United States v. Farden
99 U.S. 10 (1878)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Farden, 99 U.S. 10 (1878)

United States v. Farden

99 U.S. 10

Syllabus

1. A., a collector of internal revenue, was suspended Sept. 23, 1873, from office upon charges of fraud by the supervisor, who reported his action to the Commissioner, in accordance with sec. 3163 of the Revised Statutes. The Secretary of the Treasury, Sept. 26, directed B., the deputy collector of the district, to assume the duties of collector as of Sept. 23 in place of A., and to continue in office until some person should be appointed thereto and duly qualified. A. died Oct. 16. A collector, appointed Nov. 9, took the oath and gave the required bond Dec. 1, but did not take possession of the office until Dec. 10. B. performed the duties of collector from Sept. 23 to and including Dec. 9. Held that B. was entitled to the compensation of collector during the whole period.

2. Under the last clause of the first section of the act of March 1, 1869, 15 Stat. 282, providing that a deputy collector of internal revenue shall not receive compensation as collector when the latter is entitled to compensation for services rendered during the same period of time, a collector suspended for fraud and rendering no services thereafter is not entitled to compensation so as to exclude the deputy collector therefrom and the better opinion is that that provision is repealed by its omission from 16 Stat. 179, Rev.Stat., sec. 3150.

Page 99 U. S. 11

This was an action by Joseph S. Farden against the United States to recover pay for his services as Acting Collector of Internal Revenue for the Second District of Alabama.

The Court of Claims found the following facts:

1. On the twenty-third day of September, 1873, the claimant was deputy collector of Francis Widner, then Collector of Internal Revenue for the Second District of Alabama, when said Widner was suspended from office by K. R. Cobb, a supervisor of internal revenue, for fraud and his action reported to the Commissioner.

2. The Commissioner thereupon sent the following telegram to J. C. Lotz, a revenue agent, and the order therein contained was immediately complied with:

"WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 1873"

"J. C. LOTZ, Montgomery, Alabama"

"The Secretary will designate Joseph S. Farden as acting collector from this date. Put him in possession of the office."

"J. W. DOUGLASS"

"Commissioner"

And thereafter the Secretary of the Treasury issued the following order:

"TREASURY DEPARTMENT"

"WASHINGTON, D. C., Sept. 26, 1873"

"SIR -- Under the provisions of the fortieth section, Act of June 30, 1864, as amended by the first section, Act of March 3, 1865, you are hereby directed to perform the duties of the office of Collector of Internal Revenue for the Second District of Alabama, vice Francis Widner, suspended."

"This order will take effect from the 23d inst., and will continue in force until some person shall have been designated or appointed to the office and duly qualified according to law."

"You will receive this through the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, who is hereby directed to give you the necessary instruction with reference to the performance of your duties as prescribed by law."

"I am, very respectfully,"

"WM. A. RICHARDSON"

"Secretary"

"MR. JOSEPH S. FARDEN"

"Deputy Collector &c., Montgomery, Ala. "

Page 99 U. S. 12

3. Said Widner died Oct. 16, 1873, and on the ninth day of November, 1873, P. D. Barker was appointed and commissioned as collector of said district, and took the oath of office and gave the bond required on the first day of December, 1873.

The following notice was sent to claimant by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, and on the tenth day of December, 1873, and not before, said Barker took possession of the office, and all books, papers, and property pertaining thereto were then turned over to him:

"WASHINGTON, Nov. 25, 1873"

"SIR -- Prelate D. Barker having been appointed Collector of Internal Revenue for the Second District of Alabama, and having duly qualified as such collector, I have to direct you to turn over and deliver to him all books, papers, and property pertaining to collector's office of said district whenever he shall present himself and request you to do so."

"Very respectfully,"

"J. W. DOUGLASS"

"Commissioner"

"JOSEPH S. FARDEN, Esq.,"

"Acting Collector, 2d Dist., Montgomery, Ala."

4. The claimant performed the duties of collector of said district as such acting collector from Sept. 23 to Dec. 9, 1873, inclusive, under said orders set forth in the second finding.

5. The compensation fixed by the Secretary of the Treasury, in lieu of the salary and commissions prescribed by law, for the personal salary of the collector of said district was $3,000 a year, and of the deputy collector, $1,500 a year.

6. For the time from the 23d of September to the 15th of October, inclusive, the claimant has been paid $89.67, the compensation fixed for deputy collector, and no more; for the time between Oct. 15 and Nov. 30, 1873, inclusive, he has been paid the full compensation of collector; and for the first nine days in December he has been paid nothing.

The court found as a conclusion of law that the claimant was entitled to recover $163.05, that being the compensation of a collector from Sept. 23 to Dec. 9, 1873, inclusive, less the amount which had been paid to him.

Page 99 U. S. 13

The United States then appealed here.

Page 99 U. S. 15

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