Pooler v. United States

Decision Date21 January 1904
Docket Number496.
Citation127 F. 519
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — First Circuit

David D. Stewart, for plaintiff in error.

Isaac C. Dyer, U.S. Atty.

Before COLT and PUTNAM, Circuit Judges, and ALDRICH, District Judge.

PUTNAM Circuit Judge.

This is a civil action, brought in the District Court for the District of Maine, arising out of the same fraud to which the indictment in Daniel H. Pooler v. United States (471 on the docket of this court) 127 F. 509, relates. The United States now claim to recover to Pooler the amounts which he wrongfully received as alleged pensioner under the facts appearing in the indictment referred to. The verdict and judgment were for the United States and Pooler took out this writ of error. The alleged errors appear by the assignment thereof, as follows:

'(1) That this, being confessedly an action at common law cannot be maintained in this court for want of jurisdiction.
'(2) That by sections 3490, 3491, 3492, 3493, and 3494 of the Revised Statutes (U.S. Comp. St. 1901, pp. 2328, 2329), Congress has provided the mode and manner in which this pension money, if received by the defendant as the plaintiffs contend, could be recovered back; that this remedy provided by act of Congress is exclusive, and must be followed; and that this action at common law cannot, therefore, for that reason also, be maintained.
'(3) That under the act of Congress of December 21, 1893, c. 3, 28 Stat. 16 (U.S. Comp. St. 1901, p. 3270), the plaintiffs having offered no evidence that the defendant's pension certificate had been annulled or vacated, or in any manner affected or modified, under the provisions of that act, that no action could be maintained to recover back pension money paid under a pension certificate.
'And the said defendant says the learned District Court erred in not giving the foregoing instructions to the jury, and in declining to direct a verdict for said defendant upon the grounds for the reasons above set forth.
'(4) And the said defendant further says that the learned District Court erred in refusing to instruct the jury that, as the ground upon which the plaintiffs claimed to recover in this action involved the commission of a crime on the part of said defendant, the plaintiffs must prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.
'And erred in giving them the affirmative instruction that the plaintiffs would be entitled to recover upon a preponderance of the evidence, as is the rule in other civil suits.'

The proposition of the plaintiff in error do not strike us as troublesome. That which relates to the act of December 21, 1893, has been disposed of on the writ of error to the judgment of the District Court on the indictment to which we have referred. The plaintiff in error claims not only that this is an action at common law, but that the federal courts have no jurisdiction, except what is conferred by the statutes of the United States. Both these propositions are correct; but full jurisdiction is given the District Court by section 563, par. 4, of the Revised Statutes (U.S. Comp. St. 1901, p. 456)--a provision of law which has been recognized by the Supreme Court several times, the last on which we put our hand being United States v. Sayward, 160 U.S. 493, 495, 16 Sup.Ct. 371, 40 L.Ed. 508.

As to sections 3490, 3491, 3493, and 3494 of the Revised Statutes (U.S. Comp. St. 1901, pp. 2328, 2329), the plaintiff in error says that, where the Legislature creates a right and prescribes the remedy, the remedy thus prescribed is exclusive. This, as a general proposition of law, is correct. The right in this case, however, was not created by Congress but existed at common law; and it is plain that whatever remedies are afforded to the United States by the provisions of the Revised Statutes which the plaintiff in error cites are cumulative, so that it is at the option of the United...

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12 cases
  • United States v. Silliman
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • March 25, 1948
    ...standing as a plaintiff to recover a loss it sustains by conduct which amounts to the tort of deceit is pretty clear. Pooler v. United States, 1 Cir., 1904, 127 F. 519. Nor do we think that the fact that The Congress passed a statute applicable to those who make false claims is to be interp......
  • United States v. State of California, Civ. No. 62-521-WM.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of California
    • September 14, 1962
    ...States v. Silliman, 167 F.2d 607, 610 (3rd Cir.), cert. denied, 335 U.S. 825, 69 S.Ct. 48, 93 L.Ed. 379 (1945); Pooler v. United States, 127 F. 519, 520 (1st Cir. 1904); United States v. Andrews, 206 F.Supp. 50 (D.Idaho 1961); cf. United States v. Sayward, 160 U.S. 493, 16 S.Ct. 371, 40 L.E......
  • Federal Deposit Ins. Corp. v. Martinez Almodovar
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Puerto Rico
    • August 24, 1987
    ...United States to recover pecuniary loss resulting from fraudulent acts was recognized in this circuit many years ago. Pooler v. United States, 127 F. 519 (1st Cir.1904). That right existed at common law and was not created by statute. Id. at 520. Exercise of the right by an agency of the Un......
  • Continental Management, Inc. v. United States
    • United States
    • U.S. Claims Court
    • December 17, 1975
    ...United States v. Silliman, 167 F.2d 607, 611 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 335 U.S. 825, 69 S.Ct. 48, 93 L.Ed. 379 (1948); Pooler v. United States, 127 F. 519 (1st Cir. 1904); Brown v. United States, Ct.Cl., 524 F.2d 693, 700 (1975). These courts have told us that a statutory remedy is not exclu......
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