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UNITED STATES V. KLEIN, 303 U. S. 276 (1938)

U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Klein, 303 U.S. 276 (1938)

United States v. Klein

No. 439

Argued February 11, 1938

Decided February 28, 1938

303 U.S. 276


1. Moneys due by a defendant in a suit in the federal district court to certain bondholders whose whereabouts were unknown were by direction of the court paid into its registry. Unclaimed for more than five years, the fund was deposited in the U.S. Treasury, as required by R.S. § 996. Under that section, the money remains subject to the order of the district court to be paid to the persons entitled to it upon full proof of their right. In the exercise of a jurisdiction conferred by state statute, a state court subsequently decreed escheat of the fund, and directed the state escheator to apply to the district court for an order that the money be paid to him. There was no contention on behalf of the United States of actual or possible escheat to the United States, or that it had any interest in the money adverse to the unknown bondholders. Held, that the decree of the state court was not an unconstitutional interference with the federal court, nor an invasion of the sovereignty of the United States. Pp. 303 U. S. 280, 303 U. S. 282.

2. While a federal court which has taken possession of property in the exercise of the judicial power conferred by the Constitution and laws of the United States is said to acquire exclusive jurisdiction, the jurisdiction is exclusive only insofar as restriction of the power of other courts is necessary for appropriate control and disposition of the property by the federal court. P. 303 U. S. 281.

326 Pa. 260, 192 A. 256, affirmed.

Appeal from a decree affirming a decree declaring an escheat of certain moneys, theretofore deposited in the federal Treasury pursuant to R.S. § 996, and authorizing the state escheator to prosecute the State's claim to them. The United States appeared in opposition to the proceedings below, asserting jurisdictional objections.

Page 303 U. S. 277

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