United States v. Harris

Decision Date09 January 1897
Docket Number319
Citation77 F. 821
PartiesUNITED STATES v. HARRIS, et al. [1]
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Seventh Circuit

This was an action against the United States, prosecuted under the Act March 3, 1887, c. 359 (24 Stat. 505). The original petition was brought by Jesse A. Baldwin, for the use of himself and Lottie A. Harris, the wife of Le Roy S. Harris and, in substance, it alleged that on February 24, 1894, Le Roy Harris was under arrest, and in the custody of the United States marshal for the Western district of New york, charged with violations of the postal laws, in that he had obtained from postmasters at La Salle, Aurora, and Ottawa, Ill various sums of money upon forged money orders; that, while he was so in custody, James E. Stuart, a special agent of the post-office department, forcibly searched his person, and took from him the sum of $1,310, which belonged to him; that on March 13, 1894, the petitioner was employed to defend Harris in the trials upon the indictments then pending in the United States district court, and Chicago, and on that day was given by Harris on order on Stuart for the said amount of $1,310, of which he was to retain $350 as and for attorney's fees, and to deliver the remainder to Lottie A. Harris, to whom Le Roy Harris was indebted for a like amount, for which she afterwards recovered judgment against him; that he presented the order to Stuart before 12 o'clock noon of the day it was drawn: that on the next day Harris sold and assigned to the petitioner, by an instrument in writing, all his right, title, and interest in and to the said sum of $1,310, for the sue of the petitioner and Lottie A. Harris; that Stuart refused to deliver the money to the petitioner, and falsely claimed that two weeks before he had sent the money to Washington, to be turned over to the post-office department: that at 2 o'clock on March 13, 1894, the trial of Le Roy Harris upon the indictments against him was begun, and continued through three days: that neither when asked to surrender the money, nor at any time during the trial, did Stuart claim that the money, or any part of it, could be identified as the proceeds of any crime of Harris against the United States, but, on the contrary, he testified at the trial that his investigation corroborated the statement of Harris that he had gotten the money either from the Mount Morris Bank or the Harlem Savings Bank, N.Y that afterwards, on March 19, 1894, Stuart delivered the money to the chief post-office inspector at Washington, D.C., who covered the same into the treasury of the United States, where it is still held; that the money was taken from Harris wholly without authority of law; and that, the premises considered, the United States was indebted to the petitioner for the amount stated, for the uses aforesaid, etc.

On September 27, 1895, an answer was filed, alleging, with other averments which are not now material, that Harris, by falsely pretending to be an agent of the post-office department, had obtained of the postmaster at Norton Heights, Conn., 16 blank money orders, and advices, which he filled out, 15 for $200 each, and 1 for $100, making them payable at different post offices in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, and received payment thereof, the last being paid to him on January 11, 1894, at La Salle, Ill.; that on January 15, 1894, he deposited in the Mount Morris Bank, N.Y., the sum of $1,272, which he allowed to remain there until January 30th and 31st, when he withdrew it; that on February 17, 1894, he was arrested at Buffalo N.Y., and one week later was brought to Chicago by the United States marshal, to answer for the crimes aforesaid, committed in this jurisdiction: that search was then made of his person, and $1,310 in $100 bills, $50 bills, and $20 bills, found thereon, about one-half sewed in this waistband of his pantaloons, and the remainder pasted on the bare sole of his right foot; that he was indicted and brought to trial in the United States district court at Chicago on the 13th day, and on the 18th day of March following, was convicted for having obtained of the postmaster at La Salle, Aurora, and Ottawa three of the stolen money orders aforesaid, and was thereafter committed to the penitentiary, having pending against him at the time prosecutions and complaints for the remainder of said $3,100 so by him falsely and fraudulently taken by him from the United States, and never restored; that it is true that on March 13, 1894, Stuart as post-office inspector at Chicago, (but at what particular time, and by what method, the respondent does not deem important), 'did forward the said sum of $1,310, part and parcel, as this respondent believes, of the proceeds of the crimes and swindles of said Harris, and which were the results of his fraudulent money-order transactions aforesaid, to the P.O. department at Washington,' where it is 'deposited to be held as evidence against said Harris, and (in) the future trials and causes in the trial aforesaid, being the identical money found on the person, and to satisfy the just demands of the government of the United States, and in part to recoup the government of the United States for the robberies and frauds aforesaid'; that as to the declaration as the proceeds of the crime, the respondent does not know, save as informed by the petition and by former statements of Stuart in testifying in other causes in other courts. In respect to other matters alleged in the petition, the answer denies knowledge, and requires strict proof. It is also denied that the taking of the money by Stuart was unlawful, and that the United States is indebted to Harris in the sum of $1,310 or for any other amount. The cause having been set down for hearing on December 10, 1895, Le Roy Harris on that day filed with the clerk of the court his petition, entitled as in the cause pending, alleging, in substance, that he had a claim against the United States for the sum of $1,310; that he was indebted to Jessee A. Baldwin and Lottie A. Harris; that he adopted the petition therein before filed; and prayed that he be substituted as party complainant 'in lieu of Jesse A. Baldwin, for the use of Jessee A. Baldwin and Lottie A. Harris, for the Use of Jesse A. Baldwin and Lottie A. Harris, vs. The United States."' On the same day, leave of court was 'given Lottie A. Harris to join as party complainant, and adopt the allegations of the petitioner'; and the cause, having been partly heard, was continued to the ensuing 12th of the month, but on the same day, December 10th, a further order was made, on the motion of Le Roy S. Harris, consented to by the...

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7 cases
  • City of St. Louis v. Franklin Bank
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • 5 d2 Janeiro d2 1937
    ...inconsistent with the facts found, and the findings of fact will prevail over conclusions of law. 64 C. J., sec. 1108, p. 1261; United States v. Harris, 77 F. 821; Saunders v. Scott, 68 Ind. 130; American Co. v. Bowman, 114 N.E. 992, 65 Ind.App. 109; Wyandotte County v. Arnold, 30 P. 486, 4......
  • Hubshman v. Louis Keer Shoe Co.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Seventh Circuit
    • 16 d4 Julho d4 1942
    ...608, 14 S.Ct. 230, 37 L.Ed. 1195; United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. Commercial Nat. Bank, 5 Cir., 55 F.2d 564, 567; United States v. Harris, 7 Cir., 77 F. 821; Daube v. Philadelphia, etc., Co., 7 Cir., 77 F. 713. In the absence of a finding that this alleged loss was due to the defau......
  • Schioler v. Secretary of State of United States
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Seventh Circuit
    • 19 d4 Maio d4 1949
    ...Container Patents Corporation v. Stant, 7 Cir., 143 F.2d 170; Walling v. Plymouth Mfg. Corporation, 7 Cir., 139 F.2d 178; United States v. Harris, 7 Cir., 77 F. 821; Daube v. Philalelphia & R. Coal & Iron Co., 7 Cir., 77 F. 713. We cannot supply findings here. Kelley v. Everglades Drainage ......
  • Wright v. Bragg
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Seventh Circuit
    • 3 d2 Outubro d2 1899
    ...96 F. 729 WRIGHT v. BRAGG. No. 574.United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.October 3, 1899 [96 F. 730] ... Denis ... F ... conclusion only. It should have been so expressed. U.S ... v. Harris, 46 U.S.App. 653, 23 C.C.A. 483, and 77 F ... 821. It is not to be regarded as a general finding ... ...
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