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U.S. Supreme Court

Cherry Cotton Mills, Inc. v. United States, 327 U.S. 536 (1946)

Cherry Cotton Mills, Inc. v. United States

No. 187

Argued December 14, 1945

Decided March 25, 1946

327 U.S. 536


1. Under 28 U.S.C. 250(2), giving the Court of Claims jurisdiction to hear and determine

"All set-offs, counterclaims . . . or other demands whatsoever on the part of the Government . . . against any claimant against the Government in said Court,"

it is within the jurisdiction of the Court of Claims, in a suit against the Government for a refund of taxes, to hear and determine a counterclaim of the Government based upon a debt owed by claimant to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. P. 327 U. S. 539.

2. That Congress chose to call the RFC a corporation does not alter its characteristics so as to make it something other than it

Page 327 U. S. 537

actually is, an agency selected by the Government to accomplish purely governmental purposes, notwithstanding the fact that, in other situations and with relation to other statutes, this Court has applied the doctrine of governmental immunity or priority rather strictly. P. 327 U. S. 539.

3. The jurisdiction of the Court of Claims to hear and determine counterclaims is in no way dependent upon the preliminary intra-governmental steps which precede court action -- such as directions issued by the General Accounting Office to the Treasury. P. 327 U. S. 538.

103 Ct.Cls. 243, 59 F.Supp. 122, affirmed.

Petitioner sued the Government for a tax refund in the Court of Claims. The Government filed a counterclaim for a debt owed by petitioner to the RFC. The Court of Claims overruled a challenge of its jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 250(2) and rendered judgment for the United States and against petitioner for the amount it owed the RFC less the amount of the tax refund. 103 Ct.Cls. 243, 59 F.Supp. 122. This Court granted certiorari. 326 U.S. 705. Affirmed, p. 327 U. S. 540.

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