KALB V. FEUERSTEIN, 308 U. S. 433 (1940)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Kalb v. Feuerstein, 308 U.S. 433 (1940)

Kalb v. Feuerstein

No. 120

Argued December 15, 1939

Decided January 2, 1940*

308 U.S. 433


1. The effect of the filing of a petition for a composition or extension of time under § 75 of the Bankruptcy Act upon a state court's jurisdiction of a pending proceeding to foreclose a mortgage on the petitioner's property, is a federal question. P. 308 U. S. 438.

2. The filing of a petition by a farmer under § 75 of the Bankruptcy Act for a composition or extension of time to pay his debts, operates ipso facto as a stay on the power of a state court, in a pending proceeding to foreclose a mortgage on his property, to proceed with

Page 308 U. S. 434

foreclosure, to confirm the foreclosure sale, and to dispossess under it. Pp. 308 U. S. 438, 308 U. S. 440.

3. The action of the state court in this case in proceeding contrariwise, without the consent of the bankruptcy court, was not merely erroneous, but was in excess of its authority, void, and subject to collateral attack. And whether the jurisdiction of the state court to proceed thus was contested in the foreclosure proceeding, or could have been contested, is immaterial. Pp. 308 U. S. 438, 308 U. S. 440.

4. The language and the broad policy of the federal Act, as well as its legislative history, support this construction, and, as so construed, the Act was within the plenary power of Congress in respect of the subject of bankruptcy. Pp. 308 U. S. 439-441.

5. The liability in tort of the state court judge, the sheriff who executed the writ of assistance, and the mortgagees, for such action as was taken against the farmer debtor without the authority of law, is to be determined according to the state law. P. 308 U. S. 443.

231 Wis. 185, 186, 285 N.W. 431, reversed.

Appeal from affirmances of judgments dismissing the complaints in two cases. For earlier opinions of the state supreme court, see 228 Wis. 519, 525; 279 N.W. 685, 687; also 280 N.W. 725, 726.

Page 308 U. S. 435

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