OWNBEY V. MORGAN, 256 U. S. 94 (1921)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ownbey v. Morgan, 256 U.S. 94 (1921)

Ownbey v. Morgan

No. 99

Argued November 18, 1920

Decided April 11, 1921

256 U.S. 94


1. The Delaware rule in foreign attachment cases which conditioned the defendant's right to appear and contest the merits of the plaintiff's demand upon his first giving special bail or (as the rule was amended) a surety's undertaking, and which was in force since colonial days, finding its origin in the Custom of London and its counterparts or analogues in procedure adopted by other colonies and states and familiar in the common law and admiralty, cannot be regarded as an arbitrary and unreasonable rule, violative of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (Del.Rev.Code, 1915, 4123, § 6). Pp. 256 U. S. 102, 256 U. S. 108.

2. Nor may the rule be adjudged obnoxious to due process in a particular case where, through exceptional misfortune, a defendant was unable to furnish the necessary security. P. 256 U. S. 110.

3. One who acquires property in a state and departs must be presumed to have known and consented to such a rule of foreign attachment, already in force. P. 256 U. S. 111.

4. A distinction made in foreign attachment cases between nonresident individuals and foreign corporations, requiring the individual to furnish special security before appearing and making defense but allowing the corporation to defend on the security of the attachment lien, held not a denial to individuals of equal protection of the law. P. 256 U. S. 112.

5. The privileges and immunities referred to in the Fourteenth Amendment are such as owe their existence to the federal government, its national character, its Constitution, or its laws. P. 256 U. S. 113.

30 Del. 297 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion, post, 98.

Page 256 U. S. 98

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