The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 250: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, August-October, 1918. Page: 998
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998 250 FEDERAL REPORTER
6. BANKRUPTCY X372--REOPENING PROCEEDINGS---AUTHORITY OF COURT.
After an estate is closed and there is no longer a trustee, the power of
the District Court in respect to the discharged trustee is exhausted, and
an order directing the former trustee to execute an instrument validating
the title of one of the bankrupts to property alleged to be newly discovered
is invalid, being without the jurisdiction of the court.
Petition to Revise Order of the District Court of the United States
for the Eastern District of New York.
In the matter of the bankruptcy of G. Edward Graff and Thomas F.
Nevins, individually and as copartners composing the firm of G. Ed-
ward Graff & Co. On petition by the People's Trust Company, as ex-
ecutor of the estate of Edward Johnson, deceased, to reopen the es-
tate. Petition to reopen being denied, and the former trustee being
directed to execute a document validating the title of Nevins to prop-
erty alleged to have been newly discovered (242 Fed. 577), the People's
Trust Company petitions to revise. Order reversed, except as to por-
tion denying the motion to reopen, and in that respect affirmed.
Petition to revise an order in bankruptcy entered in the District Court for
the Eastern District of New York. Graft and Nevins became bankrupts in
1901. A trustee was elected, many claims were filed, and such proceedings
were had that in 1903 the estate was closed and the trustee discharged, as
were also the bankrupts themselves. The records of the court show that
one Johnson, now deceased, and of whose last will the People's Trust Com-
pany is the executor, became (prior to the closing of the estate) the owner by
assignment of every claim filed, except one for $12, which was paid in full.
Subject to the fees of trustee, referee, and counsel, Johnson received all the
cash and securities in the hands of the trustee. The value of the estate so
delivered was not sufficient to pay in full the filed claims. This is the sub-
stance of the official history of this bankruptcy. There is nothing on file to
show why or for what purpose Johnson bought up or otherwise acquired credi-
In 1916 the Trust Company, representing Johnson, and therefore as a
creditor of the bankrupts, submitted a petition to reopen this estate, alleging
the discovery of assets still in the hands of Nevins, one of the bankrupts, and
which should have been scheduled in 1901 a4d turned over to the former
trustee. Graff and Nevins were given notice of this proceeding and opposed it,
and at the hearing the following facts appeared by affidavit or through docu-
ments which had never been filed in court:
The bankrupts had been engaged in a speculative venture with two other
men, and some of the creditors thought that these other men might be held as
partners of Graft and Nevins, and took or threatened proceedings to subject
them to the petition in bankruptcy. Thereupon ensued negotiations between
the bankrupts and their alleged partners, resulting in an agreement by which
Johnson became the assignee of all claims as above set forth. He was the
representative in the negotiations for settlement of the alleged partners, and,
owing to lapse of time, deaths, and loss of papers it seems impossible to dis-
cover (nor is it thought material) just how much each creditor received,
whether they all sold their claims upon the same terms, or whether the
funds received ultimately by Johnson from the trustee in bankruptcy were
sufficient to cover the amounts paid to the filing creditors. The alleged part-
ners had themselves filed claims, which were of course invalid if they should
be ultimately held as partners. One material fact, clear from the proof, is
that, if Johnson was a creditor, he was so merely as the representative or
agent of said alleged partners, and that, if there were any moneys left out
4g:For other cases see same topic & KEY-NUMBER in all Key-Numbered Digests & Indexes
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The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 250: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, August-October, 1918., legislative document, 1918; Saint Paul, Minnesota. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38821/m1/1013/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.