Palmer v. Texas,
212 U.S. 118 (1909)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Palmer v. Texas, 212 U.S. 118 (1909)

Palmer v. Texas

No. 224

Argued April 8, 9, 1908

Decided January 18, 1909

212 U.S. 118


As the federal and the state courts exercise jurisdiction within the same territory, derived from and controlled by separate authority, each must respect the jurisdiction acquired over property by the other.

When either a federal or a state court of competent jurisdiction takes possession of or acquires jurisdiction over property, that property is

Page 212 U. S. 119

as effectually withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the other court as though removed to the territory of another sovereignty. Wabash Railroad v. Adelbert College, 208 U. S. 38, 208 U. S. 54.

Jurisdiction over property, properly acquired by the state court on the qualification of the receiver, is not lost by the giving of a supersedeas pending appeal which, as in this case, merely suspends the order of appointment.

When a state court has acquired jurisdiction over property before any application is made to the federal court, it has the right, while lawfully exercising that jurisdiction, to determine how far it will permit any other court to interfere therewith. People's Bank v. Calhoun, 102 U. S. 256.

Jurisdiction over property by a state court so as to withdraw it from the jurisdiction of federal court in the same territory does not necessarily depend on possession, but is acquired as soon as the receiver has been appointed and has qualified. Farmer's Loan & Trust Co. v. Lake St. Electric Railway Co., 177 U. S. 59, followed; Shields v. Coleman, 157 U. S. 168, distinguished.

The courts of a state construe its statutes, and their judgment is conclusive in the federal court.

Where the state courts have sustained a receivership of a foreign corporation on a statute in force before the corporation entered the state, and such statute provides for the appointment of a receiver in case of dissolution, forfeiture, insolvency, or imminent danger thereof, the fact that the receivership was also sustained under provisions of an antitrust law passed after the corporation entered the state does not amount to an unlawful interference of the rights of such corporation to transact interstate commerce business.

Under the circumstance of this case, it is not proper to charge the costs and expense of the receiver erroneously appointed by the federal court on complainant, but those expense should be paid from the fund.

158 F. 705 modified and affirmed.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 212 U. S. 123

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