Adam v. Saenger

303 U.S. 59, 58 S. Ct. 454, 82 L. Ed. 649 (1938)

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Adam v. Saenger

United States Supreme Court
303 U.S. 59, 58 S. Ct. 454, 82 L. Ed. 649 (1938)

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Facts

A Texas corporation sued Montes in California to recover a money judgment for goods it sold and delivered. Montes, following Californian practice and procedure, filed a cross-action for conversion of chattels against the corporation by serving a cross-complaint upon the corporation’s attorney of record. The cross-complaint ended in a default judgment for Montes and dismissal of the corporation’s claim against Montes. Adam (plaintiff) became the assignee of Monte’s California judgment and sued the corporation’s directors in Texas to enforce the California judgment. The Texas trial court dismissed the action, and Adam appealed. The Texas appellate court, analogizing to Texas law, found that the California court lacked personal jurisdiction over the corporation for the cross-complaint, affirmed the trial court, and refused to give the California court judgment full faith and credit. The Texas appellate court reasoned that because the cross-complaint was not an ancillary proceeding but an independent suit in which a final judgment would be rendered without awaiting a final decision in the original suit, it required service on the corporation and not on its attorney of record to establish personal jurisdiction over the corporation in the cross-complaint. The Texas Supreme Court denied Adam’s writ of appeal, and Adams appealed to the United State Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Stone, J.)

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