Securities Investor Protection Corp. v. Barbour

PETITIONER: Securities Investor Protection Corp.
RESPONDENT: Barbour
LOCATION: U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

DOCKET NO.: 73-2055
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

CITATION: 421 US 412 (1975)
ARGUED: Mar 17, 1975 / Mar 18, 1975
DECIDED: May 19, 1975

ADVOCATES:
Wilfred R. Caron -
W. Ovid Collins, Jr. -

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Securities Investor Protection Corp. v. Barbour

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 17, 1975 in Securities Investor Protection Corp. v. Barbour
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 18, 1975 in Securities Investor Protection Corp. v. Barbour

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - May 19, 1975 in Securities Investor Protection Corp. v. Barbour

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in No. 73-2055, Securities Investor Protection Corporation against Barbour will be announced by Mr. Justice Marshall.

Thurgood Marshall:

This case comes to us by writ of certiorari to the United States District Court -- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

The Securities Investor Protection Corporation was established by Congress for the purpose of providing financial relief to the customers of failing broker dealers with whom they had left cash or securities on deposit.

The question presented by this case is whether such customers have an implied right of action to compel the corporation to exercise its statutory authority for their benefit.

The corporation is under the plenary supervision of the Securities and Exchange Commission and that agency has given the express right to sue in the District Court to compel the SIPC to act for the benefit of its customers.

In an opinion on file with the clerk today, we hold that the SEC's right of action is exclusive of the right claimed by the customers themselves.

Examination of the statutory allocation of functions among the SEC, makes changes, and the SIPC itself indicates that Congress did not intend to allow a self-interested customer to trigger the process by which a broker dealer is liquidated.

The judgment below is therefore reversed.

Mr. Justice Douglas dissents.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice Marshall.