208 U.S. 1 (1908), 223, Carrington v. United States

Docket Nº:No. 223
Citation:208 U.S. 1, 28 S.Ct. 203, 52 L.Ed. 367
Party Name:Carrington v. United States
Case Date:January 06, 1908
Court:United States Supreme Court

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208 U.S. 1 (1908)

28 S.Ct. 203, 52 L.Ed. 367



United States

No. 223

United States Supreme Court

January 6, 1908

Argued December 16, 1907




An office commonly requires something more than a single transitory act to call it into being.

A money contribution by the Philippine government to the performance of certain military functions, and entrusting the funds to an officer of the United States Army, who is held to military responsibility therefor by court-martial, does not make that officer a civil officer of the Philippine government and amenable to trial in the civil courts for falsification of his accounts as a public official.

The fact that an officer of the United States Army, entrusted with money by the Philippine government to be expended in connection with his military command, signs his account "Disbursing Officer" instead of by his military title does not make him a civil officer of the Philippine government, and quaere whether he could become such a civil officer in view of the Act of March 3, 1883, 22 Stat. 567, prohibiting the appointment of officers of the United States Army to civil offices.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

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HOLMES, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

The plaintiff in error was convicted in the court of first instance, and, on appeal, by the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands, of the crime of falsification of a public document by a public official. He brings the case here by writ of error, setting up rights under the Constitution and statutes of the United States that were denied by the decision below.

The complaint alleges that the plaintiff in error,

being then and there a public official of the United States civil government of the Philippine Islands, to-wit, a duly appointed and commissioned major of the First Infantry, United States Army, and the duly designated, qualified, and acting commander of the Provisional Battalion of the Philippine Scouts, and a duly appointed, qualified, and acting disbursing officer for public funds of the said United States civil government of the Philippine Islands, appropriated on account of said Provisional Battalion and on account of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition

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at St. Louis,

made a false...

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