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U.S. Supreme Court

Goggin v. California Labor Div., 336 U.S. 118 (1949)

Goggin v. Division of Labor Law Enforcement of California

No. 35

Argued November 15, 1948

Decided January 31, 1949

336 U.S. 118


1. A tax claim of the United States which, at the time of the filing of a petition in bankruptcy, was secured by a perfected lien and accompanied by a Collector of Internal Revenue's possession of personal property of the bankrupt is entitled to priority of payment out of the proceeds of that property, over claims for wages of the kind specified in § 64a(2) of the Bankruptcy Act, and is not required by § 67c to be postponed in payment to such claims by reason of the Collector's subsequent relinquishment of possession of the property to the trustee in bankruptcy for sale by him. Pp. 336 U. S. 119-131.

2. The priority of the tax lien over the wage claims must be determined as of the time of the filing of the petition in bankruptcy, and is unaffected by an arrangement under which possession of the property is subsequently relinquished to the trustee for sale by him. Pp. 336 U. S. 124-126.

3. Although § 67c was added to the Bankruptcy Act by the Chandler Act in 1938, there is nothing in it or in its legislative history to suggest an abandonment of the underlying point of view as to the time as of which it speaks and the general purpose of Congress to continue to safeguard interests under liens perfected before bankruptcy. Pp. 336 U. S. 126-130.

165 F.2d 155, reversed.

The Division of Labor Law Enforcement of the California, as assignee of certain claims for wages, petitioned the District Court for review of an order of the referee in bankruptcy which gave certain tax liens of the United States priority over all other claimants against the estate of a bankrupt after payment of the expenses of administration. The District Court adopted the findings of fact and conclusions of the referee and chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 336 U. S. 119

entered judgment thereon. The Court of Appeals reversed. 165 F.2d 155. This Court granted certiorari. 333 U.S. 860. Reversed, p. 336 U. S. 131.

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