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3. The said court, in addition to the jurisdiction now conferred by law, shall also have jurisdiction of all set-offs, counter-claims, claims for damages, whether liquidated or unliquidated, or other demands whatsoever, on the part of the government against any person making claim against the government in said court; and upon the trial of any such cause it shall hear and determine such claim or demand both for and agains. 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 Transfer of judg- shall be final, with the right of appeal, as in other cases herein provided for. Any transcript of such judgment, filed in the clerk's office of any district or circuit court of the United States, shall be entered upon the records of the same, and shall ipso facto become and be a judgment of such district or circuit court, and shall be enforced in like manner as other judgments therein.
3 March 1863 23. Jurisdiction of counter-claims.
4. The said court of claims shall hold one annual session, commencing on the first Monday in October in each year, (a) and continuing so long as may be necessary for the Rules of practice. prompt disposition of the business of the court. The said court may prescribe rules and regulations for practice therein, and it may punish for contempt in the manner Commissioners. prescribed by common law. It may appoint commissioners, and may generally exer
cise such powers as are necessary to carry out the powers herein granted to it. The judges, solicitors and clerks of said court shall be admitted to the use of the congressional library, and also the law library, until a law library be provided for them. The said court may appoint a bailiff, who shall hold his office during four years, unless sooner removed by said court for cause, and who shall receive a salary of one thousand Powers of judges. dollars, payable quarterly. The judges and clerks of said court may administer oaths
and affirmations, take acknowledgments of instruments in writing, and give certificates of the same. Said court shall have a seal, with such device as it may order. Members of either house of congress shall not practise in said court of claims.
5. Either party may appeal to the supreme court of the United States from any final judgment or decree which may hereafter be rendered in any case by said court,(b) wherein the amount in controversy exceeds three thousand dollars, under such regulations as the said supreme court may direct: (c) Provided, That such appeal shall be taken within ninety days after the rendition of such judgment or decree: And provided further, That when the judgment or decree will affect a class of cases, or furnish a precedent for the future action of any executive department of the government in the adjustment of such class of cases, or a constitutional question, and such facts shall be certified to by the presiding justice of the court of claims, the supreme court shall entertain an appeal on behalf of the United States, without regard to the amount in controversy.(d)
6. The solicitor, assistant solicitor and deputy-solicitor of said court shall hereafter be appointed by the president, by and with the advice and consent of the senate; (e) and it shall be their duty faithfully and diligently to defend the United States in all matters and cases before said court of claims, and in all cases taken by appeal therefrom to the supreme court. And no other fee or compensation than the salary of said solicitor, and assistant and deputy-solicitors, shall hereafter, in any case, be paid to either of them; and no fee or compensation for services in either the supreme court or court of claims shall hereafter be allowed or paid in any case by the United States.
Ibid. § 5. Appeals to supreme court.
Ibid. 26. Solicitor and assistants.
Ibid. 7. Payment of claims.
7. In all cases of final judgments by the said court, or on appeal by the said supreme court, where the same shall be affirmed in favor of the claimant, the sum due thereby shall be paid out of any general appropriation made by law for the payment and satisfaction of private claims, on presentation to the secretary of the treasury of a copy of said judgment, certified by the clerk of said court of claims, and signed by the chief justice, or in his absence, by the presiding judge of said court. And in cases where the judgment appealed from is in favor of said claimant, or the same is affirmed by the said supreme court, interest thereon at the rate of five per centum shall be allowed, from the date of its presentation to the secretary of the treasury for payment as aforesaid; but no interest shall be allowed subsequent to the affirmance, unless presented for payment to the secretary of the treasury as aforesaid: Provided, That no interest shal be allowed on any claim up to the time of the rendition of the judgment by said court of claims, unless upon a contract expressly stipulating for the payment of interest.(g) And it shall be the duty of the secretary of the treasury, at the commencement of each congress, to include in his report a statement of all sums paid at the treasury on such judgments, together with the names of the parties in whose favor the same were
(a) See infra 15. (b) This clause giving to the supreme court appellate jurisdiction to review the decisions of the court of claims, is unconstitutional. Gordon v. United States, 2 Wall. 561; s. c. 14 Am. L. R. 111. See United States v. Adams, 6 Wall. 101; United States v. Alire, Ibid, 573, and infra 14, 20.
(c) The right of appeal is one that the party can exercise in his own volition, and is not dependent on the discretion of the court. United States v. Adams, 6 Wall. 101.
(d) See United States v. Alire, 6 Wall. 573.
(g) See Tillou v. United States, 1 N. & H. 220.
allowed: And it is further provided, That such payments shall be a full discharge to the United States of all claim or demand touching any of the matters involved in the controversy: And provided further, That any final judgment rendered against the claimant on any claim prosecuted as aforesaid, shall for ever bar any further claim or demand against the United States arising out of the matters involved in the controversy.
8. It shall be lawful for said court, at the instance of the solicitor for the United Ibid. 28. States, to make an order, in any case pending in said court, directing that the claimant Examination of or claimants in such case, or any one or more of them, shall appear, upon reasonable claimant. notice, before any commissioner of said court, and be examined on oath or affirmation touching any or all matters pertaining to said claim. And the examination of such claimant or claimants shall be reduced to writing by the said commissioner, and be returned to and filed in said court, and may, at the discretion of the solicitor for the United States, be read and used as evidence on the trial of said cause. And if any claimant or claimants, after such order has been made, and due and reasonable notice thereof given to him or them, shall fail to appear, or shall refuse to testify or answer fully as to all matters within his knowledge material to the issue, the said court may, in its discretion, order that the said cause shall not be brought forward for trial, until the said claimant or claimants shall have fully complied with the order of said court in the premises.
3 March 1863.
9. The jurisdiction of the said court shall not extend to or include any claim against Ibid. 29. the government, not pending in said court on the first day of December, Anno Domini Exceptions from 1862, growing out of or dependent on any treaty stipulation entered into with foreign jurisdiction nations or with the Indian tribes.
10. Every claim against the United States, cognisable by the court of claims, shall be for ever barred, unless the petition setting forth a statement of the claim be filed in Limitation of the court, or transmitted to it, under the provisions of this act, within six years after suits. the claim first accrues: Provided, That claims which have accrued six years before the passage of this act shall not be barred, if the petition be filed in the court, or transmitted as aforesaid, within three years after the passage of this act : (a) And provided further, That the claims of married women first accrued during marriage, of persons under the age of twenty-one years first accruing during minority, and of idiots, lunatics, insane persons, and persons beyond seas at the time the claim accrued, entitled to the claims, 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.
11. Any person or persons who shall corruptly practise or attempt to practise any fraud against the United States in the proof, statement, establishment or allowance of any claim, or any part of any claim against the United States, shall ipso facto forfeit fraudulent prao the same to the government; and it shall be the duty of the court of claims, in such cases, to find specifically that such fraud was practised or attempted to be practised, and thereupon give judgment that such claim is forfeited to the government, and that the claimant be for ever barred from prosecuting the same.. Appeals may be taken Appeals. from the court of claims to the supreme court, in all such cases, on all questions of law, in the manner herein provided for appeals in other cases.
(a) This act does not affect pending cases. Parlin v. United States, 1 N. & H. 174.
(b) See Peirce v. United States, 1 N. & H. 195; Brockett v.
12. Any petition filed under this act shall be verified by the affidavit of the claimant,
his agent or attorney, stati that no assignment or transfer of said claim, or any Form of petition.
part thereof, or any interest therein, has been made, except as in said petition stated; that said claimant is justly entitled to the amount therein claimed from the United States, after allowing all just credits and offsets; and that he believes the facts as stated in said petition are true: Provided, however, That in order to authorize the said court to render a judgment in favor of any claimant, if a citizen of the United States, it shall be set forth in the petition that the claimant, and the original and every prior owner thereof, where the claim has been assigned, has at all times borne true allegiance to the government of the United States, and whether a citizen or not, that he has not in any way voluntarily aided, abetted, or given encouragement to rebellion against the said government; which allegations may be traversed by the government, and if on the trial such issue shall be decided against the claimant, his petition shall be dismissed.(b)
13. The jurisdiction of the court of claims shall not extend to or include any claim 4 July 1864 1. against the United States growing out of the destruction or appropriation of, or
13 Stat. 381.
United States, 2 N. & II. 213; Martin v. United States, 3 N. &
4 July 1864.
damage to, property by the army or navy, or any part of the army or navy, enga in the suppression of the rebellion, from the commencement to the close thereof.(a 14. That the 4th section of an act approved the 3d day of March, Anno Domini 17 Mar. 1866 ? 1. 1863, (b) entitled "An act to amend an act to establish a court for the investigation of
14 Stat. 9.
claims against the United States," approved February 24th 1855, be and the same is hereby repealed; and from the final judgment or decree, in all cases heretofore decided by the court of claims, of the character mentioned in the 5th section of said act of March 3d 1863, an appeal shall be allowed to the supreme court of the United States, at any time within ninety days after the passage of this act, except in such cases where the amounts found due by said court have been paid at the treasury.
15. The regular session of the court of claims shall hereafter commence on the first Monday of December in each year.
16. At the end of every term of the court of claims, the clerk of said court [shall] transmit a copy of the decisions thereof to the heads of departments; to the solicitor, comptrollers and auditors of the treasury; to the commissioners of the general land office and of Indian affairs; to the chiefs of bureaus, and to other officers charged with adjusting claims against the United States.
17. The court of claims shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine 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 losses by capture or otherwise, while in the line of his duty, of government funds, vouchers, records and papers in his charge, and for which such officer was and is held responsible: Provided, That an appeal may be taken to the supreme court, as in other cases.
Appeals to the supreme court.
Ibid. 3. Report of decisions.
9 May 18661. 14 Stat. 44. Jurisdiction of claims of disbursing officers.
Ibid. 22. Decree.
21 Feb. 1867 2 1. 14 Stat. 397. Construction of act of 1864.
19. The provisions of chapter 240 of the acts of the thirty-eighth congress, first session, approved July 4th 1864, (c) shall not be construed to authorize the settlement of any claim for supplies or stores taken or furnished for the use of or used by the armies of the United States, nor for the occupation of or injury to real estate, nor for the consumption, appropriation or destruction of or damage to personal property by the military authorities or troops of the United States, where such claim originated during the war for the suppression of the southern rebellion, in a state or part of a state declared in insurrection by the proclamation of the president of the United States, dated July 1st 1862, or in a state which by an ordinance of secession attempted to withdraw from the United States government: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall repeal or modify the effect of any act or joint resolution, extending the provisions of the said act of July 4th 1864, to the loyal citizens of the state of Tennessee, or of the state of West Virginia, or any county therein.
20. An appeal to the supreme court of the United States shall be allowed, on behalf of the United States, from all the final judgments of the said court of claims, adverse to Appeals to lie in the United States, whether such judgments shall have been rendered by virtue of the
general or any special power or jurisdiction of said court, under the limitations now provided by law for other cases appeal from said court.
18. Whenever said court shall have ascertained the facts of any such loss to have been without fault or neglect on the part of any such officer, it shall make a decree, setting forth the amount thereof, upon which 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.
25 June 1868 1. 15 Stat. 75.
21. Said court of claims, at any time while any suit or claim is pending before or on
Court may grant appeal from said court, or within two years next after the final disposition of any such
suit or claim, may, on motion on behalf of the United States, grant a new trial in any such suit or claim and stay the payment of any judgment therein, upon such evidence (although the same may be cumulative or other) as shall reasonably satisfy said court that any fraud, wrong or injustice in the premises has been done to the United States; but until an order is made staying the payment of a judgment, the same shall be payable and paid as now provided by law.
Ibid. § 3.
22. Whenever it shall be material, in any suit or claim before any court, to ascertain Evidence of loy- whether any person did or did not give any aid or comfort to the late rebellion, the
claimant or party asserting the loyalty of any such person to the United States during such rebellion, shall be required to prove affirmatively that such person did, during said rebellion, consistently adhere to the United States, and did give no aid or comfort to persons engaged in said rebellion. And the voluntary residence of any such person in any place where, at any time during such residence, the rebel force or organization
(a) See Corbett v. United States, 1 N. & H. 139; Clark v. United States, Ibid. 145; Bogert v. United States, 2 N. & H. 159; Ayres v. United States, 3 N. & H. 1.
(b) 12 Stat. 768.
held sway, shall be primâ facie evidence that such person did give aid and comfort to 25 June 1868. said rebellion and to the persons engaged therein.
23. No plaintiff or claimant, or any person from or through whom any such plaintiff or claimant derives his alleged title, claim or right against the United States, or Competency of any person interested in any such title, claim or right shall be a competent witness in witnesses. the court of claims, in supporting any such title, claim or right, and no testimony given by such plaintiff, claimant or person shall be used: Provided, That the United States shall, if they see cause, have the right to examine such plaintiff, claimant or person as a witness under the regulations and with the privileges provided in section eight of the act passed March 3d 1863, (a) entitled "An act to amend an act to estab lish a court for the investigation of claims against the United States," approved February 24th 1855.
United States in
24. The attorney-general of the United States for the time being shall, with his assistants, attend to the prosecution and defence of all matters and suits in the court Attorney-general of claims, on behalf of the United States. There shall be appointed by the president, to represent the by and with the advice and consent of the senate, two assistant attorneys-general, who the court of shall hold their offices for four years respectively, unless sooner lawfully removed, and whose salaries shall be four thousand dollars each year, payable quarterly, and who shall be in lieu of the solicitor, assistant solicitor, and deputy-solicitor of the court of claims, and of the assistant attorney-general now provided for by law; and the existing offices of solicitor, assistant solicitor and deputy-solicitor of the court of claims, and of Assistant attor assistant attorney-general, are hereby abolished from and after the first day of July clerks. 1868. The attorney-general shall have power to appoint two additional clerks of the fourth class, and one clerk at a salary not exceeding two thousand dollars, in his office.
general in the
25. It shall also be the duty of the said attorney-general and his assistants, in all Ibid. § 6. cases brought against the United States in said court of claims, founded upon any con- Further duties tract, agreement or transaction with any executive department, or any bureau, officer of the attorneyor agent of such department, or where the matter or thing on which the claim is court of claims. based shall have been passed upon and decided by any department, bureau or officer intrusted by law or department regulations with the settlement and adjustment of such claims, demands or accounts, to transmit to said department, bureau or officer as aforesaid, a printed copy of the petition filed by the claimant in such case, with a request that the said department, bureau or officer to whom the same shall be so transmitted as aforesaid, will furnish to said attorney-general all facts, circumstances and evidence touching said claim as is or may be in the possession or knowledge of the said department, bureau or officer. And it shall be the duty of the said department, bureau or officer to whom such petition may be transmitted and such request preferred as aforesaid, without delay, and within a reasonable time, to furnish said attorneygeneral with a full statement of all the facts, information and proofs which are or may be within the knowledge or in the possession of said department, bureau or officer, relating to the claim aforesaid; such statement shall also contain a reference to or description of all official documents or papers, if any, as may or do furnish proof of facts referred to in said statement, or that may be necessary and proper for the defence of the United States against the said claim, together with the department, office or place where the same is kept or may be procured; and if the said claim shall have been passed upon and decided by the said department, bureau or officer, the statement or answer to be transmitted to said attorney-general, as herein before provided, shall succinctly state the reasons and principles upon which such decision shall have been based in all cases where such decision shall have been made upon any act of congress, or upon any section or clause of such act, the same shall be cited specifically; and if any previous interpretation or construction shall have been given to such act, section or clause, by the said department or bureau transmitting such statement, the same shall be set forth succinctly in said statement, and a copy of the opinion filed, if any, shall be annexed to such statement and transmitted with the same to the attorneygeneral aforesaid; and where any decision in the case shall have been based upon any regulation of an executive department, or where such regulation shall or may, in the opinion of the department, bureau or officer transmitting such statement, have any bearing upon the claim in suit, the same shall be distinctly referred to and quoted, in extenso, in the statement transmitted to said attorney-general: Provided, however, That where there shall be pending in said court more than one case, or a class of cases, the defence to which shall rest upon the same facts, circumstances and proofs, the said department, bureau or officer shall only be required to certify and transmit one statement of the same, and such statement shall be held to apply to all such classes of cases, as if made out, certified and transmitted in each case respectively.
(a) Supra 8.
25 June 1868 7. 26. It shall and may be lawful for the head of any executive department, whenever any claim is made upon said department involving disputed facts or controverted questions of law, where the amount in controversy exceeds three thousand dollars, or where the decision will affect a class of cases, or furnish a precedent for the future action of any executive department, in the adjustment of a class of cases, without regard to the amount involved in the particular case, or where any authority, right, privilege or exemption is claimed or denied under the constitution of the United States, to cause such claim, with all the vouchers, papers, proofs and documents pertaining thereto, to be transmitted to the court of claims; and the same shall be there proceeded in as if originally commenced by the voluntary action of the claimant. And the secretary of the treasury may, upon the certificate of any auditor or comptroller of the treasury, direct any account, matter or claim of the character, amount or class described or limited in this section, to be transmitted, with all the vouchers, papers, documents and proofs pertaining thereto, to the said court of claims, for trial and adjudication: Provided, however, That no case shall be referred by any head of a department, unless it belongs to one of the several classes of cases to which, by reason of the subject-matter and character, the said court of claims might, under existing laws, take jurisdiction on such voluntary action of the claimant. And all the cases mentioned in this section which shall be transmitted by the head of any executive department, or upon the certificate of any auditor or comptroller, shall be proceeded in as other cases pending in said court, and shall, in all respects, be subject to the same rules and regulations; and appeals from the final judgments or decrees of said court therein to the supreme court of Payment of judg. the United States shall be allowed in the manner now provided by law. The amount
of the final judgments or decrees in such cases so transmitted to said court, where rendered in favor of the claimants, shall in all cases be paid out of any specific appropriation applicable to the same, if any such there be; and where no such appropriation exists, the same shall be paid in the same manner as other judgments of said court. 27. No person shall file or prosecute any claim or suit in the court of claims, or an When lis pendens appeal therefrom, for or in respect to which he, or any assignee of his, shall have commenced and has pending any suit or process in any other court, against any officer or person who, at the time 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; unless such suit or process, if now pending in such other court, shall be withdrawn or dismissed within thirty days after the passage of this act. 28. It shall be the duty of the clerk of the said court of claims to transmit to congress, at the commencement of every December session, a full and complete statement annual reports to of all the judgments rendered by the said court for the previous year, stating the
to bar suit in court of claims.
Ibid. 29. Clerk to make
amounts thereof, and the parties in whose favor rendered, together with a brief synopsis of the nature of the claims upon which said judgments have been rendered.
Heads of depart. ments may refer
certain cases to the court of claims.