February 19, 2016

Harris v. Balk | Case Brief - 198 U.S. 215, 25 S.Ct. 625, 49 L.Ed. 1023 (1905) - US Supreme Court

Facts: Balk, a resident of North Carolina owed $344 to Epstein who lived in Maryland.  Harris an acquaintance of Balk in North Carolina, owed Balk $180.  While Harris was in Baltimore, MD Epstein had a writ of attachment served on Harris attaching the debt owed to Balk.  When Harris returned to North Carolina he had his attorney in Maryland consent to the entry of the judgement.  He paid money to Epstein's attorney in North Carolina.

Procedural History: NC courts did not give the judgement full faith and credit.

Issue: Was it alright to attach the debt of someone to a judgement if the judgement is made outside the jurisdiction where the "situs of the debt" is located?

Holding: Yes

Rationale: The obligation of the debtor to pay his debt clings to and accompanies him wherever he goes.

Disposition: Judgement of Supreme Court of NC reversed and cause remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with the opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court.