Lewis v. BT Investment Managers, Inc.

PETITIONER: Lewis
RESPONDENT: BT Investment Managers, Inc.
LOCATION: Turner Turnpike

DOCKET NO.: 79-45
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT:

CITATION: 447 US 27 (1980)
ARGUED: Jan 15, 1980
DECIDED: Jun 09, 1980

ADVOCATES:
Erwin N. Griswold -
John L. Warden - for appellees

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Lewis v. BT Investment Managers, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 15, 1980 (Part 2) in Lewis v. BT Investment Managers, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 15, 1980 (Part 1) in Lewis v. BT Investment Managers, Inc.

Warren E. Burger:

The case is submitted.

We'll hear arguments next in Lewis against BT Investment Managers.

Mr. Griswold, you may proceed whenever you are ready.

Erwin N. Griswold:

May it please the Court.

This case is here on appeal from a three-judge District Court in the Northern District of Florida.

It is a constitutional case in the Commerce Clause area relating to banks, involves specifically the validity of two Florida statutes dully enacted by the Florida Legislature, designed to prevent activities in Florida by subsidiaries of out-of-state bank holding companies.

The first of these statutes is Section 659.141 of the Florida statutes as amended effective in December 1972.

This is set out in full in Appendix A at the close of the appellant's brief.

That's the red brief.

The appendices are separately paginated but I think it can be easily found at the beginning of Appendix A.

The part which is relevant in this case is at the beginning of the section, on the first half of page A1, except it's provided in Subsection 3 “No bank, trust company, or holding company, the operations of which are principally conducted outside the State, shall acquire, retain, or own directly all or substantially all the assets of, or control over, any bank or trust company having a place of business in the State where the business of banking or trust business or functions are conducted.”

That's the first part.

“Any bank or trust company, or acquire, retain or own all or substantially all of the assets of or control over any business organization having a place of business in the State, where or from which it furnishes investment advisory services in the State.”

Now, that statute was amended in 1972, the reading in its present form.

Prior to that, it had been applicable only to the rendering of investment services to banks, but the restriction of the banks was taken out in December 1972.

It will be seen that this bars an out-of-state bank holding company from one owning any bank or trust company, having a place of business in the State.

And it also bars an out-of-state bank holding company from owning a subsidiary having a place of business in Florida from which it furnishes investment advisory services.

The second of the Florida statute is Section 660.10.

And that is in Appendix B at the close of the appellant's red covered brief and the essential part of it is that, “No one except a bank and trust company incorporated under the laws of the State and having trust powers, except the National Bank located in the State and having trust powers, can exercise any of the following powers which include acting as executive, guardian, trustee, trustee in various situations, receiver assignee, fiscal agent and so on, debarring anybody but Florida corporations from conducting the trust business in Florida.”

You'll see that fits in with the corresponding provision in the other section.

William H. Rehnquist:

Mr. Griswold, do you think that the effect of these statutes would bar an individual who did not wish to limit his liability from going into Florida and rendering this suit?

Erwin N. Griswold:

Not, not at all.

It's only applicable, an individual would have to incorporate in Florida but he -- he could not --

William H. Rehnquist:

What if he didn't want to incorporate at all?

Erwin N. Griswold:

He -- he -- well, I have to read the -- the language of the statute to see just how it applies to an individual.

William H. Rehnquist:

I -- I was looking at page 82 of your appendix and on Section 2 there it says, “Referring to the business organization control in any manager in any manner of the election of a majority, the directors, or trustees of the bank, trust, or holding company.”

And then Section 1 before that says, “The business organization directly or indirectly acting to one or more person's own controls as part about 25% of all the shares of any class of voting security.”

So those -- now, that language to me connotes a corporation.

Erwin N. Griswold:

And -- and Section 660.10, and I've been looking at it, is plainly applicable only to -- to corporations.

It does not apply to individuals and you could have private individuals acting as trustees in -- in Florida in the trust business.