310 U.S. 414 (1940), 715, United States v. Summerlin

Docket Nº:No. 715
Citation:310 U.S. 414, 60 S.Ct. 1019, 84 L.Ed. 1283
Party Name:United States v. Summerlin
Case Date:May 27, 1940
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 414

310 U.S. 414 (1940)

60 S.Ct. 1019, 84 L.Ed. 1283

United States



No. 715

United States Supreme Court

May 27, 1940

Argued April 29, 1940



1. A claim assigned to the Federal Housing Administrator became a claim of, and enforceable by, the United States. Act of June 27, 1934. P. 416.

2. Whether the United States sues in its own court or in a state court, it is not bound by state statutes of limitations or subject to the defense of laches. P. 416.

The fact that the claim in question was acquired by the United States under the National Housing Act does not take the case out of the rule. P. 416.

3. A state statute providing that claims against a decedent's estate not filed within a specified period shall be void might deprive the state probate court of jurisdiction to receive and pass upon claim of the United States, but cannot affect its validity. P. 417.

140 Fla. 475, 191 So. 842, reversed.

Certiorari, 309 U.S. 647, to review the affirmance of a judgment declaring a claim of the United States against a decedent's estate void because not filed within the time prescribed by a state statute.

HUGHES, J., lead opinion

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE HUGHES delivered the opinion of the Court.

By a series of transactions which it is unnecessary to review, the Federal Housing Administrator, acting on behalf of the United States, became the assignee of a claim against the estate of one J. F. Andrew, deceased.

Page 415

Respondent was appointed ancillary administratrix of that estate by the County Judge of Polk County, Florida. Respondent, on August 13, 1937, gave notice by publication to the creditors of the estate to file proof of their claims within eight months, as required by the state statute.

[60 S.Ct. 1020] The United States filed its claim in the office of the County Judge on July 1, 1938, with a petition asking that the claim be allowed with the priority accorded by the federal statutes (31 U.S.C. §§ 191, 192) and also asserting that the state statute as to the time for filing claims did not apply to claims of the United States. The County Judge denied the petition, holding that the state statute was applicable and further adjudging that the claim of the United States be "disallowed as a claim against the estate" of the decedent.

The United...

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