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*distributed by the foreign tribunal of the domicil of the party, would depend upon circumstances. The situs rei, as well as the presence of the parties, conferred a competent jurisdiction to decree distribution, according to the rule of the rex domicilii ; and such a jurisdiction was sustained by principles of public law, was consistent with international policy. The court was not bound, at all events, to have the assets remitted to the foreign administrator, and to send the parties entitled to the estate abroad, at great expense and delay, to seek their rights in a foreign tribunal. Though the property was to be distributed according to the lex domicilii, national comity did not require that the distribution should be made abroad. Whether the court here ought to decree distribution, or remit the property abroad, was a matter of judicial discretion, and there was no universal or uniform rule on the subject.
The manner and extent of the execution of the rule were well discussed and considered, in the supreme court of Massachusetts. A person was domiciled at Calcutta, and died there insolvent, and his will was proved, and acted upon there. Administration was taken out in Massachusetts, on the probate of the will in the East Indies; and assets came to the hands of the administrator at Boston, sufficient to pay a claim due citizens of the United States, and a judgment debt due a British sub. ject in England ; but all the assets were wanted to be applied, in the course of administration, by the executor at Calcutta. It was held, that the administrator here was only ancillary to the executor in India ; and the assets ought to be remitted, unless he was compelled by law to appropriate them here to pay debts. It was not decided whether he was compelled to pay here ; but if it were the case, it would only be the American creditors; and the British creditor was not entitled to come here and disturb the legal course of settlement of the es
• Dawes v. Head, 3 Pick. Rep. 128.
tate in his own country.
If there were no legal claimants with us, in *the character of creditors, le- *434 gatees, or next of kin, the administrator would be bound to remit the assets to the foreign executor, to be by him administered according to the law of the testator's domicil; and if any part of the assets were to be retained, it would form an exception to the general rule, growing out of the duty of every government to protect its own citizens in the recovery of their debts. The intimation has been strong, that such an auxiliary administrator, in the case of a solvent estate, was bound to apply the assets found here to pay debts due here; and that it would be a useless and unreasonable courtesy, to send the assets abroad, and the resident claimant after them. But if the estate was insolvent, the question became more difficult. The assets ought not to be sequestered for the exclusive benefit of our own citizens. In all civilized countries, foreigners, in such a case, are entitled to prove their debts, and share in the distribution. The court concluded that the proper course in such a case would be, to retain the funds, cause them to be distributed pro rata, according to our own laws, among our own citizens, having regard to all the assets, and the whole aggregate amount of debt here and abroad, and then to remit the surplus abroad to the principal administrator. Such a course was admitted to be attended with delay and difficulty in the adjustment; but it was thought to be less objectionable, than either to send our citizens abroad upon a forlorn hope, to seek for fragments of an insolvent's estate, or to pay them the whole of their debts, without regard to the claims of foreign creditors.a
• In the case ex parte Ryan, (Newfoundland Rep. 113.) it was held, that in the case of the insolvency of two branches of the same firm, one in England, and the other in Newfoundland, the property in each country was exclusively divisible among the creditors who trusted the branch where the property was situated. The supreme court of Louisiana, in Gravillon v. Richards, 13 Louis. Rep. 293, followed the Massachusetts
A difficult question on the subject of the distribution of the property of intestates, arose in the K. B. in England,
doctrine, and declared that it was competent for the courts of probates in Louisiana, to order the remission of funds belonging to a foreigner domiciled in France, but dying at New Orleans, to the representatives in France authorised to receive them, and that policy and justice required such a transmission, inasmuch as the creditors were in France, and none in Loui. siana. In Davis v. Estey, 8 Pick. Rep. 475, it was held, that where the original administration was in another state, and that in Massachusetts only ancillary, and the estate was insolvent, the creditor in Massachusetts was only entitled to a pro rata dividend, though the assets in Massachusetts were sufficient to meet his demand. In the case of these different administrations, each is deemed so far independent of the others, that property received under one, cannot be sued for under another, though it may at any time be within the jurisdiction of the latter. Currie v. Bircham, 1 Dowl. f. Ryl. Rep. 35. Holcomb v. Phelps, supra, p. 431. n. c. Nor can a judgment against one, furnish a right of action against the other ; for in contemplation of law, there is no priority between them. Lightfoot v. Bickley, 2 Rawle's Rep. 431. Story on the Conflict of Laws, p. 434. 436, 437. In Mothland v. Wiseman, 3 Penn. Rep. 185, the subject was well discussed. It was held, that the liability of administrator to account, and his title to the assets, was commensurate only with the jurisdiction of the authority that appointed him, and the trust was in exclusion of foreign interference, and was regulated by the law of the loci rei site. This principle was indispensable to the protection of the resident or domestic creditors, who were not to be sent abroad to assert their claims in foreign courts, so long as there were assets within the control of the domestic administration. The foreign courts might impair the priorities allowed by the domestic law, or bar claims hy shorter statutes of limitation. The intestate's effects were to be collected and administered under the authority of the local jurisdic. tion, in which they were at his death, and with the permission to foreign creditors to participate in proportion to their debts, respect being had to the aggregate of the estate and debts, whether foreign or domestic. If there be no domestic claimants, or they be satisfied, then the local auxiliary administrator is to remit the assets, when collected, to the primary administrator at the place of the intestate's domicil, and to whom they rightfully belong for administration. This is not the case as to executors, whose title, flowing from the will, extends to the assets wherever sound. The opinions of the Ch. J. in this case, and in the case of Miller's Estate, 3 Rawle, 312, are drawn with much precision and force; and the general American rule from these Pennsylvania cases, and from decisions in Massachusetts and South Carolina, seems to be, (and Mr. Justice Story, in his Commentaries on the Conflict of Laws, p. 423, comes to the same conclusion, and see, also supra, p. 420,) that the new administration in 1767, in the case of The King v. Hay. A father and his *only daughter perished at sea, in
is made subservient to the rights of creditors, legatees, and distributees' resident within the country; and that the residuum was transmissible to the foreign country only when the final account had been settled in the proper domestic tribunal, upon the equitable principles, adopted in its laws. Some of the authorities above referred to, speak of the domestic legatees and distributees as being entitled, after creditors, to have their claims satisfied out of the assets arising within the authority of the ancillary administrator; but other cases, as Richards v. Dutch, 8 Mass. Rep. 500, Dawes v. Boyleston, 9 Ibid. 387, and Stevens v. Gaylord, 11 Ibid. 257, held, that they are to resort to the primary administration abroad, where the residuary assets are to be transmitted. The case of the Heirs of Porter v. Heydock, 6 Vermont Rep. 374, followed the principles declared in the cases of Dawes v. Head, and Harvey v. Richards, and decided, that it appertained to the courts in Vermont, when the ancillary administration was granted there, to settle and adjust the accounts of the administrator touching assets received in Vermont; and that it was discretionary in them to order distribution in Vermont, or remit the effects to the place of the principal administration for that purpose. It rested on courtesy and expediency alone, and it is the usual course to remit them; but it will not be adopted when the rights of those entitled to the estate would be endangered by it. So in Slatter v. Carroll, 2 Sandford's Ch. Rep. 573, a foreign resident owned lands in New York, and conveyed them to a trustee there to sell and distribute the proceeds and remit the balance for distribution at the domicil. It was held that the court would direct the fund to be remitted, or retain and distribute it in New York, according to the circumstances of the case, in reference to the convenience of creditors, and of the accounting parties. In the case of Fay v. Haven, 3 Metcalf, 109, being the latest case in Massachusetts, it was held that the assets received by a foreign executor or administrator in the foreign state where the testator resided, were to be administered in such state, and that under the ancillary administration in Massachusetts, he was not held to pay debts due to creditors in that state out of assets received abroad, though he had paid all the creditors elsewhere, and had the requisite balance in hand received from the assets in the state where the principal administration was granted. The creditors must resort to the tribunals of the foreign state. See the just criticisms of Mr. Justice Story on some of the American cases on this point, in his treatise on the Conflict of Laws, 2d edit. 429–432. In the case of the Earl of Winchelsea v. Garetty, 2 Keen, 293, A. was domiciled in England and died intestate leaving real estate in Scotland, and the bond-debts were paid by the heir out of the real estate, and it was held that
. 1 Blacks. Rep. 640.
the same vessel, and in one catastrophe, and a question suggested by the case was, who took under the
the heir was entitled to relief out of the personal estate in England, as being by the law of the domicil the primary fund for the payment of debts. This vexed subject of the distribution of assets being in different states, was discussed in Goodall v. Marshall in 11 N. H. Rep. 88 by Mr. Ch. J. Parker with his usual ability, and the result of the decision of the court was, that the laws of the place under which an ancillary or auxiliary administration was taken, governs the distribution of the assets in the payment of debts there, but that the distribution of the estate among the heirs and legatees is to be made according to the law of the domicil of the testator or intestate at his death. And if a person domiciled in another government dies leaving personal property in New Hampshire and an ancillary administration is taken out there, and the estate be insolvent, all the creditors of the de. ceased are entitled to prove their claims and have the real as well as personal estate duly applied in satisfaction thereof, and they are entitled to pursue their claims in every government where administration is taken and to avail themselves of all the estate of the debtor until fully paid.
The question of the payment of debts and distribution of the assets of testators and intestates, being in different jurisdictions, by trustees acting under the authority of different probate powers, primary and ancillary, has been frequently examined and discussed in our American courts with great learning and ability, and while the general principles are acknowledged in all of them, the difference seems to consist in the local application of some of them on minor points. The spirit of justice pervades them all, though it may be obtained diverso intuitiu and with more or less inconvenience. The most important cases may be perused with much profit and pleasure. Such are the cases referred to supra, p. p. 431–434, and more especially those of Harvey v. Richards, Dawes v. Head, Goodall v. Marshall, heirs of Porter v. Heydock, Holcomb v. Phelps, Mothland v. Wiseman, Carmichuel v. Ray, and Gravillon v. Richards. Mr. More the learned editor of Lord Slair's Institutions, vol. i. note A. 8, states that great confusion would prevail unless the law of the domicil be held to be the rule of distribution, both in succession and in bankruptcy. The supreme court of the United States in Aspden v. Nixon, 4 Howard 467, has very much narrowed the doctrine and application of comity in the case of concurrent administrators in different governments over the assets of the same testator or intestate. A. was domiciled in England and died there leaving assets both in England and America, and letters testamentary were taken out in both countries, and the claim under each power was restricted to the limits of the country to which the letters extended, and it was considered that the Pennsylvania Executor could not rightfully transmit his assets to be distributed by the foreign jurisdiction, for that the suits were to be regarded as suits between different parties, and that the property in controversy was