« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
177 U. S. 442, 447, 44 L. ed. 839, 841, 20 of the United States, did not raise such Sup. Ct. Rep. 687, 689, "the question wheth- question or specially set up or claim such er a right or privilege, claimed under the right or immunity in the trial court, this Constitution or laws of the United States, court cannot review such final judgment, was distinctly and sufficiently pleaded and and hold that the state enactment was unbrought to the notice of a state court, is it constitutional, or that the right or immuniself a Federal question, in the decision of ty so claimed had been denied by the highest which this court, on writ of error, is not con- court of the state, if that court did nothing cluded by the view taken by the highest more than decline to pass upon the Federal court of the state. Neal v. Delaware, 103 question because not raised in the trial U. S. 370, 396, 397, 26 L. ed. 567, 574; court as required by the state practice. Mitchell v. Clark, 110 U. S. 633, 645, 28 L. Spies v. Illinois, 123 U. S. 131, 181, sub nom. ed. 279, 283, 4 Sup. Ct. Rep. 170, 312; Boyd Eæ parte Spies, 31 L. ed. 80, 91, 8 Sup. Ct. v. Nebraska ex rel. Thayer, 143 U. S. 135, Rep. 21; Miller v. T'exas, 153 U. S. 535, 538, 180, 36 L. ed. 103, 116, 12 Sup. Ct. Rep. 38 L. ed. 812, 14 Sup. Ct. Rep. 874; Morri375."
son v. Watson, 154 U. S. 111, 115, 38 L. ed. So, if the highest court of the state, by its 927, 929, 14 Sup. Ct. Rep. 995. Of course, final judgment, sustains the validity of a if upon examining the record this court had state enactment drawn in question there as found that a Federal question was properly repugnant to the Constitution, treaties, or raised, or that a Federal right or immunity laws of the United States, or denies a right, was specially claimed, in the trial court, privilege, or immunity specially set up or then our jurisdiction would not have been claimed in that court for the first time under defeated by the mere failure of the highest the Constitution or any treaty, statute, or court of the state to dispose of the question authority exercised under the United States, so raised, or to pass upon the right or imthis court could review that judgment, al-munity so claimed. though no Federal question was distinctly It results from what has been said that raised or insisted upon in the trial court. no Federal question is sufficiently presented
In the present case the statute was not by the record for our determination; consedrawn in question in the trial court as inval- quently, the writ of error must be dismissed id under any clause of the Constitution ex- for want of jurisdiction in this court. cept the one relating to commerce. It was It is so ordered. not even asserted there to be invalid under "various other provisions" of that instru Mr. Justice Gray did not hear the argument. The statements in the motion for ment or take part in the decision of this nonsuit, that "the cause of action alleged in case. such action has not been proved," and that "no cause of action has been proved in either
(185 U. S. 223) of the actions consolidated in the action on
UNITED STATES, Appt., trial,” were too vague and general to indi. cate that the defendant claimed anything
CHARLES BORCHERLING, Receiver. under that Amendment. The record before us is consistent with the idea that the de Claims-debt due from United Statesfendant did not claim, in the trial court, in
transfer by appointment of receiver by any form, generally or specially, that the statute deprived it of its property without
state court-preference to local creditors. due process of law, or denied to it the equal 1. Payment to a creditor of the United States protection of the laws.
by the Secretary of the Treasury after due We therefore cannot hold that the court notice of the appointment, by a court of of appeals, by its final judgment, sustained chancery of the state where the creditor was the validity under the Constitution of the
domiciled and personally served with proUnited States of the statute drawn in ques
cess, of a recelver of such creditor's personal tion by the defendant, or that it denied any
property for the payment of an unsatisfied right or immunity now claimed by it under
judgnient against him, and of an order of
such court restraining such creditor from rethe 14th Amendment; for that court simply
ceiving any part of the debt to his credit, is declined to consider any Federal question ex no defense to a claim by the receiver to recept that made under the commerce clause of cover from the United States in the court of the Federal Constitution, assigning as the
claims the amount so paid. reason therefor that no point was made at 2. The general rule that the courts of one the trial in respect of any other clause of state will not aid the officers of another to that instrument. In so holding the court
withdraw funds or property of a decedent, followed the settled rule of practice in that
without providing for local creditors, does
not require the Treasurer of the United state. On that practice alone was based its
States, authorized to adjust and pay over refusal to consider a Federal question not the amount found due a creditor of the brought to the attention of the trial court. United States, to prefer the latter's creditors Vose v. Cockcroft, 44 N. Y. 415; Delaney v. resident in the District of Columbia over a Brett, 51 N. Y. 78.
receiver of personal property of such credNow, where a party drawing in question
Itor appointed by a court of chancery of the in this court a state enactment as invalid
state where he was domiciled and was per
sonally served with process. under the Constitution of the United 3. An ex parte modification of an order of the States, or asserting that the final judgment
supreme court of the District of Columbia of the highest court of a state denied to him
enjoining a creditor of the United States a right or immunity under the Constitution from receiving or collecting the sum due bim,
so as to permit the payment of his creditors, United States payable to his order ; that said resident in that District, does not justify draft was to be made and the transaction the Treasurer of the United States in pay closed on the 15th day of August there ing such creditors, where he had prior notice after; and if Price obtained said money he the state where the creditor of the govern. would, unless restrained, put the same bement was domiciled and personally served yond the reach of the petitioner. with process, of a receiver of his personal “The petitioner prayed the appointment of property, and of an order restraining such a receiver of the draft, and that Price be or. creditor from receiving such debt to his dered immediately on the receipt of such credit.
draft to indorse the same to the receiver, to
the end that the same might be received by [No. 150.)
him as an officer of the court and disposed of
according to law. Argued January 30, 31, 1902. Decided
“The chancellor, August 8, 1892, issued a April 14, 1902.
rule, returnable September 12, 1892, to show
cause, and restraining Price from making APPEAL forgoternet Covarding themseteiver eno pettisement of the draft referred to in of a creditor of the United States a sum of "Å duly certified copy of the order was money paid to such creditor in disregard of served upon Price August 10, 1892. Neverthe order of a state court appointing a re theless, after that date Price received from ceiver of such creditor's personal property. the Assistant Treasurer of the United States Affirmed.
at Washington, and, without permission of a See same case below, 35 Ct. Cl. 311. the court, collected for several drafts signed
by that officer for the respective sums of $2,Statement by Mr. Justice Shiras:
704.08, $13,500, $20,000, and $9,000, in all The facts of this case were thus found by the sum of $45,204.08, leaving in the hands the court of claims:
of the United States of the amount due on “By act of Congress approved February the settlement of Price's accounts the sum 23, 1891, the Secretary of the Treasury of of about $31,000. the United States was authorized and direct
"On the 10th day of October, 1892, Charles ed to adjust, upon principles of equity and Borcherling was appointed by the chancery justice, the accounts of Rodman M. Price, court receiver in said cause of the property late purser in the United States Navy and and things in action belonging or due to or acting navy agent at San Francisco, credit- held in trust for Price at the time of issuing ing him with the sum paid over to and re- said executions, or at any time after. ceipted for by his successor, A. M. Van Nos-wards, and especially of said four drafts, trand, acting purser, January 14, 1850, and with authority to possess, receive, and pay to said Rodman M. Price, or his heirs, sue. for such property and things in out of any money in the Treasury not other action and the evidence thereof; and it wise appropriated, any sum that may be was made the duty of the receiver to hold found due him upon such adjustment.
such drafts subject to the further order of August 31, 1892, the Treasury officials the court. The receiver was required to give adjusted Price's accounts, and found there bond in the sum of $40,000, conditioned for was due him $76,204.08, which included a th faithful discharge of his duties. At the credit of $75,000 that Price said he had ad- same time Price was ordered to convey and vanced to Van Nostrand from his private deliver to the receiver all such property and funds.
things in action and the evidence thereof, “In 1857 Samuel Forrest recovered in the and especially forthwith to indorse and de supreme court of New Jersey a judgment liver the drafts to him, and he and all agents against Price for $17,000 and costs. Éxecu- or attorneys appointed by him were enjoined tion on that judgment was returned unsatis- and restrained from intermeddling with the fied. Forrest died in 1869, intestate.
receiver in regard to said drafts, and or. "In 1874 his widow, Anna M. Forrest, as
dered, if in possession or control thereof, to administratrix of his estate, revived the deliver them to the receiver with an indorsejudgment by scire facias. In her bill she ment to that officer or to the clerk of the prayed discovery, injunction, and the ap- court for deposit; provided the order should pointment of a receiver. Price and his wife be void if the drafts other than the one for answered. The cause slept till August 9, $9,000 were delivered with Price's indorse1892, when Mrs. Forrest, administratrix, ment to the clerk, the proceeds to be deposfiled a petition stating that since filing her ited to the credit of the cause. Price was bill of complaint no payment had been made expressly enjoined from making any indorseon the judgment against Price; that neither ment or appropriation of the drafts other she nor her solicitors had been able to find than to the receiver or the clerk for deposit. any personalty or real estate belonging to “The receiver gave the required bond, and Price by levy upon and sale of which any having entered upon the duties of his office, part of the amount due on the judgment he caused a copy of the above order to be could be obtained; that it had lately come to served upon Price, and demanded compliance her knowledge that about $45,000 was about with its provisions. to be paid Price by officers of the Treasury "In 1892, the particular day not being of the United States; that that sum was to stated, the chancery court issued an attachbe paid by the delivery to Price or his at- nient against Price for contempt of court in torneys of a draft of the Treasurer of the disobeying the order of August 8, 1892. By
an order made May 18, 1894, the court held | his attorney, was endeavoring to obtain pay, him to be guilty of such contempt, and he ment at the Treasury of the balance, about was directed to pay the receiver the sum of $30,000, of this debt, and appropriate it for $31,704.0s, and a fine of $50 and costs, and his own use, issued orders against Price, enin default of obedience to that order to be joining him from seeking to obtain payment imprisoned in the county jail until it was of any part of that sum. complied with. 52 N. J. Eq. 16, 31, 29 Atl. "On December 6, 1893, the receiver notified 215. Upon appeal to the court of errors and the Secretary of the Treasury, by letter, that appeals, the order of the chancery court was a copy of injunction of December 4 had been aftirmed. 53 N. J. Eq. 693, 35 Atl. 1130. served upon Price, and inclosed a copy of the
"The Treasury Department, at the time same to the secretary. He also invited the of allowing the $76,204.08, withheld $31,000, attention of the Secretary to the opinion of under the provisions of the act of March 3, the court of claims in Redfield v. United 1875 (18 Stat. at L. 481, chap. 149), to States, in the twenty-seventh volume of reawait the determination of a suit to be in- ports of the court [p. 393] informed him stituted against Price, or surety upon Van that he (the receiver) had applied to the Nostrand's bond as acting purser, United supreme court of the District of Columbia States Navy.
for an injunction, and asked that if that "The suit was instituted, but was dis- court should not grant relief he might have missed some time previous to December 22, the benefit of the injunction of the New Jer. 1893.
sey court now brought to the Secretary's no"On the 16th of July, 1892, counsel for tice. The receiver asked that if no relief Mrs. Forrest wrote the Secretary of the were granted by the supreme court of the Treasury referring to a previous letter to District that the Secretary send the drafts the Department of May 14, 1891, in the mat- (otherwise to be handed to R. M. Price) to ter of the claim of Rodman M. Price, and the chancellor of New Jersey, at Trenton. asking to be seasonably advised in case the “The supreme court of the District of CoDepartment took action in the direction de lumbia, December 19, 1893, in a proceeding sired by Price.
for injunction upon bill of Borcherling, re“The Secretary was advised that Mrs. For-ceiver, and Anna M. Forrest, administratrix, rest could prove to the satisfaction of the after personal service upon Price and Fay, Department that if Mr. Price did turn over enjoined Price from receiving, assigning, col. $75,000, or any large sum, to the United lecting, or indorsing to his own use, by him. States, a part of that sum, namely, $17,078.- self or by attorney, any warrants or drafts 04, must have belonged to Mrs. Forrest; from the Treasury of the United States in that it was trust money, and it would not be payment, in whole or in part, of any balance equitable to cause that much to be paid to remaining unpaid under act of February 23, Price.
1891, until the further order of the court; “By letter of November 27, 1893, counsel and it being the design of this order in nofor the receiver notified the Secretary of the wise to interfere with the claim of any credTreasury of Borcherling's appointment and itor of the said Rodman M. Price, resident qualification by giving bond of $40,000; that in this District, against said Price, it is fur. Price, though personally enjoined, had, in ther ordered and decreed that, upon the repcontempt of the New Jersey court, indorsed resentation of any person so claiming to be the drafts and collected the proceeds. The a creditor in this District and the establishletter inclosed is a certified copy of the order ment of such claim in a manner that shall of the court, October 10, 1892, appointing satisfy the court of the bona fide existence of the receiver. Counsel in behalf of the re- such claim, so much of said balance as shall ceiver made claim for the balance of $31,000 be sufficient to cover any and all such claims about to be paid Price under act of Febru- so established shall be considered as exonerary 23, 1891.
ated from the effect of this decree. "The letter closed as follows: 'I respect "The supreme court of the District, on the fully ask that comity be shown the chancel. 22d of December, 1893, passed the following lor of New Jersey, and that the draft to be order in the said suit: issued in payment of the balance due and “'From the affidavits of John C. Fay and payable to the order of Rodman M. Price be Jeremiah M. Wilson, claimants, and the as. not delivered (or mailed) to said Price or sent and affidavit of the said Rodman M. his attorney, but be transmitted to the chan. Price, filed this day, it appearing to the satcery court of the state of New Jersey, atisfaction of the court that John C. Fay, Trenton, N. J., where said Price's* rights will Richard J. Bright, Frank S. Bright, Samuel be abundantly protected, the receiver, of Shellabarger, J. M. Wilson, and M. L. course, being an impartial officer of the Woods, residents of the District of Columcourt. I request that before action is taken bia, appear to be bona fide creditors of the (other than as asked for by the receiver) defendant, Rodman M. Price; and it appear. due notice may be given me that the receiver ing to the satisfaction of the court that as may be heard, to set forth the reasons why such they have bona fide claims for services this disposition should be made of the drafts rendered said Price to the extent of $7,900, in question. Let me add that the Forrest it is ordered that the sum of seven thousand judgment and interest now exceeds the sum nine hundred dollars ($7,900) shall be exon. of $60,000.
erated from the effects of the decree passed "On December 4, 1893, the chancery court herein on the 19th of December, instant, of New Jersey, being informed by the receive restraining and enjoining Rodman M. Price er that Price, assisted by John C. Fay, Esq.,' from receiving, etc., any warrants or drafts
22 S. C.-39.
from the Treasury in payment of the whole “On the 25th of December, 1893, Borcheror any part of the balance due nim under the ling, receiver, addressed a letter to the Secreact of February 23, 1891; and said injunc, I tary of the Treasury, claiming that*on and tion order shall not operate to affect said after October 10, 1892, all property in the sum of $7,900.'
right to Price to receive from the United "Counsel for the receiver, Friday, Decem- States the balance under the act approved ber 22, 1893, addressed the Assistant Secre- February 19, 1881, passed to him, the receivtary of the Treasury, setting forth the facter. He reminded the Secretary that on the that the order of that day had been hastily 27th of November, 1893, he had the honor of acted upon, and explaining that the judge advising the Treasury of his appointment sent a verbal order to counsel to be in court and inclosing a copy of the order of the at 1 o'clock; that he had already told Mr. chancellor; that Mr. Fay, attorney for Mr. Fay, attorney of Price, that he wanted copies Price, had full notice of the receivership, as of his papers served two days in advance, in well as of the injunction of the court of compliance with the rules; that at 12 o'clock chancery addressed to Price and his attor. he had been telegraphed for to go out of the neys forbidding them from receiving any city on account of illness in his family, and part of the $31,000; and that both Fay and had sept a message to that effect to the Price had committed contempt of court. The judge. The letter also notified the Secretary receiver asked the Secretary to take the that the receiver claimed that the money opinion of the Attorney General upon the under the Redfield Case* belonged to the re- following questions: ceiver, and not to Price. Counsel asked a "1. Did the appointment of a receiver by reasonable delay; that he was obliged to the chancery court of New Jersey convey to leave Washington, but expected fully to re- that officer the property in the claim against turn Saturday night; and expressed hope the United States of Rodman M. Price? that 'no action will be railroaded through to "2. Would payment to the receiver be a pay out any money to-morrow. He also quittance to the United States in the prem. notified the Treasury that a mandatory or ises ? der had been issued against Price in New “3. Can the Secretary of the Treasury Jersey, and asked that before any action was safely pay to Rodman M. Price or his heirs taken to paying Price, that he counsel) the money still unpaid under the act of Febmight be heard to show reason why the ruary 19, 1891, now that the receiver claims money had not passed to the receiver under that it should be paid over to him? the ruling of the Redfield Case, copy of "A similar letter was addressed by the rewhich he inclosed.
ceiver and his counsel to the Secretary of “The same day counsel for the receiver the Navy. sent the following telegram to the Secretary "On April 1, 1899, the Comptroller orof the Treasury:
dered the balance, $23,100, to be paid to "'Washington, D. C., December 22, 1893. Charles Borcherling, receiver, and the same " "To Secretary of Treasury,
was paid at the Treasury that day to Mr. " 'Washington, D. C.:
Borcherling, the present claimant." “ 'Please defer action in Price matter over Upon the foregoing findings of fact the to-morrow. The receiver notifies Treasury court decide, as a conclusion of law, that the that he claims the money is his, not Price's, claimant is entitled to recover from the and will hold the United States responsible United States the sum of seven thousand if paid Price or his attorney.
and nine hundred dollars ($7,900). “ 'Frank W. Hackett,
Thereafter an appeal was allowed and “'Attorney for Receiver.' taken to this court. “On the same day, namely, Friday, December 22, 1893, the Acting Secretary of the Messrs. William H. Button and Assist. Treasury indorsed a copy of the order of the ant Attorney General Pradt for appellant. supreme court of the District of Columbia of Messrs. Cortlandt Parker and Frank December 22, with a reference to the Second W. Hackett for appellee. Comptroller to issue a certificate in favor of Rodman M. Price for $7,900, “the balance to Mr. Justice Shiras delivered the opinion be withheld pending an injunction against of the court: Price from receiving said balance.'
The facts and law of this case were so ful"On the same day, Friday, December 22, ly and satisfactorily discussed in the court 1893, Second Comptroller certified that there below that its opinion might well be adopted were due and payable to Rodman M. Price as that of this court. 35 Ct. Cl. 311. $7,900, the balance, $23,100, to be withheld
We shall, however, briefly examine some 'pending an injunction against Price from of the propositions urged in the brief of the recovering said balance now pending before government filed in the case. the supreme court of the District of Colum
The first and principal contention is that bia.”
the United States is a sovereignty, and has “The draft on navy warrant No. 907, dat- absolute control of the manner in which it ed December 23, 1893, and payable to the or shall pay its debts, the persons to whom der of Rodman M. Price, late purser, United they shall be paid, and, in fact, whether they States Navy, for $7,900, was paid at the shall be paid or sued upon at all; that it is Treasury December 23, 1893, by the Treas. incompetent for the state of New Jersey, urer of the United States, said draft being through a statute or a decree of its courts, indorsed 'Rodman M. Price, late purser, to direct to whom such a debt shall be paid; United States Navy; John C. Fay.'
that the United States, through comity, may
or may not recognize such a New Jersey the government by way of gratuity and statute or decree, as it may determine, but debts or claims of right was likewise recogwithout such recognition such statute or de nized by this court in the French spoliation cree is inoperative upon the disposition of cases, where it was held that the payments such debt; that the United States does not prescribed by the acts of Congress were grarecognize, through comity, the passing of tuities, and that creditors, legatees, and astitle to a claim against it to a receiver ap: signees in bankruptcy could be rightfully pointed under a state statute or decree; and excluded. Blagge v. Balch, 162 U. S. 439, 40 that consequently, in the present case, the L. ed. 1032, 16 Sup. Ct. Rep. 853. United States had a right to pay the debt to Here the government was not the donor the original creditor, and was discharged by of the money of Price, but was its custodian, such payment.
awaiting its lawful distribution. It is not necessary for us to consider As to the contention that the debt due whether the power of the United States over from the United States to Price could not debts due by it and over the mode by which be transferred from Price to the claimant by such debts shall be paid is wholly unrestrict- operation of the laws of New Jersey, nor by ed, because the United States has not chosen any decree that the courts of New Jersey, to stand upon its sovereignty in such par operating under such laws, could make, it is ticulars, but has provided in the act of sufficient to say that this court has held March 3, 1887 (24 Stat. at L. 505, chap. otherwise. 359), that the court of claims and, concur In Vaughan v. Northrup, 15 Pet. 1, 10 L. rently, the district and circuit courts of the ed. 639, Mr. Justice Story, delivering the United States, "shall have jurisdiction to opinion of the court, said: “The debts due hear and determine all claims founded upon froin the government of the United States the Constitution of the United States or any have no locality at the seat of government. law of Congress, except for pensions, or up- The United States in their sovereign capacion any regulation of any executive depart- ty have no particular place of domicil, but ment, or upon any contract, express or im- possess, in contemplation of law, an ubiquity plied, with the government of the United throughout the Union; and the debts due States, or for damages, liquidated or unli. by them are not to be treated like the debts quidated, in cases not sounding in tort, in of a private debtor, which constitute local respect of which claims the party would be assets in his own domicil;" and, accordingly, entitled to redress against the United States it was held in that case that “the adminiseither in a court of law, equity, or admiral trator of a creditor of the government, duly ty, if the United States were suable." appointed in the state where he (the credit
*This is not a case within the category of orj was domiciled at his death, has full aupayments by way of gratuity, payments as thority to receive payment and give a full of grace, and not of right, as was the case of discharge of the debt due his intestate in any Emerson v. Hall, 13 Pet. 409, 10 L. ed. 223, place where the government may choose to and where it was said by Mr. Justice Mc- pay it, whether it be at the seat of governLean: "A claim having no foundation in ment or at any other place where the public law, but depending entirely on the generosi- funds are deposited ; .but the monty of the governinent, constitutes no basis eys so received constituted assets under that for the action of any legal principle. It administration, for which he was accountacannot be assigned. It does not go to the ble to the proper tribunals
[of the administrator as assets. It does not de- state where he was appointed].” scend to the heir. And if the government, Price v. Forrest, 173 U. S. 410, 43 L. ed. from motives of public policy, or any other 749, 19 Sup. Ct. Rep. 434, was one phase in considerations, shall think proper, under the present controversy. There the question such circumstances, to make a grant of mon- was between the heirs of Rodman M. Price ey to the heirs of the claimant, they receive and Borcherling, who had been appointed by it as a gift or pure donation,-a donation the chancery court of New Jersey receiver made, it is true, in reference to some meri. of the assets of Price, including the money torious act of their ancestor, but which did belonging to him in the Treasury of the not constitute a matter of right against the United States. It was held by the courts of government. In the present case the govern- New Jersey that the receiver was entitled to inent might have directed the money to be the money in the Treasury, and the heirs paid to the creditors of Emerson, or to any and administrator of Price were enjoined part of his heirs. Being the donor, it could, from demanding or receiving from the Secin the exercise of its discretion, make such retary of the Treasury, or any officer theredistribution or application of its bounty as of, the said money or any part thereof. The circumstances might require. And it has, cause was brought to this court, and, after under the title of an act 'for the Relief of the full consideration, the decree of the court of Heirs of Emerson, directed, in the body of errors and appeals of the state of New Jerthe act, the money to be paid to his legal sey was affirmed. Two things were thus derepresentatives. That the heirs were intend termined,-first, generally, that it was comed by this designation is clear; and we think petent for a state court of the domicil of a the payment which has been paid to them creditor of the United States, and having juunder this act has been rightfully made; risdiction over his person, to decide a con. and that the fund cannot be considered as troversy between his heirs and creditors as assets in their hands for the payment of to the right to receive moneys held in trust debts."
by the United States; and, second, specifi. This distinction between mere grants by 'cally, under the facts of the present case,