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U.S. Supreme Court

Merrimack River Savings Bank v. Clay Center, 219 U.S. 527 (1911)

Merrimack River Savings Bank v. Clay Center

No. 60

Argued January 26, 1911

Decided February 20, 1911

219 U.S. 527


The force and effect of a decree dismissing a bill and discharging an injunction is neither suspended nor annulled as a mere consequence of an appeal to this Court, even if supersedeas is allowed; but the Circuit Court has power to continue an injunction during such an appeal by virtue of its inherent equity power. Equity Rule 93.

While the Circuit Court has not only the power to continue an injunction in order to preserve the status quo pending an appeal but to take cognizance of violations of such injunction, it does not follow

Page 219 U. S. 528

that violating the injunction is not a contempt also of the appellate jurisdiction of this Court, and that question is not now decided.

Irrespective of an actual injunction order, the willful destruction or removal beyond the reach of this Court of the subject matter of litigation pending an appeal to this Court is a contempt of the appellate jurisdiction of this Court, and this is so even though it may also be a violation of the injunction below.

An appeal to this Court must be regarded as pending and undisposed of until the mandate issues, even though a decision may have been announced. Defendants under order to show cause why they should not be punished for contempt for having, after decision in their favor but before mandate, destroyed the subject matter of the litigation are adjudged in technical contempt; but, having under oath denied any intent of contempt and satisfied the court of their good faith, the vindication of the court is satisfied by discharging the rule on payment of costs.

The facts, which involve questions of contempt for violation of injunction after decision of this Court and before issuing of the mandate, are stated in the opinion.

Page 219 U. S. 532

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