Dooley v. Pease
180 U.S. 126 (1901)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Dooley v. Pease, 180 U.S. 126 (1901)

Dooley v. Pease

No. 97

Argued November 12, 1900

Decided January 21, 1901

180 U.S. 126

Syllabus

In Illinois the law does not permit the owner of personal property to sell it and still continue in possession of it, so as to exempt it from seizure and attachment at the suit of creditors of the vendor, and in cases of this kind, the courts of the United States regard and follow the policy of the state law. Where a case is tried by the court, a jury having been waived, its findings upon questions of fact are conclusive in the courts of review.

Page 180 U. S. 127

Errors alleged in the findings of the court are not subject to revision by the Circuit Court of Appeals or by this Court if there was any evidence upon which such findings could be made.

Applying the settled law of Illinois to the facts as found, the conclusion reached in this case by the circuit court, and affirmed by the circuit court of appeals, that the sale was void against the attaching creditors must be accepted by this Court.

This was an action brought on June 25, 1895, in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of Illinois, by Michael F. Dooley, as receiver of the First National Bank of Willimantic, Connecticut, against James Pease, a citizen of the State of Illinois. The declaration complained of a trespass by the defendant, who was Sheriff of Cook county, Illinois, in levying upon and taking possession of a stock of silk goods, in a storeroom in the City of Chicago, which were claimed by the plaintiff to belong to him. After a plea of not guilty the case was, by consent, tried without a jury.

On May 28, 1897, judgment, under the findings, was entered in favor of the defendant.

The case was then taken to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and on July 6, 1898, the judgment of the circuit court was affirmed. A writ of error was thereupon allowed from this Court.

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