HOOE V. UNITED STATES, 218 U. S. 322 (1910)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hooe v. United States, 218 U.S. 322 (1910)

Hooe v. United States

No. 13

Argued October 25, 26, 1910

Decided November 28, 1910

218 U.S. 322


Congress, proceeding under the Constitution, declares what amount shall be drawn from the Treasury in pursuance of an appropriation.

Heads of departments cannot, by express or implied contract, render the government liable for an amount in excess of that expressly appropriated by Congress for the subject matter of the contract.

A claim against the United States for a specific amount of money which is not expressly or by necessary implication authorized by a valid enactment of Congress cannot be said to be founded on the Constitution.

When an officer of the United States takes or uses private property without authority of law, he creates no condition under which the government is liable by reason of its constitutional duty to make compensation. If private property has been taken or used by an officer of the United States without authority of law, the remedy is not with the courts, but with Congress alone.

A claim for such compensation does not rest on the Constitution, and as an unauthorized act of the officer does not create a claim against the United States, the Court of Claims has no jurisdiction thereof under the Tucker Act of March 3, 1887, c. 359, 24 Stat. 505.

One renting a building to a department of the government and receiving the entire appropriation for rent for such department has no claim against the government for any amount in excess of the appropriation, even though he demands more and though he expressly excepts a part of the building from the lease and the department actually occupies the part reserved, nor has the Court of Claims jurisdiction of such a claim as one arising under the provision of the Constitution that private property shall not be taken without compensation.

43 Ct.Cl. 245 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the validity of a claim for rent of premises occupied by a department of the United States, the power of an officer of the United Slates to make contracts in excess of amount appropriated by Congress, and the jurisdiction of the Court of Claims,are stated in the opinion.

Page 218 U. S. 326

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