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Bronson v. Railroad Company, 67 U.S. 2 Black 524 524 (1862)

Bronson v. Railroad Company

67 U.S. (2 Black) 524


1. Where a railroad company at different times executed two mortgages on distinct portions of its road to secure the debts of separate creditors, one mortgagee is not necessarily a party to a suit which the other may bring against the company to foreclose his mortgage.

2. A purchaser of part of the road, including stock, machinery, franchises &c., of the entire road under the elder mortgage cannot intervene, in a suit brought against the company by a junior mortgagee, for the purpose of keeping down the amount of the decree.

3. Such purchaser will not be permitted to intervene and move the dismissal of an appeal taken by the junior mortgagee though he show an agreement between the appellant and the appellee to increase the amount of the decree one hundred percent above what was found to be due in the court below.

4. If the sale under the first mortgage was regular and the property sold was covered by the mortgage, the purchaser has a good title, and it can make no difference to him whether the junior mortgagee gets a decree for little or much -- his right is not dependent on the decree.

5. If any portion of the company's property is claimed to be covered by both mortgages, that raises a question which cannot be determined in a suit for foreclosure brought by one of them.

6. General creditors, having no specific lien, have not a right to interfere in the contest between the debtor and third parties.

7. A decree for the sale of mortgaged premises is a final decree from which in appeal lies.

8. The right of a mortgagee to appeal from a decree with which he is dissatisfied cannot be suspended by cross-bills between other parties contesting matters with which the mortgagee has no concern.

This case was brought here by appeal from the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Wisconsin. It was a bill in equity brought by Greene C. Bronson and James A. Soutter,

Page 67 U. S. 525

trustee &c., against the La Crosse & Milwaukee Railroad company and divers other defendants, creditors of that corporation. The circuit court made a decree in favor of the plaintiffs for one-half the amount of their claim, $565,260.05. From this decree the plaintiffs appealed. After the case came here on appeal, the parties made an agreement that the decree of the court below should be reversed and a decree entered for the whole amount of the claim -- that is to say, for a sum twice as large as that found to be due by the circuit court. F. P. James, Isaac Seymour, and N. A. Cowdrey moved for leave to intervene in the cause so as to protect their interests. They were creditors of the railroad company and purchasers of part of the road, stock and franchises, and alleged that the agreement to increase the amount of the decree was made with the fraudulent intent to injure them. The motions for leave to intervene and to dismiss the appeal, were made at the same time, were founded upon the affidavits of which the substance is given by MR. JUSTICE DAVIS, and were argued together.

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