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U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Tribe of Ben-Hur v. Cauble, 255 U.S. 356 (1921)

Supreme Tribe of Ben-Hur v. Cauble

No. 274

Submitted January 10, 1921

Decided March 7, 1921

255 U.S. 356


1. A suit brought against a fraternal benefit association and its officers by some in behalf of all of the members of a class of its beneficiaries so numerous that it would be impracticable to join all as parties to determine their rights as a class respecting the disposition and control of trust funds held by the association is cognizable by the district court where diversity of citizenship exists between the parties complainant and defendant, and the decree will bind all members chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 255 U. S. 357

of the class, including those not parties who are co-citizen with the defendant. P. 255 U. S. 363.

2. Recognition of the jurisdiction to bind absentee in such cases is manifest in the omission from Equity Rule 38, promulgated in 1912, of the earlier provision making the decree without prejudice to their rights and claims. P. 255 U. S. 366.

3. Equity Rule 38, dealing specifically with this subject, controls Equity Rule 39. P. 255 U. S. 366.

4. Having rendered a decree in a class suit defining the right of a class of beneficiaries of a fraternal benefit associations, the district court has ancillary jurisdiction of a bill brought by the association against members of the class who are citizens of the same state as itself and were not parties to the original suit to restrain them from reopening the questions thus settled by suits against it in the state court. P. 255 U. S. 367.

264 F.2d 7 reversed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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