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U.S. Supreme Court

American Propeller & Mfg. Co. v. United States, 300 U.S. 475 (1937)

American Propeller & Manufacturing Co. v. United States

No. 605

Argued March 12, 1937

Decided March 29, 1937

300 U.S. 475


1. In a suit in the Court of Claims, a recovery by the United States on a counterclaim, which is clearly unjust and inequitable to the claimant, should not be allowed unless under plain compulsion of law. P. 300 U. S. 478.

2. Interest upon the Government's counterclaim for taxes, under the circumstances of this case, should not have been allowed. P. 300 U. S. 478.

In 1924, the Government was indebted to a claimant in the sum of $119,413.04, against which there was at the same time a just counterclaim of $82,701.29. The inequity of allowing the Government chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 300 U. S. 476

interest for 12 years thereafter, so as to bring the claimant in debt to the Government in the sum of over $21,000, is so gross as to be shocking.

3. The opinion of the Court of Claims may be referred to in order to clarify the meaning of a finding which otherwise would be in doubt. P. 300 U. S. 479.

4. It is unnecessary to remand a case to the Court of Claim for the purpose of clarifying a finding as to whether there was compliance with § 250(e) of the Revenue Act of 1918, making "notice and demand by the collector" prerequisite to the allowance of interest on unpaid taxes, where the finding, the pleadings, and the opinion of the court, taken together, clearly show that the section was not complied with. P. 300 U. S. 480.

5. Nor ought the case to be remanded on the mere chance that the Government may be able to furnish evidence which it failed to furnish in a decade of litigation, and especially in respect of a claim which at the bar the Government frankly conceded to be inequitable. P. 300 U. S. 480.

83 Ct.Cls. 100, 14 F.Supp. 168, reversed.

Certiorari, post, p. 648, to review a judgment against the claimant in a suit against the United States upon certain contracts, wherein the Government asserted a counterclaim for taxes.

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