« PředchozíPokračovat »
respectively have jurisdiction, (1) appoint referees, each for a term of two years, and may, in their discretion, remove them because their services are not needed or for other cause; and (2) designate, and from time to time change, the limits of the districts of referees, so that each county, where the services of a referee are needed, may constitute at least one district.
SEC. 35. QUALIFICATIONS OF REFEREES.-a. Individuals shall not be eligible to appointment as referees unless they are respectively (1) competent to perform the duties of that office; (2) not holding any office of profit or emolument under the laws of the United States or of any State other than commissioners of deeds, justices of the peace, masters in chancery, or notaries public; (3) not related by consanguinity or affinity, within the third degree as determined by the common law, to any of the judges of the courts of bankruptcy or circuit courts of the United States, or of the justices or judges of the appellate courts of the districts wherein they may be appointed; and (4) residents of, or have their offices in, the territorial districts for which they are to be appointed.
SEC. 36. OATHS OF OFFICE OF REFEREES.-a. Referees shall take the same oath of office as that prescribed for judges of United States courts
SEC. 37. NUMBER OF REFEREES.- -a. Such number of referees shall be appointed as may be necessary to assist in expeditiously transacting the bankruptcy business pending in the various courts of bankruptcy.
SEC. 38. JURISDICTION OF REFEREES.-a. Referees respectively are hereby invested, subject always to a review by the judge, within the limits of their districts as established from time to time, with jurisdic tion to (1) consider all petitions referred to them by the clerks and make the adjudications or dismiss the petitions; (2) exercise the powers vested in courts of bankruptcy for the administering of oaths to and the examination of persons as witnesses and for requiring the production of documents in proceedings before them, except the power of commitment; (3) exercise the powers of the judge for the taking possession and releas ing of the property of the bankrupt in the event of the issuance by the clerk of a certificate showing the absence of a judge from the judicial district, or the division of the district, or his sickness, or inability to act; (4) perform such part of the duties, except as to questions arising out of the applications of bankrupts for compositions or discharges, as are by this Act conferred on courts of bankruptcy and as shall be prescribed by rules or orders of the courts of bankruptcy of their respective districts, except as herein otherwise provided; and (5) upon the application of the trustee during the examination of the bankrupts, or other proceedings, authorize the employment of stenographers at the expense of the estates at a compensation not to exceed ten cents per folio for reporting and transcribing the proceedings.
SEC. 39. DUTIES OF REFERLES. - -a. Referees shall (1) declare dividends and prepare and deliver to trustees dividend sheets showing the dividends
declared and to whom payable; (2) examine all schedules of property and lists of creditors filed by bankrupts and cause such as are incomplete or defective to be amended; (3) furnish such information concerning the estates in process of administration before them as may be requested by the parties in interest; (4) give notices to creditors as herein provided; (5) make up records embodying the evidence, or the substance thereof, as agreed upon by the parties in all contested matters arising before them, whenever requested to do so by either of the parties thereto, together with their findings therein, and transmit them to the judges; (6) prepare and file the schedules of property and lists of creditors required to be filed by the bankrupts, or cause the same to be done, when the bankrupts fail, refuse, or neglect to do so; (7) safely keep, perfect, and transmit to the clerks the records, herein required to be kept by them, when the cases are concluded; (8) transmit to the clerks such papers as may be on file before them whenever the same are needed in any proceedings in courts, and in like manner secure the return of such papers after they have been used, or, if it be impracticable to transmit the original papers, transmit certified copies thereof by mail; (9) upon application of any party in interest, preserve the evidence taken or the substance thereof as agreed upon by the parties before them when a stenographer is not in attendance; and (10) whenever their respective offices are in the same cities or towns where the courts of bankruptcy convene, call upon and receive from the clerks all papers filed in courts of bankruptcy which have been referred to them.
b. Referees shall not (1) act in cases in which they are directly or indirectly interested; (2) practice as attorneys and counselors at law in any bankruptcy proceedings; or (3) purchase, directly or indirectly, any property of an estate in bankruptcy.
SEC. 40. COMPENSATION OF REFEREES.-a. Referees shall receive as full compensation for their services, payable after they are rendered, a fee of ten dollars deposited with the clerk at the time the petition is filed in each case, except when a fee is not required from a voluntary bankrupt, and from estates which have been administered before them one per centum commissions on sums to be paid as dividends and commissions, or one half of one per centum on the amount to be paid to creditors upon the confirmation of a composition.
b. Whenever a case is transferred from one referee to another the judge shall determine the proportion in which the fee and commissions therefor shall be divided between the referees.
c. In the event of the reference of a case being revoked before it is concluded, and when the case is specially referred, the judge shall determine what part of the fee and commissions shall be paid to the ref
SEC. 41. CONTEMPTS BEFORE REFEREES.-a. A person shall not, in proceedings before a referee, (1) disobey or resist any lawful order, process,
or writ; (2) misbehave during a hearing or so near the place thereof as to obstruct the same; (3) neglect to produce, after having been ordered to do so, any pertinent document; or (4) refuse to appear after having been subpoenaed, or, upon appearing, refuse to take the oath as a witness, or, after having taken the oath, refuse to be examined according to law: Provided, That no person shall be required to attend as a witness before a referee at a place outside of the State of his residence, and more than one hundred miles from such place of residence, and only in case his lawful mileage and fee for one day's attendance shall be first paid or tendered to him.
b. The referee shall certify the facts to the judge, if any person shall do any of the things forbidden in this section. The judge shall thereupon, in a summary manner, hear the evidence as to the acts complained of, and, if it is such as to warrant him in so doing, punish such person in the same manner and to the same extent as for a contempt committed before the court of bankruptcy, or commit such person upon the same conditions as if the doing of the forbidden act had occurred with reference to the process of, or in the presence of, the court.
SEC. 42. RECORDS OF REFEREES.- -a. The records of all proceedings in each case before a referee shall be kept as nearly as may be in the same manner as records are now kept in equity cases in circuit courts of the United States.
b. A record of the proceedings in each case shall be kept in a separate book or books, and shall, together with the papers on file, constitute the records of the case.
c. The book or books containing a record of the proceedings shall, when the case is concluded before the referee, be certified to by him, and, together with such papers as are on file before him, be transmitted to the court of bankruptcy and shall there remain as a part of the records of the court.
SEC. 43. REFEREE'S ABSENCE OR DISABILITY.- -a. Whenever the office of a referee is vacant, or its occupant is absent or disqualified to act, the judge may act, or may appoint another referee, or another referee holding an appointment under the same court may, by order of the judge, temporarily fill the vacancy.
SEC. 44. APPOINTMENT OF TRUSTEES.—a. The creditors of a bankrupt estate shall, at their first meeting after the adjudication or after a vacancy has occurred in the office of trustee, or after an estate has been reopened, or after a composition has been set aside or a discharge revoked, or if there is a vacancy in the office of trustee, appoint one trustee or three trustees of such estate. If the creditors do not appoint a trustee or trustees as herein provided, the court shall do so.
SEC. 45. QUALIFICATIONS OF TRUSTEES.- -a. Trustees may be (1) individuals who are respectively competent to perform the duties of that office, and reside or have an office in the judicial district within which
they are appointed, or (2) corporations authorized by their charters or by law to act in such capacity and having an office in the judicial district within which they are appointed.
SEC. 46. DEATH OR REMOVAL OF TRUSTEES.-a. The death or removal of a trustee shall not abate any suit or proceeding which he is prosecuting or defending at the time of his death or removal, but the same may be proceeded with or defended by his joint trustee or successor in the same manner as though the same had been commenced or was being defended by such joint trustee alone or by such successor.
SEC. 47. DUTIES OF TRUSTEES.-a. Trustees shall respectively (1) account for and pay over to the estates under their control all interest received by them upon property of such estates; (2) collect and reduce to money the property of the estates for which they are trustees, under the direction of the court, and close up the estate as expeditiously as is compatible with the best interests of the parties in interest; (3) deposit all money received by them in one of the designated depositories; (4) disburse money only by check or draft on the depositories in which it has been deposited; (5) furnish such information concerning the estates of which they are trustees and their administration as may be requested by parties in interest; (6) keep regular accounts showing all amounts received and from what sources and all amounts expended and on what accounts; (7) lay before the final meeting of the creditors detailed statements of the administration of the estates; (8) make final reports and file final accounts with the courts fifteen days before the days fixed for the final meetings of the creditors; (9) pay dividends within ten days after they are declared by the referees; (10) report to the courts, in writing, the condition of the estates and the amounts of money on hand, and such other details as may be required by the courts, within the first month after their appointment and every two months thereafter, unless otherwise ordered by the courts; and (11) set apart the bankrupt's exemptions and report the items and estimated value thereof to the court as soon as practicable after their appointment.
b. Whenever three trustees have been appointed for an estate, the concurrence of at least two of them shall be necessary to the validity of their every act concerning the administration of the estate.
SEC. 48. COMPENSATION OF TRUSTEES.—a. Trustees shall receive, as full compensation for their services, payable after they are rendered, a fee of five dollars deposited with the clerk at the time the petition is filed in each case, except when a fee is not required from a voluntary bankrupt, and from estates which they have administered, such commissions on sums to be paid as dividends and commissions as may be allowed by the courts, not to exceed three per centum on the first five thousand dollars or less, two per centum on the second five thousand dollars or part thereof, and one per centum on such sums in excess of ten thousand dollars.
b. In the event of an estate being administered by three trustees instead of one trustee or by successive trustees, the court shall apportion the fees and commissions between them according to the services actually rendered, so that there shall not be paid to trustees for the administering of any estate a greater amount than one trustee would be entitled to.
c. The court may, in its discretion, withhold all compensation from any trustee who has been removed for cause.
SEC. 49. ACCOUNTS AND PAPERS OF TRUSTEES.- -a. The accounts and papers of trustees shall be open to the inspection of officers and all parties in interest.
SEC. 50. BONDS OF REFEREES AND TRUSTEES.-a. Referees, before as suming the duties of their offices, and within such time as the district courts of the United States having jurisdiction shall prescribe, shall respectively qualify by entering into bond to the United States in such sum as shall be fixed by such courts, not to exceed five thousand dollars, with such sureties as shall be approved by such courts, conditioned for the faithful performance of their official duties.
b. Trustees, before entering upon the performance of their official duties, and within ten days after their appointment, or within such further time, not to exceed five days, as the court may permit, shall respectively qualify by entering into bond to the United States, with such sureties as shall be approved by the courts, conditioned for the faithful performance of their official duties.
c. The creditors of a bankrupt estate, at their first meeting after the adjudication, or after a vacancy has occurred in the office of trustee, or after an estate has been reopened, or after a composition has been set aside or a discharge revoked, if there is a vacancy in the office of trustee, shall fix the amount of the bond of the trustee; they may at any time increase the amount of the bond. If the creditors do not fix the amount of the bond of the trustee as herein provided the court shall do so.
d. The court shall require evidence as to the actual value of the property of sureties.
e. There shall be at least two sureties upon each bond.
f. The actual value of the property of the sureties, over and above their liabilities and exemptions, on each bond shall equal at least the amount of such bond.
g. Corporations organized for the purpose of becoming sureties upon bonds, or authorized by law to do so, may be accepted as sureties upon the bonds of referees and trustees whenever the courts are satisfied that the rights of all parties in interest will be thereby amply protected.
h. Bonds of referees, trustees, and designated depositories shall be filed of record in the office of the clerk of the court and may be sued upon in the name of the United States for the use of any person injured by a breach of their conditions.