UNITED STATES V. NICHOLL, 25 U. S. 505 (1827)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Nicholl, 25 U.S. 505 (1827)

United States v. Nicholl

25 U.S. 505


The act of May 15, 1820, ch. 625, s. 2, which requires new sureties to be given by certain public officers on or before 30 September 1820, does not expressly or by implication discharge the former sureties from their liability.

The sureties are not responsible for moneys placed by the government in the hands of the principal after the legal termination of his office, but they are responsible for moneys which came into his hands while in office and which he subsequently failed to account for and pay over.

In general, laches is not imputable to the government, but quaere whether in case there is an express agreement between the government and the principal giving time to the latter and suspending the right of the former to sue, the sureties are not discharged as in a similar case between private individuals?

A mere proposition to give time and suspend the right to sue upon certain conditions and contingencies which are not proved to have been complied with or to have happened will not discharge the sureties.

The cases of United States v. Kirkpatrick, 9 Wheat. 720, 5 Cond. 733, and United States v. Vanzandt, 11 Wheat. 184, 6 Cond. 264, applied to the determination of the present case.

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