Boynton v. Ball - 121 U.S. 457 (1887)
U.S. Supreme Court
Boynton v. Ball, 121 U.S. 457 (1887)
Boynton v. Ball
Argued April 4-5, 1887
Decided April 25, 1887
121 U.S. 457
A discharge in bankruptcy may be set up in a state court to stay the issue of execution on a judgment recovered against the bankrupt after the commencement of the proceedings in bankruptcy and before the discharge, although the defendant did not before the judgment ask for a stay of proceedings under Rev.Stat. § 5106.
In the year 1865, Ball, the defendant in error, and one Griffin, since deceased, recovered a judgment against Boynton, the plaintiff in error, for $6,223.99. In April, 1875, Ball commenced an action of debt in a state court of Illinois against Ball to recover the amount of that judgment and interest.
On the 19th of March, 1878, a rule was made that the defendant should plead, and on the 4th of the following April he pleaded as follows:
"And the defendant, by James I. Neff, his attorney, comes and defends the wrong and injury when &c., and says that he does not owe the said sum of money above demanded or any part thereof in manner and form as the plaintiff hath above thereof complained against him. And of this the defendant puts himself upon the country &c."
On this plea issue was joined, and, a jury being waived, the case was submitted to the court. At December Term, 1879, judgment was entered in the plaintiff's favor against the defendant for the sum of $6,233.99 debt, and $5,234.99 damages. Execution issued therefor, which was returned unsatisfied on the 20th May, 1880.
On the 25th March, 1881, Boynton filed a motion for a perpetual stay of execution on that judgment, supporting it by proof that he was declared a bankrupt on the 15th day of April, 1878, and that he received his certificate of discharge on the 23d December, 1880. Notice of this motion was served on Ball, who appeared and opposed the granting of it, setting up the appearance of Boynton in the suit, his plea, the joinder of issue, the submission to the court, and the entry of judgment -- all after the commencement of the proceedings in bankruptcy, though before the date of the discharge. At the hearing in the circuit court at March Term, 1881, the motion for the stay of execution was denied. This judgment was affirmed on appeal by the Supreme Court of Illinois in March, 1882. Boynton v. Ball, 105 Ill. 627. Boynton then sued out this writ of error.