CLARK V. WILLIARD, 292 U. S. 112 (1934)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Clark v. Williard, 292 U.S. 112 (1934)

Clark v. Williard

No. 449

Argued February 15, 1934

Decided April 2, 1934

292 U.S. 112


1. Where a judgment reverses the cause and remands it for further proceedings in accordance with the court's opinion, the opinion is incorporated in the judgment, and may be considered in determining whether the judgment is final. P. 292 U. S. 118.

2. A judgment of a state supreme court in a liquidation proceeding which sustains the validity and priority of an execution levied by an intervening creditor on property of the insolvent, leaving no discretion to the trial court with respect to the matter and fully disposing of the intervention, is a final judgment for the purposes of appeal to this Court. P. 292 U. S. 117.

3. Under the laws of Iowa, the official liquidator appointed by statute upon the dissolution of an insolvent Iowa insurance company in a suit by the State, is the statutory successor of the corporation. P. 292 U. S. 120.

4. In holding that such a liquidator was not the successor to the corporate personality with title derived from the statutes of the domicile, but a chancery receiver with title (if any) created by the Iowa decree in the dissolution proceeding, the Supreme Court of Montana denied full faith and credit to the statutes and judicial proceedings of Iowa. P. 292 U. S. 121.

5. Whether there is any law or policy prevailing in Montana whereby the local creditors of an insolvent foreign insurance company are entitled to enforce their full claims, by executions upon its property in Montana, not merely as against a chancery receiver, but as against the domiciliary successor of the corporation seeking to

Page 292 U. S. 113

devote all of it assets to pro rata distribution among all of its creditor, is a question for determination by the Supreme Court of that State. P. 292 U. S. 123.

6. When the decision of a state supreme court, due to an error in applying the Federal Constitution, leaves unanswered a question of state law that may be determinative of the case, this Court will vacate the judgment and remand for further proceedings. P. 292 U. S. 128.

94 Mont. 508; 23 P. 2d 959, reversed.

The District Court of Montana entered a final decree adjudging that Clark, the Iowa liquidator of a dissolved Iowa insurance company, was the successor to the personality and title of the corporation, that the assets should be liquidated and ratably distributed subject only to liens existing at the date of dissolution, that a local ancillary receiver should be retained to assist the foreign liquidator, that assets in Montana should be retained in that State until local creditors had received their ratable proportion of the assets there and elsewhere, and that an execution upon a judgment which had been recovered against the corporation by the present respondents should be set aside and cancelled. Upon appeal by the judgment creditors to the Supreme Court of Montana, the decree was reversed and their execution reinstated.

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