Thurston v. United States - 232 U.S. 469 (1914)
U.S. Supreme Court
Thurston v. United States, 232 U.S. 469 (1914)
Thurston v. United States
Submitted December 22, 1913
Decided February 24, 1914
232 U.S. 469
The Court of Claims has no general jurisdiction over claims against the United States, and can take cognizance only of those which are committed to it by some act of Congress. Johnson v. United States, 160 U. S. 546.
A claim embraced by § 1 of the Indian Depredation Act of March 3, 1891, but which accrued prior to July 1, 1865, is not within the jurisdiction of the Court of Claims if it falls within the restriction clause of § 2 because not allowed or pending prior to the passage of the act. An appeal to the bounty or generosity of Congress for damages sustained from depredations by other than Indians cannot be considered as a claim for reparation for depredations of Indian wards of the government within the meaning of the Act of 1891.
Jurisdiction of a claim which accrued in 1857, was never allowed, and was not pending as a claim for depredations by Indians, was expressly withheld by the Act of 1891, and the fact that the same claim was presented to Congress as a claim for depredations by Mormons does not bring it within the jurisdiction.
The facts, which involve the jurisdiction of the Court of Claims under the Indian Depredation Act of March 3, 1891, and what constitutes a presentation of a claim against the United States for depredations by Indians under the act, are stated in the opinion.