Central Trust Co. v. Lueders
239 U.S. 11 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Central Trust Co. v. Lueders, 239 U.S. 11 (1915)

Central Trust Company of Illinois v. Lueders

No. 445

Motion to dismiss submitted October 12, 1915

Decided October 25, 1915

239 U.S. 11

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT

Syllabus

The provision in § 4 of the Act of January 28, 1915, c. 22, 38 Stat. 803, making judgments and decrees of the circuit courts of appeals in bankruptcy proceedings final except on certiorari by this Court, applies to all cases including those involving and requiring interpretation of state statutes and application of the federal Constitution.

Appeal from 221 F. 829 dismissed.

The facts, which involve the jurisdiction of this Court of appeals in bankruptcy proceedings from the circuit court of appeals under § 4 of the Act of January 28, 1915, are stated in the opinion.

Page 239 U. S. 12

Memorandum opinion by MR. JUSTICE McREYNOLDS, by direction of the court:

The I. Rheinstrom & Sons Company was adjudged a bankrupt in April, 1912. Liens upon its property were claimed by appellees under a Kentucky statute which appellants (general creditors) maintained contravened the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Overruling the referee, the district court allowed the liens (207 F. 119), and this action was approved by the circuit court of appeals, March 2, 1915, in an opinion which expressly upheld the validity of the statute (221 F. 829). Appellees have moved to dismiss the present appeal.

Section 4, Act of Congress, approved January 28, 1915 (38 Stat. 803, 804, c. 22), provides:

"That the judgments and decrees of the circuit courts of appeals in all proceedings

Page 239 U. S. 13

and cases arising under the Bankruptcy Act and in all controversies arising in such proceedings and cases shall be final, save only that it shall be competent for the Supreme Court to require by certiorari, upon the petition of any party thereto, that the proceeding, case, or controversy be certified to it for review and determination, with the same power and authority as if taken to that court by appeal or writ of error; but certiorari shall not be allowed in any such proceeding, case, or controversy unless the petition therefor is presented to the Supreme Court within three months from the date of such judgment or decree."

Manifestly, the words of the quoted section include the decree below, and inhibit an appeal therefrom. It is argued, however, that they should be so construed as to exclude causes requiring interpretation of state statutes and application of the federal Constitution, and thereby limited in effect to the supposed purpose of Congress to relieve this Court only from the necessity of reviewing bankruptcy cases which "involve complicated questions of fact, rather than of law." We see no reason to doubt that the plain language of the enactment aptly expresses the fixed legislative intent. The appeal is accordingly dismissed for want of jurisdiction.

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