Chisholm v. Gilmer
299 U.S. 99 (1936)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Chisholm v. Gilmer, 299 U.S. 99 (1936)

Chisholm v. Gilmer

No. 11

Argued October 13, 1936

Decided November 9, 1936

299 U.S. 99

Syllabus

1. The Virginia practice, whereby a notice of motion for judgment is accepted as a substitute for a writ or other process issued from court, is valid in law actions in federal courts in Virginia. P. 299 U. S. 101.

2. How a suit shall be begun, whether by writ or by informal notice, is a question of "practice" or of "forms and modes of proceeding," within the meaning of the Conformity Act, R.S., § 914; 28 U.S.C. 724. P. 299 U. S. 102.

3. The Constitution does not prescribe the method of beginning civil causes at law beyond requiring reasonable notice and a fair opportunity to be heard before issues are determined. Id.

4. A federal court, adhering to the Constitution, is bound in such causes by the Conformity Act to follow the local practice, except where some other Act of Congress has declared a special rule. Id.

5. Revised Statutes, § 911 (28 U.S.C. 721), which provides that

"All writs and processes issuing from the courts of the United States shall be under the seal of the court from which they issue, and shall be signed by the clerk thereof,"

does not apply to a notice of motion for judgment in Virginia, which, if process at all, is not process issuing from a court, and assuredly is not a writ. P. 299 U. S. 103.

6. A rule of the District Court inconsistent with the Conformity Act would be invalid. P. 299 U. S. 105.

80 F.2d 120 affirmed.

Certiorari, 298 U.S. 648, to review the affirmance of a judgment recovered by the receiver of a national bank in an action against shareholders to collect an assessment on their shares.

Page 299 U. S. 100

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