Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

the same, and from time to time make repairs, replacements, alterations, additions and improvements as fully as the company might have done before such entry, and receive all tolls, income, rent; issues and profits arising from the property. The trustee and its successor or successors were authorized, on such default, to sell the mortgaged property at public auction, after at least two months' notice, and execute to the purchaser or purchasers a deed in fee simple, or otherwise, for all the right, title, interest and estate reversionary or in possession which they might be entitled to receive, have or hold of the company, such sale to be a complete bar against the company, its successors or assigns, and all persons claiming from or under it.

The mortgage made provision as to the disposal of moneys received from tolls, income, profits, etc., and provided that “nothing herein shall be construed as limiting the right of the trustee to apply to any competent court for a decree of foreclosure and sale under this indenture, or for the usual relief in such proceedings, and the said trustee, or its successor, may, in its discretion, so proceed."

The Canal and Irrigation Company, having made default in the payment of the principal and interest due on its bonds, its board of directors, by formal action, recognized their inability to meet its obligations, and requested the trustee to bring the present suit for the foreclosure of the mortgage, and enforce the payment of the principal and interest of the bonds. The bringing of the suit was also in conformity with the written request of the owners and holders of fifty-five of the outstanding bonds, who expressed their election and option that the principal of the bonds should forthwith become due and payable.

The bill filed by the Trust Company prayed: 1. That a receiver be appointed to take charge of the mortgaged property and to maintain and operate the canals pending the suit and until sale under a judgment of foreclosure. 2. That the court ascertain the number and amount of outstanding bonds, fix

[blocks in formation]

the compensation of the receiver and his attorney, and that the plaintiff have judgment against the Canal and Irrigation Company, for the amount due for principal and interest on the bonds, and for attorney's fee,'trustee's commissions, costs and expenses of the suit. 3. That the mortgaged property be sold at public auction, and that out of the proceeds the expenses of sale, costs of suit, trustee's commissions and counsel fees be paid, the balance to be applied in payment of outstanding bonds.

The court, on motion of the Trust Company, the Canal and Irrigation Company appearing and consenting thereunto, appointed E. C. Chapman receiver of the mortgaged property, with authority to take possession of it. The receiver was empowered by the order of court to continue the operation of the main and branch canals of the mortgagor company in the usual and ordinary way as the same were then operated, discharging, so far as practicable, contracts for water supplies entered into by the company, collecting rents, tolls, and moneys payable under water contracts, keeping the property in good condition and repair, employing needful agents and servants at such compensation as he deemed reasonable, paying for needful labor, supplies and materials as might seem to him to be necessary and proper in the exercise of a sound discretion, “with leave to apply to the court from time to time as he may be advised for instructions in the premises." "He shall,” the order proceeded, “do whatever may be needful to preserve and maintain the corporate franchises of said defendant corporation and its rights to the use of the water and all its property, until final judgment in this action, and to defray the necessary and proper expenses incident thereto." The above order was made October 3, 1894.

In the progress of the cause the receiver, upon his own motion and not, so far as the record shows, by direction of the plaintiff, applied to the court and obtained its authority to borrow money and issue certificates, which were used by him in the operation of the property, paying debts, etc.

[blocks in formation]

Certain parties were permitted to intervene and the litigation lingered until September 18, 1897, when a decree of foreclosure and sale was entered, nearly three years after the receiver was appointed. There was great difficulty in effecting a sale, partly because of the washing away of a dam. Finally, a bid of $21,000 by one Thompson, acting on behalf of the receiver and his attorneys, was accepted. That amount was just enough to cover the fees of the receiver and his counsel and the expenses of the sale and to make a small pro rata payment on the accrued interest on receiver's certificates. This left unpaid all other expenses and certificates of the receiver. The sale was confirmed August 15, 1898, and the commissioner was directed to deliver a deed for the property.

The order confirming the sale directed the clerk of the court to report the balance remaining unpaid on account of the fees of officers or appointees of the court, or of advances made by them, and on account of receiver's certificates, time checks or other expenses of the receiver's administration. The order also directed the receiver to render an account of his receipts, disbursements and expenses in the management and care of the property between the date of the decree of foreclosure and the date of the sale and transfer of possession.

The clerk made the required report, from which it appeared that the proceeds of sale, $21,000, were absorbed by these claims: Compensation of receiver, $9,000; receiver's attorneys, $9,000, and fees of commissioner, master, advertising, etc., $3,000. He further reported that of the amounts found due by the decree of foreclosure of September 18, 1897, there remained unpaid, on the following accounts, these sums: Receiver's certificates, $12,292.47; receiver, for advance made by him, care and management of property, $3,105.72; time checks issued by receiver, $5,728.89; work done for receiver, $2,269.85; expenses of operating canal system, $5,728.54; other sums, $13,723.49; total, $42,848.96.

On the third of August, 1899, nearly five years after the appointment of the receiver, he filed his final report and peti

[blocks in formation]

tion, in which he prayed that the balance due him on account of his receipts and disbursements after the making of the decree, also the balance due to his employés after the making of the report upon which the decree was based, and the compensation to be allowed to him and his counsel since the date of the decree, be fixed and established by the court, and judgment entered "against the plaintiff in this cause for the full amount of the deficiency hereinbefore stated, with the sums so allowed for services and expenses since the date of said decree, and that the proper process of court be issued for the collection thereof from plaintiff, and that when collected the same be paid into court to be by the court disbursed to the several persons entitled thereto."

The petition alleged that the Canal and Irrigation Company was insolvent and unable to respond to any judgment for deficiency that had been or might be entered in the cause. Upon this report and petition being filed the Circuit Court ordered the Trust Company to show cause why the amount due the receiver and his employés should not be settled and allowed, and why judgment for such deficiency should not, when ascertained, be entered against that company and it be required to pay the same into court.

The Trust Company appeared and demurred to the receiver's report and motion for judgment against it. The Circuit Court, after hearing, sustained the demurrer and discharged the rule to show cause. Upon appeal to the Circuit Court of Appeals the order of the Circuit Court was reversed, the former court being of opinion that the Trust Company was liable to a personal judgment for the alleged deficiency. Chapman v. Atlantic Trust Co., 119 Fed. Rep. 257.

The grounds upon which the Circuit Court and the Circuit Court of Appeals, respectively, proceeded appear in the margin.?

1 CIRCUIT COURT--JUDGE Morrow: "I am of the opinion that provisions should have been made when this suit was commenced, or at the time when the Receiver was appointed, for the payment of or security for the amount of his expenses, and for the redemption of whatever certificates might be

[blocks in formation]

Upon the return of the case to the Circuit Court the Trust Company filed its answer to the receiver's . petition, and the cause was submitted, by consent, as upon bill and answer, on issued by him, in the event that the proceeds of the sale of the property should prove insufficient. But such provision was not made at the time by the court, and I am of the opinion that the court is without authority to do so now. In Farmers' Loan Co. v. Oregon Pacific R. R. Co., 31 Oregon, 237, this question was fully considered, and the views there expressed are in accord with my opinion in the present case."

CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS—JUDGE Ross, 119 Fed. Rep. 268: “Those who render services in and about the receivership are justly entitled to be paid the fair value of such services, and when the issuance of receiver's certificates becomes necessary for the proper preservation of the property, and such certificates are authorized by the court to be issued by the Receiver for money to be used for such purposes, those who buy the obligations are entitled to have them paid. How? In cases like the present, out of the property or its proceeds, certainly. No one, we apprehend, will question that. But the property having been sold for but a trifle more than the amount theretofore allowed the Receiver and his attorney for their services in and about the receivership, and they credited with such allowance on their bid, who is to suffer? The complainant, at whose instance the Receiver was appointed, or those who, relying upon his acts, based upon the authority and sanction of the court, invested their money and rendered their services in and about the operation and preservation of the property? It is not difficult to determine on which side of this question are the equities. With due deference we are unable to see any force in the suggestion of the Supreme Court of Oregon in the case cited that, as the complainant in such a suit has no control over the Receiver, if he be held liable for the expenses of the receivership, in the event the property prove insufficient to pay them, he may be bankrupted. At the same time it is conceded by that learned court that where it appears probable that the property will prove insufficient, the court may require, as a condition to the appointment of a receiver, a guaranty of the payment of the expenses of such officer, and a like guaranty subsequently, on pain of the discharge of the Receiver, when it becomes evident that the property will prove insufficient to pay the expenses. The theory of this manifestly is, that in these two instances the complainant can inform himself of the probable outcome of the property, and if he be not willing to give the guaranty he will not secure the appointment of a Receiver in the one instance, or his continuance in office in the other. But why should be not be required to inform himself, also, when no such condition is imposed by the court? Precisely the same opportunity on complainant's part, and .precisely the same duty to inform himself in that respect, exists in the absence of the requirement of the guaranty mentioned. The complainant, whose lien upon the property it is sought to foreclose, in the nature of things, must and should be held to have much better information regarding the value

VOL, CCVIII-24

« AnteriorContinuar »