|Home Building & Loan Assn. v. Blaisdell
189 Minn. 422, 448; 249 N.W. 334, 893, affirmed.
[ Hughes ]
[ Sutherland ]
Home Building & Loan Assn. v. Blaisdell
APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF MINNESOTA
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE HUGHES delivered the opinion of the Court.
Appellant contests the validity of Chapter 339 of the Laws of Minnesota of 1933, p. 514, approved April 18, 1933, called the Minnesota Mortgage Moratorium Law, [p416] as being repugnant to the contract clause (Art. I, § 10) and the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, of the Federal Constitution. The statute was sustained by the Supreme Court of Minnesota, 189 Minn. 422, 448, 249 N.W. 334, 893, and the case comes here on appeal.
The Act provides that, during the emergency declared to exist, relief may be had through authorized judicial proceedings with respect to foreclosures of mortgages, and execution sales, of real estate; that sales may be postponed and periods of redemption may be extended. The Act does not apply to mortgages subsequently made, nor to those made previously which shall be extended for a period ending more than a year after the passage of the Act (Part One, § 8). There are separate provisions in Part Two relating to homesteads, but these are to apply "only to cases not entitled to relief under some valid provision of Part One." The Act is to remain in effect "only during the continuance of the emergency and in no event beyond May 1, 1935." No extension of the period for redemption and no postponement of sale is to be allowed which would have the effect of extending the period of redemption beyond that date. Part Two, § 8.
The Act declares that the various provisions for relief are severable; that each is to stand on its own footing with respect to validity. Part One, § 9. We are here concerned with the provisions of Part One, § 4, authorizing the District Court of the county to extend the period of redemption from foreclosure sales "for such additional time as the court may deem just and equitable," subject to the above described limitation. The extension is to be made upon application to the court, on notice, for an order determining the reasonable value of the income on the property involved in the sale, or, if it has no income, then the reasonable rental value of the property, and directing the mortgagor
to pay all or a reasonable part of such [p417] income or rental value, in or toward the payment of taxes, insurance, interest, mortgage . . . indebtedness at such times and in such manner
as shall be determined by the court. [n1] The section also provides that the time for redemption [p418] from foreclosure sales theretofore made, which otherwise would expire less than thirty days after the approval of the Act shall be extended to a date thirty days after its approval, and application may be made to the court within that time for a further extension as provided in the section. By another provision of the Act, no action, prior to May 1, 1935, may be maintained for a deficiency judgment until the period of redemption as allowed by existing law or as extended under the provisions of the Act has expired. Prior to the expiration of the extended period of redemption, the court may revise or alter the terms of the extension as changed circumstances may require. Part One, § 5.
Invoking the relevant provision of the statute, appellees applied to the District Court of Hennepin County for an order extending the period of redemption from a foreclosure sale. Their petition stated that they owned a lot [p419] in Minneapolis which they had mortgaged to appellant; that the mortgage contained a valid power of sale by advertisement and that, by reason of their default, the mortgage had been foreclosed and sold to appellant on May 2, 1932, for $3,700.98; that appellant was the holder of the sheriff's certificate of sale; that, because of the economic depression appellees had been unable to obtain a new loan or to redeem, and that, unless the period of redemption were extended, the property would be irretrievably lost, and that the reasonable value of the property greatly exceeded the amount due on the mortgage, including all liens, costs and expenses.
On the hearing, appellant objected to the introduction of evidence upon the ground that the statute was invalid under the federal and state constitutions, and moved that the petition be dismissed. The motion was granted, and a motion for a new trial was denied. On appeal, the Supreme Court of the State reversed the decision of the District Court. 189 Minn. 422, 249 N.W. 334. Evidence was then taken in the trial court, and appellant renewed its constitutional objections without avail. The court made findings of fact setting forth the mortgage made by the appellees on August 1, 1928, the power of sale contained in the mortgage, the default and foreclosure by advertisement, and the sale to appellant on May 2, 1932, for $3,700.98. The court found that the time to redeem would expire on May 2, 1933, under the laws of the State as they were in effect when the mortgage was made and when it was foreclosed; that the reasonable value of the income on the property, and the reasonable rental value, was $40 a month; that the bid made by appellant on the foreclosure sale, and the purchase price, were the full amount of the mortgage indebtedness, and that there was no deficiency after the sale; that the reason [p420] total amount of the purchase price, with taxes and insurance premiums subsequently paid by appellant, but exclusive of interest from the date of sale, was $4,056.39. The court also found that the property was situated in the closely built-up portions of Minneapolis; that it had been improved by a two-car garage, together with a building two stories in height which was divided into fourteen rooms; that the appellees, husband and wife, occupied the premises as their homestead, occupying three rooms and offering the remaining rooms for rental to others.
The court entered its judgment extending the period of redemption to May 1, 1935, subject to the condition that the appellees should pay to the appellant $40 a month through the extended period from May 2, 1933, that is, that, in each of the months of August, September, and October, 1933, the payments should be $80, in two instalments, and thereafter $40 a month, all these amounts to go to the payment of taxes, insurance, interest, and mortgage indebtedness. [n2] It is this judgment, sustained by the Supreme Court of the State on the authority of its former opinion, which is here under review. 189 Minn. 448, 249 N.W. 893.
The state court upheld the statute as an emergency measure. Although conceding that the obligations of the mortgage contract were impaired, the court decided that what it thus described as an impairment was, notwithstanding the contract clause of the Federal Constitution, within the police power of the State as that power was called into exercise by the public economic emergency which the legislature had found to exist. Attention is thus directed to the preamble and first section of the [p421] statute, which described the existing emergency in terms that were deemed to justify the temporary relief which the statute affords. [n3] The state court, declaring that it [p422] could not say that this legislative finding was without basis, supplemented that finding by it own statement of conditions of which it took judicial notice. The court said:
In addition to the weight to be given the determination of the legislature that an economic emergency exists which demands relief, the court must take notice of other considerations. The members of the legislature come from every community of the state and from all the walks of life. They are familiar with conditions generally in every calling, occupation, profession, and business in the state. Not only they but the courts must be guided by what is common knowledge. It is common knowledge that, in the last few years, land values have shrunk enormously. Loans made a few years ago upon the basis of the then going values cannot possibly be replaced on the basis of present values. We all know that, when this law was enacted, the large financial companies which had made it their business to invest in mortgages had ceased to do so. No bank would directly or indirectly loan on real estate mortgages. Life insurance companies, large investors in such mortgages, had even declared a moratorium as to the loan provisions of their policy contracts. The President had closed banks temporarily. The Congress, [p423] in addition to many extraordinary measures looking to the relief of the economic emergency, had passed an act to supply funds whereby mortgagors may be able within a reasonable time to refinance their mortgages or redeem from sales where the redemption has not expired. With this knowledge, the court cannot well hold that the legislature had no basis in fact for the conclusion that an economic emergency existed which called for the exercise of the police power to grant relief.
189 Minn. 429, 249 N.W. 336.
Justice Olsen of the state court, in a concurring opinion, added the following:
The present nationwide and worldwide business and financial crisis has the same results as if it were caused by flood, earthquake, or disturbance in nature. It has deprived millions of persons in this nation of their employment and means of earning a living for themselves and their families; it has destroyed the value of and the income from all property on which thousands of people depended for a living; it actually has resulted in the loss of their homes by a number of our people and threatens to result in the loss of their homes by many other people, in this state; it has resulted in such widespread want and suffering among our people that private, state, and municipal agencies are unable to adequately relieve the want and suffering, and congress has found it necessary to step in and attempt to remedy the situation by federal aid. Millions of the people's money were and are yet tied up in closed banks and in business enterprises. [n4]
189 Minn. 437, 249 N.W. 340. [p424]
We approach the questions thus presented upon the assumption made below, as required by the law of the State, that the mortgage contained a valid power of sale to be exercised in case of default; that this power was validly exercised; that, under the law then applicable, the period of redemption from the sale was one year, and that it has been extended by the judgment of the court over the opposition of the mortgagee-purchaser, and that, during the period thus extended, and unless the order for extension is modified, the mortgagee-purchaser will be unable to obtain possession, or to obtain or convey title in fee, as he would have been able to do had the statute [p425] not been enacted. The statute does not impair the integrity of the mortgage indebtedness. The obligation for interest remains. The statute does not affect the validity of the sale or the right of a mortgagee-purchaser to title in fee, or his right to obtain a deficiency judgment if the mortgagor fails to redeem within the prescribed period. Aside from the extension of time, the other conditions of redemption are unaltered. While the mortgagor remains in possession, he must pay the rental value as that value has been determined, upon notice and hearing, by the court. The rental value so paid is devoted to the carrying of the property by the application of the required payments to taxes, insurance, and interest on the mortgage indebtedness. While the mortgagee-purchaser is debarred from actual possession, he has, so far as rental value is concerned, the equivalent of possession during the extended period.
In determining whether the provision for this temporary and conditional relief exceeds the power of the State by reason of the clause in the Federal Constitution prohibiting impairment of the obligations of contracts, we must consider the relation of emergency to constitutional power, the historical setting of the contract clause, the development of the jurisprudence of this Court in the construction of that clause, and the principles of construction which we may consider to be established.
Emergency does not create power. Emergency does not increase granted power or remove or diminish the restrictions imposed upon power granted or reserved. The Constitution was adopted in a period of grave emergency. Its grants of power to the Federal Government and its limitations of the power of the States were determined in the light of emergency, and they are not altered by emergency. What power was thus granted and what limitations were thus imposed are questions [p426] which have always been, and always will be, the subject of close examination under our constitutional system.
While emergency does not create power, emergency may furnish the occasion for the exercise of power.
Although an emergency may not call into life a power which has never lived, nevertheless emergency may afford a reason for the exertion of a living power already enjoyed.
Wilson v. New, 243 U.S. 332, 348. The constitutional question presented in the light of an emergency is whether the power possessed embraces the particular exercise of it in response to particular conditions. Thus, the war power of the Federal Government is not created by the emergency of war, but it is a power given to meet that emergency. It is a power to wage war successfully, and thus it permits the harnessing of the entire energies of the people in a supreme cooperative effort to preserve the nation. But even the war power does not remove constitutional limitations safeguarding essential liberties. [n5] When the provisions of the Constitution, in grant or restriction, are specific, so particularized as not to admit of construction, no question is presented. Thus, emergency would not permit a State to have more than two Senators in the Congress, or permit the election of President by a general popular vote without regard to the number of electors to which the States are respectively entitled, or permit the States to "coin money" or to "make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts." But where constitutional grants and limitations of power are set forth in general clauses, which afford a broad outline, the process of construction is essential to fill in the details. That is true of the contract clause. The necessity of construction is not obviated by [p427] the fact that the contract clause is associated in the same section with other and more specific prohibitions. Even the grouping of subjects in the same clause may not require the same application to each of the subjects, regardless of differences in their nature. See Groves v. Slaughter, 15 Pet. 449, 505; Atlantic Cleaners & Dyers v. United States, 286 U.S. 427, 434.
In the construction of the contract clause, the debates in the Constitutional Convention are of little aid. [n6] But the reasons which led to the adoption of that clause, and of the other prohibitions of Section 10 of Article I, are not left in doubt, and have frequently been described with eloquent emphasis. [n7] The widespread distress following the revolutionary period, and the plight of debtors, had called forth in the States an ignoble array of legislative schemes for the defeat of creditors and the invasion of contractual obligations. Legislative interferences had been so numerous and extreme that the confidence essential to prosperous trade had been undermined and the utter destruction of credit was threatened. "The sober people of America" were convinced that some "thorough reform" was needed which would "inspire a general prudence and industry, and give a regular course to the business of society." The Federalist, No. 44. It was necessary to interpose the restraining power of a central authority in order to secure the foundations even of "private faith." The occasion and general purpose of [p428] the contract clause are summed up in the terse statement of Chief Justice Marshall in Ogden v. Saunders, 12 Wheat. pp. 213, 354, 355:
The power of changing the relative situation of debtor and creditor, of interfering with contracts, a power which comes home to every man, touches the interest of all, and controls the conduct of every individual in those things which he supposes to be proper for his own exclusive management, had been used to such an excess by the state legislatures, as to break in upon the ordinary intercourse of society, and destroy all confidence between man and man. This mischief had become so great, so alarming, as not only to impair commercial intercourse and threaten the existence of credit, but to sap the morals of the people and destroy the sanctity of private faith. To guard against the continuance of the evil was an object of deep interest with all the truly wise, as well as the virtuous, of this great community, and was one of the important benefits expected from a reform of the government.
But full recognition of the occasion and general purpose of the clause does not suffice to fix its precise scope. Nor does an examination of the details of prior legislation in the States yield criteria which can be considered controlling. To ascertain the scope of the constitutional prohibition, we examine the course of judicial decisions in its application. These put it beyond question that the prohibition is not an absolute one, and is not to be read with literal exactness, like a mathematical formula. Justice Johnson, in Ogden v. Saunders, supra, p. 286, adverted to such a misdirected effort in these words:
It appears to me that a great part of the difficulties of the cause arise from not giving sufficient weight to the general intent of this clause in the constitution and subjecting it to a severe literal construction which would be better adapted to special pleadings.
And after giving his view as to the purport of the clause --
that the States shall pass no law [p429] attaching to the acts of individuals other effects or consequences than those attached to them by the laws existing at their date, and all contracts thus construed shall be enforced according to their just and reasonable purport
-- Justice Johnson added:
But to assign to contracts, universally, a literal purport, and to exact for them a rigid literal fulfillment could not have been the intent of the constitution. It is repelled by a hundred examples. Societies exercise a positive control as well over the inception, construction and fulfillment of contracts as over the form and measure of the remedy to enforce them.
The inescapable problems of construction have been: what is a contract? [n8] What are the obligations of contracts? What constitutes impairment of these obligations? What residuum of power is there still in the States in relation to the operation of contracts, to protect the vital interests of the community? Questions of this character,
of no small nicety and intricacy, have vexed the legislative halls, as well as the judicial tribunals, with an uncounted variety and frequency of litigation and speculation.
Story on the Constitution, § 1375.
The obligation of a contract is "the law which binds the parties to perform their agreement." Sturges v. Crowninshield, 4 Wheat. 122, 197; Story, op. cit., § 1378. This Court has said that
the laws which subsist at the time and place of the making of a contract, and where it [p430] is to be performed, enter into and form a part of it, as if they were expressly referred to or incorporated in its terms. This principle embraces alike those which affect its validity, construction, discharge and enforcement. . . . Nothing can be more material to the obligation than the means of enforcement. . . . The ideas of validity and remedy are inseparable, and both are parts of the obligation, which is guaranteed by the Constitution against invasion.
Von Hoffman v. City of Quincy, 4 Wall. 535, 550, 552. See also Walker v. Whitehead, 16 Wall. 314, 317. But this broad language cannot be taken without qualification. Chief Justice Marshall pointed out the distinction between obligation and remedy. Sturges v. Crowninshield, supra, p. 200. Said he:
The distinction between the obligation of a contract and the remedy given by the legislature to enforce that obligation has been taken at the bar, and exists in the nature of things. Without impairing the obligation of the contract, the remedy may certainly be modified as the wisdom of the nation shall direct.
And in Von Hoffman v. City of Quincy, supra, pp. 553, 554, the general statement above quoted was limited by the further observation that
It is competent for the States to change the form of the remedy, or to modify it otherwise, as they may see fit, provided no substantial right secured by the contract is thereby impaired. No attempt has been made to fix definitely the line between alterations of the remedy, which are to be deemed legitimate, and those which, under the form of modifying the remedy, impair substantial rights. Every case must be determined upon its own circumstances.
And Chief Justice Waite, quoting this language in Antoni v. Greenhow, 107 U.S. 769, 775, added: "In all such cases, the question becomes, therefore, one of reasonableness, and of that the legislature is primarily the judge." [p431]
The obligations of a contract are impaired by a law which renders them invalid, or releases or extinguishes them [n9] (Sturges v. Crowninshield, supra, pp. 197, 198) and impairment, as above noted, has been predicated of laws which, without destroying contracts, derogate from substantial contractual rights. [n10] In Sturges v. Crowninshield, supra, a state insolvent law which discharged the debtor from liability was held to be invalid as applied to contracts in existence when the law was passed. See Ogden v. Saunders, supra. In Green v. Biddle, 8 Wheat. 1, the legislative acts, which were successfully assailed, exempted the occupant of land from the payment of rents and profits to the rightful owner and were
parts of a system the object of which was to compel the rightful owner to relinquish his lands or pay for all lasting improvements made upon them, without his consent or default.
In Bronson v. Kinzie, 1 How. 311, state legislation which had been enacted for the relief of debtors in view of the seriously depressed condition of business [n11] following the panic of 1837, and which provided that the equitable estate of the mortgagor should not be extinguished [p432] for twelve months after sale on foreclosure, and further prevented any sale unless two-thirds of the appraised value of the property should be bid therefor, was held to violate the constitutional provision. It will be observed that, in the Bronson case, aside from the requirement as to the amount of the bid at the sale, the extension of the period of redemption was unconditional, and there was no provision, as in the instant case, to secure to the mortgagee the rental value of the property during the extended period. McCracken v. Hayward, 2 How. 608, Gantly's Lessee v. Ewing, 3 How. 707, and Howard v. Bugbee, 24 How. 461, followed the decision in Bronson v. Kinzie; that of McCracken, condemning a statute which provided that an execution sale should not be made of property unless it would bring two-thirds of its value according to the opinion of three householders; that of Gantly's Lessee, condemning a statute which required a sale for not less than one-half the appraised value, and that of Howard, making a similar ruling as to an unconditional extension of two years for redemption from foreclosure sale. In Planters' Bank v. Sharp, 6 How. 301, a state law was found to be invalid which prevented a bank from transferring notes and bills receivable which it had been duly authorized to acquire. In Von Hoffman v. City of Quincy, supra., a statute which restricted the power of taxation which had previously been given to provide for the payment of municipal bonds was set aside. Louisiana v. Police Jury, 111 U.S. 716, and Seibert v. Lewis, 122 U.S. 284 are similar cases.
In Walker v. Whitehead, 16 Wall. 314, the statute, which was held to be repugnant to the contract clause, was enacted in 1870, and provided that, in all suits pending on any debt or contract made before June 1, 1865, the plaintiff should not have a verdict unless it appeared that all taxes chargeable by law on the same had been [p433] duly paid for each year since the contract was made, and further, that in all cases of indebtedness of the described class, the defendant might offset any losses he had suffered in consequence of the late war either from destruction or depreciation of property. See Daniels v. Tearney, 102 U.S. 415, 419. In Gunn v. Barry, 15 Wall. 610, and Edwards v. Kearzey, 96 U.S. 595, statutes applicable to prior contracts were condemned because of increases in the amount of the property of judgment debtors which were exempted from levy and sale on execution. But, in Penniman's Case, 103 U.S. 714, 720, the Court decided that a statute abolishing imprisonment for debt did not, within the meaning of the Constitution, impair the obligation of contracts previously made, [n12] and the Court said:
The general doctrine of this court on this subject may be thus stated: in modes of proceeding and forms to enforce the contract, the legislature has the control, and may enlarge, limit, or alter them, provided it does not deny a remedy or so embarrass it with conditions or restrictions as seriously to impair the value of the right.
In Barnitz v. Beverly, 163 U.S. 118, the Court held that a statute which authorized the redemption of property sold on foreclosure, where no right of redemption previously existed, or which extended the period of redemption beyond the time formerly allowed, could not constitutionally apply to a sale under a mortgage executed before its passage. This ruling was to the same effect as that in Bronson v. Kinzie, supra, and Howard v. Bugbee, supra. But in the Barnitz case, the statute contained a provision for the prevention of waste, and authorized the appointment of a receiver of the premises sold. Otherwise, the extension of the period for redemption was unconditional, and, in case a receiver was appointed, [p434] the income during the period allowed for redemption, except what was necessary for repairs and to prevent waste, was still to go to the mortgagor.
None of these case, and we have cited those upon which appellant chiefly relies, is directly applicable to the question now before us in view of the conditions with which the Minnesota statute seeks to safeguard the interests of the mortgagee-purchaser during the extended period. And broad expressions contained in some of these opinions went beyond the requirements of the decision, and are not controlling. Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wheat. 264, 399.
Not only is the constitutional provision qualified by the measure of control which the State retains over remedial processes, [n13] but the State also continues to possess authority to safeguard the vital interests of its people. It does [p435] not matter that legislation appropriate to that end "has the result of modifying or abrogating contracts already in effect." Stephenson v. Binford, 287 U.S. 251, 276. Not only are existing laws read into contracts in order to fix obligations as between the parties, but the reservation of essential attributes of sovereign power is also read into contracts as a postulate of the legal order. The policy of protecting contracts against impairment presupposes the maintenance of a government by virtue of which contractual relations are worthwhile -- a government which retains adequate authority to secure the peace and good order of society. This principle of harmonizing the constitutional prohibition with the necessary residuum of state power has had progressive recognition in the decisions of this Court.
While the charters of private corporations constitute contracts, a grant of exclusive privilege is not to be implied as against the State. Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge, 11 Pet. 420. And all contracts are subject to the right of eminent domain. West River Bridge v. Dix, 6 How. 507. [n14] The reservation of this necessary authority of the State is deemed to be a part of the contract. In the case last cited, the Court answered the forcible challenge of the State's power by the following statement of the controlling principle -- a statement reiterated by this Court speaking through Mr. Justice Brewer, nearly fifty years later, in Long Island Water Supply Co. v. Brooklyn, 166 U.S. 685, 692:
But into all contracts, whether made between States and individuals, or between individuals only, there enter conditions which arise not out of the literal [p436] terms of the contract itself; they are superinduced by the preexisting and higher authority of the laws of nature, of nations or of the community to which the parties belong; they are always presumed, and must be presumed, to be known and recognized by all, are binding upon all, and need never, therefore, be carried into express stipulation, for this could add nothing to their force. Every contract is made in subordination to them, and must yield to their control, as conditions inherent and paramount, wherever a necessity for their execution shall occur.
The legislature cannot "bargain away the public health or the public morals." Thus, the constitutional provision against the impairment of contracts was held not to be violated by an amendment of the state constitution which put an end to a lottery theretofore authorized by the legislature. Stone v. Mississippi, 101 U.S. 814, 819. See also Douglas v. Kentucky, 168 U.S. 488, 497-499; compare New Orleans v. Houston, 119 U.S. 265, 275. The lottery was a valid enterprise when established under express state authority, but the legislature, in the public interest, could put a stop to it. A similar rule has been applied to the control by the State of the sale of intoxicating liquors. Beer Co. v. Massachusetts, 97 U.S. 25, 32, 33; see Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 664, 665. The States retain adequate power to protect the public health against the maintenance of nuisances despite insistence upon existing contracts. Fertilizing Co. v. Hyde Park, 97 U.S. 659, 667; Butchers' Union Co. v. Crescent City Co., 111 U.S. 746, 750. Legislation to protect the public safety comes within the same category of reserved power. Chicago, B. & Q. R. Co. v. Nebraska, 170 U.S. 57, 70, 74; Texas & N.O. R. Co. v. Miller, 221 US. 408, 414; Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. v. Goldsboro, 232 U.S. 548, 558. This principle has had recent and noteworthy application to the regulation of the use of public highways by common carriers and "contract carriers," where the assertion of [p437] interference with existing contract rights has been without avail. Sproles v. Binford, 286 U.S. 374, 390, 391; Stephenson v. Binford, supra.
The economic interests of the State may justify the exercise of its continuing and dominant protective power notwithstanding interference with contracts. In Manigault v. Springs, 199 U.S. 473, riparian owners in South Carolina had made a contract for a clear passage through a creek by the removal of existing obstructions. Later, the legislature of the State, by virtue of its broad authority to make public improvements, and in order to increase the taxable value of the lowlands which would be drained, authorized the construction of a dam across the creek. The Court sustained the statute upon the ground that the private interests were subservient to the public right. The Court said (id., p. 480):
It is the settled law of this court that the interdiction of statutes impairing the obligation of contracts does not prevent the State from exercising such powers as are vested in it for the promotion of the common weal, or are necessary for the general good of the public, though contracts previously entered into between individuals may thereby be affected. This power, which in its various ramifications is known as the police power, is an exercise of the sovereign right of the Government to protect the lives, health, morals, comfort and general welfare of the people, and is paramount to any rights under contracts between individuals.
A statute of New Jersey prohibiting the transportation of water of the State into any other State was sustained against the objection that the statute impaired the obligation of contracts which had been made for furnishing such water to persons without the State. Hudson Water Co. v. McCarter, 209 U.S. 349. Said the Court, by Mr. Justice Holmes (id., p. 357):
One whose rights, such as they are, are subject to state restriction cannot remove them from the power of the State by making [p438] a contract about them. The contract will carry with it the infirmity of the subject matter.
The general authority of the legislature to regulate, and thus to modify, the rates charged by public service corporations affords another illustration. Stone v. Farmers Loan & Trust Co., 116 U.S. 307, 325, 326. In Union Dry Goods Co. v. Georgia Public Service Corp., 248 U.S. 372, a statute fixing reasonable rates, to be charged by a corporation for supplying electricity to the inhabitants of a city, superseded lower rates which had been agreed upon by a contract previously made for a definite term between the company and a consumer. The validity of the statute was sustained. To the same effect are Producers Transportation Co. v. Railroad Comm'n, 251 U.S. 228, 232, and Sutter Butte Canal Co. v. Railroad Comm'n, 279 U.S. 125, 138. Similarly, where the protective power of the State is exercised in a manner otherwise appropriate in the regulation of a business it is no objection that the performance of existing contracts may be frustrated by the prohibition of injurious practices. Rast v. Van Deman & Lewis Co., 240 U.S. 342, 363; see also St. Louis Poster Advertising Co. v. St. Louis, 249 U.S. 269, 274.
The argument is pressed that, in the cases we have cited, the obligation of contracts was affected only incidentally. This argument proceeds upon a misconception. The question is not whether the legislative action affects contracts incidentally, or directly, or indirectly, but whether the legislation is addressed to a legitimate end and the measures taken are reasonable and appropriate to that end. Another argument, which comes more closely to the point, is that the state power may be addressed directly to the prevention of the enforcement of contracts only when these are of a sort which the legislature in its discretion may denounce as being in themselves hostile to public morals, or public health, safety or welfare, or [p439] where the prohibition is merely of injurious practices; that interference with the enforcement of other and valid contracts according to appropriate legal procedure, although the interference is temporary and for a public purpose, is not permissible. This is but to contend that, in the latter case, the end is not legitimate in the view that it cannot be reconciled with a fair interpretation of the constitutional provision.
Undoubtedly, whatever is reserved of state power must be consistent with the fair intent of the constitutional limitation of that power. The reserved power cannot be construed so as to destroy the limitation, nor is the limitation to be construed to destroy the reserved power in its essential aspects. They must be construed in harmony with each other. This principle precludes a construction which would permit the State to adopt as its policy the repudiation of debts or the destruction of contracts or the denial of means to enforce them. But it does not follow that conditions may not arise in which a temporary restraint of enforcement may be consistent with the spirit and purpose of the constitutional provision, and thus be found to be within the range of the reserved power of the State to protect the vital interests of the community. It cannot be maintained that the constitutional prohibition should be so construed as to prevent limited and temporary interpositions with respect to the enforcement of contracts if made necessary by a great public calamity such as fire, flood, or earthquake. See American Land Co. v. Zeiss, 219 U.S. 47. The reservation of state power appropriate to such extraordinary conditions may be deemed to be as much a part of all contracts as is the reservation of state power to protect the public interest in the other situations to which we have referred. And if state power exists to give temporary relief from the enforcement of contracts in the presence of disasters due to physical causes such as fire, flood or earthquake, that [p440] power cannot be said to be nonexistent when the urgent public need demanding such relief is produced by other and economic causes.
Whatever doubt there may have been that the protective power of the State, its police power, may be exercised -- without violating the true intent of the provision of the Federal Constitution -- in directly preventing the immediate and literal enforcement of contractual obligations, by a temporary and conditional restraint, where vital public interests would otherwise suffer, was removed by our decisions relating to the enforcement of provisions of leases during a period of scarcity of housing. Block v. Hirsh, 256 U.S. 135; Marcus Brown Holding Co. v. Feldman, 256 U.S. 170; Edgar A. Levy Leasing Co. v. Siegel, 258 U.S. 242. The case of Block v. Hirsh, supra, arose in the District of Columbia, and involved the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment. The cases of the Marcus Brown Company and the Levy Leasing Company arose under legislation of New York, and the constitutional provision against the impairment of the obligation of contracts was invoked. The statutes of New York, [n15] declaring that a public emergency existed, directly interfered with the enforcement of covenants for the surrender of the possession of premises on the expiration of leases. Within the City of New York and contiguous counties, the owners of dwellings, including apartment and tenement houses (but excepting buildings under construction in September, 1920, lodging houses for transients and the larger hotels), were wholly deprived until November 1, 1922, of all possessory remedies for the purpose of removing from their premises the tenants or occupants in possession when the laws took effect (save in certain specified instances), providing the tenants or occupants were ready, able and willing to pay a reasonable rent or price for their use and [p441] occupation. People v. La Fetra, 230 N.Y. 429, 438, 130 N.E. 601; Levy Leasing Co. v. Siegel, id. 634, 130 N.E. 923. In the case of the Marcus Brown Company, the facts were thus stated by the District Court (269 Fed. 306, 312):
the tenant defendants herein, by law older than the state of New York, became at the landlord's option trespassers on October 1, 1920. Plaintiff had then found and made a contract with a tenant it liked better, and had done so before these statutes were enacted. By them plaintiff is, after defendants elected to remain in possession, forbidden to carry out his bargain with the tenant he chose, the obligation of the covenant for peaceable surrender by defendants is impaired, and, for the next two years, Feldman et al. may, if they like, remain in plaintiff's apartment, provided they make good month by month the allegation of their answer, i.e., pay what "a court of competent jurisdiction" regards as fair and reasonable compensation for such enforced use and occupancy.
Answering the contention that the legislation, as thus applied, contravened the constitutional prohibition, this Court, after referring to its opinion in Block v. Hirsh, supra, said:
In the present case, more emphasis is laid upon the impairment of the obligation of the contract of the lessees to surrender possession and of the new lease which was to have gone into effect upon October 1, last year. But contracts are made subject to this exercise of the power of the State when otherwise justified, as we have held this to be.
256 U.S. p. 198. This decision was followed in the case of the Levy Leasing Company, supra.
In these cases of leases, it will be observed that the relief afforded was temporary and conditional, that it was sustained because of the emergency due to scarcity of housing, and that provision was made for reasonable compensation to the landlord during the period he was [p442] prevented from regaining possession. The Court also decided that, while the declaration by the legislature as to the existence of the emergency was entitled to great respect, it was not conclusive, and, further, that a law
depending upon the existence of an emergency or other certain state of facts to uphold it may cease to operate if the emergency ceases or the facts change even though valid when passed.
It is always open to judicial inquiry whether the exigency still exists upon which the continued operation of the law depends. Chastleton Corp. v. Sinclair, 264 U.S. 543, 547, 548.
It is manifest from this review of our decisions that there has been a growing appreciation of public needs and of the necessity of finding ground for a rational compromise between individual rights and public welfare. The settlement and consequent contraction of the public domain, the pressure of a constantly increasing density of population, the interrelation of the activities of our people and the complexity of our economic interests, have inevitably led to an increased use of the organization of society in order to protect the very bases of individual opportunity. Where, in earlier days, it was thought that only the concerns of individuals or of classes were involved, and that those of the State itself were touched only remotely, it has later been found that the fundamental interests of the State are directly affected, and that the question is no longer merely that of one party to a contract as against another, but of the use of reasonable means to safeguard the economic structure upon which the good of all depends.
It is no answer to say that this public need was not apprehended a century ago, or to insist that what the provision of the Constitution meant to the vision of that day it must mean to the vision of our time. If, by the statement that what the Constitution meant at the time [p443] of its adoption it means today, it is intended to say that the great clauses of the Constitution must be confined to the interpretation which the framers, with the conditions and outlook of their time, would have placed upon them, the statement carries its own refutation. It was to guard against such a narrow conception that Chief Justice Marshall uttered the memorable warning -- "We must never forget that it is a constitution we are expounding" (McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 407) -- "a constitution intended to endure for ages to come, and, consequently, to be adapted to the various crises of human affairs." Id., p. 415. When we are dealing with the words of the Constitution, said this Court in Missouri v. Holland, 252 U.S. 416, 433,
we must realize that they have called into life a being the development of which could not have been foreseen completely by the most gifted of its begetters. . . . The case before us must be considered in the light of our whole experience, and not merely in that of what was said a hundred years ago.
Nor is it helpful to attempt to draw a fine distinction between the intended meaning of the words of the Constitution and their intended application. When we consider the contract clause and the decisions which have expounded it in harmony with the essential reserved power of the States to protect the security of their peoples, we find no warrant for the conclusion that the clause has been warped by these decisions from its proper significance, or that the founders of our Government would have interpreted the clause differently had they had occasion to assume that responsibility in the conditions of the later day. The vast body of law which has been developed was unknown to the fathers, but it is believed to have preserved the essential content and the spirit of the Constitution. With a growing recognition of public needs [p444] and the relation of individual right to public security, the court has sought to prevent the perversion of the clause through its use as an instrument to throttle the capacity of the States to protect their fundamental interests. This development is a growth from the seeds which the fathers planted. It is a development forecast by the prophetic words of Justice Johnson in Ogden v. Saunders, already quoted. And the germs of the later decisions are found in the early cases of the Charles River Bridge and the West River Bridge, supra, which upheld the public right against strong insistence upon the contract clause. The principle of this development is, as we have seen, that the reservation of the reasonable exercise of the protective power of the State is read into all contracts, and there is no greater reason for refusing to apply this principle to Minnesota mortgages than to New York leases.
Applying the criteria established by our decisions we conclude:
1. An emergency existed in Minnesota which furnished a proper occasion for the exercise of the reserved power of the State to protect the vital interests of the community. The declarations of the existence of this emergency by the legislature and by the Supreme Court of Minnesota cannot be regarded as a subterfuge, or as lacking in adequate basis. Block v. Hirsh, supra. The finding of the legislature and state court has support in the facts of which we take judicial notice. Atchison, T. & S.F. Ry. Co. v. United States, 284 U.S. 248, 260. It is futile to attempt to make a comparative estimate of the seriousness of the emergency shown in the leasing cases from New York and of the emergency disclosed here. The particular facts differ, but that there were in Minnesota conditions urgently demanding relief, if power existed to give it, is beyond cavil. As the Supreme Court of Minnesota said, the economic emergency which threatened "the [p445] loss of homes and lands which furnish those in possession the necessary shelter and means of subsistence" was a "potent cause" for the enactment of the statute.
2. The legislation was addressed to a legitimate end, that is, the legislation was not for the mere advantage of particular individuals, but for the protection of a basic interest of society.
3. In view of the nature of the contracts in question -- mortgages of unquestionable validity -- the relief afforded and justified by the emergency, in order not to contravene the constitutional provision, could only be of a character appropriate to that emergency, and could be granted only upon reasonable conditions.
4. The conditions upon which the period of redemption is extended do not appear to be unreasonable. The initial extension of the time of redemption for thirty days from the approval of the Act was obviously to give a reasonable opportunity for the authorized application to the court. As already noted, the integrity of the mortgage indebtedness is not impaired; interest continues to run; the validity of the sale and the right of a mortgagee-purchaser to title or to obtain a deficiency judgment if the mortgagor fails to redeem within the extended period are maintained, and the conditions of redemption, if redemption there be, stand as they were under the prior law. The mortgagor, during the extended period, is not ousted from possession, but he must pay the rental value of the premises as ascertained in judicial proceedings, and this amount is applied to the carrying of the property and to interest upon the indebtedness. The mortgagee-purchaser, during the time that he cannot obtain possession, thus is not left without compensation for the withholding of possession. Also important is the fact that mortgagees, as is shown by official reports of which we may take notice, are predominantly corporations, such as [p446] insurance companies, banks, and investment and mortgage companies. [n16] These, and such individual mortgagees as are small investors, are not seeking homes or the opportunity to engage in farming. Their chief concern is the reasonable protection of their investment security. It does not matter that there are, or may be, individual cases of another aspect. The legislature was entitled to deal with the general or typical situation. The relief afforded by the statute has regard to the interest of mortgagees as well as to the interest of mortgagors. The legislation seeks to prevent the impending ruin of both by a considerate measure of relief.
In the absence of legislation, courts of equity have exercised jurisdiction in suits for the foreclosure of mortgages to fix the time and terms of sale and to refuse to confirm sales upon equitable grounds where they were found to be unfair or inadequacy of price was so gross as to shock the conscience. [n17] The "equity of redemption" is the creature of equity. While courts of equity could not alter the legal effect of the forfeiture of the estate at common law on breach of condition, they succeeded, operating on the conscience of the mortgagee, in maintaining that it was unreasonable that he should retain for his own benefit what was intended as a mere security; that the breach of condition was in the nature of a penalty, which ought to be relieved against, and that the mortgagor had an equity to redeem on payment of principal, interest and costs, [p447] notwithstanding the forfeiture at law. This principle of equity was victorious against the strong opposition of the common law judges, who thought that, by "the Growth of Equity on Equity, the Heart of the Common Law is eaten out." The equitable principle became firmly established, and its application could not be frustrated even by the engagement of the debtor entered into at the time of the mortgage, the courts applying the equitable maxim "once a mortgage, always a mortgage, and nothing but a mortgage." [n18] Although the courts would have no authority to alter a statutory period of redemption, the legislation in question permits the courts to extend that period, within limits and upon equitable terms, thus providing a procedure and relief which are cognate to the historic exercise of the equitable jurisdiction. If it be determined, as it must be, that the contract clause is not an absolute and utterly unqualified restriction of the State's protective power, this legislation is clearly so reasonable as to be within the legislative competency.
5. The legislation is temporary in operation. It is limited to the exigency which called it forth. While the postponement of the period of redemption from the foreclosure sale is to May 1, 1935, that period may be reduced by the order of the court under the statute, in case of a change in circumstances, and the operation of the statute itself could not validly outlast the emergency or be so extended as virtually to destroy the contracts.
We are of the opinion that the Minnesota statute, as here applied, does not violate the contract clause of the Federal Constitution. Whether the legislation is wise or [p448] unwise as a matter of policy is a question with which we are not concerned.
What has been said on that point is also applicable to the contention presented under the due process clause. Block v. Hirsh, supra.
Nor do we think that the statute denies to the appellant the equal protection of the laws. The classification which the statute makes cannot be said to be an arbitrary one. Magoun v. Illinois Trust & Savings Bank, 170 U.S. 283; Clark v. Titusville, 184 U.S. 329; Quong Wing v. Kirkendall, 223 U.S. 59; Ohio Oil Co. v. Conway, 281 U.S. 146; Sproles v. Binford, 286 U.S. 374.
The judgment of the Supreme Court of Minnesota is affirmed.
1. That section is as follows:
Sec. 4. Period of Redemption May be Extended. -- Where any mortgage upon real property has been foreclosed and the period of redemption has not yet expired, or where a sale is hereafter had, in the case of real estate mortgage foreclosure proceedings, now pending, or which may hereafter be instituted prior to the expiration of two years from and after the passage of this Act, or upon the sale of any real property under any judgment or execution where the period of redemption has not yet expired, or where such sale is made hereafter within two years from and after the passage of this Act, the period of redemption may be extended for such additional time as the court may deem just and equitable but in no event beyond May 1st, 1935; provided that the mortgagor, or the owner in possession of said property, in the case of mortgage foreclosure proceedings, or the judgment debtor, in case of sale under judgment, or execution, shall prior to the expiration of the period of redemption, apply to the district court having jurisdiction of the matter, on not less than 10 days' written notice to the mortgagee or judgment creditor, or the attorney of either, as the case may be, for an order determining the reasonable value of the income on said property, or, if the property has no income, then the reasonable rental value of the property involved in such sale, and directing and requiring such mortgagor or judgment debtor, to pay all or a reasonable part of such income or rental value, in or toward the payment of taxes, insurance, interest, mortgage or judgment indebtedness at such times and in such manner as shall be fixed and determined and ordered by the court, and the court shall thereupon hear said application and after such hearing shall make and file its order directing the payment by such mortgagor, or judgment debtor, of such an amount at such times and in such manner as to the court shall, under all the circumstances, appear just and equitable. Provided that, upon the service of the notice or demand aforesaid that the running of the period of redemption shall be tolled until the court shall make its order upon such application. Provided, further, however, that, if such mortgagor or judgment debtor, or personal representative, shall default in the payments, or any of them, in such order required, on his part to be done, or commits waste, his right to redeem from said sale shall terminate 30 days after such default and holders of subsequent liens may redeem in the order and manner now provided by law beginning 30 days after the filing of notice of such default with the clerk of such District Court, and his right to possession shall cease and the party acquiring title to any such real estate shall then be entitled to the immediate possession of said premises. If default is claimed by allowance of waste, such 30 day period shall not begin to run until the filing of an order of the court finding such waste. Provided, further, that the time of redemption from any real estate mortgage foreclosure or judgment or execution sale heretofore made, which otherwise would expire less than 30 days after the passage and approval of this Act, shall be and the same hereby is extended to a date 30 days after the passage and approval of this Act, and in such case, the mortgagor, or judgment debtor, or the assigns or personal representative of either, as the case may be, or the owner in the possession of the property, may, prior to said date, apply to said court for and the court may thereupon grant the relief as hereinbefore and in this section provided. Provided, further, that, prior to May 1, 1935, no action shall be maintained in this state for a deficiency judgment until the period of redemption as allowed by existing law or as extended under the provisions of this Act, has expired.
2. A joint statement of the counsel for both parties, filed with the court on the argument in this Court, shows that, after providing for taxes, insurance, and interest, and crediting the payments to be made by the mortgagor under the judgment, the amount necessary to redeem May 1, 1935, would be $4,258.82
3. The preamble and the first section of the Act are as follows:
Whereas, the severe financial and economic depression existing for several years past has resulted in extremely low prices for the products of the farms and the factories, a great amount of unemployment, an almost complete lack of credit for farmers, business men and property owners and a general and extreme stagnation of business, agriculture and industry, and
Whereas, many owners of real property, by reason of said conditions, are unable, and it is believed, will for some time be unable to meet all payments as they come due of taxes, interest and principal of mortgages on their properties and are, therefore, threatened with loss of such properties through mortgage foreclosure and judicial sales thereof, and
Whereas, many such properties have been and are being bid in at mortgage foreclosure and execution sales for prices much below what is believed to be their real values and often for much less than the mortgage or judgment indebtedness, thus entailing deficiency judgments against the mortgage and judgment debtors, and
Whereas, it is believed, and the Legislature of Minnesota hereby declares its belief, that the conditions existing as hereinbefore set forth has created an emergency of such nature that justifies and validates legislation for the extension of the time of redemption from mortgage foreclosure and execution sales and other relief of a like character; and
Whereas, The State of Minnesota possesses the right under its police power to declare a state of emergency to exist, and
Whereas, the inherent and fundamental purpose of our government is to safeguard the public and promote the general welfare of the people; and
Whereas, Under existing conditions the foreclosure of many real estate mortgages by advertisement would prevent fair, open and competitive bidding at the time of sale in the manner now contemplated by law, and
Whereas, It is believed, and the Legislature of Minnesota hereby declares its belief, that the conditions existing as hereinbefore set forth have created an emergency of such a nature that justifies and validates changes in legislation providing for the temporary manner, method, terms and conditions upon which mortgage foreclosure sales may be had or postponed and jurisdiction to administer equitable relief in connection therewith may be conferred upon the District Court, and
Whereas, Mason's Minnesota Statutes of 1927, Section 9608, which provides for the postponement of mortgage foreclosure sales, has remained for more than thirty years a provision of the statutes in contemplation of which provisions for foreclosure by advertisement have been agreed upon;
* * * *
Section 1. Emergency Declared to Exist. -- In view of the situation hereinbefore set forth, the Legislature of the State of Minnesota hereby declares that a public economic emergency does exist in the State of Minnesota.
4. The Attorney General of the State, in his argument before this court, made the following statement of general conditions in Minnesota:
Minnesota is predominantly an agricultural state. A little more than one half of its people live on farms. At the time this law was passed, the prices of farm products had fallen to a point where most of the persons engaged in farming could not realize enough from their products to support their families, and pay taxes and interest on the mortgages on their homes. In the fall and winter of 1932 in the villages and small cities where most of the farmers must market their produce, corn was quoted as low as eight cents per bushel, oats two cents and wheat twenty-nine cents per bushel, eggs at seven cents per dozen, and butter at ten cents per pound. The industry second in importance is mining. In normal times, Minnesota produces about sixty percent of the iron of the United States and nearly thirty percent of all the iron produced in the world. In 1932, the production of iron fell to less than fifteen percent of normal production. The families of idle miners soon became destitute, and had to be supported by public funds. Other industries of the state, such as lumbering and the manufacture of wood products, the manufacture of farm machinery and various goods of steel and iron have also been affected disastrously by the depression. Because of the increased burden on the state and its political subdivisions which resulted from the depression, taxes on lands, which provide by far the major portion of the taxes in this state, were increased to such an extent that, in many instances, they became confiscatory. Tax delinquencies were alarmingly great, rising as high as 78% in one county of the state. In seven counties of the state, the tax delinquency was over 50%. Because of these delinquencies, many towns, school districts, villages and cities were practically bankrupt. In many of these political subdivisions of the state, local government would have ceased to function, and would have collapsed had it not been for loans from the state.
The Attorney General also stated that serious breaches of the peace had occurred.
5. See Ex parte Milligan, 4 Wall. 2, 120-127; United States v. Russell, 13 Wall. 623, 627; Hamilton v. Kentucky Distilleries & Warehouse Co., 251 U.S. 146, 155; United States v. Cohen Grocery Co., 255 U.S. 81, 88.
6. Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention, vol. II, pp. 439, 440, 597, 610; Elliot's Debates, vol. V, pp. 485, 488, 545, 546; Bancroft, History of the U.S. Constitution, vol. 2, pp. 137-139; Warren, The Making of the Constitution, pp. 552-555. Compare Ordinance for the Government of the Northwest Territory, Art. 2.
7. The Federalist, No. 44 (Madison); Marshall, Life of Washington, vol. 5, pp. 85-90, 112, 113; Bancroft, History of the U.S. Constitution, vol. 1, pp. 228 et seq.; Black, Constitutional Prohibitions, pp. 1-7; Fiske, The Critical Period of American History, 8th ed., pp. 168 et seq.; Adams v. Storey, 1 Paine's Rep. 79, 90-92.
8. Contracts, within the meaning of the clause, have been held to embrace those that are executed, that is, grants, as well as those that are executory. Fletcher v. Peck, 6 Cranch 87, 137; Terrett v. Taylor, 9 Cranch 43. They embrace the charters of private corporations. Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 4 Wheat. 518. But not the marriage contract, so as to limit the general right to legislate on the subject of divorce. Id., p. 629; Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190, 210. Nor are judgments, though rendered upon contracts, deemed to be within the provision. Morley v. Lake Shore & M. S. Ry. Co., 146 U.S. 162, 169. Nor does a general law, giving the consent of a State to be sued, constitute a contract. Beers v. Arkansas, 20 How. 527.
9. But there is held to be no impairment by a law which removes the taint of illegality, and thus permits enforcement, as, e.g., by the repeal of a statute making a contract void for usury. Ewell v. Daggs, 108 U.S. 143, 151.
10. See, in addition to cases cited in the text, the following: Farmers & Mechanics Bank v. Smith, 6 Wheat. 131; Piqua Bank v. Knoop, 16 How. 369; Dodge v. Woolsey, 18 How. 331; Jefferson Branch Bank v. Skelly, 1 Black 436; State Tax on Foreign-held Bonds, 15 Wall. 300; Farrington v. Tennessee, 95 U.S. 679; Murray v. Charleston, 96 U.S. 432; Hartman v. Greenhow, 102 U.S. 672; McGahey v. Virginia, 135 U.S. 662; Bedford v. Eastern Bldg. & Loan Assn., 181 U.S. 227; Wright v. Central of Georgia Ry. Co., 236 U.S. 674; Central of Georgia Ry. Co. v. Wright, 248 U.S. 525; Ohio Public Service Co. v. Fritz, 274 U.S. 12.
11. See Warren, The Supreme Court in United States History, vol. 2, pp. 376-379.
12. See Sturges v. Crowninshield, 4 Wheat. 122, 200, 201; Mason v. Haile, 12 Wheat. 370, 378; Beers v. Haughton, 9 Pet. 329, 359.
13. Illustrations of changes in remedies, which have been sustained, may be seen in the following cases: Jackson v. Lamphire, 3 Pet. 280; Hawkins v. Barney's Lessee, 5 Pet. 457; Crawford v. Branch Bank, 7 How. 279; Curtis v. Whitney, 13 Wall. 68; Railroad Co. v. Hecht, 95 U.S. 168; Terry v. Anderson, 95 U.S. 628; Tennessee v. Sneed, 96 U.S. 69; South Carolina v. Gaillard, 101 U.S. 433; Louisiana v. New Orleans, 102 U.S. 203; Connecticut Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. Cushman, 108 U.S. 51; Vance v. Vance, 108 U.S. 514; Gilfillan v. Union Canal Co., 109 U.S. 401; Hill v. Merchants' Ins. Co., 134 U.S. 515; New Orleans City & Lake R. Co. v. New Orleans, 157 U.S. 219; Red River Valley Bank v. Craig, 181 U.S. 548; Wilson v. Standefer, 184 U.S. 399; Oshkosh Waterworks Co. v. Oshkosh, 187 U.S. 437; Waggoner v. Flack, 188 U.S. 595; Bernheimer v. Converse, 206 U.S. 516; Henley v. Myers, 215 U.S. 373; Selig v. Hamilton, 234 U.S. 652; Security Savings Bank v. California, 263 U.S. 282.
Compare the following illustrative cases, where changes in remedies were deemed to be of such a character as to interfere with substantial rights: Wilmington & Weldon R. Co. v. King, 91 U.S. 3; Memphis v. United States, 97 U.S. 293; Virginia Coupon Cases, 114 U.S. 269, 270, 298, 299; Effinger v. Kenney, 115 U.S. 566; Fisk v. Jefferson Police Jury, 116 U.S. 131; Bradley v. Lightcap, 195 U.S. l; Bank of Minden v. Clement, 256 U.S. 126.
14. See also New Orleans Gas Co. v. Louisiana Light Co., 115 U.S. 650, 673; Offield v. New York, N.H. & N. R. Co., 203 U.S. 372; Cincinnati v. Louisville & N. R. Co., 223 U.S. 390; Pennsylvania Hospital v. Philadelphia, 245 U.S. 20, 23; Galveston Wharf Co. v. Galveston, 260 U.S. 473, 476; Georgia v. Chattanooga, 264 U.S. 472.
15. Law of 1920 (New York), chapter 942-947, 951.
16. Department of Agriculture, Technical Bulletin No. 288, February, 1932, pp. 22, 23; Year Book, Department of Agriculture, 1932, p. 913.
17. Graffman v. Burgess, 117 U.S. 180, 191, 192; Schroeder v. Young, 161 U.S. 334, 337; Ballentyne v. Smith, 205 U.S. 285, 290; Howell v. Baker, 4 Johns.Ch. 118, 121; Gilbert v. Haire, 43 Mich. 283, 286, 5 N.W. 321; Littell v. Zuntz, 2 Ala. 256, 260, 262; Farmer's Life Ins. Co. v. Stegink, 106 Kans. 730, 189 Pac. 965; Strong v. Smith, 68 N.J.Eq. 650, 653, 58 Atl. 301, 64 id. 1135. Compare Suring State Bank v. Giese, 210 Wis. 489, 246 N.W. 556.
18. See Coote's Law of Mortgages, 8th ed., vol. 1, pp. 11, 12; Jones on Mortgages, 8th ed., vol. 1, §§ 7, 8; Langford v. Barnard, Tothill, 134, temp. Eliz.; Emmanuel College v. Evans, 1 Rep. in Ch. 10, temp. Car. I; Roscarrick v. Barton, 1 Ca. in Ch. 217; Noakes v. Rice, (1902) A.C. 24, per Lord Macnaghten; Fairclough v. Swan Brewery, 81 L.J.P.C. 207.