Swan Land & Cattle Co. v. Frank - 148 U.S. 603 (1893)
U.S. Supreme Court
Swan Land & Cattle Co. v. Frank, 148 U.S. 603 (1893)
Swan Land and Cattle Company v. Frank
Argued March 21, 1893
Decided April 10, 1893
148 U.S. 603
A party having a claim for unliquidated damages against a corporation which has not been dissolved, but has merely distributed its corporate funds amongst its stockholders and ceased or suspended business, cannot maintain a suit on the equity side of the United States circuit court
against a portion of such stockholders to reach and subject the assets so received by them to the payment and satisfaction of his claim without first reducing such claim to judgment and without making the corporation a defendant and bringing it before the court.
Corporations are indispensable parties to a bill which affects corporate rights or liabilities.
A claim purely legal, involving a trial at law before a jury, cannot, until reduced to judgment at law, be made the basis of relief in equity.
The general practice in this country and in England, when a bill in equity is dismissed without a consideration of the merits, is for the court to express in its decree that the dismissal is without prejudice.
The case is stated in the opinion.