The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 250: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, August-October, 1918. Page: 1,015
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UNITED STATES V. BRAINERD
in his official or other capacity as an officer of the court under the
terms of the Bankruptcy Act passes title to such fees or compensation
when paid absolutely to the referee, unless such title by future order
of the court, or on review, be divested, and all orders of the referee
himself are subject to review for error by the court. Hence it is the
obligation required to be given by a referee m bankruptcy contains no
condition whatever to account for any moneys coming into his hands,
and this for the reason none are thought to come into his hands to
which he is not entitled by the law. The sole condition of a referee's
bond reads, as follows:
"Now, therefore, if the said - shall well and faithfully discharge and
perform all the duties pertaining to the said office of referee in bankruptcy,
then this obligation to be void; otherwise, to remain in full force and virtue."
It has been many times held the sovereign in its representative capac-
ity has no implied power to demand a general accounting for the pur-
pose of impounding funds collected in excess of that by law allowed
for the benefit of individuals entitled thereto, because the state, through
its public officials, should not so assist either party in a private con-
troversy. Oklahoma v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa F6 Ry. Co., 220 U.
S. 277, 31 Sup. Ct. 434, 55 L. Ed. 465; State ex rel. Barker v. Chicago
& Alton R. R. Co., 265 Mo. 646, 178 S. W. 129, L. R. A. 1916C, 309;
People v. Albany & S. R. R. Co., 57 N. Y. 164; People v. Ingersoll, 58
N. Y. 1, 17 Am. Rep 178; In re Benton, 66 Vt. 507, 29 Atl. 805; State
ex rel. v. Dunbar, 53 Or. 45, 98 Pac. 878, 20 L. R. A. (N. S.) 1018.
In M., K. & T. R. R. Co. v. No. R'd., etc., Com'rs, 183 U. S. 53, 22
Sup. Ct. 18, 46 L. Ed. 78, Mr. Justice Brewer, delivering the opinion
for the court, said:
"It is true that the state has a governmental interest in the welfare of all its
citizens, in compelling obedience to the legal orders of all its officials, and in
securing compliance with all its laws. But such general governmental in-
terest is not that which makes the state, as an organized political community,
a party in interest in the litigation, for if that were so the state would be a
party in interest in all litigation, because the purpose of all litigation is to
preserve and enforce rights and secure compliance with the law of the
state, either statute or common. The interest must be one in the state as an
In United States v. San Jacinto Tin Co., 125 U. S. 273, 8 Sup. Ct.
850, 31 L. Ed. 747, Mr. Justice Miller, dehvermng the opinion for the
"The government must show that, like the private individual, it has such
an interest in the relief sought as entitles it to move in the matter. If it be a
question of property, a case must be made in which the court can afford a
remedy in regard to that property; if it be a question of fraud, which would
render the instrument void, the fraud must operate to the prejudice of the
United States; and if it is apparent that the suit is brought for the benefit of
some third party, and that the United States has no pecuniary interest in the
remedy sought, and is under no obligation to the party who will be benefited to
sustain an action for his use, in short, if there does not appear any obligation
on the part of the United States to the public, or to any individual, or any
interest of its own, it can no more sustain such an action than any private
person could under similar circumstances."
True it is, by act of Congress of July 1, 1916 (39 Stat. 311, c. 209),
the agents of the Department of Justice investigate the acts of referees
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The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 250: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, August-October, 1918., legislative document, 1918; Saint Paul, Minnesota. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38821/m1/1030/: accessed May 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.