Steam Engine Company v. Hubbard - 101 U.S. 188 (1879)
U.S. Supreme Court
Steam Engine Company v. Hubbard, 101 U.S. 188 (1879)
Steam Engine Company v. Hubbard
101 U.S. 188
A statute of Connecticut enacts that the president and secretary of each corporation organized thereunder shall annually make a certificate showing the condition of the affairs of the corporation, as nearly as the same can be ascertained, on the first day of January or July next preceding the time of making such certificate, setting forth the amount of capital actually paid in, the cash value of its credits, the amount of its debts, the name and number of shares of each stockholder, and deposit it, on or before the fifteenth day of February or August, with the town clerk of the town in which the corporation transacts its business. It also provides that if such president or secretary shall intentionally neglect or refuse to comply with said provisions, and to perform the duty required of them respectively, the persons so neglecting or refusing shall be jointly and severally liable to an action founded on the statute for all debts of such corporation contracted during the period of such neglect or refusal. In an action by a creditor of such corporation against its president,
1. That the statute is penal, and must be strictly construed.
2. That the defendant is not liable if the debt was contracted by the corporation before, although it may remain unpaid during, the period when he neglected or refused to comply with the requirements of the statute.
This is an action by the Providence Steam Engine Company, a creditor of the Odorless Rubber Company, a joint-stock corporation organized under the laws of Connecticut, to recover from Charles Hubbard, president of the latter company, the amount due by it to the plaintiff.
The remaining facts, and the statute of Connecticut under which the action is brought, are set forth in the opinion of the Court.