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The Court of Claims does not have jurisdiction of any claim for pensions. (Section 1501).
The Court of Claims, except as otherwise provided by Act of Congress, does not have jurisdiction of any claim against the United States growing out of or dependent upon any treaty with foreign nations. Section 1502, amended by Public No. 72, 63 Stat. 89.
Under Section 1503 the Court of Claims has jurisdiction to render judgment upon any set-off or demand by the United States against any plaintiff in such Court. Under Section 2508 the Court, if its finds upon the whole case that the plaintiff is indebted to the United States, shall render judgment to that effect, and any judgment so awarded, filed in the Clerk's office of any District Court, shall be entered upon the records and be a judgment of such District Court and enforceable as such.
A limited appellate jurisdiction was vested in the Court of Claims by the Federal Tort Claims Act (Title IV of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, 60 Stat. 842) which authorized suit in the District Courts on claims on account of damage to or loss of property or on account of personal injury or death caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any employee of the Government while acting within the scope of his office or employment, under circumstances where the United States, if a private person, would be liable under like circumstances. Final judgments in the District Courts are subject to review by appeal in the Circuit Courts of Appeal or in the Court of Claims if appellees consent thereto. In such appeals the Court of Claims has the same powers and duties as those conferred on the Circuit Courts of Appeals. This provision is incorporated in Section 1504. See also Chapter 171, Title 28.
Pursuant to the Act of August 13, 1946 (60 Stat. 1049, 1055) an Indian Tribe or other identifiable group of American Indians may sue in the Court of Claims on claims accruing after the date of approval of the Act arising under the Constitution, laws and treaties of the United States, Executive Orders of the President or otherwise cognizable if claimant were not an Indian Tribe. The Act entitles the claimant to recover in the same manner, to the same extent and subject to the same conditions and limitations as in cases brought under other provisions and the United States is entitled to the same defenses, both at law and in equity, and to the same off-sets, counterclaims and demands. See 28 U. S. C. $ 1505, as amended by Public No. 72, 81st Congress, Section 89a, 63 Stat. 89.
Prior to the Act of August 13, 1946, tribal Indians could sue the Government only under special jurisdictional acts. Several such jurisdictional acts were then in effect and suits under them were pending.
The Act of August 13, 1946, created the Indian Claims Commission and authorized it to determine various types of claims for Indian claimants, including claims based on fair and honorable dealings that are not recognized by any existing rule of law or equity. In the discharge of its functions the Commission may at any time certify to the Court of Claims any definite and distinct questions of law. In addition either party to a proceeding before the Commission may appeal the Commission's determination to the Court of Claims, which shall review the whole record.
Any suit pending in the Court of Claims or the Supreme Court or filed in the Court of Claims under then existing legislation was not affected by this Act. (25 U. S. C. $$ 70, 70s).
CONTRACT SETTLEMENT ACT
The Contract Settlement Act of 1944 (58 Stat. 649 et seq., 41 U. S. C. $$ 101-125) provides (41 U. S. C. $ 113) that suit may be brought in the Court of Claims by any war contractor who is aggrieved by the findings of a contracting agency on his claim. War contractor is defined as the holder of one or more war contracts, being a prime contract (related to the prosecution of the war) or a subcontract (required for the performance of a prime contract). The Act provides (58 Stat. 663, 41 U. S. C. $ 114) that "jurisdiction of the Court of Claims shall not be affected by this Act except to the extent necessary to give effect to this Act, and no person shall recover judgment on any claim which such person would not have had a right to assert in said court if this section had not been enacted."
Section 2 (d) of the Act of June 25, 1948, 41 U. S. C. $ 114 note, provides:
"Anything in this Act to the contrary notwithstanding, the provisions of section 14 of the Act of July 1, 1944 (ch. 358, 58 Stat. 663), are not hereby repealed.”
WAR CONTRACT HARDSHIP CLAIMS ACT*
Section 6 of the War Contract Hardship Claims Act (60 Stat. 903), commonly known as the Lucas Act, was amended by the Act of June 25, 1948, $ 37, 41 U. S. C. $ 106 note, so as to provide that when any claimant under the Act is dissatisfied with the action of a department or agency in either granting or denying his claim, he may within six months thereafter file a petition with the Court of Claims for a determination of the equities involved in the claim. The amendment further provides that the Court, sitting as a court of equity, shall have jurisdiction to determine the amount to which the claimant may be equitably entitled and to enter an order directing the department or agency to settle the claim in accordance with the finding of the Court. The amendment also provides as follows:
Any case heretofore brought in a district court under this section may, at the election of the petitioner to be exercised within thirty days after the enactment of this amendatory Act, be transferred to the Court of Claims for original disposition in that court.
TIME FOR FILING SUIT
Under Section 2501, claims under the general jurisdiction of the Court or referred to the Court by Congress or a Department must be filed or referred within six years after such claim first accrues.
Every claim under Section 1497 is barred unless filed within two years after termination of the river and harbor improvements operation on which the claim is based.
* See H. R. 3436, 81st Cong., 2nd session.
A petition for the recovery of taxes must be filed within two years of the date of the rejection of the claim for refund to which the petition relates.
A petition on the claim of any person under legal disability or beyond the seas at the time the claim accrues may be filed within three years after the disability ceases.
A suit for fees of an officer of the United States shall not be filed until his account has been finally acted upon, unless the General Accounting Office fails to act within six months after receiving the account. See also 28 U. S. C. $ 2401.
FORFEITURE OF FRAUDULENT CLAIMS
Under Section 2514, a claim is forfeited where fraud is practiced or attempted in the proof, statement, establishment or allowance thereof.
In such cases the Court of Claims shall specifically find such fraud or attempt and render judgment of forfeiture.
NEW TRIAL; STAY OF JUDGMENT
Under Section 2515, the Court may grant a plaintiff a new trial on any ground established by rules of common law or equity applicable as between private parties.
Under this Section a new trial may be granted, on motion of the Government, while suit is pending or after proceedings for review have been instituted, or within two years after the final disposition of the suit, upon satisfactory evidence that fraud, wrong or injustice has been done against the United States.
INTEREST ON CLAIMS AND JUDGMENTS
Under Section 2516, interest on a claim against the United States shall be allowed in a judgment of the Court of Claims only under a contract or Act of Congress expressly providing for payment thereof. In the revision of Title 28, subdivision (b) of Section 284 was omitted as covered by Section 3771 of Title 26 U. S. C., 1940 ed., Internal Revenue Code. See Section 1346 and Section 2411, Title 28, as amended by the Act of May 24, 1949, 63 Stat. 89.
Interest on judgments against the United States affirmed by the Supreme Court after review on petition of the United States shall be paid at the rate of 4 percent per annum from date of filing transcript of judgment.
PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS Section 2517 provides:
(a) Every final judgment rendered by the Court of Claims against the United States shall be paid out of any general appropriation therefor, on presentation to the General Accounting Office of a certification of the judgment by the clerk and chief judge of the court.
(b) Payment of any such judgment and of interest thereon shall be a full discharge to the United States of all claims and demands arising out of the matters involved in the case or controversy.
CERTIFICATION OF JUDGMENTS FOR APPROPRIATION Section 2518 provides:
The Secretary of the Treasury shall certify to Congress for appropriation only such judgments of the Court of Claims as are not to be reviewed or are entered upon mandate of the Supreme Court.
CONCLUSIVENESS OF JUDGMENT
Under Section 2519 a final judgment of the Court of Claims against any plaintiff shall forever bar any further claim, suit, or demand against the United States arising out of the matters involved in the case or controversy.
COMMISSIONERS OF THE COURT
Under Section 792 of Title 28 the Court of Claims is authorized to appoint commissioners, who are, in fact, trial judges so far as the taking of testimony is concerned. This section provides:
"Commissioners shall, in accordance with the rules and orders of the Court, fix times for hearings, administer oaths, examine witnesses, receive evidence and report findings of fact and recommendations for con
clusions of law in cases assigned to them." Under Section 2503 it is provided that parties may appear before a commissioner in person or by attorney, produce evidence and examine witnesses. Commissioners, including reporter-commissioners, may administer oaths or affirma