Eastern Building &c. Ass'n v. Welling - 181 U.S. 47 (1901)
U.S. Supreme Court
Eastern Building &c. Ass'n v. Welling, 181 U.S. 47 (1901)
Eastern Building &c. Association v. Welling
Argued March 11, 1901
Decided April 8, 1901
181 U.S. 47
After the Supreme Court of South Carolina had construed the mortgage contract in accord with the claim of the plaintiffs, and gave judgment accordingly, in an application for a rehearing, it was set up for the first time that this was in conflict with the Constitution of the United States. Held, that this came too late.
The assertion that, although no federal question was raised below, and although the mind of the state court was not directed to the fact that a right protected by the Constitution of the United States was relied on, nevertheless it is the duty of this Court to look into the record, and determine whether the existence of such a claim was not necessarily involved was unsound, as shown by authority.
This action was commenced in the Court of Common Pleas of Darlington County, South Carolina, by Welling and Bonnoitt to recover of the Eastern Building & Loan Association of Syracuse, New York, the penalty provided by the statutes of South Carolina for wrongfully failing to enter in the proper office satisfaction of a mortgage which had been executed by Welling and Bonnoitt to the association.
The controversy presented by the issue joined was whether the mortgage in question secured merely the payment of seventy-eight promissory notes, each maturing monthly, and aggregating $6,065.10, or whether, in addition, such mortgage secured the payment of the dues and assessments upon certain shares of stock in said association which had been subscribed for by Welling and Bonnoitt. The trial court ruled that the mortgage secured only payment of the notes. A judgment entered in favor of the plaintiff upon the verdict of a jury was subsequently affirmed by the Supreme Court of South Carolina. 56 S.C. 280. Thereupon a writ of error was allowed.