US v. HALL

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United States Supreme Court

U S v. HALL(1893)

No. 459

Argued: Decided: March 6, 1893

Statement by Mr. Justice BROWN:

This was an action by a commissioner of the circuit court of the United States for the northern district of Ohio for docket fees, and for fees for taking the acknowledgment of sureties upon recognizances. The court rendered a judgment in favor of the petitioner for $336.75, and the United States appealed.

Sol. Gen. Aldrich, for the United States.

C. C. Lancaster, for appellee.

Mr. Justice BROWN, after stating the facts in the foregoing language, delivered the opinion of the court.

This case involves but two items:

(1) The charge for docket fees must be disallowed upon the authority of U. S. v. Ewing, 140 U.S. 142 , 147, par. 7, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 743.

(2) The claim for acknowledgments is based upon the allegation of the petition that the plaintiff 'took and certified [147 U.S. 691, 692]   103 acknowledgments of sureties on recognizances of defendants in prosecutions brought by the United States, for each of which acknowledgments plaintiff was entitled by the statutes of the United States to receive the sum of twenty-five cents.' This item must also be reduced to a fee of 25 cents for taking a single acknowledgment in each case, since it was held in the case of U. S. v. Ewing, above cited, (page 146, par. 2, 140 U. S., and page 743, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep.,) that the taking of an acknowledgment in a criminal cause by the accused and his sureties is a single act, for which only one fee can be charged. If, for any reason, it was necessary to take them separately, that fact should have been made to appear. The burden of proof was upon the plaintiff.

The judgment of the court must, therefore, be reversed, and the case remanded, with instructions to reduce the judgment in conformity with this opinion.