Hudgins v. Kemp - 61 U.S. 45 (1857)
U.S. Supreme Court
Hudgins v. Kemp, 61 U.S. 20 How. 45 45 (1857)
Hudgins v. Kemp
61 U.S. (20 How.) 45
Deeds of large tracts of land made by a grantor when deeply in debt and when suits were pending against him, and who shortly afterwards petitioned for the benefit of the bankrupt act, the possession and occupation of the land continuing the same after the sale as before, and the consideration money one-half only of the actual value, held to be fraudulent and void as against creditors.
This was an appeal from a decree of the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Virginia. The bill was originally filed in the circuit court by Edmund Christian, general assignee in bankruptcy in said district on the 19th of May, 1845, and upon his death, Wyndham Kemp was appointed assignee, on the 12th of May, 1852, by the district court. After that, Kemp prosecuted the suit.
On or about the 17th of February, 1843, John L. Hudgins filed his petition in the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Virginia praying that he might have the benefit of the Act of Congress of August 19, 1841, to establish a uniform system of bankruptcy throughout the United States, and that he might be deemed and declared a bankrupt under said law, and the usual proceedings having been taken upon said petition, the said John L. Hudgins was, on the 20th May, 1843, duly adjudged and declared to be a bankrupt, and Edmund Christian, the general assignee in bankruptcy in said district, was thereupon duly appointed by said court, the assignee in bankruptcy of said John L. Hudgins.
Other proceedings were had in the district court, which it is not material here to mention.
On the 17th of May, 1845, the following points and questions were adjourned to the circuit court for decision:
1. Is the allegation of the objectors to the discharge of the bankrupt, that the deed executed by said John L. Hudgins, bearing date the 1st day of March, 1842, to Elliott W. Hudgins, conveying all the rest of his land in York, not conveyed by a previous deed of 6th September, 1839, is a fraudulent deed within the meaning of the bankrupt law, sustained by the evidence in this case?
2. Is the allegation of the objectors, that the deed executed by said John L. Hudgins to Houlder Hudgins, dated 19th July, 1842, stating a consideration of $4,000, is a fraudulent deed within the meaning of the bankrupt law, sustained by the proofs?
3. Is the deed of the 21st February, 1842, in which John L. Hudgins conveys to Robert Hudgins, for an alleged consideration of $5,000, his tract of land in Matthews County, proved to be a fraudulent deed within the meaning of the bankrupt law?
4. Are the allegations of the objectors, that the petitioner concealed himself and his effects, so as to prevent the execution of process, and the deeds aforesaid were made for the purpose of eloigning and removing his property so as to defraud his creditors, shown to be true?
5. Whether it is proved that the said John L. Hudgins has not made a true and faithful schedule of all his estate and property, nor a full and true statement of all the debts due him?
6. Finally, whether the petitioner, on any or all of the above grounds, ought to be refused a discharge from his debts?
On the 19th of May, two days after the above questions had been adjourned to the circuit court, the assignee filed his bill in that court, alleging that the conveyances above mentioned were fraudulent and void and praying that they might be set aside. The proceedings which took place thereupon are set forth in the opinion of the court.
On the 27th of June, 1855, the circuit court passed its final decree confirming the report of the master and ordering the property in question to be sold by the assignee. From this decree the defendants appealed to this Court.