Vigo's Case: Ex Parte United States,
88 U.S. 648 (1874)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Vigo's Case: Ex Parte United States, 88 U.S. 21 Wall. 648 648 (1874)

Vigo's Case: Ex Parte United States

88 U.S. (21 Wall.) 648


1. When a claim on the government, not capable of being otherwise prosecuted, is referred by special act of Congress to the Court of Claims, acting judicially in its determination, a right of appeal to this Court, in the absence of provision to the contrary, is given by the Act of June 25, 1868 (section 8707 Revised Statutes). That act gives to the United States the right of appeal from the adverse judgment of the said court in all cases where it is required by any general or special law to take jurisdiction of a claim made against the United States and act judicially in its determination.

2. A right of appeal, though not given in terms in such special act, may be inferred from its general character and its particular indications.

3. Some of these pointed out in the present case.

On the 8th of June, 1872, Congress passed the following act:

"An act referring the claim of the heirs and legal representatives of Colonel Francis Vigo, deceased, to the Court of Claims for adjustment."

"Be it enacted &c., that the claim of the heirs and legal representatives of Colonel Francis Vigo, deceased, late of Terre Haute, Indiana, for money and supplies furnished the troops under command of General George Rogers Clarke, in the year 1778, during the Revolutionary war, be, and the same is hereby, referred, along with all the papers and official documents belonging thereto, to the Court of Claims, with full jurisdiction to adjust and settle the same; and, in making such adjustment and settlement, the said court shall be governed by the rules and regulations heretofore adopted by the United States in the settlement of like cases, giving consideration to official acts, if any have heretofore been had in connection with this claim, and without regard to the statutes of limitations."

On the 31st October, 1873, the heirs of Colonel Vigo filed in the Court of Claims their petition against the United States, under the authority of this act, and with their petition filed "the papers and official documents belonging" to the claim. Judgment was rendered in the action on the 18th

Page 88 U. S. 649

January, 1875, against the United States for $49,898. From this judgment the United States asked the Court of Claims for the allowance of an appeal to this Court, which was refused. The present application was for a mandamus from this Court directing the judges of that to allow the appeal.

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