Mellon v. Orinoco Iron Co.
266 U.S. 121 (1924)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Mellon v. Orinoco Iron Co., 266 U.S. 121 (1924)

Mellon v. Orinoco Iron Company

No. 491

Motion to dismiss or affirm submitted October 13, 1924

Decided November 17, 1924

266 U.S. 121


The Act of February 27, 1896, c. 34, 29 Stat. 32, directs that moneys received by the Secretary of State from foreign governments in trust for citizens of the United States or others shall be deposited in the Treasury, and that the Secretary of State shall determine the amounts due claimants from such funds and certify the same to the Secretary of the Treasury who, upon presentation of such certificates, shall pay the amounts so found to be due, the act appropriating such funds in the Treasury "for the payment to the ascertained beneficiaries thereof of the certificates herein provided for."

Held, that the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury in paying such certificates is ministerial, and that, where the claimant named in a certificate held as trustee ex maleficio for another whose equity the Secretary of State had remitted to the courts, the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia had jurisdiction of a suit brought by such beneficial owner against the other in which the Secretary of the Treasury and the Treasurer of the United States might be impleaded, be required to pay over the money to a receiver, and be enjoined from making other disposition of it. Houston v. Ormes, 252 U. S. 469. P. 266 U. S. 125.

54 App.D.C. 218, 296 F. 965, affirmed.

Appeal by the Secretary of the Treasury and the Treasurer of the United States from a decree of the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia which affirmed a

Page 266 U. S. 122

decree of the Supreme Court of the District directing payment of a fund to a receiver and granting an injunction against other disposition of it.

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