Christopher v. Norvell,
201 U.S. 216 (1906)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Christopher v. Norvell, 201 U.S. 216 (1906)

Christopher v. Norvell

No. 211

Submitted March 9, 1906

Decided April 2, 1906

201 U.S. 216


Although in a limited sense there is an element of contract in becoming a shareholder of a national bank, the liability for debts of the institution is not contractual, but is based on the provisions to that effect in the national banking law. The government creating the bank has prescribed the terms upon which ownership of its shares can be acquired, and only those are exempted from liability who are specially described in the statute; nor can any shareholders be exempted from such liability by a state statute.

Under § 5151, Rev.Stat., a married woman residing in Florida, who has inherited stock in a national bank which has been transferred to her and on which she has received and accepted dividends, is subject to a personal judgment for an assessment of the comptroller, notwithstanding that, under the laws of Florida a married woman cannot enter into a contract.

Nothing in the law of Florida incapacitates a married woman in that state from becoming the owner, by bequest or otherwise, of stock in a national bank. How and from what property such a judgment shall be satisfied not involved or decided in this action.

The facts, which involve the right of a receiver of a national bank in Florida to enforce the statutory liability under § 5151, Rev.Stat., against a married woman, a resident of that state and owner of record of shares of stock of the bank, are stated in the opinion.

Page 201 U. S. 221

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