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vided a mode of making the decision of an officer final. (13 Stats., 240.) In those cases no allusion is made to the repeal of that provision. (Act March 3, 1865, 13 Stats., 483.) But those cases do not conflict with the principles now decided.

Notwithstanding the law, in many cases, gives officers a right to judge of facts, their judgment may be made subject to revision.

If a patent for land be issued without jurisdiction, or if letters-patent for a patent-right be granted, the courts have authority to set all these aside for want of jurisdiction, or for illegality in the acts of the officers issuing them.

If the officers who issue land patents for land not by law subject to such grant decide that the lands are subject to grant, and that they have jurisdiction to issue patents, their decision on their right to issue putents is not conclusive. This has always been so held in every court: (Minter vs. Crommelin, 18 How., 87; U. S. vs. Schurz, Sup. Ct. U. S., Oct. term, 1880.)

Hence, when an officer who is not an accounting officer is authorized to allow an account, the accounting officers of the Treasury Department can revise his decision and decide whether he had jurisdiction, and reject or modify his allowance. (Flack's case, 1 Lawrence, Compt. Dec., 187; Savings Bank case, Id., 191; see Bank of Greencastle case, 15 Ct. Cls., 229.)

A statute could, of course, be so drawn as to take from the usual accounting officers the duty to audit and finally certify balances due a class of claimants and transfer this duty to other officers, or, as to balances certified by such other officers, devolve on the proper accounting officers mere ministerial duties; but no statute so hostile to the general policy of legislation, so variant from usage, and carrying a repeal by implication, could be construed as giving such power, except by words which would render such purpose clear beyond reasonable doubt. (Rev. Stats., 47, 48, 4646; Seward's case, post, 59; Special-Session case, post, 89; Langford's case, post, 269.)

The First Auditor is advised that the three items of $300 each, for which credit is claimed, should be disallowed.* TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

First Comptroller's Office, January 8, 1881.

* This claim, having been rejected, was reconsidered by the First Comptroller, and the above opinion reaffirmed in a decision, which see in 3 Lawrence, Comptroller's Decisions.


1. When Government bonds are registered in the name of infants, checks issued in

payment of interest thereon should be delivered and paid only to the proper guardian of such infant, when the Secretary of the Treasury has been notified

of the fact of infancy. 2. Neither the father nor mother of an infant has the right, as a general rule, to in

dorse or collect such interest-checks. 3. The guardian of an infant, in order to mdorse and collect interest-checks, is re

quired to file with the First Auditor evidence (1) of guardianship, (2) that his anthority as such is in force, and (3) of the identity of his ward as the payee in

the bonds. 4. The Government is not liable to refund to an infant, on his arriving at the age of

majority, money paid to him on his indorsement of interest-checks during his minority, when the Secretary of the Treasury has not been notified of the fact of

infancy. 5. Whether the Government is liable after notice of the fact of infaney-quære? 6. When minors are lawfully in the public service, payment of compensation to them

for such service is valid.

On the 26th January, 1881, the Assistant Treasurer of the United States at Philadelphia addressed a letter to the First Auditor of the Treasury Department, saying that in a letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, dated July 5, 1871,* instructions were given that “a minor may not receipt for interest on registered bonds standing in his own name.”

He adds: “Some interest-checks in favor of children, indorsed with their individual names by a parent, having lately been presented at this office for payment, I will thank you to inform me if the ruling above mentioned is still in force, and, if so, what method may be employed to obviate the difficulty in which the holders of these bonds are placed.”

This letter was referred, January 28, 1881, by the First Auditor, to the First Comptroller for his decision.

* The letter was as follows:

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, July 5, 1871. Sir: Your letter of the 3d instant is received.

A minor has not the right to receipt for interest on registered stock standing on schedule in his own name; but where the stock stands in name of an adult, a minor may receipt for the interest, provided he be constituted an attorney for such purpose by the adult.

Very respectfully,


Acting Secretary. ASSISTANT TREASURER U. S., Phila., Pa.


The interest on registered bonds is paid by checks, (Rev. Stats., 3593, 3644,) in the form following: ! WASHINGTON.

FEBRUARY 1, 1881. [Vignette.]


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Treasurer of the United States, Assistant Treasurer, or Designated Depos

itary : Pay to John Smith, or order, Too dollars, for three months interest due

on $

registered stock, and charge amount in general account with the Treasurer, U. S. [Number.]


1ssistant Treas'r, U. S. (See Rev. Stats., 300, 306, 307, 308, 3418, 3593, 3614, 3615, 3646, 3647, 4046, 4765, 4770, 5208, 5413, 5414; Rhawn's case, 1 Lawrence, Compt. Dec., 109; Moyer's case, 1d., 116.)

Apparently, the title of an interest-check drawn payable to the order of an infant is in him, and technically he is invested with the naked legal title. There are cases which hold that "an infant may indorse a bill or note made payable to him or order, so far, at least, as to enable the indorsee to recover against the drawer, acceptor, or maker, who, by undertaking to pay to him, or to his order, are estopped to deny his capacity to order payment to be made to the indorsee.” (1 Daniel, Neg. Inst., 181, sec. 227; Nightingale vs. Withington, 15 Mass., 272; Frasier V8. Massey, 14 Ind., 352; Hardy vs. Waters, 38 Maine, 450; Grey vs. Cooper, 3 Doug., 65, (1782;] Taylor vs. Croker, 4 Esp., 187, [1803;] Jones vs. Darch, 4 Price, 300, (1817;] Drayton vs. Dale, 2 B. & C., 293; 2 Dow. & Ry., 134, (1823;] Chitty on Bills, (* 20,26–29; Story on Notes, sec. 80; Story on Bills, sec. 85; Thomson on Bills, 131, 135; Byles on Bills, Sharswood's ed., (*60,] 119; Edwards on Bills, 246; 1 Pars. Cont., 6th ed., 330; Dulty vs. Brownfield, 1 Barr, 497.)

But if this be so as between natural persons, it does not follow that the same rule must apply to the Government, since the principle of estoppel does not generally apply to it. (Herman on Estoppel, secs. 130, 219; Johnson vs. U. S., 5 Mason, 425; U. S. vs. Primrose, Gilp., 58; Vt. vs. Society, &c., 2 Paine, 545.)

It is not necessary now to decide on the rights of the indorsee of an infant, or to determine the duty of the Government arising thereon.

It has been said that, if the indorsee of an infant payee is paid, the infant cannot avoidl his indorsement, because he cannot restore the maker of the bill or note to the same condition as before.” (1 Pars. Cont., 6th ed., 321, note (e); Dulty vs. Brownfield, 1 Barr, 497; Willis vs. Twambly, 13 Mass., 204; Nightingale vs. Withington, 15 Mass., 272.) Whatever may be the result as to the question of the liability of the Government on an interest-check indorsed by an infant to a boná fide holder, it is better to avoid any complication, by sending such check only to the proper guardian, to whom payment should be made.

It is said by Daniel that, “as a general rule, payment [of notes and bills) should be made to his (an infant's) guardian, and, if it be made to the infant personally, and be thereby dissipated and lost, the payer would not be discharged.” (1 Neg. Inst., 181, sec. 227; Phillips vs. Paget, 2 Atk., 80; 2 Kent, Com., 230; Schouler's Domestic Relations, 435, 462; Genet rs. Tallmadge, 1 Johus. Ch., 3; Jackson vs. Sears, 10 Johns., 435; Eichelberger's appeal, 4 Watts, 81; Swan rs. Dent, 2 Md. Ch., 111; Crenshaw vs. Crenshaw, 4 Rich. Eq., 14; Chapman vs. Tibbits, 33 X. Y., 289; Smith vs. Bean, 8 N. 11., 15; Shepherd vs. Evans, 9 Ind., 260; Somes vs. Skinner, 16 Mass., 318; Longstreet vs. Tilton, Coxe, 38; Sillings rs. Bumgardner, 9 Gratt., 273; Brown i's. Brown, 5 E. L. & Eq., 567; Savage vs. Dickson, 16 Ala., 257; Hill, Trustees, 417, and cases; Caffrey vs. Darby, 6 Ves., 488; Powell vs. Evans, 5 Ves., 839; Leusen vs. Copeland, 2 Bro. C. C., 156; Tibbs vs. Carpenter, 1 Madd., 298; Caney vs. Bond, 6 Beav., 480; Chapman vs. Tibbits, 33 N. Y., 289; Smith rs. Debrell, 31 Texas, 239.)

On principle and authority, when an interest-check is issued to an infant, the right to collect, it not the legal title, passes by operation of In to his guardian. (Draft case, 1 Lawrence, Compt. Dec., 23; Saf: ford's case, Id., 285.)

In some cases and in some States the legal title and right of action are in the guardian, while in others they are in the infant, but subject to the control of the guardian. (Schouler's Domestic Relations, 462; Pond rs. Curtiss, 7 Wend., 45; Truss vs. Old, 6 Rand., 556; Bacon vs. Taylor, Kirby, 368; Beecher vs. Crouse, 19 Wend., 306; Fuqua vs. Hunt, 1 Ala., 197; Sutherland vs. Goff, 5 Porter, 508; Field vs. Lucas, 21 Geo., 447; Jolliffe vs. Higgins, 6 Munf., 3; Baker vs. Ormsby, 4 Scam., 325; Thacher vs. Dinsmore, 5 Mass., 299; Thomas vs. Bennett, 56 Barb., 197; Barnet vs. Commonwealth, 4 J. J. Marsh., 389; Cars. kadden vs. McGhee, 7 Watts & Serg., 140; Hutchins vs. Johnson, 12 Conn., 376; Hutchins vs. Dresser, 26 Maine, 76; Hoare vs. Harris, 11 M., 24; Fox vs. Minor, 32 Cal., 111; Stratton's case, 1 Johns., 509; Totten's appeal, 46 Pa. St., 301; Winslow vs. Winslow, 7 Mass., 96; Longmire vs. Pilkington, 37. Ala., 296; Mebane vs. Mebane, 66 N. C., 331; Anderson vs. Watson; 3 Met., (Ky.,] 509; Hines vs. Mullins, 25 Geo., 696.)

The parent has no rights over the child's general property. (Schouler's Dom. Rel., 350; Keeler vs. Fassett, 21 Vt., 539; Jackson vs. Coinbs, 7 Cow., 36; Miles vs. Boyden, 3 Pick., 213; Cowell vs. Daggett, 97 Mass., 434; Kennaghan vs. McLaughlin, 3 Monr., 30; see Seden's appeal, 31 Conn., 518.)

If, in any State, the parent of an infant may by law be authorized, without other guardianship, to collect interest-checks, the right to do so would be respected on production of evidence of the law and other requisite facts.

The guardian is, therefore, generally the proper person to make the indorsement and collect money due on such checks.

For this purpose, the guardian should produce, and file in the First Auditor's office, (1) a certified copy of his letters of guardianship, or, if there be none, then of his appointment, with evidence that he has given bond, (State vs. Sloane, 20 Ohio, 327; Maxsom vs. Sawyer, Ohio, 195;) (2) evidence of the identity of his ward as the infant in whose name the bonds are registered; and (3) evidence that his authority as such guardian still continues.

This latter evidence is required, because (1) it may not be otherwise known whether the ward has reached majority or died, and (2) in some, perhaps most, of the States the authority of guardians ceases, and especially if not testamentary guardians, at a certain age of the ward, who, on reaching it, has a right to elect a person to be duly appointed guardian; and (3) the marriage of a female ward will, under the laws of some of the States, if not generally at common law, take from the guardian the right to collect interest and vest it in the husband. (Barnett vs. Com., 4 J. J. Marsh., 389; 2 Bishop on Married Women, 525; Nicholson vs. Wilbour, 13 Ga., 467; Bartlett vs. Cowles, 15 Gray, 445; Cumming's appeal, 1 Jones, Pa., 272; Ex parte Post, 47 Ind., 142; Fegan case, 45 Cal., 147.)

This rule is doubtless changed in some of the States, either expressly or by the effect of statutes relating to the property of married women.

When the age is reached which gives the infant a right to select a guardian, the authority of the former guardian ceases, and his acts thereafter will not bind the ward. (Perry vs. Brainard, 11 Ohio, 442.)

The evidence is to be filed in the office of the First Auditor. This officer reports the United States Treasurer's accounts quarterly to the First Comptroller, who, in adjusting them, is required to pass upon the validity of the vouchers.

The evidence should show how long the authority of the guardian by law continues.

It is possible that there may be cases in which an infant might law

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