ORVIS V. BROWNELL, 345 U. S. 183 (1953)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Orvis v. Brownell, 345 U.S. 183 (1953)

Orvis v. Brownell

No. 404

Argued February 4, 1953

Decided March 16, 1953

345 U.S. 183


After Executive Order No. 8389, issued pursuant to the Trading with the Enemy Act, became effective as to Japan, blocking all transfers of evidences of debt or interests in property of Japanese citizens, petitioners commenced a suit in a New York state court against Japanese debtors. Without obtaining a license therefor, petitioners attached a credit owed the Japanese debtors by a third party, and obtained judgment. Thereafter, the Custodian vested the credit by a res vesting order, and it was paid over to the Custodian.

Held: by their unlicensed attachment, petitioners obtained no "interest, right, or title" recoverable against the Custodian in a proceeding under § 9(a) of the Act. Pp. 345 U. S. 184-189.

(a) The freezing order, while permitting an attachment for jurisdictional and other state law purposes, prevented the subsequent acquisition of a lien which would bind the Custodian under § 9(a). Pp. 345 U. S. 184-189.

(b) The Custodian may proceed to administer the vested assets according to § 34 of the Act and to consider petitioners' claim and its status thereunder, subject to the review therein provided. Pp. 345 U. S. 188-189.

198 F.2d 708 affirmed.

The District Court granted petitioners' motion for judgment on the pleadings in a suit against the Custodian under § 9(a) of the Trading with the Enemy Act. The Court of Appeals reversed. 198 F.2d 708. This Court granted certiorari. 344 U.S. 902. At the time of the argument, February 4, 1953, Brownell, present Attorney General, was substituted as respondent for McGranery, former Attorney General. Affirmed, p. 345 U. S. 189.

Page 345 U. S. 184

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