Behn, Meyer & Co., Ltd. v. Miller,
266 U.S. 457 (1925)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Behn, Meyer & Co., Ltd. v. Miller, 266 U.S. 457 (1925)

Behn, Meyer & Company, Ltd. v. Miller

No. 343

Argued November 24, 1924

Decided January 5, 1925

266 U.S. 457


1. A corporation organized in a British colony, which had never been a resident of, nor done business within, any nation at war with the United States since April 6, 1917, or ally of such nation,

Page 266 U. S. 458

was neither an enemy nor ally of an enemy within the meaning of the Trading with the Enemy Act of October 6, 1917, c. 106, 40 Stat. 411, and was entitled under § 9 of the act to recover by suit the proceeds of its property unlawfully seized by the Alien Property Custodian. P. 266 U. S. 471.

2. Amendments added to the Trading with the Enemy Act since the Armistice by Acts of 1920 and 1923 -- § 9(b) pars. 6 and 11; § 9(c), -- authorized restoration or suit for recovery of property seized by the Alien Property Custodian where the President shall determine that the owner was, at time of seizure, a corporation incorporated within any country other than the United States and was and remains entirely owned by subjects or citizens of nations, states, etc., other than Germany, Austria, Hungary, or Austria-Hungary, or a corporation organized or incorporated within any country other than these last enumerated, the control of which, or more than 50% of the interest or voting power in which, was, at the time of such seizure, and remains, vested in citizens or subjects of other nations, states, etc. -- construed as not intended to withdraw the right of a corporation, never "enemy or ally of enemy," to recover property unlawfully seized during the war when a majority of its shareholders were Germans. Id.

3. Section 7(c) of the Trading with the Enemy Act, in authorizing seizure of property held "on account of, or on behalf of, or for the benefit of an enemy or ally of enemy," was not intended to empower the President to seize the property of a non-enemy corporation merely because of enemy stockholding interests therein. P. 266 U. S. 472.

54 App.D.C. 225, 296 F. 1002, reversed.

Appeal from a decree of the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia affirming a decree of the Supreme Court of the District which dismissed on motion the appellant's bill against the Alien Property Custodian and the Treasurer of the United States, to recover the proceeds held by the latter, of property unlawfully seized by the former.

Page 266 U. S. 462

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