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U.S. Supreme Court

Carolina Glass Co. v. South Carolina, 240 U.S. 305 (1916)

Carolina Glass Company v. South Carolina

Nos. 12, 9, 205, 204

Argued January 20, 1916

Decided February 21, 1916

240 U.S. 305


A glass manufacturing company, which had furnished supplies to the state and various county dispensaries of South Carolina, presented, pursuant to statute providing therefor, its claim for balance due to the State Dispensary Commission appointed to close up the business chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 240 U. S. 306

and which found that the glass company had been overpaid on previous settlements an amount exceeding its claim, and, after allowing the claim, found the glass company was indebted to the state for a specified amount, and entered an overjudgment therefor which the state attempted to collect; the glass company appealed to the state supreme court, and also instituted independent proceedings in the state and federal courts to restrain the members of the Commission from enforcing the overjudgment or from withdrawing funds from the county dispensaries and to recover sums so withdrawn against the individual members of the Commission. From the adverse judgment of the district court, writs of error were taken from this Court and also from the circuit court of appeals. All the cases were considered together by this Court, and held that;

The State Dispensary Commission had jurisdiction to consider, find and offset claims of the state against one claiming for supplies furnished to the dispensaries, and, even though it had no power to render an overjudgment, it did not deprive the claimant of its property without due process of law by making such offset.

The state court did not err in holding that, although the overjudgment was rendered without authority by the Commission, that fact did not affect the power of the Commission to withdraw funds from the county dispensaries, as they were state funds and subject to its control.

The glass company, as creditor of the state, could not assert rights against the withdrawal by state officers of funds of the state under their control in regard to which the state had not consented to be sued, and the withdrawal in this case did not amount to the impairment of contract obligations within the meaning of § 10, Art. I, of the federal Constitution.

The funds of the State Dispensary of South Carolina involved in these actions were funds of the state (Murray v. Wilson Distilling Co., 213 U. S. 151) and the suit against members of the State Dispensary Commission was in effect a suit against the state, and could not be maintained in the district court of the United States.

Where there are no allegations of diverse citizenship and the jurisdiction of the federal court is invoked solely on constitutional grounds, the writ of error issues direct from this Court and the circuit court of appeals is without jurisdiction to review.

87 S.C. 270, 285, affirmed.

197 F.3d 2 affirmed.

Writ of error to review 206 F.6d 5 dismissed. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 240 U. S. 307

The facts, which involve the construction of the Dispensary Laws of South Carolina and rights of one claiming to have furnished supplies to the dispensaries, are stated in the opinion.

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