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Cowdrey v. Galveston, Houston & Henderson R. Co., 93 U.S. 352 (1876)

Cowdrey v. Galveston, Houston & Henderson Railroad Company

93 U.S. 352


1. A receiver is not authorized, without the previous direction of the court, to incur any expenses on account of property in his hands beyond what is absolutely essential to its preservation and use as contemplated by his appointment. Accordingly, the expenditures of a receiver to defeat a proposed subsidy from a city to aid in the construction of a railroad parallel with the one in his hands were properly disallowed in the settlement of his final account, although such road, if constructed, might have diminished the future earnings of the road in his charge.

2. The earnings of a railroad in the hands of a receiver are chargeable with the value of goods lost in transportation and with damages done to property during his management.

3. Where an attorney and counselor-at-law, employed by trustees of certain mortgaged property to foreclose the mortgages, upon a stipulated retaining fee, entered upon such retainer, commenced the suit, prosecuted it until prevented by the outbreak of the civil war, and, after the termination of the war, offered to go on with the suit, but in the meantime, the trustees having died, a new suit was commenced and prosecuted without his assistance by the bondholders (for whose security the mortgages were executed) to foreclose the same mortgages, in which suit a receiver was appointed, held that his claim for his fee was chargeable against the funds obtained by the receiver from the mortgaged property.

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