Schwed v. Smith,
106 U.S. 188 (1882)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Schwed v. Smith, 106 U.S. 188 (1882)

Schwed v. Smith

Decided November 27, 1882

106 U.S. 188


Certain creditors, who severally recovered judgments against A. amounting in the aggregate to more than $5,000, but none of which exceed that sum, filed their bill against him and B. in the circuit court. A decree was passed subjecting to the payment of the complainants goods seized by virtue of an execution sued out upon an older judgment confessed by A. in favor of B. The amount of that judgment and the value of the goods are each more than $5,000. A. and B. appealed. Held that the value of the matter in dispute between them and the respective appellees is not sufficient to give this Court jurisdiction.

On the 26th of January, 1880, Schwed & Newhouse confessed a judgment in the circuit court of Jackson County, Missouri, against themselves and in favor of Henry Heller for $9,512.50. Execution was at once issued on this judgment and levied by Bailey, sheriff of the county, on a stock of goods.

On the 12th of February, 1880, William Smith & Co. had a suit pending in the same court in their favor against Schwed & Newhouse for the recovery of $3,829.71, and William C. Greene & Co. another suit for the recovery of $1,012.93. In both the suits, attachments were issued and levied on the same goods taken under the execution in favor of Heller, and then in the hands of the sheriff. Smith & Co. and Greene & Co. thereupon began a suit in the same court against Schwed, Newhouse, Heller, and the sheriff, the object of which was to set aside the judgment in favor of Heller on the ground that it was confessed without any consideration, and for the purpose of covering up the property of Schwed & Newhouse and hindering and delaying creditors in the collection of their debts. This suit was afterwards removed to the Circuit Court of the United States for the Western Division of the Western District of Missouri. Afterwards judgments were rendered in the attachment suit, that in favor of Smith & Co. being for $4,174.38 and that in favor of Greene & Co. for $1,104.09. In the meantime, other creditors of Schwed & Newhouse got attachments and judgments against

Page 106 U. S. 189

them, towit, the Seth Thomas Clock Company for $1,518.49, the E. N. Welch Manufacturing Company for $455.58, and F. Quayle for $356. The attachments in these cases were also levied on the goods in the hands of the sheriff. All the later attaching creditors were admitted as parties to the original suit begun by Smith & Co. and Greene & Co. to set aside the judgment in favor of Heller, and in proper time a supplemental bill was filed in which all the attaching creditors appeared as complainants, setting up the recovery of their respective judgments. Pending the suit, the property levied upon was sold, and the proceeds, being $7,405.55, paid into the registry of the court. At the final hearing, a decree was rendered declaring the judgment confessed in favor of Heller void as against the attaching creditors. From this decree Schwed, Newhouse, Heller, and Bailey, the sheriff, took an appeal, which the appellees now move to dismiss on the ground that the value of the matter in dispute between the appellants and the several appellees is less than $5,000.

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