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Assignments and Transfers

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ASSIGNMENTS AND TRANSFERS. Voluntary assignments of personal property, valid where made, will transfer property every where ; Speed v. May, 17 Pa. 91, 55 Am. Dec. 540; Schroder v. Tompkins, 58 Fed. 672; Van Wyck v. Read, 43 Fed. 716; Rich ardson v. Leavitt, 1 La. Ann. 430, 45 Am. Dec. 90; Greene v. Mfg. Co., 52 Conn. 330; Train v. Kendall, 137 Mass. 366; not as against citizens of the state of the sites at taching prior to the assignees' obtaining possession; Ingraham v. Geyer, 13 Mass. 146, 7 Am, Dec. 132; King v. Johnson, 5 Har. (Del.) 31. Otherwise Wilson v. Carson, 12 Md. 54.

An involuntary assignment by operation of law as under bankrupt or insolvent laws will not avail as against attaching creditors in the place of situation of the property ; Hoyt v. Thompson, 5 N. Y. 320 ; Frazier v. Fredericks, 24 N. J. L. 162; Blake v. Wil liams, 6 Pick. (Mass.) 286, 302, 17 Am. Dec. 372; McNeil v. Colquhoon, 3 N. C. 24; Rob inson v. Crowder, 4 McCord (S. C.) 519, 17 Am. Dec. 762; Saunders v. Williams, 5 N. H. 213; Olivier v. Townes, 2 Mart. N. S. (La.) 93; Milne v. Moreton, 6 Binn. (Pa.) 353, 6 Am. Dec. 466; Harrison v. Sterry, 5 era. (U. S.) 289, 3 L. Ed. 104; Very v. Mc Henry, 29 Me. 208; Burk v. McClain, 1 Harr. & McH. (Md.) 236 ; Beer v. Hooper, 32 Miss. 246; Upton v. Hubbard, 28 Conn. 274, 73 Am. Dec. 670 ; Woodward v. Roane, 23 Ark. 526; Osborn v. Adams, 18 Pick. (Mass.) 247; Lichtenstein v. Gillett, 37 La. Ann. 522.

It may be a question whether the same rule would hold if the assignees had obtain ed possession ; Cook v. Van Horn, 81 Wis. 291, 50 N. W. 893. An assignment by opera tion of law is good so as to vest property in the assignees by comity; 6 M. & S. 126; Holmes v. Remsen, 20 Johns. (N. Y.) 262, 11 Am. Dec. 269; Milne v. Moreton, 6 Binn. (Pa.) 363, 6 Am. Dec. 466; Goodwin v. Jones, 3 Mass. 517, 3 Am. Dec. 173.

In England it is settled that an assign ment under the bankrupt law of a foreign country passes all the personal property of the bankrupt locally situate, and debts owing in England, and that an attachment of such property by an English creditor, after such bankruptcy, with or without no tice to him, is invalid to overreach the as signment. See 25 Q. B. Div. 399.

Discharges by the tem loci contractus are valid everywhere; May v. Breed, 7 Cush.

(Mass.) 15, 54 Am. Dec. 700; Long v. Ham mond, 40 Me. 204; Peck v. Hibbard, 26 Vt. 703, 62 Am. Dec. 605; Blanchard v. Russell, 13 Mass. 1, 7 Am. Dec. 106 ; Mason v. Haile, 12 Wheat. (U. S.) 370, 6 L. Ed. 660; 5 East 124. This rule is restricted in the United States by the clause in the constitution forbidding the passage of any law impairing the obligation of contracts. Under this pro vision, it is held that a state insolvent or bankrupt law may not have any extra-terri torial effect to discharge the debtor; Cook v. Moffat, 5 How. (U. S.) 307, 12 L. Ed. 159; Donnelly v. Corbett, 7 N. Y. 500; Story, Const. § 1115. See Doc Font. It may, how ever, take away the remedy for non-per formance of the contract in the locus con tractus, on contracts made subsequently.

As to FOREIGN JUnOMENTS and FOREIGN Laws, see those titles.

The important question of federal courts following state decisions, or not, is properly treated here. There is no common law of the United States in the sense of a national customary law distinct from the common law of England as adopted by the several states, each for itself, applied as its local law, and subject to such alteration as may be provided by its own statutes; Wheaton v. Peters, 8 Pet. (U. S.) 591, 8 L. Ed. 1055; Smith v. Alabama, 124 U. S. 465, 8 Sup. Ct. 564, 31 L. Ed. 508. A determination in a given case, of what that law is, may be different in a court from one pre vailing in a state court. This arises from the circumstance that the federal courts, where they are called upon to administer the law of the state in which they sit, or by which the transaction is governed, ex ercise an independent, though concurrent, jurisdiction, and are required to ascertain and declare the law according to their own judgment ; Western Union Telegraph Co. v. Pub. Co., 181 U. S. 92, 21 Sup. Ct. 561, 45 L. Ed. 765. The conclusion of a state court; as to the time when a cause of action ac crues in case of fraud or concealment, based, not on a construction of a state statute, but on the view taken of the rule of the com mon law, is not binding on a federal court, when called on to construe the common law and to apply its principles to cases arising between citizens of different states; Murray v. R. Co., 62 Fed. 24.