RONEY, Circuit Judge:
In this bankruptcy case we must decide if West Publishing Company is a secured creditor under Louisiana law as
Holding that West's sale of law books under a Minnesota conditional sales contract does not entitle it to a vendor's privilege under Louisiana law, we affirm.
West Publishing Company, located in St. Paul, Minnesota, sold law books to the bankrupt resident of Louisiana, Richard Sim Hoover. Pursuant to three conditional sales contracts, the books were shipped by West from St. Paul to Louisiana and it was stipulated that "the sale was consummated in the State of Minnesota." At the time of the adjudication in bankruptcy, the bankrupt owed West the sum of $2,576.79 on the purchase price of the books.
West claimed a vendor's privilege under Article 3227 of the Louisiana Civil Code.
Louisiana courts have long held that the preference granted by this statute does not extend to vendors who make sales outside of the State of Louisiana. George D. Witt Shoe Co. v. J. A. Seegars & Co., 122 La. 145, 47 So. 444 (1908); Claflin & Co. v. Mayer, 41 La. Ann. 1048, 7 So. 139 (1889); Succession of Welsh, 111 La. 801, 35 So. 913 (1904).
West argues that this sale took place in Louisiana because the title to the books must have passed to Hoover in Louisiana by virtue of Louisiana law,
This preferential treatment of vendors in state sales over vendors of goods sold outside of the state is attacked as being unreasonable and arbitrary so as to be invidious to the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Although this point was not raised before the referee or the district court, the law is clearly contrary. Griffin v. McCoach, 313 U.S. 498, 61 S.Ct. 1023, 85 L.Ed. 1481 (1941); Watson v. Employers Liability Corp., 348 U.S. 66, 75 S.Ct. 166, 99 L.Ed. 74 (1954). Cf., Missouri v. Lewis, 101 U.S. 22, 25 L.Ed. 989 (1879).
The alternative position of West, asserted on this appeal but not below, is that its conditional sales contracts should be recognized as giving West a secured claim in bankruptcy. The answer
Although such contracts will be enforced when the sale is made outside the state and the goods are brought into the state without the vendor's consent, they are clearly given no effect when the seller knows that the property is to be brought into Louisiana, as under the facts of this case. Universal C.I.T. v. Hulett, 151 So.2d 705 (La.App.1963) clearly sets forth the state law in this regard:
Although West makes an extensive argument that there is no legal basis for disallowing conditional sales in Louisiana, this court is bound to apply the Louisiana law of preferences and privileges as it has been determined by Louisiana courts. In re Trahan, 283 F.Supp. 620 (W.D.La.1968), aff'd, 402 F.2d 796 (5th Cir. 1968). We interpret Clyde Iron Works v. Frerichs, 203 F. 637 (5th Cir. 1913), which appears to be contrary to our holding, as nothing more than an early attempt to choose how state law should be applied prior to the definitive direction of Erie. Louisiana law being clear, the federal court cannot concern itself with its correctness or with the equity of the policy adopted by the state courts.
Lastly, West contends that the failure to enforce the plain agreement of the parties under the conditional sales contracts impairs the obligation of contracts in contravention of Article One, Section 10, Clause 1 of the Constitution of the United States.