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United States v. Smith (158 U.S. 346)

Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

158 U.S. 346

United States  v.  Smith

These were cross appeals from certain allowances and disallowances in the accounts of the claimant, who was district attorney of the United States for the territory of New Mexico from January 1, 1886, to December 31, 1888.

His accounts for the services performed by him during that time were duly rendered, with vouchers and items, to the proper district court, and were duly approved by said court in the sum of $19,230.80, as just and according to law. The accounts were afterwards presented to the treasury department, and certified as correct to the amount of $18,605.80, of which $14,266.34 was paid, leaving an unpaid balance of $4,339.36.

This balance the accounting officers of the treasury refused to certify for payment, upon the ground that the claimant had been paid for the three years in question the maximum compensation of $3,500 per annum prescribed by the act of August 7, 1882, for the attorney of the United States for New Mexico, and on the further ground, in respect to another item of $595, that it had been disallowed by the attorney general, as being in excess of just compensation.

The unpaid balance of $4,339.46 is composed of certain services performed by him in a claimed unofficial capacity under the direction of the attorney general, of mileage, and of per diem compensation.

The court of claims rendered judgment in his favor for the mileage, amounting to $1,270.80, but disallowed his claim for per diem compensation, amounting to $2,843.66, and for special services, $225.

Both parties thereupon appealed to this court.

Eppa Hunton and J. Althens Johnson, for plaintiff.

Asst. Atty. Gen. Dodge and Felix Brannigan, for the United States.

Mr. Justice BROWN, after stating the facts in the foregoing language, delivered the opinion of the court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).