Wilkins v. Ellett - 76 U.S. 740 (1869)
U.S. Supreme Court
Wilkins v. Ellett, 76 U.S. 9 Wall. 740 740 (1869)
Wilkins v. Ellett
76 U.S. (9 Wall.) 740
A voluntary payment of a debt to a foreign administrator held good as against the claim of an administrator duly appointed at the domicile of the debtor, in which last place the debt was paid, there having been no creditors of the intestate in this last place, nor any persons there entitled as distributees.
Quarles, being domiciled in the State of Alabama, died there, and letters of administration were there taken out by
one Goodloe, of that state. Wilkins, a resident of Memphis, Tennessee, owed the estate $3,455, and being called upon at Memphis by Goodloe, the administrator, paid the debt and took a receipt. Goodloe duly accounted before the probate court in Alabama for the sum thus received. Afterwards, Ellett, a citizen of the State of Virginia, and who professed to be next of kin to the deceased, took out letters of administration in Tennessee and brought this suit against Wilkins to recover the same debt. There were no creditors or persons entitled as distributees of the intestate in the State of Tennessee. The court below, holding that the voluntary payment by Wilkins to the Alabama administrator was in his own wrong, gave judgment for the plaintiff. Wilkins, the debtor, now brought the case to this Court, the question of course being whether voluntary payment to the foreign administrator had discharged the home one.