Francis v. McNeal, 228 U.S. 695 (1913)
U.S. Supreme CourtFrancis v. McNeal, 228 U.S. 695 (1913)
Francis v. McNeal
Argued May 5, 6, 1913
Decided May 26, 1913
228 U.S. 695
Whether or not the copartnership is an entity distinct from the members, partnership debts are debts of the members of the firm.
The individual liability of partners for debts of the firm is primary and direct; it is not collateral like that of a surety.
The business of a bankruptcy act is, so far as may, be to preserve, not to upset, existing relations based on fundamental rules of law.
The Bankruptcy Act recognizes the firm as an entity for certain purposes, but does not alter the preexisting rule that the partnership can be in bankruptcy and the partners not.
In this case, an order directing that the separate estate of a member of a firm which had been adjudicated bankrupt be turned over to the trustee for administration is affirmed.
186 F. 481 affirmed.
The facts, which involve the construction of the Bankruptcy Act of 1898 in regard to the administration by the trustee of a bankrupt copartnership of the individual estates of the partners, are stated in the opinion.