Quincy v. Steel - 120 U.S. 241 (1887)
U.S. Supreme Court
Quincy v. Steel, 120 U.S. 241 (1887)
Quincy v. Steel
Submitted January 4, 1887
Decided January 31, 1887
120 U.S. 241
The City of Quincy, Illinois, in 1877 contracted with an Illinois corporation to supply it with gas for four years. Disputes arose, payments were in arrear, and in May, 1881, the city notified the company that it would be no longer bound by the contract. A, a citizen of Alabama, on the 13th August, 1885, filed a bill in equity in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of Illinois setting forth that the company had a claim against the city recoverable at law, that he had at different times tried to induce the directors to enforce it, that he was and for more than four years had been a stockholder in the company, that he had not succeeded in inducing the directors to institute suit, that his last request was made August 1, 1885, that the claims were about to be barred by the statute of limitations, and he asked for a mandamus to compel the payment of the company's debt. The respondent demurred. This Court sustains the demurrer on the ground that, the real contest being between two Illinois corporations, the proper remedy was an action at law by one of those corporations against the other upon the contract, and that A has not, by the averments in his bill, brought himself within the directions prescribed by Equity Rule 94, 104 U.S. ix-x, respecting suits brought by stockholders in a corporation against the corporation and other parties founded on rights which might be properly asserted by the corporation.
This was a bill in equity. Respondent demurred. Decree for complainant, from which respondent appealed. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.