Constitution. P. 292 U. S. 431.

Page 292 U. S. 427

2. The statute cannot be justified by a legislative finding of emergency, since it is not limited to the emergency and sets up no conditions apposite to emergency relief. Home Bldg. & Long Assn. v. Blaisdell, 290 U. S. 398, distinguished. P. 292 U. S. 432.

188 Ark. 249, 65 S.W. 2d 917, reversed.

Appeal from the affirmance of a judgment dismissing a garnishment of a debt owing as life insurance, and holding the fund exempt from levy under a judgment recovered by the garnishor on a contract to pay rent.

Page 292 U. S. 429

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