Defense Supplies Corp. v. Lawrence Warehouse Co.Annotate this Case
336 U.S. 631 (1949)
U.S. Supreme Court
Defense Supplies Corp. v. Lawrence Warehouse Co., 336 U.S. 631 (1949)
Defense Supplies Corp. v. Lawrence Warehouse Co.
Argued February 3, 1949
Decided April 18, 1949
336 U.S. 631
The Joint Resolution of June 30, 1945, 59 Stat. 310, dissolved the Defense Supplies Corporation (DSC) as of July 1, 1945, transferred all of its functions, assets and liabilities to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC), and provided that no suit by or against DSC should abate by reason thereof, but that RFC might be substituted as a party at any time within twelve months after the date of enactment. In a suit brought by DSC against respondents before its dissolution, a federal district court entered judgment in its favor less than twelve months after enactment of the Resolution. On an appeal noted before, but argued and decided after, expiration of the twelve months, the Court of Appeals affirmed, although the RFC had not been substituted as plaintiff. On reconsideration, the Court of Appeals denied a motion to substitute RFC, vacated its judgment of affirmance, and remanded the cause to the District Court with instructions to dismiss the action.
Held: judgment of the Court of Appeals vacated, and cause remanded to that court with directions to dismiss the appeal. Pp. 336 U. S. 632-640.
1. The motion to substitute RFC after expiration of the twelve months was out of time. P. 336 U. S. 636.
2. The District Court's judgment, having been entered within twelve months after passage of the Resolution, was valid when entered. Pp. 336 U. S. 636-637.
3. The Court of Appeals was without jurisdiction to review the merits of the cause, since respondents called for review after the period allowed for substitution had expired. P. 336 U. S. 638.
4. The judgment of the District Court was not robbed of its vitality by the abatement of the appellate proceedings. P. 336 U. S. 638.
5. That the Court of Appeals had no jurisdiction to review the merits does not affect the power of this Court to set aside the erroneous action of the Court of Appeals. P. 336 U. S. 639.
6. After dismissal of the appeal, RFC, as the real party in interest, may bring action on the judgment of the District Court. P. 336 U. S. 639.
168 F.2d 199, vacated and remanded.
Within a year after passage of the Joint Resolution of June 30, 1945, 59 Stat. 310, a federal district court entered a judgment for Defense Supplies Corporation in a suit for damages instituted before passage of the Joint Resolution. 67 F.Supp. 16. On an appeal argued and decided more than a year after passage of the Joint Resolution, the Court of Appeals affirmed, although RFC had not been substituted as plaintiff. 164 F.2d 773. On reconsideration, the Court of Appeals denied a motion to substitute RFC, vacated the judgment entered in favor of Defense Supplies Corporation, and ordered the action dismissed. 168 F.2d 199. This Court granted certiorari. 335 U.S. 857. Judgment of the Court of Appeals vacated with directions to dismiss the appeal. P. 336 U. S. 640.
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