Covell v. Heyman
111 U.S. 176 (1884)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Covell v. Heyman, 111 U.S. 176 (1884)

Covell v. Heyman

Argued March 17, 1884

Decided March 31, 1884

111 U.S. 176

Syllabus

The possession by a marshal of a court of the United States of property by virtue of a levy under a writ of execution issued upon a judgment recovered in a circuit court of the United States is a complete defense to an action in a state court of replevin of the property seized, without regard to its rightful ownership. Freeman v. Howe, 24 How. 450, affirmed and applied to the facts in this case. Krippendorf v. Hyde,110 U. S. 276, affirmed. Buck v. Colbath, 3 Wall. 334, distinguished.

The principle that whenever property has been seized by an officer of the court by virtue of its process, the property is to be considered as in the custody of the court and under its control for the time being, applies both to a taking under a writ of attachment on mesne process and to a taking under a writ of execution.

The defendant in error was the plaintiff in the state court, and brought her action of replevin for the recovery of specific personal property to which she claimed title and which she alleged was wrongfully detained from her by the plaintiff in error. The defendant below was deputy marshal of the United States, and as such had possession of the property replevied by virtue of an execution issued upon a judgment of the Circuit Court of the United States for the Western District of Michigan against Adolph Heyman, having taken the same, by virtue of a levy under said execution as the property of the judgment debtor. Judgment was rendered in the supreme court of the state for the plaintiff below upon a finding in favor of her title to the property, reversing a judgment for the defendant below in the Circuit Court for the County of Dent. To reverse that judgment this writ of error was prosecuted.

The defendant in error was the plaintiff in the state court, and brought her action of replevin for the recovery of specific personal property, to which she claimed title, and which she alleges was wrongfully detained from her by the plaintiff in error. The defendant below was deputy marshal of the United States, and as such had possession of the property replevied by virtue of an execution issued upon a judgment of the Circuit Court of the United States for the Western District of Michigan against Adolph Heyman, having taken the same by virtue of a levy under said execution, as the property of the judgment debtor. Judgment was rendered in the supreme court of the state for the plaintiff below, upon a finding in favor of her title to the property, reversing a judgment for the defendant below in the Circuit Court for the County of Kent. To reverse that judgment this writ of error is prosecuted.

Page 111 U. S. 177

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