Doyle v. Continental Insurance Company
APPEAL from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Western District of Wisconsin.
The bill of complaint alleges that the complainant, the Continental Insurance Company of the city of New York, is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Connecticut, and a citizen of that State.
That prior to the passage of the act of the legislature of the State of Wisconsin, entitled 'An Act to provide for the incorporation and government of fire and inland navigation insurance companies,' approved March 4, 1870, the complainant had established agencies, opened offices, and made considerable expenditures of money in advertising the business of insurance against loss by fire in the State of Wisconsin. That soon after the passage of said act complainant complied with the provisions of sect. 22 thereof, and procured from the State treasurer and secretary of State the certificates and license to do business in said State as therein provided, and did subsequently fully comply with said act; but that, upon filing appointment of an agent upon whom process of law could be served, complainant was compelled to add an agreement, on its part, not to remove into the Federal courts suits brought against it in the State courts, which agreement to that effect was made. That after the decision of this court in Insurance Company v. Paige, 20 Wall. 445, the complainant removed a suit brought on one of its policies against it in the State court, into the Federal court. That because of such removal a demand was made upon the defendant, Peter Doyle, as secretary of State, to revoke the certificate or license authorizing the complainant to do business in said State of Wisconsin.
That complainant had a large number of agencies in the State engaged in the conduct of its business, and a revocation of its license would work great and irreparable injury to the complainant in its business in said State, and the complainant feared that said defendant would revoke said license, unless restrained by injunction. A temporary injunction was issued restraining the defendant from revoking the license of the complainant, because of the removal of said suit from the State to the Federal court.
A demurrer to the bill was overruled, and a decree entered making the injunction perpetual. From this decree the defendant appealed.
Sect. 22, c. 56, Laws of Wisconsin, 1870, provides as follows:--
'That any fire insurance company, association, or partnership, incorporated by or organized under the laws of any other State of the United States, desiring to transact any such business as aforesaid, by any agent or agents, in this State, shall first appoint an attorney in this State, on whom process of law can be served, containing an agreement that such company will not remove the suit for trial in the United States Circuit or Federal Courts, and file in the office of the Secretary of State a written instrument, duly signed and sealed, certifying such appointment, which shall continue until another attorney be substituted.'
Sects. 1 and 3, c. 64, are in the following words:--
'SECTION 1. If any insurance company or association shall make application to change the venue, or remove any suit or action heretofore commenced, or which shall be hereafter commenced, in any court of the State of Wisconsin, to the United States Circuit or District Court, or to the Federal court, contrary to the provisions of any law of the State of Wisconsin, or contrary to any agreement it has made and filed, or may make and file, as provided and required by section number twenty-two of chapter fifty-six of the General Laws of Wisconsin for the year A.D. 1870, or any provision of law now in force in said State, or may hereafter be enacted therein, it shall be the imperative duty of the secretary of State, or other proper State officer, to revoke and recall any authority or license to such company to do and transact any business in the State of Wisconsin, and no renewal or new license or certificate shall be granted to such company for three years after such revocation, and such company shall thereafter be prohibited from transacting any business in the State of Wisconsin until again duly licensed.'
'SECT. 3. If any insurance company or association shall make application to remove any case from the State court into the United States Circuit or District Court or Federal court, contrary to the provisions of chapter fifty-six of the General Laws of Wisconsin for the year A.D. 1870, or any other State law, or contrary to any agreement which such company may have filed in pursuance of said chapter fifty-six of the General Laws of Wisconsin for the year A.D. 1870, or any other law of the State of Wisconsin, it shall be liable, in addition, to a penalty of not less than $100 or more than $500 for each application so made, or for each offence so committed for making such application, the same to be recovered by suit in the name of the State of Wisconsin; and it shall be the imperative duty of the attorney-general of the State of Wisconsin to see and attend that all of the provisions of said chapter fifty-six of the General Laws of 1870, and the provisions of this act, are duly enforced.'
Mr. George B. Smith for the appellant.
Mr. William Allen Butler, Mr. B. J. Stevens, and Mr. I. C. Sloan, for the appellee.
MR. JUSTICE HUNT delivered the opinion of the court.