Farley v. Hill,
150 U.S. 572 (1893)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Farley v. Hill, 150 U.S. 572 (1893)

Farley v. Hill

No. 56

Argued October 30-31, November 1, 1893

Decided December 11, 1893

150 U.S. 572


Passing by the question whether a receiver appointed by a court pending proceedings to foreclose a railroad mortgage is precluded from buying bonds on the market or from agreeing to unite with others in bidding at the sale, and the question whether the contract set up in this case is within the statute of frauds of the State of Minnesota, and the question whether, even if the contract was illegal and not enforceable in a court of equity, an account might not be compelled, the Court holds that the plaintiff has failed in proving his case.

In equity. Decree dismissing the bill, from which complainant appealed. The evidence was voluminous, but the court seems to have stated in its opinion everything that is necessary to be stated in order to understand it. The case was before this Court at October term, 1886, as stated in the opinion, under the title Farley v. Kittson, reported in 120 U.S. at p. 120 U. S. 303. Since then, Mr. Kittson has died, and the St. Paul Trust Company, the executor of his will, was substituted as defendant in his place. The facts, as stated by the Court, were as follows:

Page 150 U. S. 573

On December 15, 1881, Jesse P. Farley filed in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Minnesota a bill of complaint against Norman W. Kittson, James J. Hill, and the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway Company.

The object of the bill was to enforce the complainant's alleged right to share with Kittson and Hill in the proceeds of certain foreclosure proceedings against the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Company and the first division of the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Company, and wherein the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway Company, a corporation organized by Kittson and Hill, in connection with other persons, had become the owners of the foreclosed properties.

To this bill the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway Company demurred for want of equity, and Kittson and Hill filed a plea denying some of the allegations of the bill and alleging that Farley, as receiver and manager under appointment by a court, was precluded by reason of public policy from making any valid agreement with Kittson and Hill of the kind set up in the bill.

To this plea a replication was filed, and proofs were taken. The circuit court held that the agreement of the plaintiff with Kittson and Hill was unlawful and void, and on that ground sustained the plea and dismissed the bill. 14 F. 114.

On appeal to the Supreme Court, the decree of the circuit court was reversed and the case was remanded with directions to overrule the plea and to order the defendants to answer the bill. 120 U. S. 120 U.S. 303, 129 U. S. 318.

The case was proceeded in in the circuit court. The defendants answered, replication was filed, and evidence was taken, and a final decree was rendered dismissing the bill. 39 F. 513. From that decree this appeal was taken.

Page 150 U. S. 574

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