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U.S. Supreme Court

Mecom v. Fitzsimmons Drilling Co., Inc., 284 U.S. 183 (1931)

Mecom v. Fitzsimmons Drilling Co., Inc.

No. 32

Argued October 22, 23, 1931

Decided November 23, 1931

284 U.S. 183


1. Where, under a statute giving a right to recover for death by wrongful act, the administrator, if one is appointed, is required to bring the suit, is charged with responsibility for its conduct or settlement and the distribution of its proceeds to the persons entitled under the statute, and is liable upon his official bond for failure to act with diligence and fidelity, he is the real party in interest, and his citizenship, rather than that of the beneficiaries, is looked to in determining whether the suit is removable to the federal court. P. 284 U. S. 186.

2. In the case of suits by administrators to recover for death by wrongful act, the same rule as to federal jurisdiction on the ground of diversity of citizenship applies whether the statute provides that the amount recovered shall be for certain relatives of the decedent or be general assets of the estate. Id.

3. Statutes of Oklahoma make the administrator (if there be one) the trustee of an express trust, and require suit to recover for death by wrongful act to be brought and controlled by him. Comp.Stats., Okla., 1921, § 824. Id.

4. In determining the right to remove to the federal court an action brought by an administrator who was regularly appointed by a state probate court, the appointment cannot be attacked collaterally, nor the removal be sustained, upon the ground that his selection was brought about by collusion between him, his predecessor, and an attorney for the purpose of preventing removal by reason of his citizenship. P. 284 U. S. 189.

47 F.2d 28 reversed.

Certiorari, 283 U.S. 815, to review a judgment affirming a judgment against the administrator in a suit to recover for a death by wrongful act. The case is stated fully in the opinion. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 284 U. S. 184

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