Jones v. United States - 85 U.S. 662 (1873)
U.S. Supreme Court
Jones v. United States, 85 U.S. 18 Wall. 662 662 (1873)
Jones v. United States
85 U.S. 662
ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR
THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
On a suit by the government against the sureties of a postmaster on his official bond, it is no defense that the government,
"through their agent, the Auditor of the Treasury of the Post Office Department, had full notice of the defalcation and embezzlement of funds of the plaintiff before them, and yet neglectfully permitted the said postmaster to remain in office, whereby he was enabled to commit all the default and embezzlement,"
Jones, Ramsay, and Lauterman, as sureties for one Quillian, were sued by the United States on a bond executed on 13 June, 1867, conditioned that the said Quillian should faithfully discharge the duties of postmaster at Milledgeville, Georgia, and
"faithfully, once in three months, or oftener, if thereto required, render account of his receipts and expenditures, and pay the balance of all moneys that shall come to his hands, and keep safely all the public money collected by him."
To the default under this bond the defendants put in the plea:
"That as to any default of the said Quillian, their principal in said bond in the declaration mentioned as postmaster aforesaid, within two years before the commencement of this action, they are not liable in law therefor, but have been and are fully discharged and released by the acts and conduct of the plaintiff, through their agent, the Auditor of the Treasury of the Post Office Department, of the said plaintiff, who had full notice of the defalcation and embezzlement of funds of the plaintiff before them, and yet neglectfully permitted said Quillian to remain in office as such postmaster, whereby he was enabled to commit all the default and embezzlement aforesaid, within two years before the commencement of this action."
To this plea (a plea of the statute of limitations having been withdrawn) the plaintiff demurred, and his demurrer was sustained.
The overruling of the plea, and sustaining the demurrer, was now assigned for error.
MR. JUSTICE CLIFFORD delivered the opinion of the Court, to the effect that it was quite evident that the facts pleaded did not constitute any defense to the action, and that such being the settled law of the Court, it was not necessary to enter into any discussion of the question. *