Henry L. Doherty, a non-resident of the State of Iowa, did business within the state under the name of Henry L. Doherty & Co., with a district manager in charge of the office at Des Moines. Under the manager were clerks and salesmen engaged in the business of selling securities. One of these salesmen made an illegal sale to Goodman, and for damages resulting from the transaction Goodman brought suit in 1931, serving in the regular manner in accordance with the provisions of section 11079 of the Iowa Code the district agent at the Des Moines office. Doherty appeared specially to challenge the jurisdiction of the district court, but his special plea was overruled, and on appeal the Supreme Court of Iowa affirmed the judgment of the lower court, relying upon the precedent set in the case of Davidson v. Henry L. Doherty & Co. Thereupon Doherty appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, contending that the construction placed upon this statute offended sec. 2, Article IV, and sec. 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, of the Constitution of the United States. The Supreme Court of the United States held that the judgment be affirmed. On the charge that the statute in question infringed the constitutional guarantees cited to the Court, Mr. Justice McReynolds, writing the opinion of the Court, quoted liberally from the Iowa decision in Davidson v. Henry L. Doherty & Co., and, pointing to the circumstance that Doherty had complied with the Iowa securities law in registering and filing his consent to service of process, stated that this fact coupled with the accepted construction of the Iowa service statute did not deprive Doherty of any right guaranteed by the federal Constitution. Flexner v. Farson was put aside as inapplicable because service in that case was not upon the agent of the defendants, as it admittedly was in this case. And finally, the Supreme Court relied upon the analogy of the non-resident motorist service statutes to support its conclusion that, upon the facts of this case, the statute assailed was within the principle of the non-resident motorist decisions. Henry L. Doherty & Co. v. Goodman, (U. S. 1935) 55 Sup. Ct. 553.
Maurice S. Culp,
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-SERVICE OF PROCESS-JURISDICTION OVER NON-RESIDENT ACQUIRED BY SERVICE UPON RESIDENT AGENT,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol33/iss6/15