United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. Bray - 225 U.S. 205 (1912)


U.S. Supreme Court

United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. Bray, 225 U.S. 205 (1912)

United States Fidelity & Guaranty Company v. Bray

No. 111

Argued December 15, 1911

Decided May 27, 1912

225 U.S. 205

Syllabus

Section 7 of the Court of Appeals Act of 1891, as amended April 14, 1906, 34 Stat. 116, c. 2627 provides for an appeal to the circuit court of appeals from certain interlocutory decrees of the circuit court, and in this respect establishes an exception to the general rule in federal courts that an appeal lies only from a final decree.

Where the jurisdiction of the circuit court is invoked not solely on the ground of diverse citizenship, but also because the case is one arising under an act of Congress, an appeal lies from the circuit court of appeals to this Court, and by § 6 of the Act of 1891, the time within which to take the appeal is one year; the limitation of thirty days under § 7 applies only to appeals to the circuit court of appeals from the circuit court.

A distinct purpose of the Bankruptcy Act is to subject the administration of estates of bankrupts to the control of tribunals having authority and charged with the duty of proceeding to final settlement and distribution in a summary way, as are bankruptcy courts.

Under the Bankruptcy Act, the jurisdiction of the bankruptcy court in all proceedings in bankruptcy is intended to be exclusive of all other courts; such proceedings include matters of administration, such as allowance and rejection of claims, reduction of the estate

Page 225 U. S. 206

to money and its distribution, preferences, and priorities to be accorded to claims, and supervision and control of the trustee.

The circuit court cannot entertain a bill in equity which invokes a reconsideration of the referee's order allowing claim as preferred and of determination of the bankruptcy court as to rights of holders of claims and as to charges that the trustee was speculating in claims; those matter are for the bankruptcy court, and fall within it exclusive jurisdiction; nor can it surrender it control thereover or confide them to another tribunal.

A bill in equity attempting to seek an adjudication on matters within the exclusive jurisdiction of the bankruptcy court cannot be sustained as to matters dependent upon the principal matter alleged and which could not have been made the subject of a separate bill within the jurisdiction of that circuit court.

170 F. 689 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the distribution of funds in the hands of a trustee in bankruptcy of a government contractor, are stated in the opinion.



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