Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R. Co. v. Clarksdale,
257 U.S. 10 (1921)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R. Co. v. Clarksdale, 257 U.S. 10 (1921)

Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad Company v. Clarksdale

No. 15

Argued October 6, 1921

Decided November 7, 1921

257 U.S. 10


1. A judgment of a state court denying the validity of a title claimed under an execution sale based upon a federal court judgment, because of supposed irregularities in the marshal's attempted exercise of his authority to sell, the authority itself not having been drawn in question, is reviewable by certiorari and not by writ of error, under Jud.Code § 237, as amended. P. 257 U. S. 15.

2. The application of state laws to a marshal's sale of property under a common law execution issued on praecipe from a federal court,

Page 257 U. S. 11

is governed by the conformity provisions of Rev.Stats. §§ 914, 916. P. 257 U. S. 18.

3. The provisions of the Act of March 3, 1893, c. 225, 27 Stat. 751, relative to the place of sale apply only to judicial sales made under order or decree and requiring confirmation by the court for their validity. P. 257 U. S. 18.

4. An assignment of error held sufficient to submit to the court below the question whether a marshal's sale was valid under Rev.Stats. § 916. P. 257 U. S. 19.

5. Under Rev.Stats. § 916, giving to the party who has recovered judgment in a federal court

"similar remedies . . . by execution . . . as are now provided in like causes by the laws of the state in which such court is held, or by any such laws hereafter enacted which may be adopted by general rules of any such circuit or district court,"

the state law applicable is that which was in force when the act of which § 916 was a part was originally enacted, viz., June 1, 1872, in the absence of general rules adopting later state law. P. 257 U. S. 19.

6. Under § 849 of the Mississippi Code of 1871, which, prior to amendment by § 3467 of the Code of 1892, provided that shares or interests in any corporation, as well as banknotes or evidences of debt circulating as money, might be taken and sold under an execution in the same manner as goods and chattels, or applied to the payment of the execution, and required the custodian of the corporate books to give the levying officer a certificate of the number of shares or amount of interest held by the defendant in the company, and declared that the purchaser of such shares or interest at the execution sale should become the owner thereof in the same manner as if such shares or interest had been regularly assigned to him by the defendant, a certificate of shares issued to a judgment debtor and found in the custody of his agent or trustee was a proper subject of levy and sale. P. 257 U. S. 20.

7. Under the laws of Mississippi, a venditioni exponas is not necessary to enable the officer to proceed with the sale of property taken under a fieri facias of which the return day has not gone by, and, where the return on the latter writ shows due levy and sale, references therein to a venditioni exponas may be treated as surplusage. P. 257 U. S. 22.

8. Under Rev.Stats. § 914, which requires that proceedings in common law cases in the federal courts shall conform to those of state courts "as near as may be," and § 916, which gives the judgment

Page 257 U. S. 12

creditor remedies on common law executions "similar" to those of the state court, an execution sale of personal property which, under the state law (Miss.Code, 1871), must be made at the courthouse of the county may be made at the courthouse of the United States where the judgment was entered and execution issued. P. 257 U. S. 22. Smith v. Cockrill, 6 Wall. 756, and Amy v. Watertown, 130 U. S. 301, distinguished.

81 So. 178 reversed.

Certiorari to review a judgment of the Supreme Court of Mississippi rendered in favor of the City of Clarksdale in a suit brought by the city to assert its ownership in shares of stock in a railway company. The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 257 U. S. 14

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