United States v. Ryder
110 U.S. 729 (1884)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Ryder, 110 U.S. 729 (1884)

United States v. Ryder

Argued December 12, 1883

Decided March 10, 1884

110 U.S. 729

Syllabus

Without an express contract of indemnity, a surety on a recognizance for the appearance of a person charged with committing a criminal offense against the laws of the United States, cannot maintain an action against the principal to recover any sums he may have been obliged to pay by reason of forfeiture of the principal, and he is not entitled to be subrogated to the

Page 110 U. S. 730

rights of the United States, and to enjoy the benefit of the government priority.

Subrogating a surety on a recognizance in a criminal case to the peculiar remedies which the government enjoys is against public policy, and tends to subvert the object and purpose of the recognizance.

§ 3468 Rev.Stat. conferring on sureties on bonds to the United States who are forced to pay the obligation the priority of recovery enjoyed by the United States does not apply to recognizances in criminal proceedings, and does not authorize an action in the name of the United States.

The bill was filed at the suit of the United States to obtain payment of a recognizance for $10,000 from the property of one Edward P. Williams, or the proceeds thereof, in the hands of Seth B. Ryder, one of the defendants. The recognizance was entered into on the 8th day of November, 1876, by Williams and three other persons, conditioned that Williams

"should appear in person at Trenton, before the United States district court there, and submit to such sentence as the said court should order and direct. "

Williams did not appear according to the condition of the recognizance, but absconded, and, as the bill alleges, "became a fraudulent, absconding, concealed, and absent debtor, and at the same time was a convicted criminal, and a fugitive from justice," and never has since appeared nor been found. The bill further alleges that a scire facias was issued, and a judgment entered upon the recognizance, and an execution issued to the marshal of the district against the goods and lands of the cognizors, and that certain real estate of the sureties was levied upon, insufficient (as alleged) to satisfy the execution; but that no levy was made upon the goods and lands of Williams, for the reason that they were in the possession of said Ryder, who claimed the right to hold the same partly as assignee under a general assignment made by Williams for the benefit of his creditors, in July, 1876, and partly as auditor in attachment, appointed by the Circuit Court for the County of Union, in the State of New Jersey, under an attachment issued against Williams on the 15th of November, 1876, and levied on the 23d of same month. The bill alleges that Ryder has since sold the property in his possession by order of the Circuit

Page 110 U. S. 731

Court of Union county, and has in his hands the proceeds, amounting to several thousand dollars.

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