Bankruptcy. Property Passing to Trustee. Right to Cash Surrender Value of Life Insurance Policy

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  • Bankruptcy. Property Passing to Trustee. Right to Cash Surrender Value of Life InsurancePolicySource: Harvard Law Review, Vol. 35, No. 1 (Nov., 1921), p. 84Published by: The Harvard Law Review AssociationStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1329196 .Accessed: 22/05/2014 18:08

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  • 84 HARVARD LAW REVIEW

    have to the face value after a surrender of the policy. This, it is sub- mitted, should have been the ground of the decision in Frederick v. Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Co. and should be applied to all related cases.

    RECENT CASES BANKRUPTCY - PROPERTY PASSING TO TRUSTEE - RIGHT TO CASH SUR-

    RENDER VALUE OF LIFE INSURANCE POLICY - A bankrupt had a life insurance policy with a cash surrender value, a third person beneficiary, and a power reserved to himself to change the beneficiary. He died after the adjudication in bankruptcy and the defendant insurer paid the full face value of the policy to the beneficiary without notice of the bankruptcy. The plaintiff, trustee in bankruptcy, sues to recover the cash surrender value. Held, that the defendant is not liable. Frederick v. Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Co., U. S. Sup. Ct., Oct. Term, I920, no. 547.

    For a discussion of the principles involved in this case, see NOTES, supra, p. 8o.

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - EVIDENCE -PRIVILEGES UNDER THE FOURTH AND FIFTH AMENDMENTS - USE BY GOVERNMENT OF PAPERS STOLEN BY PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL. - The petitioner's private papers were stolen by detectives engaged by his employer. Evidence of an alleged fraudulent use of the mails was discovered therein, and voluntarily turned over to the Department of Justice, which had no prior knowledge of the theft. Before presentation of the papers to the grand jury, the petitioner filed a petition in the Federal District Court for an order for the return of the papers to him. Held, that the government is entitled to retain the papers for use against the petitioner. Burdeau v. McDowell, U. S. Sup. Ct., Oct. Term, I920, No. 646.

    The Supreme Court has recently indicated that it will give full effect to the privileges guaranteed by the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, 25I U. S. 385; Gouled v. United States, U. S. Sup. Ct., Oct. Term, I920, No. 250. See Osmond K. Fraenkel, "Concerning Searches and Seizures," 34 HARV. L. REV. 36i. But the privilege against unreason- able search and seizure has been held applicable only to action by government officers or their authorized agents. Bacon v. United States, 97 Fed. 35 (8th Circ.). See Weeks v. United States, 232 U. S. 383, 398; Flagg v. United States, 233 Fed. 48I, 483 (2d. Circ.). The purpose of this Amendment, it is submitted, is to restrain unscrupulous government officers from interfering with domestic tranquillity, rather than to enable Federal offenders to avoid detection and prosecution. See COOLEY, CONSTITUTIONAL LIMITATIONS, 7 ed., 424 et seq.; 2 STORY, COMMENTARIES ON THE CONSTITUTION, 5 ed., ?? I9OI-2. To safe- guard his constitutional rights effectively, the petitioner might well be entitled to a return where any connection, although short of an agency, can be shown be- tween Federal officials and the thief, before the theft. But where, as here, there is no connection, the petitioner must rely upon extra-Constitu- tional rights. It is submitted that the vague reason given by the dissenting justices, viz., the lessening of respect for law "by resort in its enforcement to means which shock the common man's sense of decency and fair play," is a doubtful basis for such a right. The Fifth Amendment will not be violated by introducing these papers at the trial. Lyman v. United States, 24I Fed. 945 (gth Circ.). Petitioner's only remedy is an action for damages against the thief.

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    Article Contentsp. 84

    Issue Table of ContentsHarvard Law Review, Vol. 35, No. 1 (Nov., 1921), pp. i-ii+1-112Volume Information [pp. i-ii]Jeremiah Smith [pp. 1-8]A Contemporary State Trial. The United States versus Jacob Abrams et Als [pp. 9-14]The Valuation of Property in the Early Common Law [pp. 15-29]The Legal Legislative and Economic Battle over Railroad Rates [pp. 30-46]The Ownership of Community Property [pp. 47-67]NotesJudicial Discretion in the Law of Torts [pp. 68-70]Excises as Property Taxes [pp. 70-73]Discretion in Quo Warranto against a Public Corporation [pp. 73-76]What Is Admissible Evidence of Value in Eminent Domain [pp. 76-78]Protecting a Married Woman's Interest in Homestead Property [pp. 78-80]Rights of the Trustee in Bankruptcy under Modern Life Insurance Policies [pp. 80-84]

    Recent CasesBankruptcy. Property Passing to Trustee. Right to Cash Surrender Value of Life Insurance Policy [p. 84]Constitutional Law. Evidence. Privileges under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Use by Government of Papers Stolen by Private Individual [p. 84]Corporations. Dissolution. Devolution of Property on Dissolution [p. 85]Criminal Law. Trial. Right of Accused to Act as His Own Counsel [p. 86]Eminent Domain. Valuation. What Is Admissible Evidence of Value [p. 86]Fixtures. Removal. Effect of Agreement on Character of Property [pp. 86-87]Foreign Corporations. Service of Process. Jurisdiction When Corporation Is Not "Doing Business" in the State [pp. 87-88]Foreign Exchange. Sale of Draft. Measure of Damages on Dishonor [p. 88]Homicide. Self-Defense. Duty to Retreat from Place of Business [pp. 88-89]Interstate Commerce. Taxation. General Limitations on the Taxing Power. Taxation of Bills Receivable Derived from Interstate Commerce [p. 89]Joint Tenancy. Severance. Effect of Non-Acceptance of Deed before Death of Grantor [pp. 89-90]Judgments. Operation as against Third Parties [pp. 90-91]Mortgages. Priorities. Priority of Purchase-Money Mortgage Acquired at Foreclosure Sale over Existing Second Mortgage [p. 91]Police Power. Interest of Public Health. Licensing Act Discriminating against Chiropractors [pp. 91-92]Proximate Cause. Intervening Causes. Foreseeable Failure to Avoid Danger [p. 92]Quo Warranto. Judicial Discretion in Quo Warranto against Municipal Corporation [p. 92]Taxation. General Limitations on the Taxing Power. Federal Agency: Taxation by a State of a Debt Owed by the United States [p. 93]Taxation. Particular Forms of Taxation. State Inheritance Tax on Stock of a Non-Resident in a Foreign Corporation Owning Realty within the State [pp. 93-94]Taxation. Particular Forms of Taxation. Tax on All Use as an Excise Tax [p. 94]Taxation. Where Property May Be Taxed. Equitable Interest of Resident Cestui in Foreign Trust of Intangibles [p. 94]Torts. Negligence. Duty of Care. Liability of Occupier of Premises to Trespasser [pp. 94-95]Wills. Probate. Lost and Destroyed Wills [p. 95]Wills. Revocation. Revocation by Marriage [pp. 95-96]

    Book ReviewsReview: untitled [pp. 96-102]Review: untitled [pp. 102-103]Review: untitled [pp. 103-106]Review: untitled [pp. 106-107]Review: untitled [pp. 108-109]Review: untitled [pp. 109-110]

    Books Received [pp. 111-112]

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