MARCHAND V. FRELLSEN, 105 U. S. 423 (1881)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Marchand v. Frellsen, 105 U.S. 423 (1881)

Marchand v. Frellsen

105 U.S. 423


1. Where an order directing the seizure and sale of lands in Louisiana, whereon the vendor retained his lien and privilege, has been made in a proceeding to enforce the payment of an installment of the purchase money, and an appeal is taken, the surety on the bond is liable for the claim sued on.

2. The pendency of proceedings on appeal does not render void an order of another court of competent jurisdiction for the seizure and sale of the lands to satisfy a subsequent installment, nor does the payment of the first bond satisfy that given on appeal from the second order.

3. The application of the proceeds of the sale under the first order to satisfy, pursuant to its requirements, the several installments pro rata, does not discharge the surety from the payment of the unpaid balance for which he was otherwise liable.

On Dec. 31, 1863, Frellsen sold to Fairex a plantation in St. Charles Parish, in the State of Louisiana, for the consideration of $133,000, of which Fairex paid $3,000 in cash, and the residue he agreed to pay in annual installments, bearing interest and falling due respectively on the first day of May in every year for eleven years. He executed and delivered to Frellsen his promissory notes for the principal of these deferred payments, and also notes for the interest to accrue thereon. In the authentic act by which Frellsen conveyed the property to Fairex, he reserved his vendor's privilege.

On May 19, 1869, Frellsen applied to the Seventh District Court of the Parish of Orleans for an order of seizure and sale, to be directed against the plantation to satisfy the two notes given for the installment of the purchase money which fell due on May 1, 1869 -- one for $11,000 principal money and the other for $5,390 interest. The writ as prayed for was issued, but its execution was suspended by an appeal taken by Fairex to the Supreme Court. The bond for the appeal was in the penalty of $26,000, and Marchand was the surety. The condition of the bond was as follows:

"Now the condition of the above obligation is such that the above-bound Daniel Fairex shall prosecute this appeal and shall satisfy whatever judgment

Page 105 U. S. 424

may be rendered against him, or that the same shall be satisfied by the proceeds of the sale of his estate, real or personal, if he be cast in the appeal; otherwise, that the said Marchand, surety, shall be liable in his place."

The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the Seventh District Court directing the writ of seizure and sale to issue, and gave judgment against Fairex for ten percent on the amount of the two notes which were the basis of the writ of seizure and sale on account of his frivolous appeal.

While the appeal was pending, the two notes, one for $11,000 principal and the other for $4,620 interest, maturing May 1, 1870, became due and were not paid. Thereupon, to satisfy them, Frellsen, on May 18, 1870, obtained from the Fifth District Court for the Parish of Orleans, on his petition, an order of seizure and sale directed against the plantation. On May 26, 1870, Fairex appealed to the Supreme Court from this order and gave bond with Marchand, as surety, for the appeal in the penalty of $23,000. It was conditioned precisely as that on the former appeal.

Fairex died Aug. 26, 1871, and the administratrix of his estate was made party to the appeal in the Supreme Court.

On Jan. 19, 1874, the Supreme Court made the following decree upon this appeal:

"The court therefore orders that the plaintiff and appellee recover from the defendant five hundred dollars as damages for a frivolous appeal, and that the appeal be dismissed at the costs of the appellant."

While the appeal from the Fifth District Court was pending in the Supreme Court, that court having affirmed the order of seizure and sale made by the Seventh District Court, Frellsen, on Nov. 28, 1871, applied to the last-named court for an alias order of seizure and sale, to satisfy the two notes which matured May 1, 1869, the amount due on which was $16,390. The court directed the writ to issue, and by virtue of it the plantation was sold by the sheriff to Frellsen, the original vendor, for $40,000. This sum, by order of the court, was applied pro rata on all the notes for the purchase money of the plantation remaining unpaid. After the notes which were the basis of the proceedings in the Fifth District Court were thus credited, there remained due thereon $8,595, and after

Page 105 U. S. 425

the credit was applied to the notes which were proceeded on in the Seventh District Court, there remained due thereon $13,342.

On May 21, 1872, a rule was taken on Marchand in the Seventh District Court to hold him liable upon the bond for the appeal taken from that court. Judgment was demanded against him on the bond for the balance, $13,342, due on the notes which had been proceeded on in that court and for $1,639, the judgment for damages for the frivolous appeal, rendered by the Supreme Court. Upon the trial of this rule, the Seventh District Court entered judgment against Marchand for $1,639, the damages for the frivolous appeal, and for interest and costs, amounting to $1,900, and dismissed the rule as to the residue of Frellsen's demand. Marchand paid, Dec. 3, 1873, the sum of $1,900, which he was condemned to pay, and it was accepted by Frellsen in full satisfaction of the judgment rendered as aforesaid.

After all these proceedings, on May 8, 1876, a rule in the Fifth District Court was taken against Marchand by Frellsen, who alleged that on the demand upon which he had obtained the order for seizure and sale in that court, a balance of $8,595 was due, with interest at the rate of eight percent per annum from Feb. 3, 1872; that the property, subject to executory judgment, had been sold pursuant to an order and judgment of the Seventh District Court; that Fairex had no other property which could be found by the sheriff to satisfy the demand; and that he was dead and his estate insolvent. Marchand was required to show cause why he should not be condemned, by reason of his suretyship on the bond for the appeal from the order of seizure and sale made by that court, to pay that balance with interest, and $500, the damages adjudged for a frivolous appeal. This suit was removed by Marchand to the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Louisiana, where the rule was made absolute and judgment rendered against him for $8,595, with interest thereon, and also for the sum of $500, the above-mentioned damages.

This writ of error is prosecuted by Marchand to review that judgment.

Page 105 U. S. 426

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