Wells v. Roper, No. 103

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Citation38 S.Ct. 317,246 U.S. 335,62 L.Ed. 755
Docket NumberNo. 103
PartiesWELLS v. ROPER, First Assistant Postmaster General of the United States
Decision Date18 March 1918

246 U.S. 335
38 S.Ct. 317
62 L.Ed. 755
WELLS

v.

ROPER, First Assistant Postmaster General of the United States.

No. 103.
Argued Jan. 2, 1918.
Decided March 18, 1918.

Messrs. Daniel Thew Wright and T. Morris Wampler, both of Washington, D. C., for appellant.

Mr. G. Carroll Todd, Assistant to the Attorney General, for appellee.

Mr. Justi e PITNEY delivered the opinion of the Court.

This was a suit in equity brought in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia for an injunction to restrain Daniel C. Roper, First Assistant Postmaster General, from annulling a contract theretofore made between plaintiff and the Postmaster General acting for the United States, and from interfering between plaintiff and the United States in the proper performance and execution of the contract by plaintiff. The Supreme Court sustained a

Page 336

motion to dismiss the bill, its decree to that effect was affirmed by the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia (44 App. D. C. 276), and plaintiff appeals to this court.

The contract was made February 14, 1913, and by it plaintiff agreed for a stated compensation to furnish, during a period of four years a number of automobiles (with chaffeurs) specially equipped according to specifications for use in collecting and delivering mail at Washington, D. C. One of its provisions (the third) was a stipulation that:

'Any or all of the equipments contracted for herein may be discontinued at any time upon ninety days' notice from the said party of the first part,' meaning the Postmaster General.

Another was:

'18. That all acts done by the First Assistant Postmaster General in respect of this contract shall be deemed and taken, for all purposes, to be the acts of the Postmaster General, within the meaning and intent of this contract.'

Plaintiff expended considerable sums of money and incurred substantial obligations in providing automobiles and other special equipment necessary for the performance of the contract, and continued to perform it for nearly two years. Then the Postmaster General, acting under a provision of an appropriation act approved March 9, 1914 (chapter 33, 38 Stat. 295, 300), by which he was authorized in his discretion to use such portion of a certain appropriation as might be necessary 'for the purchase and maintenance of wagons or automobiles for and the operation of an experimental combined screened wagon and city collection and delivery service,' determined it to be in the...

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73 practice notes
  • Banco de Espana v. Federal Reserve Bank, No. 370-372.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • July 8, 1940
    ...be maintained against a public officer who has done no more than breach a contract between plaintiff and the sovereign. Wells v. Roper, 246 U.S. 335, 38 S.Ct. 317, 62 L.Ed. 755; United States ex rel. Goldberg v. Daniels, 231 U.S. 218, 34 S.Ct. 84, 58 L.Ed. 191; Louisiana v. Jumel, 107 U.S. ......
  • Jeffries v. Olesen, No. 15779.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • May 13, 1954
    ...the Government, see Larson v. Domestic & Foreign etc. Corp., 1949, 337 U.S. 682, 69 S.Ct. 1457, 93 L.Ed. 1628; Wells v. Roper, 1918, 246 U.S. 335, 38 S.Ct. 317, 62 L.Ed. 755; State of Louisiana v. McAdoo, 1914, 234 U.S. 627, 34 S.Ct. 938, 58 L.Ed. 1506; Belknap v. Schild, 1896, 161 U.S.......
  • Weeks v. Goltra, No. 6871.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • July 23, 1925
    ...capacity, should have been upheld and sustained. As said by Mr. Justice Pitney, delivering the opinion of the court in Wells v. Roper, 246 U. S. 335, 38 S. Ct. 317, 62 L. Ed. 755: "That the interests of the government are so directly involved as to make the United States a necessary pa......
  • Land v. Dollar, No. 207
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 7, 1947
    ...of government officials which would alter or terminate the contractual obligation of the United States to pay money. See Wells v. Roper, 246 U.S. 335, 38 S.Ct. 317, 62 L.Ed. 755; Mine Safety Co. v. Forrestal, 326 U.S. 371, 66 S.Ct. 219. It is not an attempt to get specific performance of a ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
73 cases
  • Banco de Espana v. Federal Reserve Bank, No. 370-372.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • July 8, 1940
    ...be maintained against a public officer who has done no more than breach a contract between plaintiff and the sovereign. Wells v. Roper, 246 U.S. 335, 38 S.Ct. 317, 62 L.Ed. 755; United States ex rel. Goldberg v. Daniels, 231 U.S. 218, 34 S.Ct. 84, 58 L.Ed. 191; Louisiana v. Jumel, 107 U.S. ......
  • Jeffries v. Olesen, No. 15779.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • May 13, 1954
    ...sue the Government, see Larson v. Domestic & Foreign etc. Corp., 1949, 337 U.S. 682, 69 S.Ct. 1457, 93 L.Ed. 1628; Wells v. Roper, 1918, 246 U.S. 335, 38 S.Ct. 317, 62 L.Ed. 755; State of Louisiana v. McAdoo, 1914, 234 U.S. 627, 34 S.Ct. 938, 58 L.Ed. 1506; Belknap v. Schild, 1896, 161 U.S.......
  • Weeks v. Goltra, No. 6871.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • July 23, 1925
    ...capacity, should have been upheld and sustained. As said by Mr. Justice Pitney, delivering the opinion of the court in Wells v. Roper, 246 U. S. 335, 38 S. Ct. 317, 62 L. Ed. 755: "That the interests of the government are so directly involved as to make the United States a necessary party a......
  • Land v. Dollar, No. 207
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 7, 1947
    ...of government officials which would alter or terminate the contractual obligation of the United States to pay money. See Wells v. Roper, 246 U.S. 335, 38 S.Ct. 317, 62 L.Ed. 755; Mine Safety Co. v. Forrestal, 326 U.S. 371, 66 S.Ct. 219. It is not an attempt to get specific performance of a ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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