Valdes v. Central Altagracia, Inc.,
225 U.S. 58 (1912)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Valdes v. Central Altagracia, Inc., 225 U.S. 58 (1912)

Valdes v. Central Altagracia, Incorporated

Nos. 193, 196

Submitted March 6, 1912

Decided May 13, 1912

225 U.S. 58


The record in this case shows that the court below did not err in bringing this case to a speedy conclusion and avoiding the loss occasioned by the litigation to all concerned.

A litigant cannot, after all parties have acquiesced in the order setting the case for trial and the court has denied his request for continuance, refuse to proceed with the trial on the ground that the time to plead has not expired, and when such refusal to proceed is inconsistent with his prior attitude in the case.

The granting of a continuance is within the sound discretion of the trial court, and not subject to be reviewed on appeal except in cases of clear error and abuse; in this case, the record shows that the refusal to continue on account of absence of witness was not an abuse, but a just exercise, of discretion.

Under the circumstances of this case, and in view of the existence of an equity of redemption under prior transfers, held that a transfer of all the property of a corporation to one advancing money to enable it to continue its business was not a conditional sale of the property, but a contract creating security for the money advanced, and, on liquidation of the assets, the transferee stood merely as a secured creditor

The mere form of an instrument transferring property of a debtor cannot exclude the power of creditors to inquire into the reality and substance of a contract unrecorded, although required by law to be recorded in order to be effective against third parties.

Under the general law of Porto Rico, machinery placed on property by a tenant does not become immobilized; when, however, a tenant places it there pursuant to contract that it shall belong to the owner, it becomes immobilized as to that tenant and his assigns with notice, although it does not become so as to creditors not having legal notice of the lease.

In this case, held that the lien of the attachment of a creditor of the tenant on machinery placed by the tenant on a sugar Central in Porto Rico is superior to the claim of the transferee of an unrecorded

Page 225 U. S. 59

lease, even though the lease required the tenant to place the machinery on the property.

5 P.R. 155 affirmed.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

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