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U.S. Supreme Court

Mullen Benevolent Corp. v. United States, 290 U.S. 89 (1933)

John K. & Catherine S. Mullen

Benevolent Corp. v. United States

No. 32

Argued October 20, 1933

Decided November 6, 1933

290 U.S. 89


1. An assessment for state taxation of lands owned by the United States is void. P. 290 U. S. 91.

2. Bonds issued under authority of statutes of Idaho providing for the creation of local improvement districts (Idaho Comp.Stats., 1919, §§ 3999 4151) have no general lien on the lands in the district and, save through the assessment, no special lien on any tract. P. 290 U. S. 94.

3. The acquisition by the United States of lands in local improvement districts created under authority of statutes of Idaho (supra), frustrating the replenishment, by a reassessment, of the assessment fund, which was the sole source of payment of bonds issued to finance the improvements -- no lien remaining on the lands when the purchases by the United States were consummated, and a reassessment thereafter being ineffective to create one -- was not a taking of the bondholder's property, and the District Court was without jurisdiction under the Tucker Act of a suit to recover the amount remaining due on the bonds. P. 290 U. S. 94.

4. The acts of the Government's agents in withholding a portion of the purchase money pending an investigation of the possibility that the realty would be liable for a reassessment did not give rise to an implied contract on the part of the Government to pay any balance remaining due on the bonds if no lien existed at the date of acquisition. A purpose to pay only valid subsisting liens

Page 290 U. S. 90

negatives an agreement to pay something which had no such character. P. 290 U. S. 95.

63 F.2d 48 affirmed.

Certiorari, 289 U.S. 721, to review a judgment reversing a judgment against the United States in a suit under the Tucker Act.

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