FISCHER V. PAULINE OIL & GAS CO., 309 U. S. 294 (1940)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Fischer v. Pauline Oil & Gas Co., 309 U.S. 294 (1940)

Fischer v. Pauline Oil & Gas Co.

No. 239

Submitted December 12, 1939

Decided February 26, 1940

309 U.S. 294


1. Where a state supreme court bases its judgment exclusively upon its construction of a federal statute, expressly declining to consider an alternative local ground, the judgment is reviewable by this Court. P. 309 U. S. 296.

Page 309 U. S. 295

2. Section 67(f) of the Bankruptcy Act does not intend that an adjudication of bankruptcy shall operate, automatically and irrespective of any action on the part of the trustee, to discharge an execution lien obtained within four months prior to the filing of the petition in bankruptcy. P. 309 U. S. 300.

The section is intended for the benefit of creditors of the bankrupt, and therefore does not avoid liens as against all the world, but only as against the trustee and those claiming under him, or as respects the bankrupt's exempt property. P. 309 U. S. 301.

3. A trustee in bankruptcy appeared in a state court and unsuccessfully objected to the confirmation of a sale on execution of property that had belonged to the debtor upon the ground that the execution lien had been discharged by force of § 67(f) of the Bankruptcy Act. Held that the decision against him, from which he did not appeal, was binding, as to that question, against the trustee and against one who later applied for, and with the trustee's acquiescence obtained, confirmation by the bankruptcy court of a sale of the same property which had been made to him by the debtor's assignee for creditors. P. 309 U. S. 303.

185 Okla. 108, 90 P.2d 411, reversed.

Certiorari, 308 U.S. 509, to review the reversal of a judgment directed for the plaintiff in an action to quiet title to an oil and gas lease, to recover materials, machinery, etc., and for damages. Plaintiff relied on a sheriff's sale, confirmed by a state court; defendant on a sale by an assignee for creditors, confirmed by a court of bankruptcy.

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