HIGHLAND AVE. & BELT R. CO. V. COLUMBIAN EQPT. CO., 168 U. S. 627 (1898)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Highland Ave. & Belt R. Co. v. Columbian Eqpt. Co., 168 U.S. 627 (1898)

Highland Avenue and Belt Railroad Company

v. Columbian Equipment Company

No. 427

Submitted November 29, 1897

Decided January 8, 1898

168 U.S. 627


An interlocutory order appointing a receiver is not appealable from the circuit court of the United States to the circuit court of appeals, and does not become so by the incorporation into it of a direction to the defendant, his agents and employees to turn over and deliver to the receiver the property in his or their hands.

The facts in this case are as follows:

On April 5, 1897, upon a bill duly filed by the Columbian Equipment Company, an interlocutory order was entered in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of Alabama appointing Phillip Campbell receiver of the property of the Highland Avenue and Belt Railroad Company. Such order, besides the

Page 168 U. S. 628

mere matter of appointment and a description of the property, contained the following provisions:

"The said receiver is hereby authorized and directed to take immediate possession of all and singular the property above described, wherever situated or found, and to continue systematically, in the same manner as at present, the business and occupation of carrying passengers and freight and the discharge of all the duties obligatory upon the said company."

"And the said Highland Avenue and Belt Railroad Company, and each and every of its officers, directors, agents, and employees, are hereby required and commanded forthwith to turn over and deliver to such receiver, or his duly constituted representative, any and all notes, accounts, money, or other property in his or their hands, or under his or their control."

"Said receiver is hereby fully authorized to continue the business and operate the railway of said company, and manage all its property at his discretion, in such manner as will, in his judgment, produce the most satisfactory results consistent with the discharge of the public duties imposed on said company, and to collect and receive all income therefrom, and all debts due said company of every kind, and for such purpose he is hereby invested with full power, at his discretion, to employ and discharge and fix the compensation of all such officers, counsel, managers, agents, and employees as may be required for the proper discharge of the duties of his trust."

"Said receiver is hereby fully authorized and empowered to institute and prosecute all such suits as may be necessary in his judgment to the proper protection of the property and trusts vested in him, and likewise defend all actions instituted against him as receiver, and also to appear in and conduct the prosecution or defense of any and all suits or proceedings now pending in any court against said company the prosecution or defense of which will in the judgment of said receiver be necessary and proper for the protection of the property and rights placed in his charge and for the interests of the creditors and stockholders of said company."

"Said receiver is hereby required to give bond in the sum of $10,000, with personal security, or the security of some

Page 168 U. S. 629

responsible guaranty and indemnity company satisfactory to the clerk of this court, for the faithful discharge of his duties, and is also required to make and file full reports in this court quarterly."

"And the court reserves the right, by orders hereinafter to be made, to direct and control the payments of all supplies, materials, and other claims, and in all respects to regulate and control the conduct of said receiver."

The railroad company appealed from this order to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which court, on June 16, 1897, certified to this Court the following question:

"The question upon which instructions are desired and respectfully asked is: was the decree appointing Campbell receiver, above referred to, susceptible of being appealed from on the ground that the said order embraced within its terms an injunction or the necessary equivalent of an injunction?"

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