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United States Supreme Court

27 U.S. 239

Harper  v.  Butler

ERROR to the district court of the United States for the district of Kentucky.

The only question submitted to the court was, whether the assignee of a chose in action, assigned by an executor in the state where he had proved the will and taken out letters testamentary, where the debt was contracted, and where the testator lived and died; could maintain an action in another state, without a new probate and new letters testamentary taken out in the state in which the action was brought.

The question arose on the demurrer of the defendant to the plaintiff's replication, setting out the probate, letters testamentary, assignment, &c. The district court sustained the demurrer and decided against the plaintiff's right of action.

The causes of demurrer shown by the defendant in error, were:

1. That the replication does not allege and set forth that the will of the testator was proved, and that letters testamentary were granted to the executor in the state of Mississippi.

2. That the replication does not show that the will of the testator was proved, and probate thereof granted to the executor or any other person within the jurisdiction of the court; nor that it was granted by a tribunal of competent jurisdiction.

Mr. Jones, for the plaintiff, contended that the assignment being consummate in the jurisdiction where the executor's authority was indisputable, operated a complete transfer of the chose in action there; and carried with it a right of action every where; to which no new probate, or letters testamentary, could have added any validity whatsoever.

No counsel appeared for the defendant.

Mr Chief Justice MARSHALL delivered the opinion of the Court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).