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U.S. Supreme Court

Todok v. Union State Bank of Harvard, 281 U.S. 449 (1930)

Todok v. Union State Bank of Harvard

No. 412

Argued April 22, 1930

Decided May 19, 1930

281 U.S. 449


Article 6 of the treaty of amity and commerce with Sweden and Norway of July 4, 1827, now in force with Norway, provides that

"The subjects of the contracting parties in the respective states may freely dispose of their goods and effects either by testament, donation, or otherwise, in favor of such persons as they think proper."


(1) As the text of the original of this provision, found in the Treaty of April 3, 1783, with Sweden, was in French only, the French text is controlling in interpretation. P. 281 U. S. 454.

(2) The phrase "goods and effects" ("fonds et biens") includes real estate. Id.

Page 281 U. S. 450

(3) While treaties, in safeguarding important rights in the interest of reciprocal beneficial relations, may, by their express terms, afford a measure of protection to aliens which citizens of one or both of the parties may not be able to demand against their own government, the general purpose of treaties of amity and commerce is to avoid injurious discrimination in either country against the citizens of the other. P. 281 U. S. 454.

(4) A state law, later than this treaty, providing for the establishment of homestead with special exemption from execution and forced sale, and inhibiting conveyances of homestead property by any instrument not joined in by both husband and wife, is not invalidated by the treaty as applied to a citizen of Norway who established such a homestead in that state. P. 281 U. S. 455.

118 Neb. 105 reversed.

Certiorari, 280 U.S. 546, to review a judgment of the Supreme Court of Nebraska which reversed a judgment setting aside deeds of homestead property.

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