Hamilton Cnty. v. Cunningham

Decision Date22 October 1910
Docket NumberNo. 16,150.,16,150.
Citation127 N.W. 1060,87 Neb. 650
PartiesHAMILTON COUNTY v. CUNNINGHAM ET AL.
CourtNebraska Supreme Court
OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE
Syllabus by the Court.

A county treasurer is not liable on his bond for interest which he has not collected and has been unable to collect upon the public funds in his care, unless it appears that some act or neglect of his has prevented or hindered the collection of such interest.

Appeal from District Court, Hamilton County; Good, Judge.

Action by the county of Hamilton against James B. Cunningham and another. Judgment for defendants. Plaintiff appeals. Affirmed.A. M. Post and Albert & Wagner, for appellant.

S. H. Sedgwick, J. J. Thomas, and Hall & Stout, for appellees.

BARNES, J.

Action by the county of Hamilton against an ex-county treasurer on his official bond for the recovery of money alleged to be due the county on account of interest on the public funds while in his custody as such officer. The defendants had judgment, and the plaintiff has appealed.

The undisputed facts as shown by the record are as follows: The defendant Cunningham was the treasurer of Hamilton county for two terms, a period of four years, from January, 1902, to January, 1906, and the defendant the American Bonding Company was the surety on his official bond. Shortly after Cunningham assumed the duties of his office large sums of money were paid to him as county treasurer, and thereupon he, together with the county commissioners, made every possible effort to induce the banks doing business in Hamilton county to become county depositories, under the provisions of chapter 18 of the Compiled Statutes, in order to faithfully administer the affairs of the office and provide a safe place, or places, in which to deposit, safely keep, and obtain interest on the public funds. It appears that all of the banks doing business in the county, except the First National Bank of Aurora and the Aurora State Bank, duly qualified and became county depositories; that thereupon the treasurer deposited in each of said depository banks the full amount of money which they were respectively entitled to receive under the provisions of the county depository law; that he at all times during his official incumbency kept in said banks the full amount of money which they were lawfully entitled to receive, and thus obtained interest on all of the public funds which he was able to place in such depositories; that there was in his hands from time to time a large amount of public money which he was unable to thus dispose of; that he made every possible effort to obtain depositories in other counties, and in good faith endeavored to induce the First National Bank of Aurora and the Aurora State Bank to become depositories. This they declined to do, and at all times refused to pay any interest on the public money, for the reason that they had constantly on hand more money of their own than they could profitably loan or invest.

It thus clearly appears that the defendant treasurer was unable to obtain interest on the balance of the public money in his hands. It also appears, and is conceded, that during all of the time that Cunningham held the office of county treasurer the vault and safe furnished to him by plaintiff county were unsafe, and he was furnished no safe place in which to keep the public money; that thereupon,from time to time, as he deemed it necessary for the safe-keeping of such money, he purchased demand certificates of the Aurora State Bank, which was conveniently located at the county seat, payable to himself personally; that he immediately indorsed the same to himself as county treasurer and deposited them in the county safe; that in transacting the business of his office he handled the certificates as cash, and they were so considered by the board of commissioners, who had full knowledge of the transaction, and who approved of the same by making settlements with the defendant treasurer semiannually, receiving and treating them upon such...

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1 cases
  • Hamilton County v. Cunning Ham
    • United States
    • Nebraska Supreme Court
    • October 22, 1910
    ... ...          The ... undisputed facts as shown by the record are as follows: The ... defendant Cunningham was the treasurer of Hamilton county for ... two terms, a period of four years, from January, 1902, to ... January, 1906, and the defendant, the ... ...

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