ERROR TO THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS
Fuller, Harlan, Gray, Brewer, Brown, Shiras, Jr., White, Peckham, McKenna
MR. JUSTICE McKENNA, after making the foregoing statement, delivered the opinion of the court.
A motion is made to dismiss the writ of error upon the ground that no Federal question was raised in the Superior Court. Federal questions were raised, however, on writ of error to the Supreme Court, and that, we think, was a sufficient claim. Meyer v. Richmond, 172 U.S. 82; Arrowsmith v. Harmoning, 118 U.S. 194; Sully v. American National Bank, 178 U.S. 289.
The objection that the writ of error should have been directed to the Supreme Court and not to the Superior Court is answered by McDonald v. Massachusetts, 180 U.S. 311.
The constitutional questions raised by plaintiffs in error are (1) that they have been deprived of their property without due process of law; (2) that if the judgment be allowed to stand it will impair the obligation of contracts, contrary to the Constitution of the United States; (3) that full faith and credit was not given to certain judicial proceedings had in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
(1) (2) These grounds may be considered together. To sustain them plaintiffs in error assert the invalidity of certain public statutes of Massachusetts, viz., chapter 164, relating to absent defendants; chapter 183, relating to the trustee process; and chapter 157, relating to insolvency.
The sections in regard to insolvency are inserted in the margin.*fn1
The provisions relating to trustee process are as follows:
"SEC. 21. When a person who is summoned as trustee has goods, effects or credits of the defendant entrusted or deposited in his hands or possession, such goods, effects and credits shall be hereby attached and held to respond to the final judgment in the suit, in like manner as goods or estate attached by the ordinary process, except as hereinbefore provided."
"SEC. 25. Any money or other thing due to the defendant may be attached, as herein mentioned, before it has become payable, if it is due absolutely and without any contingency; but the trustee shall not be compelled to pay or deliver it before the time appointed by the contract."
It is difficult to state the argument made to support the contention of plaintiffs in error. It rests ultimately on a claim of immunity from suit in Massachusetts and a claim of immunity from ...