Brooks v. Marbury
24 U.S. 78 (1826)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Brooks v. Marbury, 24 U.S. 11 Wheat. 78 78 (1826)

Brooks v. Marbury

24 U.S. (11 Wheat.) 78

Syllabus

A debtor has a right to prefer one creditor to another in payment, and it is no objection to the validity of an assignment for that purpose that it was made by the grantor and received by the grantee as trustee in the hope and expectation and with a view of preventing prosecution for a felony connected with his transactions with his creditors; if the preferred creditors have done nothing to excite that hope, and the assignment was made without their knowledge or concurrence at the time of its execution and without a knowledge of the motives which influenced the assignor, or was not afterwards assented to by them under some engagement, express or implied, to suppress or forbear the prosecution.

An assignment for the benefit of preferred creditors is valid, although their assent is not given at the time of its execution, if they subsequently assent in terms or by actually receiving the benefit of it.

It is no objection to such an assignment that it defeats all other creditors of their legal remedies, even if amounting to a majority in number and value, unless there be some express provision of a bankrupt law to invalidate the deed.

Quaere how far and under what circumstances the possession of the property assigned to trustees for the benefit of creditors, continuing in the grantor, will invalidate the assignment.

A certified copy of a registered deed cannot be given in evidence if within the power of the party claiming under it to produce the original, unless there be some express provision by statute making an authenticated copy evidence.

This is the same case which is reported ante,20 U. S. 7 Wheat. 566. The judgment of the court below was then reversed and a venire de novo awarded. At the new trial, exceptions were taken to the instructions given by the court to the jury, and the cause having again been brought before this Court for revision, was argued by Mr. Jones and Mr. Coxe for the plaintiff and by the Attorney General and Mr. Key for the defendant.

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