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CHAPTER 14

COURT OF CLAIMS

Jurisdiction :

Burden of proof as to loyalty, 779. (Judicial Claims against the United States, 768. Code, sec. 161.)

(Judicial Code, sec. 145, par, 1, and Calling on departments for information, 780. sec. 148.)

(Judicial Code, sec. 164.) Counterclaims by the United States, 769. Petition must show ground for relief, 781. (Judicial Code, sec. 145, par. 2.)

(Judicial Code, sec. 165.) Claims of disbursing officers, 770. (Judi- Fraudulent claims, 782. (Judicial Code, cial Code, sec. 145, par. 3.)

sec. 173.) Claims of persons erroneously convicted in New trial on motion of United States, 783. United States Courts, 770a.

(Judicial Code, sec. 175.) Civil War claims excluded, 771.

Cost of printing record, 784. (Judicial Code, Judgments for set-off or counterclaim, 772. sec. 176.) (Judicial Code, sec. 146.)

No interest allowed before judgment, 785. Decree in case of loss by a disbursing officer, (Judicial Code, sec. 177.) 773. (Judicial Code, sec. 147.)

Payment of judgment, 786. (Judicial Code, Costs to prevailing party, 774. (Judicial sec. 178.) Code, sec. 152.)

Final judgment to bar further demand, 787. Claims pending in other courts, 775. (Ju- (Judicial Code, sec. 179.) dicial Code, sec. 154.)

Ascertainment of amounts due United States Time limit for filing claims, 776. (Judicial from debtors, 788. (Judicial Code, sec. Code, sec. 156.)

180.) Petitions and verification, 777. (Judicial Review by Supreme Court, 789. Code, sec. 159.)

Appearance by Attorney General for defense, Dismissal of petition on account of disloyalty, 790. (Judicial Code, sec. 185.) 778. (Judicial Code, sec. 160.)

Reports by departments on pending cases, 791. 768. Jurisdiction; claims against the United States (Judicial Code, sec. 145, par. 1).- The Court of Claims shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine the following matters :

First. All claims (except for pensions) founded upon the Constitution of the United States or any law of Congress, upon any regulation of an executive department, upon any contract, express or implied, with the Government of the United States, or for damages, liquidated or unliquidated, in cases not sounding in tort, in respect of which claims the party would be entitled to redress against the United States either in a court of law, equity, or admiralty if the United States were suable: Provided, however, That nothing in this section shall be construed as giving to the said court jurisdiction to hear and determine claims growing out of the late Civil War, and commonly known as “war claims,” or to hear and determine other claims which, prior to March third, eighteen hundred and eightyseven, had been rejected or reported on adversely by any court, department, or commission authorized to hear and determine the same. Par. 1, sec. 145, act of Mar. 3, 1911 (36 Stat. 1136); 28 U. 8. C. 250.

When any claim or matter is pending in any of the executive departments which involves controverted questions of fact or law, the head of such department may transmit the same, with the vouchers, papers, documents, and proofs pertaining thereto, to the Court of Claims and the same shall be there proceeded in under such rules as the court may adopt. When the facts and conclusions of law shall have been found, the court shall report its findings to the department by which it was transmitted for its guidance and action: Provided, however, That if it shall have been transmitted with the consent of the claimant, or if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court upon the facts established, that under existing laws or the provisions of this chapter it has jurisdiction to render judgment or decree thereon, it shall proceed to do so, in the latter case giving to either party such further opportunity for hearing as in its judgment justice shall require, and shall report its findings therein to the department by which the same was referred to said court. The Secretary of the Treasury may, upon the certificate of any auditor, or of the Comptroller of the Treasury, direct any claim or matter, of which, by reason of the subject matter or character, the said court might under existing laws, take jurisdiction on the voluntary action of the claimant, to be transmitted, with all the vouchers, papers, documents, and proofs pertaining thereto, to the said court for trial and adjudication. Sec. 148, act of Mar. 3, 1911 (36 Stat. 1137); 28 U. 8. C. 254.

The reference to "this chapter" in sec. 148, set forth above, is to the chapter in the Judicial Code entitled "Court of Claims."

Notes of Decisions

In general.The court has no jurisdiction United States can be sued only by its conof an informal claim for services rendered to sent, which may be withdrawn by statute at the War Department unless it has been passed any time. Ginocbio v. U. S. (C. C. A., 1934), on by the Secretary of War. Philadelphia 74 F. (20) 42. Boiler Works v. U. S. (1929), 67 Ct. Cl. 311.

769. Jurisdiction; counterclaims by the United States (Judicial Code, sec. 145, par. 2).--The Court of Claims shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine the following matters :

Second. All set-offs, counterclaims, claims for damages, whether liquidated or unliquidated, or other demands whatsoever on the part of the Government of the United States against any claimant against the Government in said court: Provided, That no suit against the Government of the United States, brought by any officer of the United States to recover fees for services alleged to have been performed for the United States, shall be allowed under this chapter until an account for said fees shall have been rendered and finally acted upon as required by law, unless the proper accounting officer of the Treasury fails to act finally thereon within six months after the account is received in said office. Par. 2, sec. 145, act of Mar. 3, 1911 (36 Stat, 1137); 28 U.S. C. 250.

The duties of the accounting officers of the Treasury are now performed by the General Accounting Office. See 1646, post.

Notes of Decisions Fees for services.—A suit by an officer of , and the statute of limitations on suit for such the Army to recover difference in Army pay is pay runs from the time such pay becomes due not a suit by an officer of the United States and payable. Thompson v. U. S. (1934), 79 to recover "fees for services" within the Ct, CI. 224. meaning of section 145 of the Judicial Code ;

770. Jurisdiction; claims of disbursing officers (Judicial Code, sec. 145, par. 3).The Court of Claims shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine the following matters:

Third. The claim of any paymaster, quartermaster, commissary of subsistence, or other disbursing officer of the United States, or of his administrators or executors, for relief from responsibility on account of loss by capture or otherwise, while in the line of his duty, of Government funds, vouchers, records, or papers in his charge, and for which such officer was and is held responsible. Par. 3, sec. 145, act of March 3, 1911 (36 Stat, 1137); 28 U.S. C, 250.

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Notes of Decisions Jurisdiction.-The Court of Claims has jur- | Army is pecuniarily responsible for proper isdiction of a suit by a major, Quartermaster disbursement of the funds in his hands, and Corps, U. S. Army, to recover deductions without authority to delegate their disbursefrom his pay made to recoup the Government ment to another person; and where he infor losses sustained by a commissary and trusts their disbursement to another by whose general sales store of which he was in charge fraudulent disbursement or appropriation of through a regular detail, and for a decree them they are lost to the Government, he is relieving him from responsibility for such not entitled to relief under sections 145 and losses. Sections 145 and 147, Judicial Code. 147 of the Judicial Code (title 28, secs. 250, White v. U. S. (1931), 72 Ct, Cl. 375. 253, U. S. C.). Wright v. U. S. (1933), 77

Effect of delegation of functions.-An as-Ct. Cl. 731. sistant, or "agent,” disbursing officer of the

770a. Jurisdiction; claims of persons erroneously convicted in United States Courts.—That any person who, having been convicted of any crime or offense against the United States and having been sentenced to imprisonment and having served all or any part of his sentence, shall hereafter, on appeal or on a new trial or rehearing, be found not guilty of the crime of which he was convicted or shall hereafter receive a pardon on the ground of innocence, if it shall appear that such person did not commit any of the acts with which he was charged or that his conduct in connection with such charge did not constitute a crime or offense against the United States or any State, Territory, or possession of the l'nited States or the District of Columbia, in which the offense or acts are alleged to have been committed, and that he has not, either intentionally, or by willful misconduct, or negligence, contributed to bring about his arrest or conriction, may, subject to the limitations and conditions hereinafter stated, and in accordance with the provisions of the Judicial Code, maintain suit against the United States in the Court of Claims for damages sustained by him as a result of such conviction and imprisonment. Sec. 1, act of May 24, 1938 (52 Stat. 438); 18 U. 8. 0. 729.

Further provisions of the act, supra, prescribe the evidence admissible and method of procedure.

It has been held that this section is not applicable to persons convicted by courtsmartial (Op. J. A. G. 250.411, August 10, 1938).

771. Jurisdiction; Civil War claims excluded.--That from and after the passage and approval of this Act the jurisdiction of the Court of Claims shall pot extend to or include any claim against the United States based upon or growing out of the destruction of any property or damage done to any property by the military or naval forces of the United States during the war for the suppression of the rebellion; nor to any claim for stores and supplies taken by or furnished to or for the use of the military or naval forces of the United States, nor to any claim for the value of any use and occupation of any real estate by the military or naval forces of the United States during said war; nor shall said Court of Claims have jurisdiction of any claim which is now barred by the provisions of any law of the United States. Sec. 5, act of Mar. 4, 1915 (38 Stat. 996); 28 U. 8. C. 251.

772. Judgments for set-off or counterclaim (Judicial Code, sec. 146).--Upon the trial of any cause in which any set-off, counterclaim, claim for damages, or other demand is set up on the part of the Government against any person making claim against the Government in said court, the court shall hear and determine such claim or demand both for and against the Government and claimant; and if upon the whole case it finds that the claimant is indebted to the Government it shall render judgment to that effect, and such judgment shall be final, with the right of appeal, as in other cases provided for by law. Any transcript

of such judgment, filed in the clerk's office of any district court, shall be entered upon the records thereof, and shall thereby become and be a judgment of such court and be enforced as other judgments in such court are enforced. Sec. 146, act of Mar. 3, 1911 (36 Stat. 1137); 28 U. 8. C. 252.

773. Decree in case of loss by a disbursing officer (Judicial Code, sec. 147).Whenever the Court of Claims ascertains the facts of any loss by any paymaster, quartermaster, commissary of subsistence, or other disbursing officer, in the cases hereinbefore provided, to have been without fault or negligence on the part of such officer, it shall make a decree setting forth the amount thereof, and upon such decree the proper accounting officers of the Treasury shall allow to such officer the amount so decreed as a credit in the settlement of his accounts. Sec. 147, act of Mar. 3, 1911 (36 Stat, 1137); 28 U. 8. C. 253.

The duties of the accounting officers of the Treasury are now performed by the General Accounting Office. See 1646, post.

774. Costs to prevailing party (Judicial Code, sec. 152).-If the Government of the United States shall put in issue the right of the plaintiff to recover, the court may, in its discretion, allow costs to the prevailing party from the time of joining such issue. Such costs, however, shall include only what is actually incurred for witnesses, and for summoning the same, and fees paid to the clerk of the court. Sec. 152, act of Mar. 3, 1911 (36 Stat. 1138); 28 U. 8. C. 258.

775. Claims pending in other courts (Judicial Code, sec. 154).-No person shall file or prosecute in the Court of Claims, or in the Supreme Court on appeal therefrom, any claim for or in respect to which he or any assignee of his has pending in any other court any suit or process against any person who, at the time when the cause of action alleged in such suit or process arose, was, in respect thereto, acting or professing to act, mediately or immediately, under the authority of the United States. Sec. 154, Mar. 3, 1911 (36 Stat. 1138); 28 U.S. C. 260.

Notes of Decisions In general.-The declared purpose of this the Government, in which the judgment section was only to require an election be would not be res adjudicata in the suit pendtween a suit in the Court of Claims and one ing in the Court of Claims. Matson Nav. brought in another court against an agent of Co. v. U. S. (1932), 284 U. S. 352.

776. Time limit for filing claims (Judicial Code, sec. 156).-Every claim against the United States cognizable by the Court of Claims shall be forever barred unless the petition setting forth a statement thereof is filed in the court, or transmitted to it by the Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk of the House of Representatives, as provided by law, within six years after the claim first accrues : Provided, That the claims of married women, first accrued during marriage, of persons under the age of twenty-one years, first accrued during minority, and of idiots, lunatics, insane persons, and persons beyond the seas at the time the claim accrued, entitled to the claim, shall not be barred if the petition be filed in the court or transmitted, as aforesaid, within three years after the disability has ceased; but no other disability than those enumerated shall prevent any claim from being barred, nor shall any of the said disabilities operate cumulatively. Sec. 156, act of Mar. 3, 1911 (36 Stat. 1139); 28 U. 8. C. 262.

Notes of Decisions In general.--The prosecution and pendency A claim founded upon a contract with the of and proceedings in a claim in a depart- Government and which accrued more than six ment of the Government do not extend the years before it was transmitted to the court six-year limitation within which suit may be by Congressional reference is barred by this instituted in the court. Cohen, Goldman & section. Union Iron Works v. U. S. (1933), Co. v. U. S. (1933), 77 Ct. Cl. 713.

77 Ct. Cl. 467.

Claim first accrues against United States with dependents, and created no new right. within statute of limitations when suit may Running of the statute of limitations as to first be brought upon it (Jud. Code, sec. 156 right of action for recovery of same was not (U. S. C. A. 28: 262)). Corporation of the postponed by the later act. Caudle v. U. S. Royal Exchange Assurance v. U. S. (D. C., (1931), 72 Ct. Cl. 331. 1934), 6 F. Supp. 689.

An officer's right to rental and subsistence Suits for recovery of refunds requir to allowances does not accrue until the end of a be made to the Government.-Where suit is given month, and the statute of limitations brought for recovery of refunds which the does not, as to the allowances for that month, plaintiff was compelled to make to the Gov-begin to run until tben, Page v. U. S. ernment, the statute of limitations, sec. 156, (1932), 73 Ct. Cl. 626. Judicial Code, does not begin to run before he Suits for royalties.--Where the time for is compelled to make the refunds. Tricou v. payment of royalties for the manufacture or U. S. (1930), 71 Ct. Cl. 356; Holmes v. U. s. use of patented devices is dependent upon the (1932), 73 Ct. Cl. 693.

performance of an act or acts subsequent to Where rental and subsistence allowances such manufacture or use, a cause of action for allowed and paid an officer were thereafter such royalties does not accrue, and the erroneously disallowed and the amount there statute of limitations does not begin to run, of deducted from his pay, the statute runs, until such act or acts have been performed. not from the time the allowances became due, Manufacturers Aircraft Assn. v. U. S. (1933), but from the time the deduction from his pay 77 Ct. Cl. 481. was made. Tallman v. U. S. (1933), 77 Ct. Laches.--A claim brought one day within CI. 303.

the limitation fixed by this section for wrongSuits for rental and subsistence allow. ful dismissal from the Marine Corps may ances.-The act of May 31, 1924, reenacted nevertheless be barred by laches. Chamberand amended sections 4, 5, and 6 of the act of lain v. U. S. (1928), 66 Ct. Cl. 317, certiorari June 10, 1922, which provided for rental and denied (1929), 279 U. S. 845. subsistence allowances to military officers

777. Petitions and verification (Judicial Code, sec. 159).-The claimant shall in all cases fully set forth in his petition the claim, the action thereon in Congress or by any of the departments, if such action has been had, what persons are owners thereof or interested therein, when and upon what consideration such persons became so interested ; that no assignment or transfer of said claim or of any part thereof or interest therein has been made, except as stated in the petition; that said claimant is justly entitled to the amount therein claimed from the United States after allowing all just credits and offsets; that the claimant and, where the claim has been assigned, the original and every prior owner thereof, if a citizen, has at all times borne true allegiance to the Government of the United States, and, whether a citizen or not, has not in any way voluntarily aided, abetted, or given encouragement to rebellion against the said Government, and that he believes the facts as stated in the said petition to be true. The said petition shall be verified by the affidavit of the claimant, his agent or attorney. Sec. 159, act of Mar. 3, 1911 (36 Stat. 1139); 28 U. 8. C. 265.

Notes of Decisions Pleadings and procedure in general.-Peti- | had no notice to meet. Chicago, M. & St. tion must plainly set forth case, and proof P. Ry. Co. v. U. S. (1927), 63 Ct. Cl. 485, must so far correspond with allegations ascertiorari denied (1928), 276 U. S. 622. Dot to introduce demands wbich defendant

778. Dismissal of petition on account of disloyalty (Judicial Code, sec. 160).-The said allegations as to true allegiance and voluntary aiding, abetting, or giving encouragement to rebellion against the Government may be traversed by the Government, and if on the trial such issues shall be decided against the claimant, his petition shall be dismissed. Sec. 160, act of Mar. 3, 1911 (36 Stat. 1139); 28 U.S. C. 266.

779. Burden of proof as to loyalty (Judicial Code, sec. 161).-Whenever it is material in any claim to ascertain whether any person did or did not give any aid or comfort to forces or Government of the late Confederate States during the

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