Supreme Council of the Royal Arcanum v. Green - 237 U.S. 531 (1915)
U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Council of the Royal Arcanum v. Green, 237 U.S. 531 (1915)
Supreme Council of the Royal Arcanum v. Green
Argued December 8, 9, 1914
Decided June 1, 1915
237 U.S. 531
Where the trial court refuses to hold that the rights of the parties were to be determined by the law of another state in which a decree had been rendered establishing them and to apply such law, it refuses to give due effect to such decree, and a question arises under the full
faith and credit clause of the federal Constitution, and this Court has jurisdiction under § 237, Judicial Code.
The rights of members of a corporation of a fraternal and beneficiary character have their source in the constitution and bylaws of the corporation, and can only be determined by resort thereto, and such constitution and bylaws must necessarily be construed by the law of the its state of incorporation
The law of the state by which a corporation is created governs in enforcing liability of a stockholder to pay his stock subscription and in establishing the relative rights and duties of stockholders and the corporation.
A failure by the court to give effect to and apply the law of the incorporation in consideration of a judgment rendered in that state amounts to denying full faith and credit to such judgment.
In this case, held that a judgment rendered by a court of the incorporation holding an amendment to the constitution and bylaws of a fraternal and beneficiary corporation to be legal amounted to a construction of the charter by the courts of the state which the courts of another state were bound to recognize under the full faith and credit clause of the federal Constitution.
A fraternal and beneficiary society is, for the purpose of controversies as to assessments, the representative of all of its members, and a judgment of the incorporation as to the validity of an amendment to the constitution and bylaws must be given effect by the courts of another state even though not between the corporation and the same member.
Green v. Elbert, 137 U. S. 615, followed in striking from the files of this Court the brief of counsel of one of the parties on account of its being so full of vituperative, unwarranted, and impertinent expressions in regard to opposing counsel.
206 N.Y. 591 reversed.
The facts, which involve the effect and application of the full faith and credit clause of the federal Constitution and other matters, are stated in the opinion.