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Page:Harvard Law Review Volume 1.djvu/268

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tain principle of law which was adopted in this country when the conditions of business were very different from those now obtaining.

The several States of the United States are, in law, foreign to each other, and the effect in one State of bankruptcy of a debtor in another State or in a foreign country depends upon the doctrines of private international law as understood in the States in which the questions arise. The principle above referred to, which is the established law throughout the United States, is, that a decree in a foreign country or a sister State, by which the property of a bankrupt resident in such country or State has been taken from him and vested in trustees for his creditors, will not receive recognition in our Courts as against the attachments of creditors who are citizens of the forum of the attachment, even when the decree precedes the attachment.

A few decisions were supposed to go even farther, and to hold that a trustee thus appointed had no standing in our Courts; and that his title could not even prevail against that of the bankrupt himself. The case of Abraham v. Plestoro, 3 Wend. 538, was cited for the doctrine. But that decision has been explained to mean much less, and in the highest Court of the State where it was made (New York) a trustee in bankruptcy in England has lately recovered from the bankrupt himself, who happened to be in New York, funds which the bankrupt had collected from debtors of his firm residing there. In re Waite, 99 N. Y. 433.

Some dicta in Booth v. Clark, 17 How. 322, have been taken to mean that a receiver or assignee cannot sue in the Courts of a State other than that of his appointment. But no such point was decided; and it is important to observe that the receiver in that case was one appointed under a bill in equity for the benefit of a single creditor, and might be considered to be a mere officer of the Court appointing him. Receivers for the benefit of creditors generally under proceedings for foreclosure or winding up, and assignees under a State insolvent law, have repeatedly maintained actions which have passed the ordeal of the Supreme Court, and on that point no question can now be raised.

In England the law was laid down about a century since, and has always been adhered to, that the decree of a foreign Court of the debtor’s domicile, vesting his property in trustees for creditors, transfers to them the personal property in England, in spite of