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UNITED STATES V. GILES, 13 U. S. 212 (1815)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Giles, 13 U.S. 9 Cranch 212 212 (1815)

United States v. Giles

13 U.S. (9 Cranch) 212

Syllabus

If a marshal, before the date of his official bond, receive, upon an execution, money due to the United States with orders from the Comptroller to pay it into the Bank of the United States, which he neglects to do, the sureties in his official bond, executed afterwards, are not liable therefor upon the bond, although the money remain in the marshal's hands after the execution of the bond.

Quaere whether the sureties in a marshal's bond conditioned for the faithful execution of his duty "during his continuance in the said office" are liable for money received by him after his removal from office upon an execution which remained in his hands at the time of such removal.

The Comptroller of the Treasury has a right to direct the marshal to whom he shall pay money received upon executions, and a payment according to such directions is good, and it seems he may avail himself of it upon the trial without having submitted it as a claim to the accounting officers of the Treasury.

No debtor of the United States can, at the trial, set off a claim for a debt due to him by the United States unless such claim shall have been submitted to the accounting officers of the Treasury and by them rejected, except in cases provided for by the statute.

This was a case certified from the Circuit Court for the District of New York, in which the opinions of the chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 13 U. S. 213

judges of that court were opposed upon ten questions of law arising out of a special verdict.

It was an action of debt brought by the United States against Giles, late Marshal of the District of New York, and his sureties upon his official bond, dated 9 January, 1801, the condition of which was as follows:

"Whereas the above bound Aquila Giles hath been appointed the Marshal in and for the New York District in pursuance of the act entitled 'An act to establish the judicial courts of the United States,' now therefore, the condition of the preceding obligation is such, that if the said Aquila Giles shall, by himself and by his deputies, faithfully execute all lawful precepts directed to the marshal of the said district under the authority of the United States, and true returns make, and in all things well and truly and without malice or partiality, perform the duties of the office of marshal, in and for the said District of New York, during his continuance in the said office, and take only his lawful fees, then the preceding obligation to be void, or else to remain in full force and virtue."

The defendants pleaded performance. The replication set forth six breaches of the condition of the bond.

1. That the United States having, in May, 1799, recovered judgment in the district court against one John Lamb for the sum of $127,952.99 debt, and $20 damages, a writ of fieri facias, was thereupon issued and delivered to the defendant, Giles, then being marshal, upon which he returned in August, 1799, that he had taken goods and chattels to the value of $50, which remained unsold for want of buyers, whereupon a writ of venditioni exponas and fieri facias, was issued and delivered to the said defendant, Giles, on 9 January, 1800, by virtue whereof he sold the said goods and chattels for $50, which sum he received, and also, by virtue of the said writ, sold lands of Lamb to the amount of $60,000, which sum he received and continued to hold until 1 February, 1801, when he converted the same to his own use, contrary to the tenor and effect of the condition of his said bond. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 13 U. S. 214

2. That by virtue of the said writ, the defendant, Giles, on 17 September, 1800, sold other lands of Lamb, for $60,000, which he received on 20 January, 1801, and on that day converted the same to his own use, contrary to the tenor and effect of the condition of the bond.

3. That on 17 December, 1800, the Comptroller of the Treasury of the United States directed the defendant Giles to pay into the Office of Discount and Deposit of the Bank of the United States, at New York, to the credit of the account of the Treasurer of the United States, all such sums of money as should be made from the property of Lamb, by virtue of the aforesaid writ. That the defendant, Giles, afterwards, on 23 December, 1800, by virtue of that writ sold other lands of Lamb, to the amount of $60,000, which he received on 15 January, 1801, but has not paid the same, nor any part thereof, into the said Office of Discount and Deposit in the manner directed, contrary to the tenor and effect of the condition of his said bond.

4. That on 1 February, 1801, the defendant, Giles, being marshal as aforesaid, had in his hands as marshal, 14 bonds, the property of the United States (particularly described), and on that day converted the same, to his own use, contrary to the tenor and effect of the condition of his bond aforesaid.

5. That the defendant, Giles, having, in September, 1800, made the sum of $309.87, by virtue of a fieri facias, in behalf of the United States, against one Richard Capes, and having received the same, converted it to his own use on 1 February, 1801, contrary to the tenor and effect of the condition of his bond.

6. That the defendant, Giles, having so received all the several sums of money before mentioned, retained the same in his hands until 27 March, 1801, when he was duly removed and dismissed from his office of marshal, and ceased to be marshal of the New York District, and has retained the said several sums of money in his hands ever since. That on 2 June, 1804, he was duly notified according to law, by the Comptroller chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 13 U. S. 215

of the Treasury of the United States, to render to the auditor of the Treasury of the United States on or before 10 October, then next, all his accounts and vouchers for the expenditure of all monies received by him as marshal of the New York District, but he has never rendered the same, contrary to the tenor and effect of the condition of his bond aforesaid.

The defendants rejoined,

1. To the first breach, that the defendant, Giles, received the sum of $50, and sold the lands of Lamb for $30,000 and no more. That by the orders of the Comptroller of the Treasury of the United States, he received on 10 December, 1800, from the purchasers $11,000, and no more, in cash, in part of the said sum of $30,000, and took from them, by the like orders of the said Comptroller, their respective bonds and mortgages, 30 in number, for $19,000 being the residue of the said sum of $30,000. That on that day the United States was justly indebted to the said Giles in the sum of $20,000, for money paid by him at their request for their use, and for fees justly due by them to him as marshal, and for services performed by him for them at their request, when he retained in his hands the said sums of $50, and $11,000, as it was lawful for him to do, in part payment and satisfaction of the sum of $20,000 so due to him from the United States, and then and there delivered to the United States, the said several bonds and mortgages in full payment and satisfaction of the said residue of the said sum of $30,000. Without that, that h