Chesapeake & Delaware Canal Co. v. United States,
250 U.S. 123 (1919)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Chesapeake & Delaware Canal Co. v. United States, 250 U.S. 123 (1919)

Chesapeake & Delaware Canal Co. v. United States


Argued April 17, 1919

Decided May 19, 1919

250 U.S. 123


It is a perversion of the rule requiring assignments of error to multiply them unnecessarily. P. 250 U. S. 124.

State statutes of limitations and the principle of laches are inapplicable to the United States when asserting governmental rights. P. 250 U. S. 125.

Semble that the presumption of payment arising from the lapse of twenty years without suit to collect does not apply to the United States in such cases. Id.

The collection of dividends declared on corporate shares owned by the United States is an assertion of its right as creditor unaffected by its relations as shareholder, and, in suing for such dividends, they being public moneys applicable only to public purposes, the United States acts in its governmental capacity. P. 250 U. S. 126.

Books of the Treasury Department showing the miscellaneous receipts and disbursements of the government, printed from the written public records of the Department pursuant to the acts of Congress and Art. I, § 9, cl. 7, of the Constitution and used as original records in the daily business of the Department and produced from its custody held competent evidence without certification under Rev.Stats. § 882 for the purpose of proving the nonpayment as well as the payment of dividends by a private corporation to the United States. P. 250 U. S. 127.

Evidence held sufficient to show that dividends sued for by the government many years after they were declared were never paid, and to sustain refusal of defendant's motion for a directed verdict. P. 250 U. S. 129.

240 F. 903 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 250 U. S. 124

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