Baker v. Schofield,
243 U.S. 114 (1917)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Baker v. Schofield, 243 U.S. 114 (1917)

Baker v. Schofield

No. 133

Submitted January 15, 1917

Decided March 6, 1917

243 U.S. 114


The rule that concurrent findings of fact by two lower courts will not be disturbed unless clearly wrong is here applied in support of findings of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty resulting in a trust.

Defendant, as receiver of a national bank, contracted on its behalf, with the approval of the Comptroller of the Currency, for the purchase of certain realty, used some of the bank's money in payments on the price, and, under apparent authority from the court, sold and assigned the contract for cash paid the bank. The assignee acted secretly for the defendant in taking the contract, and thereafter assigned it secretly to him as an individual. Defendant resigned as receiver, and subsequently the contract was fully performed and the real property became vested in a corporation whose shares for the most part were issued to the defendant. In a suit brought by his successor to regain the property for the bank, held: (1) that the transaction was a gross breach of defendant's duty as receiver; (2) that he was estopped to claim that the purchase of the property was beyond the powers of the bank, Case v. Kelly, 133 U. S. 21, distinguished; (3) that delay of the suit for sixteen years after the making of the contract and fourteen years after defendant's resignation as receiver was not laches in view of the finding

Page 243 U. S. 115

that his successors in the receivership had no knowledge or equivalent notice of the fraud.

The seven year statute of limitation of Washington, Remington & Ballinger's Ann.Codes and Stat., § 789, does not apply when the claim of title accompanying possession is not made in good faith.

221 F. 322 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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