Conro v. Crane,
94 U.S. 441 (1876)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Conro v. Crane, 94 U.S. 441 (1876)

Conro v. Crane

94 U.S. 441


Appeals do not lie to this Court from the circuit courts in the exercise of their supervisory jurisdiction under the bankrupt laws.

Fox & Howard were adjudged bankrupts by the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois June 5, 1875. Bradford Hancock was appointed provisional assignee, June 16, and June 19 an order was entered in the bankruptcy proceedings directing him to receive bids for the purchase of certain personal property belonging to the estate of the bankrupts, which had come into his possession. Under this order, bids were tendered by various persons and, among others, one by Jefferson Hodgkins for $40,000. All were reported by Hancock to the district court July 2, with the recommendation that the one of Hodgkins be accepted, and thereupon an order was made that all persons interested show cause by July 9 why this recommendation should not be complied with. Notice of this order

Page 94 U. S. 442

was given by mail and publication, and on the day named the bid was accepted, the sale approved, and Hancock authorized, on the receipt of the purchase money, to execute an appropriate bill of sale and deliver possession of the property. Hancock again reported, July 12, that although demanded, the purchase money had not been paid and that he had received another bid from Conro & Carkin, the present appellants, for $40,500. He thereupon asked that the order of confirmation to Hodgkins be set aside, the sale revoked, and that he be authorized to sell and deliver the property to Conro & Carkin at their bid. An order was made to this effect on the same day, and Hancock at once received the purchase money, executed a bill of sale, and delivered the property to Conro & Carkin.

On the 18th of August, Hodgkins and Charles S. Crane, for whom, as is alleged, Hodgkins acted as agent in the purchase, filed their petition in the bankrupt court asking that the order of July 12 be set aside and Conro & Carkin, Hancock, and the bankrupts be directed to deliver the property to them and account for the moneys realized by its use. Upon the filing of this petition, a rule was entered, requiring Hancock, Conro & Carkin and the bankrupts to show cause by Aug. 27 why the order asked for should not be granted. Hancock and Conro & Carkin appeared in obedience to this rule and answered. The matter was then referred to one of the registers in bankruptcy to take testimony, and, on the 6th of March, the district court, upon full hearing, dismissed the petition. On the same day, Hodgkins and Crane presented to the circuit judge of the circuit their petition, under sec. 4986, Rev.Stat., for "the revision and reversal of the action of the District Court sitting as a court of bankruptcy." The circuit court, April 24, after hearing, reversed the order of July 12 and continued that of July 9 in force. The district court was also directed to order the assignee to execute and deliver to Hodgkins the necessary papers to show title and to cause the property to be delivered to Hodgkins or Crane. The district court was also ordered to return to Conro & Carkin, subject to certain specified conditions, the purchase money paid by them.

From this order an appeal by Conro & Carkin was allowed

Page 94 U. S. 443

to this Court, which Hodgkins and Crane moved to dismiss for want of jurisdiction.

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