WILLIAMS V. GIBBES, 61 U. S. 535 (1857)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Williams v. Gibbes, 61 U.S. 535 (1857)

Williams v. Gibbes, 61 U.S. 535 (1857)

61 U.S. 535


Where an assignee of a claim upon a foreign government, holding it under an assignment supposed to be good but afterwards adjudged invalid, prosecuted the claim to a successful result and was subjected to costs and expenses in protecting the fund from rival claimants, and thereby preserving it, he was entitled to a reimbursement of these costs and expenses by the true owner upon a final settlement of accounts between them.

Being placed in the position of a trustee, it was his duty to defend the title, and the expenses for so doing were properly chargeable to the estate.

The assignee ought also to have been allowed a compensation for his trouble and personal exertions in the prosecution of the claim, and under the special circumstances of this case, the circuit court having allowed thirty-five percent of the sum realized, this Court is not prepared to say it is too much.

An objection that the executors of the assignee had distributed a portion of the money in the regular course of administration should have been made when the cause was before this Court upon its merits. After a mandate has gone down, and the cause came before the circuit court for a settlement of accounts, the objection comes too late.

No objection can be made to the circuit court allowing a supplemental answer to be filed when the mandate went down. It was like a petition to bring before the court the facts which were proper to be known before instructions were given to the master as to the mode of settling the accounts.

These were cross-appeals from the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Maryland. In the report, the first case only will be mentioned, viz., that of Williams against Oliver's executors.

The case was formerly before the court, and is reported in 58 U. S. 17 How. 239.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

The decree was for $9,686.33 in money, and $19,215.95 in stock, instead of $22,866.94 in money, and $32,847.77 in stock, as claimed by the appellant.

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