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HARRIS V. AVERY BRUNDAGE CO., 305 U. S. 160 (1938)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Harris v. Avery Brundage Co., 305 U.S. 160 (1938)

Harris v. Avery Brundage Co.

No. 53

Argued November 8, 1938

Decided November 21, 1938

305 U.S. 160


1. A court of bankruptcy has jurisdiction to determine controversies relating to property in the hands of the debtor's agent at the time of the filing of a petition in bankruptcy. P. 305 U. S. 163.

2. A court of bankruptcy has power, in the first instance, to determine whether it has that actual or constructive possession which is essential to its jurisdiction to proceed. Id.

3. Concurrent finding of two courts below that respondents in the case held custody and control of an escrow fund in controversy as agent of a bankrupt corporation is accepted by this Court. Id.

4. In the absence of a substantial adverse claim, the bankruptcy court acquired jurisdiction, when the petition in bankruptcy was filed, to determine controversies relating to an escrow fund in control of the bankrupt's agents, and had power by summary proceedings to compel its surrender. Id.

5. Parties having only a procedural right to have issues tried in a plenary suit may waive it by consenting to summary trial in bankruptcy. P. 305 U. S. 164.

95 F.2d 373 affirmed.

Certiorari, 304 U.S. 557, to review the affirmance of orders of the bankruptcy court requiring the present petitioners to make a payment from an escrow fund, and ordering that pleadings of the petitioners challenging its jurisdiction over the fund be stricken.

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