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LEWIS v. HERRERA

decided: February 24, 1908.

LEWIS
v.
HERRERA, RECEIVER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BANK IN NOGALES.



APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF THE TERRITORY OF ARIZONA.

Author: Fuller

[ 208 U.S. Page 312]

 MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER delivered the opinion of the court.

This was a suit by the receiver of the bank as a judgment creditor in the District Court of the Third Judicial District of the Territory of Arizona, in and for the county of Maricopa, to set aside two deeds executed by Lewis, the debtor, to his wife, and have the property therein described subjected to the payment of his judgment.

The case was tried upon an agreed statement of facts. The District Court held the deeds to be void as against complainant. Defendants appealed to the Supreme Court of Arizona, which affirmed the judgment of the lower court. 85 Pac. Rep. 245. From that judgment this appeal was taken.

The facts were sufficiently stated by counsel for appellee as follows:

"On August 25 1903, while appellants, R. Allyn Lewis and Laetitia M. Lewis, his wife, were in Germany, Lewis signed and delivered to his wife a deed conveying to her certain property situate in Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona, the consideration being love and affection. The execution of the deed was not acknowledged by Lewis before any officer authorized to take acknowledgments until January 9, 1904, when he did acknowledge the same before a notary in the State of New York. On December 19, 1903, in the State of New York, Lewis signed and delivered to his wife a second deed, conveying to her the same property, but with a more accurate description; the consideration therefor being also love and affection.

[ 208 U.S. Page 313]

     This second deed was likewise not acknowledged by Lewis before any officer authorized to take acknowledgments, until January 9, 1904.

"After Lewis had signed the first deed, but before he had acknowledged it, and before he had either signed or acknowledged the second deed, to wit, between November 5, 1903, and December 15, 1903, he became indebted in a large sum to the International Bank in Nogales, a bank doing business in Nogales, Arizona, which indebtedness was thereafter reduced to judgment in an action before the District Court in Arizona, brought by Fred Herrera, receiver for the bank. Execution was issued under this judgment; it was returned unsatisfied." The judgment remained unpaid.

"At the time Lewis signed the first deed to his wife, he was solvent and was not indebted to the said bank in any sum whatsoever; but at the time he signed the second deed, and on January 9, 1904, when for the first time, he acknowledged before the notary the execution of both the first and second deeds, he was indebted to said bank, and he was not possessed of property within the Territory of Arizona, subject to execution, sufficient to pay his existing debts."

It was admitted that there was no fraud in fact, and no intent in the mind of Lewis to defraud his creditors in the transfers made. Paragraph 2698 of the Revised Statutes of Arizona, 1901, is as follows:

"Every gift, conveyance, assignment, transfer or charge made by a debtor which is not upon consideration deemed valuable in law shall be void as to prior creditors, unless it appear that such debtor was then possessed of property within this Territory, subject to execution, sufficient to pay his existing debts; but such gift, conveyance, assignment, transfer or charge ...


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