The Bankrupt Law begins by providing what courts shall have jurisdiction in all matters and proceedings in bankruptcy. This jurisdiction the first section confers upon the district courts of the United States. The second section gives to the circuit courts a general superintendence and jurisdiction over all cases and questions arising under the act(aa) It is provided that "any party aggrieved," which means we suppose, objecting to, or supposing himself injured by any proceeding in bankruptcy, may be heard in the circuit court, on his bill or petition. But no appeal is permitted to the circuit court, from interlocutory or final proceedings in bankruptcy, (bb)
Colqohoon, 2 Hayw. 24; Robinson v. Crowder. 4 McCord, 519 ; the recent and instructive cases, May v. Breed, 7 Cush. 15; Towne v. Smith, 1 Woodb & M. 115, Sanderson v. Bradford, 10 N. H. 260-264, Eliver v. Beste et al., 32 Mo. 240.
(z) This limitation is laid down in many of the cases in the preceding note, expressly or by implication, as in Blake v. Williams. 6 Pick. 286. See Towne v. Smith, 1 Woodb. & M. 115-136; The Watchman, Ware, 232; Merrick's Estate, 2 Ashm. 485; May v. Breed, 7 Cush. 15.
(a) Story on Conflict of Laws, §§ 20, 364, 414; M'Cormick v. Sullivaut, 10 Wheat. 202; Ingraham p. Geyer, 13 Mass. 147; Rogers v. Allen, 3 Ohio, 488; Osborn v Adams, 18 Pick. 245 Sir William Grant, in Curtis v. Hunton, 14 Ves. 537, 541, said: "The validity of every disposition of real estate must depend upon the law of the country where that estate is situated." In Oakey v. Bennett, 11 How 33-45, Mr. Justice McLean, delivering the opinion of the court, said: " But it is an admitted principle, in all countries where the common law prevails, whatever views may be entertained in regard to personal property, that real estate can be conveyed only under the territorial law. . . . The same rule prevails generally in the civil law. This doctrine has been uniformly recognized by the courts of the United States, and by the courts of the respective States. The form of conveyance adopted by each State for the transfer of real property must be observed This is a regulation which belongs to the local sovereignty."'
(b) See the cases cited in the preceding notes.
Composition with Creditors.
The recent statutes of Bankruptcy make an important provision on this subject, as follows:1 (aa) See sections 1 and 2
(bb) The jurisdiction conferred by the National Law of Bankruptcy of 1841, on the district judges, was greater than that exercised by the Lord Chancellor. In this respect the present statute is as liberal as the former; and Story, J., in Ex parte Foster, 2 Story, 131, speaks, in reference to the matter of jurisdiction, as follows: "And here I lay it down as a general principle, that the district court is possessed of the full jurisdiction of the court of equity over the whole subject-matters which may arise in bankruptcy, and is authorized by summary proceedings to administer all the relief which a court of equity could administer, under the like circumstances, upon a regular bill, and regular proceedings, instituted by competent parties. In this respect the act of Congress, for wise purposes, has conferred a more wide and liberal jurisdiction upon the courts of the United States than the Lord Chancellor, sitting in Bankruptcy, was authorized to exercise. In short, whatever he might properly do, sitting in Bankruptcy, or sitting in the Court of Chancery, under his general equity jurisdiction, the courts of the United States are, by the act of 1841, competent to do." See, on the point of the jurisdiction of the district courts, the learned opinion of Hopkinson, J., in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in the case of Robert Morris, reported 1 Law Reporter, 354. As the U. S. courts have this full jurisdiction, they may hear parties on a bill to redeem a mortgage, brought by the assignee; and, if the mortgage contains a power of sale, may order a sale under it. So held in Dwight v. Ames, U. S. Circ Ct. Mass., 2 Bankrupt. Reg. 147.
1 A composition followed by payment or tender of the sums due bars a judgment against the debtor personally at the suit of a creditor whose debt was set out in the former's statement, and would be barred by a discharge. Denny v. Merrifield, 128 Mass. 228. But a composition is no bar, if there is no payment or tender or waiver thereof, and if the creditor took no part in the proceedings. Pierce v Gilkev, 124 Mass. 300. A notice, however, of a debtor's readiness to pay the amounts due under a composition at a reasonable place and at the time payable, is sufficient without a formal tender to each creditor. Home Bank v. Carpenter, 129 Mass. 1; Edwards v. Coombe, L. R. 7 C. P. 519, 522. A creditor whose name or the amount of whose debt is not shown in the debtor's statement, and who takes no part in the proceedings, is not bound by the composition, Pratt v. Chase, 122 Mass. 262; Woolsey v. Hogan, 124 Mass. 497; Mac-Mahon v. Jacobs, 129 Mass. 524, note; Ex parte long, 5 Ch. D. 971; Breslauer v Brown, 3 App. Cas. 672; Burliner v. Royle, 5 C. P. D. 354; nor if his debt is stated at less than its true amount, Hewes v. Rand, 129 Mass. 519; see Ex parte Trafton, 2 Lowell, 505; nor is a claim barred by a composition that would not be barred by a discharge, Mudge v. Wilmot, 124 Mass. 493. While a composition judgment may he set aside on direct application for the benefit of all creditors, and upon proof of the bankrupt's fraudulent acts, In re Sawyer, 2 Lowell, 475; Ex parte Hamlin, id. 571; In re Scott, 15 Bankr. Reg. 73, 90; a composition cannot be collaterally impeached by setting up such acts in a State court by a single creditor who participated in the bankruptcy proceedings, Burpee v. Sparhawk, 108 Mass. Ill; Way v. Howe, id 502; Black v. Blazo. 117 Mass. 17; Farwell v. Raddin, 129 Mass. 7. An acceptance of
"In all cases of bankruptcy now pending, or to be hereafter pending, by or against any person, .whether an adjudication in bankruptcy shall have been had or not, the creditors of such alleged bankrupt may, at a meeting called under the direction of the court, and upon not less than ten days' notice to each known creditor of the time, place, and purpose of such meeting, such notice to be personal or otherwise, as the court may direct, resolve that a composition proposed by the debtor shall be accepted in satisfaction of the debts due to them from the debtor. And such resolution shall, to be operative, have been passed by a majority in number and three-fourths in value of the creditors of the debtor, assembled at such meeting either in person or by proxy, and shall be confirmed by the signatures thereto of the debtor and two-thirds in number and one-half in value of all the creditors of the debtor. And in calculating a majority for the purposes of a composition under this section, creditors whose debts amount to sums not exceeding fifty dollars shall be reckoned in the majority in value, but not in the majority in number, and the value of the debts of secured creditors above the amount of such security, to be determined by the court, shall, as nearly as circumstances admit, be estimated in the same way. And creditors whose debts are fully secured shall not be entitled to vote upon or to sign such resolution without first relinquishing such security for the benefit of the estate."