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U.S. Supreme Court

McGrath v. Manufacturers Trust Co., 338 U.S. 241 (1949)

McGrath v. Manufacturers Trust Co.

No. 11

Argued October 12, 1949

Decided November 7, 1949*

338 U.S. 241


1. In a summary proceeding under § 17 of the Trading with the Enemy Act to enforce an order of the Alien Property Custodian to turn over to him a fund belonging to an enemy alien, the Custodian is not entitled to recover interest (at 6% or any other rate) from the date of the turnover order where such interest is not a part of, or an increment on, the fund owing to the enemy alien. Pp. 338 U. S. 246-249.

(a) Section 16 of the Act prescribes fines, sentences, and forfeitures as sanctions for willful violations of vesting orders and turnover directives, and nowhere in the Act is there provision for the allowance of interest charges in connection with these summary proceedings. Pp. 338 U. S. 247-248.

(b) In such a proceeding, the Government is not in the position of a creditor collecting a debt owing to itself, and it is not entitled to interest as upon a contractual obligation or one arising out of customs duties or taxes. P. 338 U. S. 248.

(c) There is not involved here any issue regarding a claim for interest constituting a part of, or an increment on, the fund owing to the enemy alien. Pp. 338 U. S. 248-249.

2. Questions which would have been presented if the answer in the summary proceeding under § 17 had contained a denial of the alleged debt, an unequivocal plea of setoff, or a claim of a lien upon the enemy creditor's interest in the debt or in its proceeds need not here be considered, since the answer did not present those issues. Pp. 338 U. S. 249-250.

169 F.2d 932, affirmed in part. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 338 U. S. 242

In a summary proceeding under § 17 of the Trading with the Enemy Act, for enforcement of a turnover directive of the Alien Property Custodian, the District Court directed the bank to pay to the Custodian the sum of $25,581.49, plus interest at 6% from the date of the turnover directive. The Court of Appeals disallowed the interest, but otherwise affirmed. 169 F.2d 932. Petitions for certiorari by both parties were at first denied by this Court, 335 U.S. 910, but subsequently granted, 337 U.S. 953. No. 11 affirmed; No. 16 vacated, p. 338 U. S. 251.

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