PRUDENTIAL INS. CO. V. CHEEK, 259 U. S. 530 (1922)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Prudential Ins. Co. v. Cheek, 259 U.S. 530 (1922)

Prudential Ins. Co. v. Cheek

No. 149

Argued March 6, 1922

Decided June 5, 1922

259 U.S. 530


1. The Service Letter Law of Missouri, requiring every corporation doing business in the state to furnish, upon request, to any employee, when discharged or leaving its service, a letter, signed by the superintendent or manager, setting forth the nature and duration of his service to the corporation and stating truly the cause of his leaving, is not an arbitrary interference with freedom of contract amounting to a deprivation of liberty or property without due process of law. P. 259 U. S. 534.

2. This requirement is within the regulatory power of the state over foreign and domestic corporations. Pp. 259 U. S. 536, 259 U. S. 544.

3. The requirement does not deny the equal protection of the laws in being made of corporations and not of individuals. P. 259 U. S. 546.

4. The federal Constitution imposes no restriction on the states protective of freedom of speech, or liberty of silence, or the privacy of individuals or corporations. P. 259 U. S. 543.

5. A decision of a state court holding that an agreement of several insurance companies having a monopoly of a line of insurance business in a city that neither would employ within two years any man who had been discharged from or left the service of either of the others was unlawful, and sustaining an action against one of the companies by its former employee for damages resulting from the agreement, does not deprive the defendant of property without due process of law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 259 U. S. 547.

6. Under Jud.Code § 237, as amended 1916, when a case is properly here on writ of error because involving the constitutionality of a statute, other federal questions which in themselves warrant review only by certiorari will be determined also. P. 259 U. S. 547.

223 S.W. 754 affirmed.

Page 259 U. S. 531

Error to a judgment affirming a judgment on verdict for the plaintiff, Cheek, in his action for damages against the Insurance Company.

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