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U.S. Supreme Court

James-Dickinson Farm Mortgage Co. v. Harry, 273 U.S. 119 (1927)

James-Dickinson Farm Mortgage Co. v. Harry

No. 40

Submitted November 29, 1926

Decided January 10, 1927

273 U.S. 119


1. Jurisdiction over a corporation of one state cannot be acquired in another state in which it has no place of business and is not found, merely by serving process upon an executive officer temporarily therein, even if he be there on business of the company. P. 273 U. S. 122.

2. By common law, and under the Texas statute here involved (Comp.Stat. 1920, Title 62, Arts. a-c), the liability of one who, personally or through agents, knowingly makes false statements with intent that another shall act upon them does not depend upon the receipt of any benefit by himself. P. 273 U. S. 122.

3. A statute making actionable as a fraud a false promise of future action by which the other party is induced to enter into a contract is within state power, and not a violation of due process. P. 273 U. S. 123.

4 A state constitutionally may make proof of one fact presumptive evidence of another rationally connected with it, and may shift the burden of proof. P. 273 U. S. 124.

5. A state statute defining liability and regulating procedure in cases of fraud in transactions involving purchase of real estate or of stock in a corporation or joint stock company does not violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in not embracing other frauds. P. 273 U. S. 125. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 273 U. S. 120

6. The fact that a state statute defining special classes of frauds allows recovery of exemplary damages up to twice the actual damages doe not make it a penal law, and a cause of action arising under it may be enforced in a federal court in another state where, though there be no statute of similar import, there is no public policy against it. So held of a statute adding no extraordinary feature to the common law liability for fraudulent misrepresentations, and in the absence of any showing that substantial justice between the parties could not be done consistently with the procedure and practice of the federal courts in the second state. P. 273 U. S. 125.

Reversed in part, affirmed in part.

Error to a judgment in the district court, in Illinois, on a verdict for the plaintiff, in an action for common law and statutory frauds committed in Texas in a sale of lands.

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