« ПретходнаНастави »
Argument for Defendant in Error.
Conley v. Mathieson Alkali Works, 190 U. S. 406; International Textbook Co. v. Pigg, 217 U. S. 91; St. Louis S. W. Ry. v. Alexander, 227 U. S. 226.
Under the construction given the Kentucky Process Statute by the Court of Appeals a person or corporation doing exclusively an interstate commerce business must submit to the jurisdiction of Kentucky courts.
The submission to the state courts, which is requisite to render foreign corporations subject to suit, cannot be compelled or implied where such corporation does only an interstate commercè business.
The cases relied upon by the Commonwealth do not support its contentions.
Mr. Charles Carroll, with whom Mr. James Garnett, Attorney General of the State of Kentucky, Mr. Frank E. Daugherty, Mr. J. R. Mallory, Mr. J. C. Dedman, Mr. C. R. Hill and Mr. C. D. Florence were on the brief, for defendant in error in this case and in No. 298:1
Plaintiff in error cannot raise the question in this court that the proceedings against it in these cases were a denial to it of due process of law. Section 157, Crim. Code, Kentucky; Commonwealth v. Cheek, 1 Duval, 26; Commonwealth v. Neat, 89 Kentucky, 242; Payne v. Commonwealth, 16 Ky. L. R. 839; Sharp v. Commonwealth, 16 Ky. L. R. 840; York v. Texas, 137 U. S. 15-20; Cosmopolitan Mining Co. v. Walsh, 193 U. S. 469.
The process in this case was served upon the proper person and the judgment rendered thereon was valid and binding. St. Louis S. W, R. R. Co. v. Alexander, 227 U. S. 227.
As to effect of the instructions to agents from the plaintiff in error, see Good Roads Co. v. Commonwealth, 146 Kentucky, 690; Boyd Commission Co. v. Coates, 24 Ky. L. R. 730; Nelson Morris v. Rehkopf, 25 Ky. L. R. 352; Green v.
1 See p. 590, post.
Opinion of the Court.
234 U. S.
Chicago &c. R. R. Co., 205 U. S. 530; Denver &c. R. R. Co. v. Roller, 100 Fed. Rep. 938; International Textbook Co. v. Pigg, 217 U. S. 91; Delamater v. South Dakota, 125 U. S. 93; 19 Cyc. 1347-1348.
To hold that plaintiff in error was properly served with process and the judgment rendered against it valid will not violate the commerce clause of the Constitution. International Harvester Co. v. Commonwealth, 147 Kentucky, 657.
MR. JUSTICE DAY delivered the opinion of the court.
This case presents the question of the sufficiency of the service of process on an alleged agent of the International Harvester Company in a criminal proceeding in Breckenridge County, Kentucky, in the court of which county an indictment had been returned against the Harvester Company for alleged violation of the anti-trust laws of the State of Kentucky. The Harvester Company appeared and moved to quash the return, substantially upon the ground that service had not been made upon an authorized agent of the company and that the company was not doing business within the State of Kentucky, and it set up that any action under the attempted service would violate the due process and commerce clauses of the Federal Constitution. The only question involved, says the Court of Appeals, and we find none other in the record, is whether there was such service of process as would sustain the judgment. The court overruled the motion, and, the case being called for trial and the Harvester Company failing to appear or plead, judgment by default for $500 penalty was entered against it, which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals of Kentucky (147 Kentucky, 655).
It appeared that prior to October 28, 1911, before this indictment was returned, the Harvester Company had
234 U. S.
Opinion of the Court.
been doing business in Kentucky and had designated Louisville, Kentucky, as its principal place of business, in compliance with the statutes of Kentucky in that respect. It further appeared that the Company had revoked the agency of one who had been appointed under the Kentucky statute and had not appointed anyone else upon whom process might be served.
It is conceded in the brief of the learned counsel for the plaintiff in error that whether the person upon whom process was served was one designated by the law of Kentucky as an agent to receive summons on behalf of the Harvester Company was a question within the province of the Court of Appeals of Kentucky to finally determine, and no review of that decision is asked here. We come then to the first question in this case, which is, Whether under the circumstances shown in this case the Harvester Company was carrying on business in the State of Kentucky in such manner as to justify the courts of that State in taking jurisdiction of complaints against it.
For some purposes a corporation is deemed to be a resident of the State of its creation, but when a corporation of one State goes into another in order to be regarded as within the latter it must be there by its agents authorized to transact its business in that State. The mere presence of an agent upon personal affairs does not carry the corporation into the Foreign state. It has been frequently held by this court, and it can no longer be doubted that it is essential to the rendition of a personal judgment that the corporation be "doing business" within the State. St. Louis S. W: Ry. v. Alexander, 227 U. S. 218, 226, and cases there cited. As was said in that case, each case must depend upon its own facts, and their consideration must show that this essential requirement of jurisdiction has been complied with and that the corporation is actually doing business within the State.
In the case now. under consideration the Court of Ap
Opinion of the Court.
234 U. S.
peals of Kentucky found, with warrant for the conclusion, that the Harvester Company's method of conducting business might be shown to the best advantage from the general instruction of the company to its agents of date November 7, 1911, as follows:
"The Company's transactions hereafter with the people of Kentucky must be on a strictly interstate commerce basis. Travelers negotiating sales must not hereafter have any headquarters or place of business in that State, but may reside there.
"Their authority must be limited to taking orders, and all orders must be taken subject to the approval of the general agent outside of the State, and all goods must be shipped from outside of the State after the orders have been approved. Travelers do not have authority to make a contract of any kind in the State of Kentucky. They merely take orders to be submitted to the general agent. If any one in Kentucky owes the Company a debt, they may receive the money, or a check, or a draft for the same but they do not have any authority to make any allowance or compromise any disputed claims. When a matter cannot be settled by payment of the amount due, the matter must be submitted to the general or collection agent, as the case may be, for adjustment, and he can give the order as to what allowance or what compromise may be accepted. All contracts of sale must be made f. o. b. from some point outside of Kentucky and the goods become the property of the purchaser when they are delivered to the carrier outside of the State. Notes for the purchase price may be taken and they may be made payable at any bank in Kentucky. All contracts of any and every kind made with the people of Kentucky must be made outside of that State, and they will be contracts governed by the laws of the various States in which we have general agencies handling interstate business with the people of Kentucky. For example, contracts
234 U. S.
Opinion of the Court.
made by the general agent at Parkersburg, W. Va., will be West Virginia contracts.
"If any one of the Company's general agents deviates from what is stated in this letter, the result will be just the same as if all of them had done so. Anything that is done that places the Company in the position where it can be held as having done business in Kentucky, will not only make the man transacting the business liable to a fine of from one hundred to one thousand dollars for each offense, but it will make the Company liable for doing business in the State without complying with the requirements of the laws of the State. We will, therefore, depend upon you to see that these instructions are strictly carried out."
Taking this as the method of carrying on the affairs of the Harvester Company in Kentucky, does it show a doing of business within that State to the extent which will authorize the service of process upon its agents thus engaged?
Upon this question the case is a close one, but upon the whole we agree with the conclusion reached by the Court of Appeals, that the Harvester Company was engaged in carrying on business in Kentucky. We place no stress upon the fact that the Harvester Company had previously been engaged in doing business in Kentucky and had withdrawn from that State for reasons of its own. Its motives cannot affect the legal questions here involved. In order to hold it responsible under the process of the state court it must appear that it was carrying on business within the State at the time of the attempted service. As we have said, we think it was. Here was a continuous course of business in the solicitation of orders which were sent to another State and in response to which the machines of the Harvester Company were delivered within the State of Kentucky. This was a course of business, not a single transaction. The agents not only solicited such orders