Hyde v. Stone - 61 U.S. 170 (1857)
U.S. Supreme Court
Hyde v. Stone, 61 U.S. 20 How. 170 170 (1857)
Hyde v. Stone
61 U.S. (20 How.) 170
Where a suit was brought upon a bill of exchange in one of the state courts of Louisiana, and by that court was transferred to another state court for the purpose of being connected with certain proceedings in insolvency, and this transfer was pleaded in bar in the circuit court of the United States to the prosecution of the suit in that court upon the bill, the plea was not good.
The jurisdiction of the courts of the United States over controversies between citizens of different states cannot be impaired by the laws of the states which prescribe the modes of redress in their own courts or which regulate the distribution of their judicial power.
The insertion of the bill amongst the debts of the insolvent upon his schedule is evidence of the fact of notice, and the sufficiency of the evidence was a question for the jury, and is not subject to review in this Court.
On the 2d of January, 1850, Stone, being then in New Orleans, purchased from Hyde & Oglesby a bill of exchange, of which the following is a copy, with the notarial protest thereof.
"$1,500 NEW ORLEANS, January 2d, 1850"
"Sixty days after sight of this second of exchange, first unpaid, pay to the order of ourselves fifteen hundred dollars, value received, which place to account W. Barton, as advised."
"HYDE & OGLESBY"
"To P. Frothingham, Esq., Boston"
"Endorsed: Pay H.L. STONE"
"HYDE & OGLESBY"
"By H. W. HERBERT, Att'y"
"[Acceptance on face:] January 15, 1850"
"COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS"
"Suffolk, City of Boston, ss:"
"On this nineteenth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty, I, Henry Clark, notary public, by legal authority admitted and sworn, and dwelling in the City of Boston, at the request of J. J. Loving, Esq., cashier North Bank of Boston, went with the original bill of exchange, of which the foregoing is a true copy, to the counting room, in this city, of Peter Frothingham, the acceptor, and presenting said bill to him, demanded payment thereof,
the time therein limited and grace having elapsed, to which he answered, that said bill would not be paid."
"I sent notice of the nonpayment thereof to the drawers and first endorsers, requiring payment of them, by mail, to New Orleans."
"Wherefore I, the said notary, at the request aforesaid, have protested, and by these presents do solemnly protest, against the drawers of said bill, and endorsers, acceptor, and all others concerned therein, for exchange, re-exchange, and all costs, charges, damages, and interest, suffered and sustained, or to be suffered and sustained, by reason or in consequence of the nonpayment of said bill."
"Thus done and protested, in Boston aforesaid, and my notarial seal affixed, the day and year last written."
"[Signed] HENRY CLARK [Seal]"
Stone brought suit upon this bill in the Fifth District Court of New Orleans in March, 1853, whereupon the defendants filed an exception to the jurisdiction of the court upon the ground that they had previously made a surrender of their property to their creditors in the Third District Court of New Orleans, and that all proceedings were stayed against them. The exception further stated that the plaintiff was put upon their schedule as a creditor; wherefore they prayed that the suit of plaintiff be transferred and cumulated with the insolvency proceedings in the Third District Court of New Orleans.
On the 31st of May, 1853, the Fifth District Court sustained the exception and ordered the costs to be paid out of the mass of property surrendered.
On the 1st of May, 1854, Stone brought his action in the circuit court of the United States.
The defendants pleaded in abatement that Stone was a citizen of Louisiana, and therefore incompetent to sue in the federal court, and in bar that the question had become res judicata by the maintenance of the exception in the Fifth District Court. The case went to trial upon an agreed statement of facts, whereof those recited above are the most material, and at November term, 1855, the court gave judgment for the plaintiff. The defendants brought the case to this Court by a writ of error.