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Most purchasers of the land were not Florida residents or farmers.

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He first suggested the Supreme Court to defer to the findings of both lower courts, particularly the District Courtas it was the finder of fact in this case. Procedural history[ edit ] Howey had not filed any registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Howey marketed the land through a resort hotel it owned in the area and promised significant profits in the sales pitch it provided to those who expressed interest in the groves. Murphy reasoned that while the term "investment contract" was left undefined by the Act, it had been used in state blue sky laws to cover a broad array of contracts and other schemes to raise capital in a way to secure some income or profit from the use thereof.

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Howey would sell the land for a uniform price per acre or per fraction of an acre for smaller parcels and convey to the purchaser a warranty deed upon payment in full of the purchase price. The purchaser of the land could then lease it back to the service company Howey-in-the-Hills, via a service contract, which would tend to the land, and harvest, pool, and market the produce.

He also noted that the purchasers were permitted to inspect the land before they bought it, and they were allowed the option of using their own agricultural services. Purchasers of the land had the option of making other service arrangements, but W.

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Thus, the Court concluded that Congress had written the term into the statute in recognition of its previously adopted common law meaning.

The US Supreme Court then granted certiorari. If that test be satisfied, it is immaterial whether the enterprise is speculative or non-speculative or whether there is a sale of property with or without intrinsic value. Murphy then formulated one of the US Supreme Court's earliest tests to determine whether an instrument qualifies as an "investment contract" for the purposes of the Securities Act which later came to be referred to as the Howey test: Facts[ edit ] The defendantsW.

The SEC filed suit to obtain an injunction forbidding the defendants from using the mails and instrumentalities of interstate commerce in the offer and the sale of unregistered and nonexempt securities, in violation of 5 a of the Securities Act of Dissenting opinion[ edit ] Justice Frankfurter wrote a brief dissenting opinion.

Rather, they were business and professional people inexperienced in agriculture and lacking the skill or equipment to tend to the land by themselves.

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Howey, in its advertising materials, stressed the superiority of Howey-in-the-Hills's service. William John Howey owned large tracts of citrus groves in Florida. Howey kept half of the groves for its own use and sold real estate contracts for the other half to finance its future developments.

The service contract gave Howey-in-the-Hills "full and complete" possession of the land specified in the contract and left no right of entry or any right to the produce harvested.