MAY tI. CABS
March Term, 1887.:
«(Jw-cult (Jourt,S, D. 10'l.Da.
LtmTATION OF ACTIONS-INFRINGEMENT OF PATENT-STATE STATUTE.
The statute of limitations of a state is not applicable to an action brought for the infringement of a patent.
FOR INVENTIONS-INFRINGEMENT BY COUNTy-PRESENTATION OF CLAtM.
The provisions of section 2610 of the Code of Iowa, requiring the presentation of unliquidated demands to the board of supervisors before· suit can be brought thereon against a county in· Iowa, are applicable to actions for infringement of patent-rights. May v. Buchanan 00.,29 Fed. Rep. 469, followed.
At Law. Demurrer to petition. RunneUB;« Walker, for plaintiff. John Scott and Sapp Puaey, for defendant. SHIRAS, J . This action is brought to recover damages for infringement of a patent. 'The demurrer presents two (l) Is the action barred by the lapse of five years, under the provisions of the statute of Iowa; and (2) are the provisions of section 2610 of the Code of Iowa, requiring the presentation of unliquidated demands to the board of supervisors before suit can be brought thereon against the counties of Iowa, applicable to actions for infringement of patent-rights. Upon the first question it is held that the state statute of limitations is not applicable to this class of actions. and on the second question it is held that the provisions of section 2610 of the Code are applicable. See May v. Buchanan 00.,29 Fed. Rep. 469. Demurrer is therefore sustained on the third ground therein stated, and oVE'rruled as to the first and second. BREWER and LoVE, JJ., cQncur.
UNITED STATES, by DOWELL, Prosecutor,
Oircuit Oourt, D. Oregon. April 13, 1887.)
CLAIMS AGAINST UNITED STATES-QUI TAM ACTION-JUDGMENT-COMPROMISE.
Where a person hl/-s, pursuant to section 3491, Rev. St. U. S., in the name of the United States, sued a party for defrauding the United States by making false claims, defraying all the expenses of the suit, and obtained judgment of $28,576, the secretary of the treasury cannot, under section 8469. authorizing him to compromise claims in favor of the United States, satisfy the judgment for $100, and thus confiscate such prosecutor's right to the costs and one-half as provided by section 3491. said 24 Fed. Rep. 36L
Error to the District Court. . The secretary of the treasury I having attempted to compromise a judgment obtained in the district court by the prosecutor against the defendant for the violation of section 5438 of the Revised Statutes, on which therew!ls still due the sum of $23,576, for the sum of $100, under section 3469 of said statutes, the district attorney moved the court for leave to enter satisfaction of the judgment, as well for the half belonging to the prosecutor as for that belonging to the United States. The district court denied the motion, on the ground that the action was under the control of the prosecutor, and that one-half the judgment belonged to him absolutely. The United States then carried the case to the circuit court on a writ of error, and assigned for error the refusal of the district court to allow the motion for leave to enter satisfaction. Lewis L. McArthur, for the United States. James K. Kelly, for the prosecution. SAWYER, J. The district judge has fully discussed the question as to the authority of the secretary of the treasury to compromise the matter involved, in such milnner as to cut off the right of Dowell, who prosecuted this action, at his own expense, in pursuance of the statutes, and recovered a large judgment against Griswold. U. S. v. Griswold, 24 Fed. Rep. 361. I fully concur in the reasoning, and conclusion of the district judge. and can add nothing of importance to what he. has so well said. Dowell, as appears upon the record, is the real prosecutor. He used the name of the United States, but paid all the expenses, and prosecuted the suit, as authorized and required by section 3491 of the Revised Statutes. By this provision of the statute, upon recovering judgment, he became, absolutely I entitled to one-half of the judgment recovered for forfeiture and damages, and all the amount of costs for which judgment was rendered. When this judgment was recovered and became final, the title to one-half of it became absolutely vested in him, as bIs property. It was what he earned by performing the statutory conditions. There was a judgment for costs in favor of Dowell, the real prosecutor, to the amount of nearly $3,000. This was for his own money, expended by him in prosecuting the action, in which the United States never had any interest. His right of property in this part of the judgment, and his onehalf of the judgment recovered for forfeiture and damages, was as absolute, and perfect, after he had performed all the statutory conditions, as his right to any other piece of property could possibly be; and the United States could no more divest him of it, than of any other private property o"ned by him. To compromise this matter in such a manner as to release the entire judgment, would be, to simply, and arbitrarily, confiscate Dowell's property. While the secretary may, under the statute, com'promise and release the interest of the United States, he cannot affect Dowell's rights, fully vested. Even if the power exists in congress to .affect Dowell's rights, it will not be presumed that the statute, author.zing, generally, a compromise of the interests of the government in suits pending in its favor, contemplates the confiscation of Dowell's rights of
property, fully vested in him by the perforn1ance of all the conditions required by the statute, and after he had become absolute owner of a portion of the judgment. A statute designed to effect such injustice should be far more specific in its provisions, than the one in question. It is clear to my mind, that the statute relied on by the government, was not intended to embrace that portion of the claim and judgment absolutely vested in Dowell, or claims similarly situated. We cannot impute to congress a deliberate intention to provide for the confiscation of private property, whether it has the power to 40 so or not, unless that intention is expressed in terms so plain, and explicit, that they will bear no other construction. . The judgment of the dish'lct court is affirmed.
UNITED STATES 'V.
DE GROAT and another.
(District Court, E. D. Michigan. April 9, 1887.)
CRIMINAL LAW-DESTROYING OR STEALING RECORDS-INTENT-REV. ST.
U. S.I5400· The specific intent to destroy a public record, such, is the essential element of the offense denounced by section 5403 of the Revised Statutes of the United States; and R defendant who had stolen papers belonging to the internal revenue office, from a barn where they were stored. under the belief that they were old paper, or without knowledge of the fact that they were public records, cannot be convicted under that statute.
SAME-FEDERAL OFFENSES-COMMON-LAW INTENDMENTS.
The federal criminal jurisprudence is entirely destitute of any SUbstratum of a common law of crimes and misdemeanors, upon which to draw for supplying elements of the offense; and the courts look only at the statute, using the common law, if necessary, to furnish a definition of the terms used, but never any ingredient of the offense.
Defendants were indicted under Rev. St. § 5403, for taking and carrying away, with the intent to steal or destroy, certain records belonging to the office of the internal revenue collector at Detroit, Michigan. The proof showed that, the government not furnishing sufficient accomodations for their safe keeping, the collector stored them in the stable or barn at his private residence; They were packed loosely in boxes, such as are used for merchandise, some of which were nailed, and others not, and some of the papers were loose on the floor, and altogether there were about 10 or 15 tons so stored in the barn. The records consisted of the accumulations of all the years since the system was adopted, and were the papers that had been kept and filed in the course of business. The collector received them from his predecessor in office, and placed them in his barn for the reason stated, it being used for no other purpose, and fastened with such locks and bolts as are usually found in :'>arns. The defendants, hiring a wagon, had taken four or five thousand pounds of the papers away, and sold them to junk dealers, when they were discovered, arrested, and arraigned on this indictment.