Price v. Forrest - 173 U.S. 410 (1899)
U.S. Supreme Court
Price v. Forrest, 173 U.S. 410 (1899)
Price v. Forrest
Argued January 3-4, 1899
Decided March 6, 1899
173 U.S. 410
In 1850, Price, a purser in the Navy and fiscal agent. for that Department, advanced $75,000 to the government from his private fortune, to meet emergencies. His right to receive it back was questioned, and was not settled until 1891, when Congress passed an act directing the Secretary of the Treasury to adjust his account "on principles of equity and justice," and to pay to him "or to his heirs" the sum found due him on such adjustment. It was adjusted by the Secretary, and in August, 1892, it was decided that there was due to Price from the United States $76,204.08. Meanwhile, Forrest had recovered in the courts of New Jersey, of which Price was a citizen and resident, a judgment against him for $17,000. Forrest died in 1860 without having collected the amount of this judgment. In 1874, his widow, having been appointed administratrix of his
estate, caused the judgment to be revived by writ of scire facias and asked for the appointment of a receiver. Price appeared and answered, and then the cause slept until August, 1892, when Mrs. Forrest filed a petition, stating that money was about to be paid to Price by the United States on his claim, and asking for the appointment of a receiver of the Treasury draft, and that Price be ordered to endorse it to the receiver, to the end that the amount might be received by him as an officer of the court and disposed of according to law. A receiver was appointed, gave bond, and entered on his duties. Price died in 1894. He left no will. No letters of administration were granted, but the New Jersey court appointed an administrator ad prosequendum. The bill in this case was then filed. The relief sought was the revival of the bill of 1874, that the administrator ad prosequendum be made a party, and that the other parties be enjoined from receiving the money from the Treasury and that the receiver be authorized to receive and dispose of it under the orders of the court. The heirs of Price set up their claims to it. The court held that the plaintiffs were entitled to the moneys in the Treasury, and its judgment was affirmed by the highest court in the state. Held that the receiver, and not the heir, was the person entitled to recover the money from the United States, and that the case did not come within the prohibitory provisions against assignments of claims against the United States contained in Rev.Stat. § 3477.
The case is stated in the opinion.