Holden v. Stratton
191 U.S. 115 (1903)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Holden v. Stratton, 191 U.S. 115 (1903)

Holden v. Stratton

No. 33

Submitted October 22, 1903

Decided November 16, 1903

191 U.S. 115

Syllabus

Appeals to this Court from decrees of the circuit courts of appeals revising proceedings of the inferior courts of bankruptcy under § 24b of the bankruptcy law will not lie.

Two separate proceedings were commenced in the District Court of the United States for the District of Washington, on January 19, 1901, against D. N. Holden and Lizzie Holden, to the end that each be adjudicated a bankrupt, which were consolidated, and on the ensuing twenty-fifth of February, they were, respectively, so adjudicated. The creditors of each of the bankrupts were the same.

Thereupon J. A. Stratton was duly elected trustee in bankruptcy

Page 191 U. S. 116

of the estate of each of the bankrupts, and qualified as such. The bankrupts, and each of them, applied for exemption in their favor of two certain policies of life insurance in the hands of the trustee. D. N. Holden was insured, and Lizzie Holden was the beneficiary, in both, with the provision that, if she should not survive him, payment should be made to his executors, administrators, and assigns.

The exemption was disallowed by the referee, who reported his action to the court. The bankrupts filed exceptions to the report, and the court, on July 16, 1901, set it aside and adjudged the policies to be exempt. Stratton then filed a petition in the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for a revision of this order. It was therein alleged, among other things, that the policies had a present cash surrender value combined of about $2,200. The circuit court of appeals, accepting the ruling of that court in the previous case of In re Scheld, 104 F. 870, held that the policies were not exempt, and decreed a revision of the order of the district court accordingly. 113 F. 141. From this decree an appeal was prayed to this Court, and allowed February 12, 1902, and the record was filed here April 14, 1902. And subsequently a certificate of a Justice of this Court was filed herein that, in his opinion, the determination of the questions involved was essential to a uniform construction of the Bankruptcy Act throughout the United States.

The appeal was submitted on a motion to dismiss, and also on the merits.

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