Roberts v. United States - 176 U.S. 221 (1900)
U.S. Supreme Court
Roberts v. United States, 176 U.S. 221 (1900)
Roberts v. United States
Argued December 15, 18, 1899
Decided February 5, 1900
176 U.S. 221
A judgment of the Court of Claims, under the Act of June 16, 1880, c. 243, in favor of the claimant, against the District of Columbia upon a certificate of the Board of Audit of the District, in an action commenced in 1880, is not affected by the provision in the Act of July 5, 1884, c. 227, forbidding the payment of such certificates, not presented for payment within one year from the date of the passage of the latter act.
The evident purpose of the Act of August 13, 1804, c. 279, was to give the balance of interest upon the certificates between 3.65 and 6 percent to the original holders of the certificates, or their assignees, the interest upon which had been paid only at the former rate.
The right of the relator as assignee having been admitted, it is no longer open to inquiry.
If a public officer of the United States refuses to perform a mere ministerial duty, imposed upon him by law, mandamus will lie to compel him to do his duty.
In this case, as the duty of the Treasurer of the United States to pay the money in question was ministerial in its nature, and should have been performed by him on demand; mandamus was the proper remedy for failure to do so.
The case is stated in the opinion.