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U.S. Supreme Court

Riverside and Dan River Cotton Mills v. Menefee, 237 U.S. 189 (1915)

Riverside and Dan River Cotton Mills v. Menefee

No. 169

Argued March 4, 1915

Decided April 12, 1915

237 U.S. 189


To condemn without a hearing is repugnant to the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Courts of one state cannot, without violating the due process clause, extend their authority beyond their jurisdiction so as to condemn the resident of another state when neither his person nor his property is within the jurisdiction of the former. Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U. S. 714.

A corporation, no more than an individual, is subject to be condemned without a hearing in violation of the due process clause, and the mere fact that one who is a director, but who is not a resident agent, of a foreign corporation resides within a state does not give the courts chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 237 U. S. 190

of that state jurisdiction over a corporation which is not doing business and has no resident agent therein. This applies to a judgment even though, by implied reservation, its effect is limited to the confines of the state.

Wherever a provision of the Constitution is applicable, the duty to enforce it is all-embracing and imperative. Due process cannot be denied in fixing, by judgment, against one beyond jurisdiction of the court, an amount due even though the enforcement of the judgment be postponed until execution issue.

The fact that a judgment rendered without due process of law may not, under the full faith and credit clause, be enforced in another state affords no ground for the court entering a judgment without jurisdiction in violation of due process of law.

The facts, which involve the validity under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of a judgment against a foreign corporation not doing business within the state, are stated in the opinion.

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