Pacific Railroad
158 U.S. 118 (1995)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Pacific Railroad, 158 U.S. 118 (1895)

Pacific Railroad

No. 233

Submitted April 15, 1895

Decided May 6, 1995

158 U.S. 118

Syllabus

Congress having appropriated in payment of a judgment against the United States in the Court of Claims the full amount of the judgment, with a provision in the appropriation law that the sum thus appropriated shall be in full satisfaction of the judgment, and the judgment debtor having accepted that sum in payment of the judgment debt, the debtor is estopped from claiming interest on the judgment debt under Rev. Stat. § 1090.

On May 2, 1888, the Pacific Railroad, a corporation of the State of Missouri, filed in the Court of Claims a petition seeking to recover interest on certain judgments it had previously

Page 158 U. S. 119

obtained against the United States. There was a traverse denying the allegations of the petition. Evidence was adduced, and the cause submitted to the court.

There were the following findings of facts and conclusions of law:

"I. On the 28th of April, 1885, the claimant recovered judgment against the defendants in the Court of Claims for the sum of $44,800.74."

"On the 29th of April, 1885, the claimant presented to the Secretary of the Treasury a copy of said judgment, certified by the clerk of the Court of Claims and signed by the Chief Justice. Said judgment was not paid, except as hereinafter stated."

"II. From said judgment both parties took an appeal to the Supreme Court, the defendants July 14 and claimant July 15, 1885."

"The case was tried and determined by the Supreme Court, and the following mandate was filed in the Court of Claims February 9, 1887:"

"United States of America:"

" The President of the United States of America to the Honorable the Judges of the Court of Claims, greeting:"

" Whereas lately, in the Court of Claims, before you or some of you, in a cause between the Pacific Railroad, claimant, and the United States, defendant, No. 11,825, wherein the judgment of the said Court of Claims, entered in said cause on the 20th day of April, A.D. 1885, is in the following words: 'The court, on due consideration of the premises, find for the claimant, and do order, adjudge, and decree that the said Pacific Railroad do have and recover of and from the United States the sum of forty-four thousand eight hundred dollars and seventy-four cents ($44,800.74),' as by the inspection of the transcript of the record of the said Court of Claims (which was brought into the Supreme Court of the United States by virtue of an appeal taken by the United States, and a cross-appeal taken by the Pacific Railroad, agreeably to the act of Congress in such a case made and provided) fully and at large appears; "

Page 158 U. S. 120

" And whereas, in the present term of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-six, the same cause came on to be heard before the said Supreme Court, on the said transcript of record, on appeal and cross-appeal, and was argued by counsel:"

" On consideration whereof, it is now here ordered and adjudged by this Court that the judgment of the said court or claims in this cause be, and the same is hereby, reversed."

" And it is further ordered that this cause be, and the same is hereby, remanded to the said Court of Claims, with directions to enter a judgment for the full amount claimed by the Pacific Railroad Company for its services."

"III. Thereupon, on February 19, 1887, the Court of Claims entered judgment anew in favor of the claimant for the sum of $130,196.98, according to said mandate."

"On the 9th day of February, 1885, the claimant presented to the Secretary of the Treasury a copy of said judgment for the sum of $130,196.98, certified by the Clerk of the Court of Claims and signed by the Chief Justice."

"IV. The principal sum of said last-named judgment has been paid under the act of 1888, Feb'y 1, c. 4, 25 Stat. 24, but the defendant refuses to pay any interest on either judgment."

"Conclusion of Law"

"The court, upon the foregoing findings of fact, decide as a conclusion of law that the claimant is not entitled to recover, and the petition is dismissed."

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