« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
nership as alleged, denies that any profits were made, and denies all the allegations of fraud. It also shows that John G. Morgan died in April, 1875, leaving him surviving Emma S. Morgan, his widow, and the defendants, Alice P. Hamlet and Emma G. Abell, and Lula Morgan, an infant, his only children; that letters of administration were issued on his estate by the probate court of Chicot county, Arkansas, in which he lived at the time of his death, on August 6, 1875, to his widow, who acted as administratrix of his estate until October 13, 1875, when she resigned, and the defendant John C. Hamlet was appointed by the same court administrator de bonis non, and qualified and acted as such. And it is relied on as a defense that the demands made in the bill were not authenticated and presented to the administratrix or the administrator de bonis non of John G. Morgan, deceased, according to law, within two years of the granting of letters of administration on his estate.
The cause was heard on the pleadings and proofs, and on final hearing the bill was dismissed. From this decree the complainants bring the present appeal.
In Arkansas it appears that there is a special statute of limitations governing claims against estates of deceased persons, commonly called the “Statute of Non-claim.” It is as follows; “All demands not exhibited to the executor or administrator, as required by this act, before the end of two years from the granting of letters, shall be forever barred.” Dig. Ark. St. 1874, 8 98. It has been decided that the statute runs against all creditors, whether resident or non-resident. Erwin v. Turner, 6 Ark. 14. And that all claims fall within the provisions of the statute that are capable of being asserted in a court of law or equity existing at the death of the deceased, or coming into existence within two years after the grant of administration, whether due or not, if running to a certain maturity. Walker v. Byers, 14 Ark. 246. And the effect of a failure to present the claim as prescribed in the statute, is not to let it in against the heirs or devisees, but it is to bar it forever as against all persons. Bennett v. Dawson, 18 Ark. 334; Brearly v. Norris, 23 Ark. 166. And in Public Works v. Columbia College, 17 Wall. 530, in a like case, it was held by this court that the failure to present the claim is, in the absence of circumstances constituting an excuse, fatal to the bill for relief in equity.
It is sought, in argument on behalf of the appellants, to distinguish their case, at least the case of the two infant children of Samuel D. Morgan, from any case within the statute of non-claim, on the ground that at the death of their father his title to the real estate, which constituted the plantation, descended to them as his heirs at law; and thereafter, as to the operations conducted by John Morgan in 1864 and 1865, having no guardian, the latter was in equity their representative and guardian de son tort and trustee, so that upon his death, and until they arrived at age, there was no one competent to make a demand against his administrator, within the terms of the statute. But we are unable to appreciate the force of this supposed distinction. The statute in question contains no exception in favor of claimants under disability of nonage or otherwise; the claim of the complainants against John G. Morgan was adverse to his administrator, although it may have originated in consequence of a relation of trust; and there is no ground, that we are able to understand, on which it can be excepted out of the operation of the statute in question. Their claim was equally against the administrator of John G. Morgan, whether the latter be considered as the defaulting partner of themselves or of their father. Whatever its description, it was a claim against the estate of John G. Morgan, and for which his personal representative was in the first instance liable; and the statute is a bar to every such claim, unless presented within the time prescribed. On this ground the decree of the circuit court is affirmed.
(113 U. S. 418)
UNITED STATES V. JORDAN.
(March 2, 1885.) INTERNAL REVENUE TAX-REFUNDING TAX UNDER ACT OF JULY 29, 1882.
Under the act of congress of July 29, 1882, (22 St. 723, c. 359,) providing for the refunding to the persons therein named of the amount of taxes assessed upon and collected from them contrary to the provisions of the regulations therein mentioned, “that is to say, to" each of such persons the sum set opposite his name, each of them is entitled to be paid the whole of that suni, and no discretion is vested in the secretary of the treasury, or in any court, to determine whether the sum specified was or was not the amount of a tax assessed contrary to the provisions of such regulations. Appeal from the Court of Claims. Asst. Atty. Gen. Maury, for appellant. Chas. F. Benjamin, for appellee.
BLATCHFORD, J. On the twenty-ninth of July, 1882, an act of congress was passed, (22 St. 723, c. 359,) providing “that the secretary of the treasury be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to remit, refund, and pay back, out of any moneys in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, to the following named citizens of Tennessee, or the legal representatives of such as are deceased, the amount of taxes assessed upon and collected from the said named persons contrary to the provisions of the regulations issued by the secretary of the treasury, under date of June twenty-first, eighteen hundred and sixty'five, and published in special circular number sixteen, from the internal revenue office, of that date, said refunding having been recommended by the secretary of the treasury, under date of June nineteenth, eighteen hundred and seventy-three; that is to say, to”—followed by the names of 81 persons, and the specification of a sum of money opposite each name, and, among them, this: "to Edward L. Jordan, two thousand two hundred and ninety dollars; all of Rutherford county, Tennessee; * *
said persons, and each of them, having filed their claims in the office of the commissioner of internal revenue prior to the sixth of June, eighteen hundred and seventythree.” Afterwards, and on the sixth of September, 1882, the acting commissioner of internal revenue transmitted to the secretary of the treasury, for his action, the claim of Edward L.. Jordan, to be paid $2,290, under the act. On that letter, under date of September 11, 1882, the acting secretary of the treasury indorsed an order directing that Jordan be paid that sum. paid one-half of it, $1,145, on November 2, 1882, but payment of anything more was refused. On the first of December, 1882, he brought suit against the United States, in the court of claims, to recover the remaining $1,145. On December 7, 1882, the secretary of the treasury indorsed on the order of September 11, 1882, the following: “The foregoing order of September 11, 1882, is construed to inean only that such suins shall be refunded or paid as were collected froin the persons within named contrary to the provisions of the regulations issued by the secretary of the treasury under date of June 21, 1865, mentioned in said act, and effect is to be given to said order accordingly.” The court of claims gave judgment for the claimant for $1,145, (19 Ct. CI. 108,) and the United States have appealed.
At the request of the counsel for the defendants, the court found the following facts:
*"Claimant resided in the Second collection district of Tennessee, in Rutherford county. May 5, 1864, an internal revenue assessor was first appointed for this district. August 30, 1864, an assessment division of the district, comprising Rutherford county, was first established. June 6, 1865, the claimant paid the collector of this district $1,145, as annual income tax for the year 1863, under the requirements of the act of July 1, 1862, c. 119, (12 St. 473, 474,) and $1,145 as the special 5 per cent. war income tax for the year 1863, under the requirements of the joint resolution of July 4, 1864, No. 77,
(13 St. 417.) June 21, 1865, the secretary of the treasury issued special circular No. 16, containing the following among other regulations: Section 46 of the internal revenue act approved June 30, 1864, (13 St. 240,) provides that whenever the authority of the United States shall have been re-established in any state where the execution of the laws had previously been impossible, the provisions of the act shall be put in force in such state, with such modification of inapplicable regulations in regard to assessment, levy, time, and manner of collection as may be directed by the department. Without waiving in any degree the rights of the government in respect to taxes that have heretofore accrued, or assuming to exonerate the tax-payer from his legal responsi. bility for such taxes, the department does not deem it advisable to insist at present upon their payment, so far as they were payable prior to the establishment of a collection district embracing the territory in which the taxpayer resides. But assessors in the several collection districts recently established in the states lately in insurrection are directed to require returns and to make assessments for the several classes of taxes for the appropriate legal period preceding the first regular day on which a tax becomes due after the establishment of the district.
In the states of Virginia, Tennessee, and Louisiana, collection districts were some time since established, with such boundaries as to include territory in which it has but recently become possible to enforce the laws of the United States. In those districts the rule laid down above will be so modified as to require the assessment and collection of the first taxes which become due after the establishment of assessment divisions in the particular locality.
"June 19, 1873, the secretary of the treasury addressed to the commissioner of internal revenue the following letter, which is referred to in the act of congress : « • TREASURY DEPARTMENT, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,
“ • WASHINGTON, June 19, 1873. * •SIR: I have considered the claim of William Gosling and others, applicants for refunding taxes alleged to have been illegally collected, included in schedule No. 243, from your office, and am of opinion that, under the existe ing laws, the taxes paid by these parties were legally paid and should not be refunded. But I fully recognize the hardship of the case, and desire that such claimants may receive relief from congress. I have, therefore, to suggest that you will, in your next annual report, or on any other occasion which you may deem more fitting, recommend the passage of a special act authorizing the refunding of all taxes paid by residents of the insurrectionary states, which, under department circular of June 21, 1865, should not have been collected; such refunding to be made whether the tax in question was collected before or after the issue of the circular.
“ • I am, very respectfully,
Secretary of the Treasury.'” It is stated in the brief for the United States that the payment of the $1,145 was refused, by the accounting officers of the treasury, on the ground that the statute authorized payment of only “so much of the sum named as might be determined at the treasury to represent the amount of taxes assessed and collected contrary to the regulations of the secretary of the treasury named in the act,” and that the sum paid to the claimant was the sum total of the taxes that had been-improperly collected from him. From the published decision of the first comptroller in the case, (3 Lawr. Dec. 274,) the ground of refusal appears to have been the one above stated, and the opinion of the court of claims in this case shows that such ground was urged before that court, and rejected. The view taken by the treasury officers was that the annual income tax of $1,145, for the year 1863, under the act of July 1, 1862,
became, by the statute, due and payable May 1, 1864, before the assessment division, which comprised Rutherford county, was established, and, under the treasury regulations of June 21, 1865, in circular No. 16, which required the collection only of “the first taxes which became due after the establishment of assessment divisions," that sum of $1,145 was collected contrary to the provisions of those regulations, and was to be refunded, although it was collected before the date of the circular. But the treasury officers decided that the $1,145, paid for the special income tax under the joint resolution of July 4, 1804, and which, by law, did not become due till October 1, 1864, after the establishment of such assessment division, was not collected contrary to the provisions of those regulations, and was not to be refunded.
The court of claims held that the statute did not admit of that interpretation, nor leave open any question for the court or for the accounting officers of the treasury, except the identity of the claimants with the persons named in it; and that its language, taken together, was too clear to admit of doubt, that congress undertook, as it had a right to do, to determine, not only what particular citizens of Tennessee by name should have relief, but also the exact amount which should be paid to each one of them. We concur in this view. The act authorizes and directs the secretary of the treasury to pay to the several persons named the respective sums named. Although the act speaks of the sums as being "the amount of taxes assessed upon and collected from the said named persons contrary to the provisions of the regulations” named, there is no indication of any intention to submit to any one the determination of the question whether the taxes in any case were collected contrary to the provisions of such regulations, or of the question how*those provisions are to be construed. On the contrary, the clear import of the statuto is that congress itself determines that the amounts named were collected con. trary to the provisions of the regulations. The statement in the statute that the refunding had been recommended by the secretary of the treasury under date of June 19, 1873, refers to the letter of that date, set forth in the findings, which recoinmends the passage of an act to refund all taxes which, under the circular of June 21, 1865, “should not have been collected; such refunding to be made whether the tax in question was collected before or after the issue of the circular.” The claimant's two income taxes were both of them paid before the circular was issued. In one sense, therefore, they were not collected “contrary to the provisions of the regulations;" and, in that sense, it was wrong to refund anything to the claimant, under the language of the act. But with the specification, in the act, of the name and the amount, no such construction can be given to it as would prevent the refunding of anything because the whole amount had been paid before the issuing of the regulations; and, if anything is to be paid, the whole must be. If there is discretion confided to any officer or court to inquire whether the claimant's taxes were collected contrary to the regulations, there would be like discretion to inquire whether such taxes were embraced in the letter of June 19, 1873, and whether the claimant had filed his claim before June 6, 1873. No such construction is applicable to a statute of this character.
It is not an improper inference, from the language of the statute, that congress intended to refund the taxes covered by the recommendation of the secretary of the treasury, in his letter of June 19, 1873. That letter c vers taxes described as those which, under the circular, “should not have been collected,” though collected before it was issued. Congress may, therefore, have included some taxes collected before the circular was issued, but which it thought should not have been, or ought not to have been, collected, in the sense intended by the secretary.
The judgment of the court of claims is affirmed.
(113 U. S. 476)
MORGAN and another, Copartners, etc., 0. UNITED STATES. UNITED STATES 0. MANHATTAN SAVINGS INSTITUTION. (Two Cases.) VON HOFFMAN and another, Copartners, etc., 0. UNITED STATES.
(March 2, 1885.) 1. “Five-TWENTY" Bond-NEGOTIABLE SECURITIES—ANALOGY.
The acts of congress under which the “five-twenty" and similar bonds of the United States were authorized and issued, do not, in terms, attach to them the legal quality of negotiable securities, but they are such in form and fact, and obvi. ously for the purpose of giving them the highest credit, and the widest and most un fettered currency, by passing by delivery with a title unimpeachable in the hands
of bona fide purchasers for value. 2. SAME-STATUS OF THE BOND.
The “five-twenty bond" stands upon its statutory basis as a bond redeemable at the treasury on demand, without interest after the maturity of the call, payable according to its original terms, and not overdue, in the commercial sense, till after
the day of unconditional payment. 8. SAME-OVERDUE SECURITIES—TITLE OF PURCHASER-BOND AFTER MATURITY or CALL
POR REDEMPTION-TITLE OF PURCHASER.
The title of the purchaser of overdue negotiable paper, such as a bill of exchange or a promissory note, stands on the same footing as if it had been dishonored by a refusal to accept or pay, and had been put under protest. No such presumption arises to affect the title of a holder of the bonds of the United States, such as the “five-twenty bonds,” acquired by a bona fide purchaser for value prior to the date fixed in the bonds themselves for their ultimate payment. The only change in the original effect of the contract, by the exercise of the right of earlier redeni ption, is
to stop the obligation to pay future interest. 4. SAME-RIGHTS OF HOLDER AFTER MATURITY OF CALL FOR REDEMPTION.
Notwithstanding a call by the treasury to redeem a five-twenty bond," any holder of such bond had a right without prejudice, except as to loss of interest, to wait, without demand, for the whole period, at the expiration of which the bond
was unconditionally payable. Appeals from the Court of Claims.
These four cases involve claims against the United States for the payment of certain bonds of the United States, known as “five-twenty bonds,” consols of 1865, issued in pursuance of the authority conferred upon the secretary of the treasury by the act of congress approved March 3, 1865, entitled “An act to provide ways and means for the support of the government."
" Twenty bonds of the denomination of $1,000 each and 16 of $500 each were embraced in the suits. The controversy relates to the title only, all of them being claimed by the Manhattan Savings Institution, and 10 of each denomination by J. S. Morgan & Co., and the others, being 10 of $1,000 each and 6 of $500 each, by L. Von Hoffman & Co. The bonds having been called in for redemption, were presented at the treasury for that purpose by the holders, respectively, J. S. Morgan & Co. and L. Von Hoffman & Co., but payment was refused by the United States on account of the adverse claim of the Manhattan Savings Institution, and the claims of the several parties to the proceeds were transmitted for adjudication to the court of claims by the secretary of the treasury, March 12, 1880, pursuant to section 1063, Rev. St. Judgments were rendered by that court in favor of the Manhattan Savings Institution, and against the other claimants respectively. 18 Ct. Cl. 386. The several appeals bring up all the cases as they stood in the court of claims; the United States appealing from the judgment in favor of the Manhattan Savings Institution, the other parties from the judgments dismissing their respective petitions. The controversy is wholly between the claimants, the United States being merely in the position of a stakeholder, not denying its liability to pay to the true owners of the bonds.
The act of congress, in pursuance of which the bonds in question were issued, being “An act to provide ways and means for the support of the gove