Shriver v. Woodbine Savings Bank - 285 U.S. 467 (1932)


U.S. Supreme Court

Shriver v. Woodbine Savings Bank, 285 U.S. 467 (1932)

Shriver v. Woodbine Savings Bank

No. 158

Submitted December 3, 1931

Argued March 14, 15, 1932

Decided April 11, 1932

285 U.S. 467

Syllabus

1. An objection to a state statute upon the ground that it places on a stockholder an obligation to pay assessments not imposed by the statutes in force when he acquired his stock invokes the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, rather than the contract clause of the Constitution. P. 285 U. S. 474.

2. A party making this objection based on the Fourteenth Amendment must show that the statutes existing when his contract was made did not impose the obligation laid by the later statute, and if this is doubtful upon the face of the statutes and for want of an authoritative construction by the state court, the objection will not be entertained. P. 285 U. S. 475.

3. When the statutes in force when a stockholder of a bank acquired his stock make him liable to pay assessments to restore impairments of the bank's capital, the obligation may be enforced, in the absence of an exclusive statutory remedy, by a common law action of debt or its modern equivalent. P. 285 U. S. 476.

Page 285 U. S. 468

4. The mere fact that the statutes defining the stockholder's liability to pay create a special remedy for collecting the assessments by sale of his shares does not imply that this is to be exclusive (the statute not so declaring) and that the more plenary remedy by common law action is withheld. P. 285 U. S. 477.

5. The enactment of a statute specifically authorizing suit against stockholders for deficiencies after sale of their stock to pay assessments cannot be taken as a legislative determination that, under the earlier statutes, no common law remedy for the collection of assessments existed. P. 285 U. S. 479.

6. Mere variations of the remedy, or the creation of new ones, even though more onerous, for the enforcement of preexisting obligation to pay assessments in full, are unobjectionable. Id.

212 Iowa 196, 236 N.W. 10, affirmed.

Appeal from a judgment affirming a recovery by the bank in its suit against stockholders to collect assessments.

Page 285 U. S. 470



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