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U.S. Supreme Court

Cherokee Nation v. United States, 270 U.S. 476 (1926)

Cherokee Nation v. United States


Argued March 8, 1926

Decided April 12, 1926

270 U.S. 476


1. The effect as res judicata of the judgment of the Court of Claims, as modified by this Court ( 202 U. S. 202 U.S. 101), determining the claims of the Cherokee Nation against the United States, was waived insofar as concerns interest, by the Act of March 3, 1919, directing a reexamination of that question and specially conferring jurisdiction on the Court of Claims, with a right of appeal to this Court. P. 270 U. S. 486.

2. Congress has power to waive the benefit of res judicata by allowing another trial of a claim against the United States. Id.

3. Interest cannot be recovered from the United States in a suit on contract referred by special Act to tho Court of Claims unless the contract or the special Act expressly authorized interest. P. 270 U. S. 487.

4. On the amounts of principal owing them by the United States, as determined in the case reported in 202 U. S. 202 U.S. 101, the Cherokees were entitled, as by stipulation, to simple interest only at five percent to date of payment. P. 270 U. S. 487.

5. The fact that Congress failed to appropriate money, in accordance with its agreement, to pay principal amounts and accrued simple interest due to the Cherokees on an account stated and agreed to between them and the United States is not a good reason for allowing interest on the interest from the time when the payments should have been made. P. 270 U. S. 488.

6. The provision in the sixth article of the agreement with the Cherokees, of December 19, 1891, ratified by Act of March 3, 1893, providing for interest at five percent on money to be paid them "so long as the money . . . shall remain in the Treasury" refers to money payable for the land ceded by the Indians under chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 270 U. S. 477

the agreement, and not to the principal sums and interest to be accounted as due under past treaties and law. P. 270 U. S. 491.

7. The provisions in the Treaty of June 19, 1866, and R.S. § 359 for investing Cherokee funds in United States stocks and paying interest are not a basis for compounding interest on the amount expended from such funds for removal of Eastern Cherokees to Indian Territory, since, by agreement of the Cherokees and the United States under a Senate Resolution of 1850 and through ratification of the account stated under the agreement of December 19, 1891, the interest was to be at five percent until the debt was paid. P. 270 U. S. 491.

8. Under the judgment rendered by this Court in 1906, 202 U. S. 202 U.S. 101, interest thereafter should not have been calculated on the interest included in the judgment, but only on the principal amount until paid. Pp. 270 U. S. 492, 270 U. S. 495.

9. The provision of the Act of September 30, 1890, for paying interest at four percent on judgments appealed to this Court by the United States from the Court of Claim, from the date of filing the transcript of judgment in the Treasury Department to the date of the mandate of affirmance, does not apply to a judgment which itself provides for a certain rate of interest after its entry. P. 270 U. S. 493.

59 Ct.Cls. 862 affirmed.

Appeal from a judgment of the Court of Claims dismissing the petition in a suit by the Cherokee Nation.

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