Hope Insurance Company of Providence v. Boardman,
9 U.S. 57 (1809)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hope Insurance Company of Providence v. Boardman, 9 U.S. 5 Cranch 57 57 (1809)

Hope Insurance Company of Providence v. Boardman

9 U.S. (5 Cranch) 57




A corporation aggregate cannot be citizen and cannot litigate in the courts of the United States unless in consequence of the character of the individuals who compose the body politic, which character must appear by proper averments upon the record.

Error to the Circuit Court for the District of Rhode Island, in an action upon a policy of insurance.

The only question decided in this Court was that relative to the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States.

The parties were described in the declaration as follows:

"William Henderson Boardman and Pascal Paoli Pope, both of Boston, in the District of Massachusetts, merchants and citizens of the State of Massachusetts, complain of The Hope Insurance Company of Providence, a company legally incorporated by the Legislature of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and established at Providence in said district. "

Page 9 U. S. 58

The question of jurisdiction was not made in the court below.

The Court having, in the case of Bank of the United States v. Deveaux, 9 U. S. 61, decided that the right of a corporation to litigate in the courts of the United States depended upon the character (as to citizenship) of the members which compose the body corporate, and that a body corporate as such cannot be a citizen within the meaning of the Constitution, reversed the judgment for want of jurisdiction in the court below.

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