Osborn v. Bank of the United States

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Osborn v. Bank of the United States
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued March 10, 1824
Decided March 19, 1824
Full case name Ralph Osborn and others, Appellants v. The President, Directors, and Company of the Bank of the United States, Respondents
Citations 22 U.S. 738 (more)
9 Wheat. 738; 6 L. Ed. 204; 1824 U.S. LEXIS 409
Prior history Appeal from the Circuit Court of Ohio
Eleventh Amendment is inapplicable in suits in which a state is not a party of record, even when a party is acting as a state official[1]
Court membership
Chief Justice
John Marshall
Associate Justices
Bushrod Washington · William Johnson
Thomas Todd · Gabriel Duvall
Joseph Story · Smith Thompson
Case opinions
Majority Marshall, joined by Washington, Todd, Duvall, Story, Thompson
Dissent Johnson
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. XI

Osborn v. Bank of the United States, 22 U.S. (9 Wheat.) 738 (1824), was a case set in the Banking Crisis of 1819, during which many banks, including the Second Bank of the United States, demanded repayment for loans which they had issued on credit that they did not have. This led to an economic downturn and a shortage of money. In 1819, Ohio passed a law which put a tax on the Bank of the United States, the theory being that taxing a bank would allow the state government to receive and distribute the scarce money.

On September 17, 1819, Ohio Auditor Ralph Osborn was given permission to seize $100,000 from a branch of the Bank of the United States. However, his agents mistakenly took $120,000, but the extra $20,000 was promptly returned. The bank chose to sue Osborn for the return of the additional $100,000, and a federal court ruled that Osborn violated a court order prohibiting the taxing of the bank. Osborn argued that he had never been properly served with this order but still had to return the money. A problem arose when Osborn could pay back only $98,000, as the other $2,000 had been used to pay the salary of Osborn's tax agents. In 1824, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of the Bank of the United States, ordering the return of the disputed $2,000.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Richard H. Fallon, Jr., et al., Hart and Wechsler's The Federal Courts and the Federal System (Foundation Press, Fifth Edition, 2003), Pg 992.

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