Mulcrevy v. San Francisco - 231 U.S. 669 (1914)
U.S. Supreme Court
Mulcrevy v. San Francisco, 231 U.S. 669 (1914)
Mulcrevy v. San Francisco
Argued December 12, 15, 1913
Decided January 5, 1914
231 U.S. 669
An act of a state will not be construed in such a manner as to raise questions concerning relations of state officers to the state if such a construction can be avoided.
Qaere whether, in this case, the writ of error should not have run to the lower state court, the higher court having refused to transfer the cause for review, but, the chief justice of the state having allowed the writ prior to the decision of this Court in Norfolk Turnpike Co. v. Virginia, 225 U. S. 264, it will not be dismissed.
The construction given by the highest court of California to the provisions in the state statute regarding the compensation of county clerks followed, and held that the portion of fees retained under the Act of Congress of June 29, 1906, c. 3592, 34 Stat. 596, by a county clerk in naturalization proceedings should be accounted for by him to the county as public moneys.
The fact that a state or county official may also, under an act of Congress, be an agent of the national government does not affect his relations with the county and relieve him from accounting for fees received from such government if his contract requires him to account for all fees received by him, even though, so far as the national government is concerned, he is entitled to retain them in whole or in part for services rendered.
The facts, which involve the right of a county clerk of San Francisco to retain a portion of the fees received by him for naturalization of aliens as citizens of the United States, are stated in the opinion.