276 U.S. 287 (1928), 159, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. United States

Docket Nº:No. 159
Citation:276 U.S. 287, 48 S.Ct. 306, 72 L.Ed. 575
Party Name:Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. United States
Case Date:March 12, 1928
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 287

276 U.S. 287 (1928)

48 S.Ct. 306, 72 L.Ed. 575

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

v.

United States

No. 159

United States Supreme Court

March 12, 1928

Argued January 10, 1928

CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF CLAIMS

Syllabus

1. A lease to the United States for a term of years, made without any specific authority of law and entered into when there was no appropriation available for the. payment of rent after the first fiscal year, does not bind the government after that year. Rev.Stats. §§ 3732, 3679. Leiter v. United States, 271 U.S. 204. P. 291.

2. To make such a lease binding for any subsequent year, it is necessary not only that an appropriation be made available for the payment of the rent, but that the government, by its duly authorized officers, affirmatively continue the lease for such subsequent year, thereby, in effect, by the adoption of the original lease, making a new lease under the authority of such appropriation for the subsequent year. P. 292.

3. Holding over by government officials after the fiscal year, accompanied by a manifestation of their intention not to bind the United States to pay rent beyond the period of actual occupancy, will not work a renewal for the whole of the ensuing fiscal year even where there is an appropriation covering rent for that year, and although, under the state law a private lessee holding over would be bound to a year's renewal by legal implication, regardless of his intention. P. 292.

4. The right to sue the United States under the Tucker Act on a claim founded on contract, must rest upon an express contract or one implied in fact; the Act gives no right of action in a case where, if the transaction were between private parties, a recovery could be had upon a contract implied in law. P. 293.

62 Ct.Cls. 370, affirmed.

Page 288

Certiorari, 273 U.S. 692, to a judgment of the Court of Claims dismissing on demurrer a suit to recover rent.

Page 290

SANFORD, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE SANFORD delivered the opinion of the Court.

The Goodyear Company brought this action under the Tucker Act1 to recover rent claimed under a lease to the United States. The petition was dismissed on demurrer for failure to state a cause of action. 62 Ct.Cls. 370.

The facts alleged were these: in October, 1921, the predecessor of the Goodyear Company leased to the United States, for the use of the Veterans' Bureau, certain premises in Cincinnati, Ohio, for a term ending June 30, 1926, at a stipulated annual rental payable in monthly installments. No appropriation was then available for payment of the rent after the first fiscal year, ending June 30, 1922,2 and the lease provided that, if an appropriation was not made under which the rent for any succeeding fiscal year might be paid, it should automatically terminate as of June 30 of the year for which an appropriation was last available.

The lessor assigned and transferred the lease to the Goodyear Company in January, 1922. In June, an appropriation was made, available for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1923, and the lease was by agreement "renewed" for that year. In February, 1923, an appropriation was

Page 291

made, available for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1924. Before June 30, 1923, the officials of the Veterans' Bureau informed the Company that the United States would give up the occupancy of the premises as of that date. "When June 30, 1923, arrived" -- as the petition alleged --

the officials of the Veterans' Bureau desired to occupy the premises beyond that date, and possession was continued by the United States into the following fiscal year, the officials of the Veterans' Bureau then stating that there was no intention on the part of the United States to pay rent for any longer time than the actual period of occupancy, and the officials of the claimant company stating that it was their contention that, . . . even if the original lease was not binding beyond June 30, 1923, nevertheless if the United States remained longer than June 30, 1923, it would at least be liable for the stipulated rent for the year ending June 30, 1924, under the laws of the Ohio by reason of holding over.

The United States continued in...

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