Third Nat'l Bank in Nashville v. Impac Ltd., Inc.,
432 U.S. 312 (1977)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Third Nat'l Bank in Nashville v. Impac Ltd., Inc., 432 U.S. 312 (1977)

Third National Bank in Nashville v. Impac Limited, Inc.

No. 76-674

Argued April 26, 1977

Decided June 17, 1977

432 U.S. 312


Title 12 U.S.C. § 91, which prohibits an "attachment, injunction, or execution" from being issued against a national bank or its property before final judgment in any state or local court, held, when read in context, merely to prevent prejudgment seizure of bank property by creditors, and not to apply to a mortgagor debtor's action seeking a preliminary injunction to protect its real property from wrongful foreclosure. The legislative history indicates that, when the statute was originally enacted in 1873, it was aimed at preventing preferences by creditors. In the provision itself, the word "injunction" is sandwiched in between the words "attachment" and "execution," both of which are writs used by creditors to seize bank property, strongly implying that Congress intended only to prevent state judicial action, prior to final judgment, which would have the effect of seizing the bank's property. Moreover, no reason has been given for assuming that Congress intended to give national banks engaged in making real estate mortgage loans a privilege not available to competing lenders, it being especially unlikely that Congress intended to give national banks a license to inflict irreparable injury on others, free from the normal constraints of equitable relief. Pp. 432 U. S. 318-324.

541 S.W.2d 139, affirmed.

STEVENS, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BRENNAN, STEWART, MARSHALL, POWELL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. BLACKMUN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BURGER, C.J., and WHITE, J., joined, post, p. 432 U. S. 324.

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