Miguel v. McCarl
291 U.S. 442 (1934)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Miguel v. McCarl, 291 U.S. 442 (1934)

Miguel v. McCarl

No. 435

Argued February 14, 15, 1934

Decided March 5, 1934

291 U.S. 442

Syllabus

1. Where the duty to make a payment of public money is imposed so plainly by statute as to leave no play for judgment or discretion, the duty is purely ministerial, and its performance may be compelled by mandamus or mandatory injunction. P. 291 U. S. 451.

2. A native of the Philippine Islands who enlisted under the Act of February 2, 1901, "for service in the Army" as a Philippine Scout, became "an enlisted man in the Army" within the meaning of the Act of March 2, 1907, and, after having served 30 years, was eligible under the latter Act to be placed upon the retired list, with the pay and allowances therein prescribed. P. 291 U. S. 452.

3. Provisions in later Acts cited in the opinion deal with the status of officers of the Philippine Scouts, but not enlisted men, and cast no doubt upon this right of the latter. P. 291 U. S. 453.

4. A duty to pay, plainly imposed by the statutes, cannot be affected by a contrary decision of the Comptroller General. P. 291 U. S. 454.

5. The Chief of Finance of the Army being charged by law with the duty of disbursing all the funds of the War Department, including the pay of the Army, is the proper party defendant to a suit for a mandatory injunction brought by a retired enlisted man to enforce payment of retired pay and allowances. P. 291 U. S. 455.

6. The disbursing officer to whom the voucher was presented, being a subordinate of the Chief of Finance, is not an indispensable party to such suit. Id.

7. The United States is not a necessary party to such a suit. Id.

8. It is not a ground for dismissing such a suit that recovery of the pay may be had in the Court of Claims. Id.

9. In granting relief by injunction requiring the Chief of Finance of the Army to satisfy claims for retired military pay and allowances, as to which the Comptroller General upon request under 31 U.S.C. (Supp.) § 74 had rendered an advance decision which was adverse to payment, held unnecessary to require the Comptroller General to recall the decision or to return the voucher. P. 291 U. S. 455.

62 App.D.C. 259, 66 F.2d 564, reversed in part.

Page 291 U. S. 443

Certiorari, 290 U.S. 618, to review the reversal of a decree commanding the Chief of Finance of the Army to satisfy claims of the plaintiff for retired military pay and allowances, enjoining the Comptroller General from interfering, and requiring him to return from his files to a disbursing officer a voucher upon which he had rendered an adverse advance decision.

Page 291 U. S. 448

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