St. Louis, B. & M. Ry. Co. v. United States
268 U.S. 169 (1925)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

St. Louis, B. & M. Ry. Co. v. United States, 268 U.S. 169 (1925)

St. Louis, Brownsville & Mexico Railway Company v. United States

No. 310

Argued March 20, 1925

Decided April 27, 1925

268 U.S. 169

Syllabus

1. Claims presented to the Court of Claims but not pressed, in the same proceeding in which others were allowed and paid, held barred by Jud.Code, § 178, providing:

"The payment of the amount due by any judgment cf the Court of Claims . . . shall be a full discharge to the United States of all claim and demand touching any of the matters involved in the controversy."

P. 268 U. S. 171.

2. In settling a railroad's freight bill for transporting army impedimenta at tariff rates, the auditor for the War Department erroneously made a deduction, by way of counterclaim, upon the ground that part of the transportation was covered, under the railroad's passenger tariff, by the baggage allowance of soldiers who

Page 268 U. S. 170

had moved over the line at the same time as the impedimenta -- Held that acceptance of the amount allowed, without protest or appeal to the Comptroller of the Treasury, was not acquiescence on the part of the railroad, and did not bar it from suing for the balance in the Court of Claims. P. 268 U. S. 172.

3. No action of the accounting officials can bar the right of a claimant to have the Court of Claims determine whether he is entitled to recover under a contract with the government. P. 268 U. S. 174.

4. To constitute acquiescence in payment by the government of a smaller sum than is due, something more must be shown than acceptance of the smaller sum without protest; there must have been some conduct of the creditor akin to abandonment or waiver, or from which an estoppel might arise. P. 268 U. S. 175.

5. The provision of the Dockery Act, July 31, 1894, c. 174, §§ 7, 8, 28 Stat. 162, 206, 207, making acceptance of payment under the auditor's settlement, without appeal to the Comptroller, conclusive does not prevent proceedings in the Court of Claims. Pp. 268 U. S. 173, 268 U. S. 177.

59 Ct.Cls. 82 affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Appeal from a judgment of the Court of Claims disallowing three claims for transportation furnished the War Department.

Page 268 U. S. 171

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