United States v. Van Duzee
185 U.S. 278 (1902)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Van Duzee, 185 U.S. 278 (1902)

United States v. Van Duzee

No. 804

Submitted and argued March 24, 1902

Decided April 28, 1902

185 U.S. 278

Syllabus

Section 19 of the Act of May 28, 1896, c. 252, providing that

"the terms of office of all commissioners of the circuit courts heretofore appointed shall expire on the thirtieth day of June, 1897, . . . and said commissioners shall then deposit all the records and other official papers appertaining to their offices in the office of the clerk of the Circuit Court, by which they were appointed,"

not having authorized the filing of the writings in question, and no provision having been made for compensating the clerk for the service of receiving them and retaining them in his custody, the Court of Claims erred in awarding judgment in favor of the claimant.

This is an appeal from a judgment of the Court of Claims entered in favor of the appellee (claimant below) for the sum of $993. 35 Ct.Cl. 214. The conclusion of law by which the court determined that judgment ought to be entered against the United States was based upon the following:

"Finding of Facts"

"I. The claimant, Alonzo J. Van Duzee, was Clerk of the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of Iowa from August, 1882, to December 31, 1897, duly qualified and acting."

"II. During said period, he made up his accounts United States, and presented the same, duly verified, to the United States court for approval in the presence of the district attorney, and orders approving the same as being just and according to law were entered of record. Said accounts were then presented to the accounting officers of the Treasury Department for payment. In the settlement of the account from July 1, 1897, to September 30, 1897, part was paid, but payment of services embraced in Finding III was refused."

"III. Item 1. For filing and entering 9,930 separate and distinct

Page 185 U. S. 279

records and other official papers appertaining to the offices of commissioners of the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of Iowa which were deposited by said commissioners under the Act of May 28, 1896, in the office of the clerk of the circuit court for said district at 10 cents each as follows:"

(a) Dockets and records, 16. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 1.60

(b) Information or complaints, 2,997. . . . . . . . . . 299.70

(c) Warrants, 1,984. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98.40

(d) Subpoenas, 1,899 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189.90

(e) Documentary testimony, 446 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44.60

(f) Bonds, 649 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64.90

(g) Affidavits, 445. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44.50

(h) Mittimus, 446. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44.60

(i) Search Warrants, 22. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.20

(j) Applications for discharge of poor convicts, 587 . . 58.70

(k) Oaths for discharge as poor convicts, 232. . . . . . 23.20

(1) Mandates to jailer for discharge as poor convicts, 169 16.90

(m) Applications for seaman's wages, 24. . . . . . . . . 2.40

(n) Summons on applications for seaman's wages, 13 . . . 1.30

(o) Praecipe, 1 . .10

------

$993.00

"IV. During the period when the aforesaid services were rendered, it was the settled practice under the verbal orders of the court for the clerk to file all papers sent up by the commissioners in said district, and, by a written rule of court entered of record, it was made the duty of the clerk in cases wherein the commissioner held the defendant to appear at court to file the papers and transcripts sent up by the commissioner, and to forthwith enter the case on the docket, which rule is as follows:"

" Commissioner's papers"

" Upon receipt by the clerk of the papers and transcript of proceedings before a commissioner wherein the party is held to appear at court, the same shall be properly filed and the same entered upon the docket. "

Page 185 U. S. 280

"The aforesaid services were performed in compliance with said practice and rule of court."

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