Handley v. Stutz,
137 U.S. 366 (1890)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Handley v. Stutz, 137 U.S. 366 (1890)

Handley v. Stutz

No. 1516

Submitted November 10, 1890

Decided December 8, 1890

137 U.S. 366




Upon a bill in equity by creditors of an insolvent corporation, whose claims amounted to more than $2,000, against the corporation and stockholders therein, to compel sums, due from them to the corporation for unpaid subscriptions to stock, to be paid in, and administered as a trust fund and distributed among all creditors of the corporation who should come in and contribute to the expense of the suit, the circuit court referred the case to a master to receive proofs of claims, and upon the return of his report adjudged that claims severally less than $5,0000, but together exceeding that sum, were just debts of the corporation, and that, in order to pay them, the stockholders should pay the amount of their subscriptions to a receiver. Stockholders so charged with more than $5,000 each appealed to this Court. Held that the sums in dispute were sufficient to give the Circuit Court jurisdiction of the case, and this Court jurisdiction of the appeal.

This was a bill in equity, filed February 8, 1889, in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Middle District of Tennessee by citizens of Pennsylvania, of Indiana, and of Ohio, judgment creditors of the Clifton Coal Company, in behalf of themselves and all other creditors who should come in and contribute to the expenses of the suit, against that corporation, which was a Kentucky corporation whose chief officers resided in Tennessee, and against sixteen individuals, alleging that they were stockholders in the corporation and citizens of Tennessee, and had paid nothing for their stock and were liable to the corporation for the amounts thereof, and their liabilities were assets of the corporation and a trust fund for the payment of all its debts, that the corporation was insolvent, and had no other assets that the plaintiffs could reach, and that its officers had declined to collect or to attempt to collect any of the amounts so due to it, and had neglected to administer the trust fund.

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